What Does Your Avatar Say About You?

Look, how spontaneous!

Look, how spontaneous!

Avatar noun av·a·tar \ˈa-və-ˌtär\
1:  the incarnation of a Hindu deity (as Vishnu)
2a :  an incarnation in human form
b :  an embodiment (as of a concept or philosophy) often in a person
3:  a variant phase or version of a continuing basic entity
4:  an electronic image that represents and is manipulated by a computer user

(Definition courtesy of Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

Those of us in the blogging world are most concerned with the 4th definition. Our avatar is our calling card. It represents us wherever we go in the WordPress world, and it even follows us beyond the WordPress friendly confines when we venture onto other internet sites.

When you’re out and about, visiting other blogs, a brief glance down at the avatars attached to comments tells you who’s already come to the party. You perk up when you see a friend and gravitate toward them.  Or you may be drawn to an unfamiliar face when their words lead you to investigate a possible new friend.

Your avatar is uniquely yours, and the same goes for your blog’s header. Instead of being a traveling calling card, however, it’s the welcome mat at your home.

The problem with avatars is they’re so small that you sometimes can’t make out the detail. Even if you can, you may not know what it means. We choose our avatars and headers for very specific reasons, but the significance isn’t always clear to others.  Inquiring minds want to know.

Here’s what my avatar and heading mean to me.

The avatar is a picture of me playing on a sproingy, metal sheep. It was taken when I was in Frankenmuth, Michigan with family about 6 years ago. We were strolling, shopping and trying to digest a huge lunch when I spotted the sheep at a kiddy playground. I had to hop aboard. This picture (carefully arranged, then selected from an exhaustive series of shots taken by a professional photographer, and then meticulously Photo Shopped), shows how fun and spontaneous I am.

I used to use a landscape photo of the Connemara region of Ireland as my header.   The beautiful austerity of the area touched my soul.   I changed it because that poetic crap isn’t funny.

My current header depicts the evolution of mankind from dumb primate to fully-upright, evolved Man.  Things went kinda downhill from there until it arrived back at me. The tag, “you say you want an evolution” is a play on words from the Beatles’ song, “Revolution.” You’ll notice the ever-present picture of me on the sheep now sports painted-on yellow hair and red shoes. This highlights the fact that I am a glamorous, (used to be) natural blond.  I also like to think of myself as having the kind of life that calls for fire-engine red, stiletto heels, even though I can usually be found in Easy Spirit Fun-timers with the Dr. Scholl’s orthotic inserts.

That’s me, now what about you?

Fellow bloggers, what does your header show? How about your avatar? If it’s a picture of you, why did you choose that particular shot?  And are you really a Hindu god?

 

I left my heart...in Connemara

I left my heart…in Connemara

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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90 Responses to What Does Your Avatar Say About You?

  1. Shannon says:

    How is it that I’m FIRST to a Peg post? I need to go back to bed. But on Gravatars, my blog is dirt first THEN kids. Always has been. Who is my biggest garden hero? Why, the Lion of the Garden, the green anole! My son has been called the ‘anole whisperer;’ he can put his hand down toward them and they will climb up his wrist and perch on his shoulder. No kidding. He’ll do this with frogs too.

    So any hooo….a green anole with a dead beetle in his mouth is everything that DirtNKids is about. We ain’t funny, not even poetic. It’s just a lizard-eat-bug world over here, lots of green and lots of spiders! It’s why my followers are in the 10’s and not the 10,000’s like humor blogs are. No one likes reality!

    Cheers, Peg. Always enjoy your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. James says:

    Wow this got me thinking – my avatar is just me drinking a cup of coffee, which is pretty accurate, it’s either that or beer and my mum prefers the coffee pictures. It’s the same picture i use on Facebook and Twitter so I’m consistent but I don’t know if my picture would tell you much about my blog, which is mostly meant to be funny. Me doing something funnier than drinking coffee would maybe be preferable…
    My header I changed this week – it think it’s quite fun now so hopefully it goes quite well the context of my blog. It’s not as clever as yours but I think it’s visually quite pleasing.

