*fittedwearer's note: You might be familiar with my first book, entitled "Fresh Uncensored Critical Knowledge for Your Life". You might even know about the chapter previews of said book I have around here I affectionately refer to as "FfYL Quickies".
What you might not be aware of is that many of the chapters in the book were ported directly from umf...I polished 'em up a bit, of course...there's a big gap between lunchtime ramblings and book chapter...but the source material cannot be denied.
However, the purpose of me typing all this is to let y'all know how much I love umf'ers. Clearly I do, because what I'm doing now is giving you what pretty much amounts to an album cut of these old umf posts. They're actual chapters from "Fresh Uncensored Critical Knowledge", and I share them with you in the hopes that you'll like 'em enough to support me anyway...or maybe just read the damn thing, period.
Anyway, since I've decided to go all the way in on these select chapters, they will be hereby known as "Full Penetration Discourse", as opposed to the half-chapter "Quickies". Tee-hee.
Aight, here we go...today's is from part III, "For your Social Networking", and goes by the name (f.u.c.k.)- Your Profile Picture. Behold:
One of the most important decisions you will make in your social networking journey is the profile picture you choose to use as the face of your internet interactions.
There is a Latin term, "prima facie", that literally means "on its first face" or loosely, "the first impression". It's often used in legal circles and courts of law, but for the purposes of this section, I've decided to apply it to the internet's favorite court of public opinion, social networks.You see, the first thing anyone sees anytime you decide to make your presence online known is your default picture. What has somehow escaped common knowledge is that many inferences can be made with pretty fair accuracy simply by looking at one's picture.Of course, people are more than their pictures just like their status updates are not necessarily a peek into the depths of their soul--at least I hope not in some cases--but if a status, something you wear temporarily but that may make permanent statements, translates to real life as a t-shirt, a profile picture is analogous to your actual face.This doesn't mean that the picture has to necessarily be of your face, that's just a convenient way for people that have seen you before in the matrix to identify you online.It could be anything you want, your cat, Spider-Man, a captioned internet meme photo...but the point is that the image you choose has a lot to do with the image you present online to your friends, family, co-workers, classmates, and other random mafuckas. After all, you put it up, so it can be safely assumed that it says something about you that you want said...but what are you saying?To that end, I've prepared a list of common profile picture types and the messages they may send to others, whether you realize it or not. With this knowledge, you can be aware of exactly which 1,000 words are being spoken about you when your picture comes up online.A normal picture of one's face (smile optional)- I'll start with this one because it was the original picture form, even back before the internet, when dinosaurs roamed the earth.For some reason, it's become far less common in modern times. This standard picture serves no purpose other than to identify the person in it...which, of course, is the entire point of a photograph in most cases.What it says about you: "I'm a reasonably normal human being, or at least I play one on the internet."The Internet Pose of the Week- More representative of what has become common in recent times, this type of picture involves the subject in a bizarre juxtaposition for the benefit of a camera.This can take the form of "planking", which is lying prone in random settings with varying degrees of danger, such as in a retail store, in the middle of a busy intersection, or on a 7th story balcony railing that's about as thin as a balcony railing (true story), "owling" which entails crouching in a manner vaguely reminiscent of an owl while perched atop an object, or any other weird positioning phenomenon that pops up in the future.What it says about you: "Look what I can do!"...you know, like the giant special man-baby from Mad TV.The Paycheck Pic- Perplexingly common to those with low-paying hourly jobs, this kind of picture involves cashing a check on payday and taking a picture of all $219 while either held fanned in the hand or strewn about a room, creating what is intended to be an ostentatious visual effect.This effect is mitigated by the fact that the room in which most subjects choose to do this in is never clean. Even more vexing is their apparent ignorance of the fact that if they actually did have any financial means to speak of, they would have to prove it to no one. The only thing rich here is the comedy of it all.What it says about you: "I've never had anything of value and have probably never seen this much money in the same place."Toke Shot- For a still-undetermined reason, posting pictures on the internet of oneself using substances that are unfortunately illegal at the moment has become all the rage in recent years. Some think this variety of picture makes one look like a cool guy. In reality, this person is more like a rapper who talks about all the illegal activities he has supposedly perpetrated. Anybody who actually knows what they're doing would never let the wrong people know about it.What it says about you: "I really, really want everyone that peruses this social network, employers, law enforcement, and everybody else, to know that I smoke marijuana."Duck Face- An overwhelmingly female picture type, it involves poking the lips out into what is probably meant to be a sexy, pouty face, but really more looks like the person has lemon juice extract where their saliva should be or that their mouth hole is a couple sizes too small. Apparently this look has come into vogue, as more and more people have adopted this arrangement of the face as an attractive presentation of themselves.What it says about you: "Quack."New Tat Pic- Often, people choose to let the people they know check out their new tattoo by posting a picture of it online.While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, some of the tattoos present ripe