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Social Media Avatars and Etiquette

Okay, people, this has been on my mind for quite some time. But let me start off by saying that this is in no way a dig at anyone in particular. That said, it may be the blue pill that opens a lot of eyes.

Sooooo... here we go. When I first got out of prison, I had never been on Facebook, MySpace, or any other social media platform. Truth be told, I had never in my life even sent a text message. All of this technology stuff was new to me, but I quickly came to realize what a bizarre and convoluted new world I came home to. Particularly when it comes to social media. I mean, I went from never having sent a text, having tens of thousands of followers between all my social media pages. Nowadays I get inundated daily with private messages, chain letters, and friend requests. But I try to have fun with it and always talk with my fans on a personal level, to get to know them as they have gotten to know me over the last 20 months. I feel like it is the least I can do in exchange for their support.

That said, there are some weird ass people out there! The Facebook profiles that get suggested to me can be both comical and ridiculous. Where do I even begin? Okay, I suppose I have to start with the ladies. Now, just for the record, I love women, my wife in particular. And like any real man, I appreciate beauty. But some of these profiles are utterly bizarre. I’m talking about the ones with the Snapchat filters and airbrushed headshots.

When I get a random friend request, the first thing I do is vet their profile. I instantly delete anyone who has cat ears or a crown of flowers. I don’t even look at their profile, because I just can’t take them seriously. If their profile pic is “touched up” with an airbrush app or one of those skin-perfecting filters—DELETE! Do these women REALLY think anyone is buying their 40+ year old skin is perfectly flawless and wrinkle free? Do they think that everyone buys that the whites of their eyes are as white as snow, and their irises are so brilliantly colored that they make the sky itself look dull?

Are they THAT delusional? Thing is, in my mind they must be half nuts to think people can’t see through their avatar façade. Thus—DELETE! I’d prefer to NOT be friends with borderline delusionals.

Guys are not much better. I get friend requests from guys who also use airbrushed pics and filters for their profiles. DELETE! This is just weird. If you are in your 50’s, everyone knows your skin is not baby smooth and your abs are not chiseled like a Greek God. Nobody is buying it. If you have a great physique, awesome. But we don’t need to see you in a million random action poses with your shirt off. Nor do you need a series of professional calendar photos, with you in every uniform known to man. It screams desperation.

Nor does your profile have to have a professional headshot, underneath which reads “Actor, Model, Singer, Director, Writer, Dancer, Comedian.” Nope, if you list all of these things on your profile, it screams “I am NONE of the above!” DELETE! Thing is, you cannot be everything. Pick the thing you are good at. There is NOT a successful entertainer on the planet who can do it all. Okay, maybe Will Smith or J-Lo, but you are NOT them. By declaring yourself to be some enigmatic jack of all entertainment trades, it’s really just projecting you are “wack of all trades.” Nobody can do it all. Look at the pages or profiles of some of the most successful entertainers in the world. They list one, maybe two things. And they have regular photos of themselves, not professional headshots or fake airbrushed pics that have no resemblance to their actual person.

And since we are on THAT subject, OMG, ladies, please, enough with the professional glam shots. It cracks me up when I get a friend request from some woman who lists “model” as her occupation, just because she has a gallery of professional pics in her Facebook photo albums. Um, newsflash, just because you hired a photographer for $500 bucks, does NOT mean you are a professional model. Some of these pics are ridiculously comical. I mean, the action poses. The silly outfits. I truly feel both saddened and embarrassed when I see them. It is NOT that I want to squash anyone’s dream. No, hey, if you want to be a model, go for your dreams. But when you are in your 30’s with two kids and a pooch, um, well, it is likely you missed the boat about 15 years ago.

Also, if we’re being honest here, and I like to think we are, most of these women ire on the side of homely. Which is to say, no amount of sexy lingerie, makeup, lighting, or camera angles can turn them into super models. How they ever got it in their minds is a mystery to me. Probably their mothers. “Olga, you look like a super model.” Um, no you don’t, Olga. You’re cute, maybe, but super model you are not. DELETE!!

Okay, now let’s talk about cleavage shots. Come on people, you know who I’m talking about. It is truly sad and pathetic when you look at woman’s profile pics and all you see is boobs. They aim the camera straight down their shirts, with the perfect angle and lighting, in an attempt to snap the perfect cleavage shot. It screams desperation. It screams “I can’t keep a man.” And if they have a man, I highly doubt he appreciates them showcasing their boobs to the world in a profile pic. Here is the thing, ladies. I’m about to tell you a profound secret about men. Ready? Here I go: Men are going to notice your boobs whether or not you shove them in their face. You can have them hidden under a loose sweatshirt, and men will notice them. Leave something to the imagination. I get it, if you have a nice natural endowment, or spent several grand on a pair, naturally you’re proud of them, the same way a man wears a tight tank when he is buff. However, having 27 consecutive cleavage shots in your photos just screams “I have low self-esteem and low self-worth.” Come on, ladies, you are more valuable than your boobs. You have brains and inner beauty too. Stop selling yourself short. Stop objectifying yourself. Here is another secret: Men go nuts for a classy woman who has brains and a sense of humor. Stick to natural pics that were taken in the moment, not staged airbrushed pics aimed straight down your shirt. Want to land and keep a good man? Class it up. That doesn’t mean a staged picture of you in an evening gown. It means just a natural picture of you with a smile, wearing something that leaves a little to the imagination. Do this and watch how the quality of men pursuing you changes from “dick-pic” perverts to classy professionals. But if you’re after a blue-collar perv with no life and no money, well, keep up the cleavage shots. You’re on your way.