    Like

  3. Lynn says:

    I love that you are spontaneous, staged for your photographer or not! I mean come on, who can resist a metal sheep on a spring! That just has fun written all over it!

    I have a rolling header, pictures representative of the title for my blog :Life After 50″. I could never have imagined all the fun I would be having in my 50’s, hopefully those pics reflect that sentiment!

    As for my gravatar, just little old me with a smile on my face. I like to think I smile a lot!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      It’s great that you think that life after 50 is so much fun. I can’t say that I’m QUITE as thrilled with this decade, but it’s good to think positive. You have a very lovely, friendly smile, so good call on the avatar.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve always wanted my blog to be just me, not in a self-indulgent way…wait… of course it’s self-indulgent if it’s by me and about me, but what I mean is, I didn’t want to hide behind anything else, so my blog name is my name, my avatar is a picture of me smiling, my header is a range of pictures of me which I hope shows some of the humour that is in my blog, and also that it doesn’t really have a theme…other than me…yep, it’s pretty much all about me. Oh my, I hadn’t realised quite how self-indulgent my blog is! What EVER must people think?! I’m kind of sorry I stopped by here today now…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. notquiteold says:

    My Avatar is a selfie that I like – I look a little dreamy, which I never am. My banner is blue hydrangeas – because I grew them and took the photo and it ended up in White Flower Farm’s catalog (where I work as Controller, not Horticulturist nor Photographer). And my tag “Aging Gracefully, With Resistance” – is the life I lead – I can’t help getting old, but I resent it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      You do look a little dreamy. I love how we pick photos of ourselves that show sides that we want people to see, which may not be the sides of us that they actually see.

      I’m with you on the aging, but you always do seem so positive about it, I thought you were thrilled with the whole thing!

      Like

  6. Carrie Rubin says:

    My avatar is a miniature of my blog header and shows my transitioning into writing. Or at least it’s supposed to. But as I often do, I’m growing bored with it. Perhaps I’ll come up with something new down the line.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      I thought it was you juggling your many interests, Carrie. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as busy as you are, and you’re not a dabbler – you GO for it in medicine, writing, everything.

      I’ve only changed my header once, I think, and that was a big deal. But changing the avatar would be like having the kind of plastic surgery that gangsters got back in the day to avoid capture – nobody would recognize us!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carrie Rubin says:

        Ha, yes, we are harder to recognize when we change things up. And thank you for your kind words. But remember, I left clinical medicine a couple years back to step into a public health/research world and then got sidetracked by writing. So that’s where I’m putting most of my emphasis now (so I’m not juggling too many things). I’ll see how the second book goes when it comes out in the fall and take it from there. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Elyse says:

    Peg, yours is great. But I must admit, I always did wonder what that was between your legs. I don’t normally look there on my lady friends.

    My Avatar/Gravatar is from my masthead — a picture of Duck Cove, Maine, where I like to spend as much time as I can, but where I can spend sadly little. It’s my piece of heaven and the likely cause of my future bankruptcy. So I’m gettin’ all the mileage out of it I can.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. susielindau says:

    I just changed my avatar. I felt like I needed one that looked like me and I wear that hat pretty dang often. I didn’t even retouch the photo. What you see is what you get!

    My header really conveys who I am; a crazy woman who is ready for anything!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. “that poetic crap isn’t funny” — but this statement is! I’ve been grimacing and grumbling this morning, but that caused a smile to break through. 🙂

    I don’t have a banner image, but my avatar is a picture of me typing one of my novels in Japan. It both represents and inspires me: If I could do that then, broke and achingly lonely in Japan, why not this (or anything) now?! The avatar replaced a crappy old one that I didn’t realize was crappy until a blogging friend said it didn’t do me justice. I looked for one that felt more right, added text in a few different ways, and happily adopted this one when my friend (and his wife) found it a much better fit.

    Like

  10. Well, I think we all know with that unique avatar of yours, YOU are a Hindu god. And I remember your old header, seems like ages ago! Your current header is brilliant. Good stuff.

    I played around with so many avatars in the first year of blogging. I even used my kindergarten photo with my tortoise-shell glasses. Horrifying.