opportunities for ridicule, either through poor concept or execution. This becomes particularly troublesome for those who claim they got their tattoos "for the summer", when they actually got them for the lifetime.An especially hilarious example of this involves an otherwise normal picture of a person newly decorated with ink fail slathered across their face/neck/hands/breasts/lower back.What it says about you: "Hey y'all, check out what I want on me for the rest of my life! Isn't it cool looking for now?"Ancient Ruins pic- This picture most often depicts an attractive person at a young age. The only problem is that the person in that picture is long gone, either aged poorly or in some tragic cases, eaten by someone who vaguely resembles them.Most commonly, this involves a picture of someone that's 25+ and decent posting a picture of when they were 18 and blindingly hot. Technically, this is a picture of them...but only in the same way that that rusted out junker the home-challenged like to have sex in that sits on a few cinder blocks in an abandoned lot somewhere may have once been a Shelby Mustang.What it says about you: "In my mind, I still look this way. I hope you think so too."MySpace angle- This picture, popularized on an archaic social network and commonly utilized by females to this day, is accomplished by aiming one's camera or smartphone at a downward angle toward the face before taking a picture.It is a favorite of those with something to hide, be it facial hair, acne, an abstract face, or 50 extra pounds. Through some dark sorcery, all of these are diminished or even eradicated completely simply by taking the picture at this angle. An interesting note is that for every 10 degrees the camera is angled up, the subject appears approximately 5.49% more attractive. Unfortunately, this effect cannot be duplicated in real life.What it says about you: "This is how I would look if life were more fair."Middle Finger Up- Another common pose involves the extension of the middle finger. This shot indicates a cavalier attitude towards one's perception, and can often be misinterpreted as a direct statement to everyone who looks at it. This is rarely the case...otherwise, you wouldn't be friends. Duh.What it says about you: "If you don't like me or my picture, fuck you."Bubble Face- This new facial expression of unknown meaning involves tucking the lips tightly against the teeth and filling all available space in the mouth with air. It serves little purpose other than to make the subject look like they have a case of the mumps.What it says about you: "Any change in my face is an improvement from the standard."Drinking Pic- Many people enjoy taking pictures of themselves in various states of drinking and drunkenness. Admittedly, it's fun to do, but this picture may send the wrong impression...or the right one.What it says about you: "I’m not a drunk, I’m an alcohobbyist!”Cleavage Pic- Another common one for females are pictures which emphasize, or show almost entirely in some cases, their exposed chest area. Some people frown upon this practice, as it is inherently attention-seeking, desperate and gauche...but if those things were the best part of your personality, you would probably show them off too.What it says about you: "You, having seen all I have to offer both you and humanity at large, now have no need to concern yourself with my non-sexual merit as a woman."Back Shot- A close cousin of the Cleavage Pic, this sends a very similar message. An added note is that if the subject gets attention for this kind of picture and none for those that actually show their face, they're far less attractive than they have been led to believe by others on the internet.What it says about you: "This is likely much better looking than my face."Full Monty Flick- While exceedingly rare, every so often some dippy, attention-starved bitch decides to take off all her clothes in a picture and put it on the internet without being paid for it.While her male friends likely appreciate this, she should realize that nothing on the internet really ever gets deleted...so the attention she so fervently craves will one day come from an future employer, future spouse, or future (if not current) child. Some say the past is the past (and are wrong), but on the internet, there IS no past...only the not-as-present.What it says about you: "My daddy never hugged me/hugged me a bit too much."Hitman Shot- A relatively new category, but ever since people began to solicit murder on the internet's public forums, it has become necessary to cover.It has probably been going on ever since people used America Online, but came to the public eye when one such private contractor decided to make a picture of him posing with his office tools his default image right before he was contacted by an party interested in his services. After he was contacted by another interested party, the police, both conspirators went the fuck to jail.Few people are stupid enough to appear online brandishing a gun that they plan to use illegally, but every so often someone tries it. Be that someone at your own dumb ass risk.What it says about you: "I'm way too hard for Facebook...and I need that stack first."Default Default- This image, often a simple silhouette of a person, is the picture that a site will display for those who have not yet chosen a picture.It means one of 3 things, either they haven't been a member that long, they don't use the service all that much, or the vague resemblance to a human being that the default default image has is stronger than the person's own.What it says about you: "I haven't figured out how to use this conflab thing yet!"Baby Pic- Most babies are cute (and even those that are a bit off just "aren't cute yet"). Accordingly, they are a popular choice to display as a profile picture.Nothing can really be held against a proud parent or family member who shows off an adorable little bundle of joy to their friends for a few days, but if it becomes a permanent thing, it's a bit suspicious, as there are very few actual babies on any current social network.This type of picture also raises the very interesting question of just what happens when an entire generation grows up on the internet. I know there are pictures of myself when I was a rugrat that I don't want anyone to see for any length of time, let alone everyone seeing it