Clichéd profile photos: It’s time to retire the tried and true

by Patty Templeton

By now, we all know that our online avatars outline the self we truly want rather than the person we actually are. It’s an accepted deception, a design of self. We project the most bewitching, gripping character we can to the world.

Coolio. Whatever. Everyone does it.

But seriously, smalls, there’s a few styles of profile pic so cliché that they could yank the chain of a dead horse the whole nine yards.

Before we get started, the author would like to pull the plank outta her own profile before she points out the splinter in yours. It’s to be noted that she has been guilty of – and if you troll through her social media accounts, is still guilty of – these profile pic clichés: Using glasses to make herself “look like a librarian,” using obnoxious grime and sepia filters, constant black and white dramatics, using downward angles to make her face thinner, and over-wearing sunglasses as to not have to deal with putting on makeup. Oh and geez.

It’s also to be considered that if your truest form of (online) self includes sunglasses or a pet in every pic, you do you, man. Choose your cliché quotient and roll with it. I know I have.

On with it! Here’s some over-done profile pics that we’ve all probably been guilty of:

Mirror, mirror, on the ewFact: Bathrooms are gross. At home, in public, NAST. If you snap a selfie in a public restroom mirror, all I’m going to think about is the fact that fecal bacteria can project up to six feet from the toilet you’re only two feet away from.

Think it’s OK because you took a bathroom mirror pic at home? Um. No. There are towels piled on the floor, mold growing in the shower, and only one in five people wash their hands after relieving themselves. So, hey, great. Cute pic, pal-o-mine, but your mirror-selfie is reminding me that you probably have crap-hands.

Gym ratCongrats on your gym life! Good for you for loving a place so universally loathed. I mean, those abs, wow. That’s, at least a thousand reps on an upside-down, arcane apparatus. But you’re in a bacteria-laden, fluorescently-lit gym and not only is it making me feel guilty, friend, for not going this week – ahem – month, but studies suggest that those who excessively post about their gym routines suffer from narcissism. I worry for you.

Yoga pro I’m thinking dirty thoughts about you. I am. I mean, you’re so BENDY. We could form a salty, sweaty, skin pretzel. But. My yoga crush, why do you constantly post flexy photos? Are you showing me your meditative ability between timed photos? Your dedication to exercising outside during breezy twilights? Your level 100 ability to improve a mountain vista with a headstand? You do have an unnatural knack for making backyards and countrysides look holier and splendid – but seriously, that does not look comfortable, you’re doing Cobra pose on a pebble beach. If you’re focused on your breath with rocks pressing against your pelvis and your photo timer ticking down, you got mad yoga skillz.

Far away nature godDamn it, Janet. I can’t even see you. You’re on a mountain silhouetted by the sunset. Who took this picture? Was it you? Did you set a timer and run to a dangerous cliff edge? We have to talk about your risky behavior. And Brad, I know there’s a fire in your heart and Janet flames it, but you don’t have to climb a tree to impress her. She can barely see you way up there in all those leaves. There’s no baby sloth, no treehouse, Janet’s not going to be impressed by this profile pic, and neither are we. Ditto that for when you lovebirds took a photo holding hands a mile down a dirt road at sunset and all we can see is your teensy silhouette.

Sunglasses. Everywhere. All. The. Time.You got a beautiful face. It’s lined by time. There are stories in it. Stars in your eyes. Hope rising those eyebrows. Maybe your eyeliner is on frikkin point. I wouldn’t know though because half your face is covered by your sunglasses in every profile picture ever. All your continual sunglasses use does is convince me you’re hiding something. Have you gone “American Psycho?” Are your endlessly clandestine eyes now hysterical and searching for the moment you can carve and filet my muscle and bone into breakfast? Show me your soul-holes so I know you don’t want to eat me.

All filter, no face We all musta been mud-nuts-ugly before filters. Or maybe less critical. Whatever we used to be, we’re now PERFECT! And, if you use Snapchat, koala-headed. Filters are a force of good in the universe. Filters to brighten skin, flower crown the populace, sepia the scenery, spot correct, and glamor glow us from normal to yowza in no time. And yet, with great power comes great responsibility. Stop filtering your face so hardcore that I can’t tell it’s you, Summer. And Jim, you already have Thor abs, do you have to HDR them?

Everybody, just calm down.

Ax that photo apartLazy and kinda creepy, that’s what cropping your ex out of a profile photo is. Kinda weird to crop out friends, too. You have a camera phone that can take zillions of photos. So take two minutes to take a zillion photos. Don’t tell me you don’t like any of those zillion. Your current photo showing you half-armed, obviously hugging someone who is no longer there, is unsatisfactory. If you’re gonna keep that pic, photoshop in stick hands double-fisting ice cream cones or something. If you’re gonna go weird, go full gonzo.

Keep calm and quit fontingWhy, hello, demanding/inspiring/activist quote as a photo. You are a brilliant mask of I-have-no-idea-what-this-person-looks-like. Were this a dating site, I would ignore you. (Unless your quote was Douglas Adams … a weakness, I admit. We all got ‘em.) Where’s your head? Who stops for a font photo? Why are you telling me to keep calm? Geez, at least we can see part of the psycho sunglasses girl’s face. You don’t even have a shadow in your meme.

Is that a dead animal?Why are you holding up a glass-eyed guppy, grinning like you’ve dominated a wild, rapid river? Oh, hey, thanks for standing by your pickup with a stiff deer dumped in the back. Gonna remember that melancholy blood pit when you wanna go down a country road to stargaze from your truck bed. Nope and nope. Oh, and is that you smiling over a dead elephant on a safari? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Critter cadavers equal not hot, not cool.

From the wayback machineDear, dear friend. It’s 2017. Why is your profile pic from 2010? Every day you shed millions of skin cells. In fact, you shed 30,000 skin cells a minute. You are physically not the same person as in that photo. You live across the country and I haven’t seen you in five years, so, give up the goods. What color is your hair now? Did you get that face tattoo? Do you still wear that ancient trucker hat? Finally grow in a pencil mustache? Still carry a baby rat on your shoulder? Update, please.

That ain’t all!Runners-up of need-to-be-retired-profile-pic-clichés are: Your Pet is In Every Picture, Duckface 4ever, Why Am I Looking at Your Feet All The Time, Seriously Put a Shirt On, Hey Look Another Photo of You Squatting By Your Car, Why Are You Holding a Baby When You Don’t Have Kids, and Where the Hell Are You in That Group Shot.

Mind you, a picture of a pal is better than no picture of a pal, so, hey keep whatever profile pic you got, cliché or not.

Except for you dead elephant selfie guy. You suck big poops. Change your pic.

Patty TempletonDGO Staff Writer


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