And here is the thing: In today’s culture, the standards of “beauty” have been set so unrealistically high, it is nearly unobtainable by most women. Thus, the vast majority have low self-esteem. The TV and media thrusts in our face beautiful news anchors, beautiful talk show hosts, and reality “stars” (LOL) like the Kardashians. They are set as the benchmarks for beauty. Well let me tell you, they are followed around by a legion of makeup artists, hair stylists, wardrobe specialists, personal trainers, and nutritionists. They also always make sure the camera angle flatters them, that the lighting is perfect. But it is all a façade. I have seen pics of Kim Kardashian when she wakes up in the morning. It ain’t pretty. And that’s okay, because that is the real her. It is okay to NOT be perfect, to have a few flaws. Ladies, you do NOT have to live up to some unobtainable expectations our culture has created. You are beautiful for your faults and flaws. They make you REAL! Hold your heads up high and know that your inner beauty is the one that never fades. Focus more on being beautiful on the inside than outside, and you will find much more happiness and peace in your life. As a bonus, people will find you even more attractive for being authentic, opposed to an airbrushed avatar who solely strives to project an outward shell of beauty that is NOT the real you.

Again, men are no better. My cousin Joe is a bodybuilder who takes great pride in his amazing physique. He is an on-line virtual trainer, so his bodybuilding pics are like billboards for his business. But because of him I get many friend requests and suggestions from his vast network of bodybuilding enthusiasts. I get it. If you did a show, or are in incredible shape and want to use a pic as your profile pic, more power to you. But when every pic in your photos is of you flexing on stage or at the gym, you look ridiculous to the rest of the world. Of course, many of these guys don’t care about the rest of the world, in which case knock yourself out. Just don’t friend request me because you look like a freak. DELETE!

Okay, here is a big one that will resonate with most: “Duck face.” What in the hell is this and how did it become a thing???? I mean, I get these friend requests from women (and occasionally men) who I kid you not have nothing but headshots of them doing duck face. It cracks me the hell up every time! What is wrong with these women? Who the hell told them that making duck face is a sexy look? It makes them look like freaks!!! Puckered lips, like they are sucking on a lemon. Ladies, it looks ridiculous!! And if nobody will tell you, I will. We, the people, are embarrassed for you. Even my own sister is guilty. I go to her Facebook page and I see her hilarious duck face poses. You can really see that in her mind she thinks it’s a sexy, sensual look, when in fact she looks ridiculous! It’s embarrassing. I have to look away. It really is one of the weirdest things I have ever seen, and it seems to be epidemic. Ladies, if this is you, PLEASE, for the love of God, stop! You look insane. DELETE!!!!!

So, quick recap: Filters and air-brushed photos. Newsflash, ladies, we can tell you polished them up. We all know what you REALLY look like. You are NOT fooling anyone but yourself. Your doctored-up avatar pics just make you appear desperate and insincere. Just be you. Let your natural age and beauty shine through. It is better to be real than to fake your way through life behind an air-brushed avatar picture on Facebook. That way, when you run into people in real life, they don’t flinch and think, “Holy crap, what the hell happened to her??? She looks nothing like her profile pics!”

Profile resumes. If you want to be an actor, list actor, not comedian, dancer, film-maker, writer, director, producer, author, playwright, script consultant, thespian, and model. You are NOT all of these things. Nobody is THAT talented. Listing it all only screams that you are none of the above. Also, if you were in extra in a movie once, or in a TV commercial when you were 9, you are not an actor. You are an “aspiring actor.” Nor are you a writer if you wrote a screenplay in college or a book you never published. Just because I like astronomy doesn’t mean I’m an astronaut.

Cleavage and duck face. You ALL know who I am talking about. We have all had a good laugh at the guilty. The crazy thing is, I think most people are too nice to say anything to them. Well, I hope they read this blog and then go reevaluate their photos. If your profile pic is more boob than face, you are guilty. If every pic you have is strategically taken from the same above angle, as to accentuate your boobs, YOU are guilty. Be embarrassed. Everyone in the world, besides a handful of desperate perverts, are laughing at you. Same goes for duck face. If 90% of your pics are of you making duck face, from the same angle, YOU are guilty! Take a moment to look at your pics objectively, from an outsider’s viewpoint, and let the embarrassment sink in. Yes, you look like a freak. On behalf of all of humanity, PLEASE STOP! You’ll have more friends for it. The world knows your lips don’t look like that! Nor does the world want them to look like that! Just be you for once!

Men, if every single pic you have is of you in the gym, or in the mirror flexing, STOP! You look ridiculous! Trust me, the ladies KNOW you have a great body. I do this from time to time, because I’m proud of the shape I’m in at 45 years old. However, if you look at my photo albums, those pictures make up a very small percentage. Most of my photos are of me having fun outdoors, or promoting my book and clothing line. Women also appreciate a little modesty. Sure, you will get compliments from a handful of desperate housewives, but it sends the wrong signals to the type of women you are likely looking for. Or at the very least, it is likely that your wives and girlfriends don’t appreciate you inviting dozens of random girls to lust after you. Have some respect for them. After all, isn’t that what you expect from them???

Well, I hope that I have made more people aware than angry. I just figured this was something that needed to be said, even though it seems nobody wants to say it. What the hell, I’m all about addressing the elephants in the room. If you were offended by this, well, it is likely that you are guilty as charged. I just figured it was my civic duty to enlighten you as to just how utterly ridiculous you come across to the rest of the world. Toodles!

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