Ignore the Ears
This is not my first and likely won’t be my last screed on profile pictures.
I would guess that out of every 100 profile pictures I glance at, I think maybe 25% are good profile pictures.
By good, I don’t mean that they have to be a professionally taken photo with the subject, making them look like a dead ringer for Katy Perry or Charlize Theron, like Brad Pitt or Antonio Banderis.
This is what I mean by “good.”
It should have been taken in the last five years, unless you are, for some reason using a photo of yourself as a child for a limited time.
It should bear some resemblance to you in the real world, meaning if it is a photo of my best friend, for instance, I should be able to recognize it.
It should be reasonably in focus.
In other words, I should be able to identify that it is, indeed, a human face as opposed to an abstract representation of an amoeba.
Your eyes should not be closed unless there’s a reason for it. If you are playing Blindman’s Bluff and wearing a blindfold, your eyes can be closed.
If you’re being tormented by someone on a cross, it’s acceptable to have your eyes closed due to the experience.
Also if you’re having sex, but I’ll come back to that one. Yes, yes, I know, I said come. Anyway.
If you are playing peekaboo with a small child, and your hands are over your eyes, your eyes can be closed.
If, however, the reason your eyes are closed is because someone took the photo at the wrong moment and you STILL posted it?
This is unacceptable.
Do not use photos taken of you at a wedding with the two other ushers clearly visible in the photo, unless, again, that is your purpose, in which case, do not leave it up for more than a month.
By then, everyone who wants to see it has, and the new contacts or friends of your friends are now seeing it and wondering which of the three guys is you.
In this instance, and I cannot stress this strongly enough, do NOT use this kind of photo if you are the most unattractive of the three.
If you don’t want to put up a photo, well, ok, I really doubt that you’re genuinely so important that your being recognized on Facebook is going to lead to your life being ruined, but whatever.
However, if you don’t put up a photo, don’t expect me to respond. Don’t even expect me to contact you.
Oh, and before I forget, your sending me a note does not obligate me to respond. It also does not make me rude or stuck-up. If you call my phone, I am also not obliged to answer.
And part of the reason that I do not answer is because it usually leads to this kind of exchange:
“You’re very attractive; I’d love to buy you a drink sometime.”
“Thank you, but I would not be interested.”
“Why not? I think you’re very attractive. I’m lots of fun. Why not?”
Lather, rinse, repeat.
It’s ok to use a photo that’s a little flattering, or a little unflattering. It should, however, be no more than 50 pounds or five years off your current age and size.
I don’t know why anyone would prefer the reaction upon meeting them in person to be “Woah, you’re a lot fatter (or skinnier) and a lot older than I expected,” over “Wow, you look really great.”
I tease that one of the most flattering full-body pictures taken of me in years was at an Easter Littles (age-players) party. I am impersonating, for reasons unknown even to me, a gangsta, making that weird horns finger signal that rappers do.
I am also wearing a pair of comically oversized sunglasses, the kind that are a foot across.
Even that is not bad enough, because I am also wearing a headband with a large set of furry ears attached. If I send it out to someone, I feel compelled to warn the recipient.
But I always wonder what must the person on the other end think when I send this warning:
“Ignore the ears.”