forever.What it says about you: "Look at the baby! Isn't it cute? Isn't it? ISN'T IT! Goddamn you, say the baby is cute!!! "Group Photo- Although most people who appear in group shots do so to be seen with a group of their friends, some use them as a smokescreen to disguise the fact that they're the friend that make the rest look better, as not everyone would immediately know which person they are.A common example is a picture showing a group of friends getting ready for a night out standing near what appears to be the vehicle they will use to get there...but it's actually just a large and unattractive friend.It's a tricky practice, but can be easily detected by pictures that lack proper tagging to create confusion about the identities of those in the picture.What it says about you: "Hey, look at everybody but me!"Shirtless Guy: Many physically fit men enjoy showing off their fit bodies to females online. What they sometimes fail to realize is that they also have male friends who may not necessarily want to see that shit every time they see them on the site. That being the case, they should probably save it for the albums…at least that way, people will be able to look at it on purpose.What it says about you: "I want all my posts deleted off my male friends' walls because people are starting to ask weird questions about his friendship with me. Also, I was likely a fat kid...and look at me now!"Significant Other Shot: Couples often choose to show that they care about each other with a picture of the both of them as a profile picture. When both partners have this picture it's kind of a cute way for those who care about each other to show it to the world.However, in many cases one partner has a picture of the couple and the other does not. Of course, the party without a picture of them both probably isn't really in the relationship...but you can't tell the poor sucker who goes with them that.What it says about you: "I'm taken!"Sports Logo- Pretty obvious. However, it's always interesting to see if the logo changes to a different team in the same sport when the team's fortunes change. It lets you know a lot about the nature of their character.What it says about you: "Go _______!"Pet Shot- Some people choose to put up pictures of their pet in place of a picture of themselves. Pets are often cute. These people are often not.What it says about you: "I'm one step under making this pet a Facebook page of its own."The "Model Pic"- Something straight out of "Zoolander", this picture is ripe for parody. Usually involving an aesthetically challenged person making a face which was intended to be pensive, mysterious, and sensual...but usually comes out looking constipated.Some people will even attempt to add artsy flair to this kind of picture, making it black-and-white, sepia-toned, and otherwise modifying a picture that didn't need to be taken in the first place. Some of the funniest examples of this kind of picture involve females wearing too much makeup…they should remember that it’s their face they’re painting, not one of that afro-wearing public access guy’s pictures with happy trees and shit.What it says about you: "I'm very good looking, you just can't see it."The Shopped Photo- Photoshop is one of the greatest gifts and worst curses of mankind. It has given us innumerable moments of comedy, both intentional and otherwise...this kind of profile picture is one of them.Afflicted by some anatomical malady or pulchritude shortage, this person has skipped over camera tricks and moved on to the more advanced method of digital photo editing.Photo editing, as anyone who lives in the future knows, is a powerful tool that can turn pretty much anything into pretty much anything else with enough expertise...so of course it can transform an average (or worse) looking people into the cover of People magazine.The problem with this is, they haven't figured out how to Photoshop real life yet, so many is the social networking belle of the ball who turns back into a pumpkin when they log off.What it says about you: "I may be insecure and pathetic, but I am computer-savvy...that counts for something, right?Bathroom Mirror Flick- One of the most common kinds of pictures, it has a few telltale signs, such as a camera flash in a mirror, the camera or camera phone actually being captured in the picture, and...oh, the fucking bathroom behind them.One of the most entertaining parts about this variety of picture is that people often try and make their sexiest faces in the least sexy room in any given home....who doesn't see a toilet and get horny?Luckily, with the advent of front-facing cameras for smartphones, this kind of picture is expected to decline. Hey, at least you learn a bit about their living conditions.What it says about you: "Check my style...and my tile!"The Flipbook- This is the most vexing ones, as in most cases the location and facial expressions in the picture do not vary from picture to picture, defeating the entire fucking point of taking that many fucking pictures. This causes a flipbook-type effect if you scroll through their pictures really fast.The purpose of taking the exact same picture with a different shirt every fucking day has never been fully explained, but one theory states that most people who do this are conceited (justifiably or not) and can't get enough of looking at their own face. Furthermore, they assume all their internet friends are of the same mind.This is almost never the case, as nobody needs more than 3 of the exact same picture, let alone 300. The most hilarious examples of Flipbooks are those that go unliked by e-peers despite daily updates.What it says about you: "Look at me! Lookalookalookalooka! I'm pretty! Look, look, look! You need to know what I'm wearing every day! Look at me! Look at yesterday's picture! You know you love my face...right? RIGHT!? Am I as attractive today? Tell me I'm cute! Validate my looks! *sigh* I need attention..."There are many kinds of picture that one could choose to represent oneself, but these are the most common. Hopefully, the picture you choose sends a good message about you...or at least an accurate one.Of course, the best kind of picture for you to choose depends very heavily on the kind of person you are. It's a reflection of your personality just as the mirror is a reflection of your face: no matter how fucked up it looks, it's still you.