    But then a wise friend by the name of Angie Z. said to me, “Darla! For god’s sake quit changing your avatar and header! Pick one and stick with it so people will recognize you!”

    I took my current avatar photo with my crappy laptop camera, totally spontaneous … with the typical “slightly cocky/smirky yet contemplative with a touch of snark” side-glance executed perfectly peeking out from behind a giant plaid coffee mug. It just so happened I was also wearing a plaid shirt and BOOM. My stupid plaid/coffee Maineiac brand was born. And is slowly dying now but that’s another story for another time.

    My header is my backyard. I live in an old cow pasture. With old cows mooing in the distance. This ties in nicely with my overall blog theme of “humor writing with a twist of pungent poop smell.”

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m ashamed of my extra-long nose and that hump on the back of my head, so I though that the beautiful sunset background would distract 😀

    Actually, my avatar is one of my favorite ‘shop constructs – where I substituted a teapot for someone’s head. The banner on my blog is a similiar construct – I had a brainstorm when confronted with a perky little white teapot destined to Goodwill hell (I rescued it) on a day I was going to the beach for a photo shoot. The temptation to do a variation on the tempest in the teacup was too delicious to resist..and eventually became the name of my blog.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I never noticed that it was a teapot-head. I thought it was Alfred E. Newman from Mad Magazine looking at the camera. Is that something done with PhotoShop? I’m pretty clueless about technology.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. dmswriter says:

    I originally started my blog as a platform that prospective employers could check out for samples of my writing. A web designer told me that was “the way to go.” So that’s what’s up with my avatar – I’m trying to look professional, but only half of me is. I’m wearing a ratty pair of shorts and flip-flops on the bottom half, but all squeaky clean up top. Who knew!

    My header is taken from Venice, Italy. We went there a couple years ago, and as soon as I walked over the bridge to the island, I felt at home. It was the neatest feeling. But times change, my friend – I’m now figuring out how my blog should be more a reflection of my humor writing, and not what a future employer might want.

    There’s no playground nearby, so no chance to hop aboard a sproingy metal sheep for a cool photo. Perhaps next time the cat saunters through, I could grab him for a memorable photo op… 🙂

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Did you get any jobs from the link? Do you still direct prospective employers to your site? I think that would be a good idea, since you’re not supposed to send attachments – they look like spam, right?

      I’d like to see that photo of you doing the rodeo-roundup on a bucking tabby cat.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dmswriter says:

        No jobs from the link. I now direct prospective employers to my LinkedIn instead.

        When I ride a bucking Sheldon into the sunset, I’ll send you a photo. If I don’t flatten him in the process… 😉

        Like

  13. Michael says:

    My avatar is a a long story; its a picture I took during my first year in law school. Basically, we had done this mock oral argument competition where we would argue one side of a case or the other, and then the best arguer advanced. (I washed out in the first round). That particular day, we’d got down to the two finalists. In law school the first year students are divided into two sections, like Hogwarts Houses; one finalist was from my section, the other was from section two. So I and some of my colleagues in section one decided to make placards to cheer on our finalist. Since the case was a criminal one, she was arguing the government’s side, so we did USA. I did the Superman shield round the S. I liked the way the picture came out. 🙂 It seems to symbolize how I like to study serious things, like the law or politics, but combine that with fun and superhero movies. It’s a pity my law school didn’t have a sproingy metal sheep though…

    Like

  14. I have a revolving headers and show places that represents (for me) the title of my blog (My Own Private Idaho- none of them in actual Idaho) my avatar is a picture of myself with my face half hidden because I have an irrational fear of showing my whole face in public/online. Though I have no reason, I don’t really like the way I look. I have chosen this particular picture because of the color of my outfit which is attention grabbing (so I thought) and you can see it from a distance.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      “none of them in actual Idaho”???? Sounds like a bit of a bait-and-switch, hmmm?

      I think a lot of people want to be anonymous on the internet, and that’s probably a good idea. As to the other, I think you look great! ( what little I can see of you.)

      Like

  15. My avatar is an owl painting that my girlfriend made. I liked it, so I used it. And also because I am not photogenic.

    Like

  16. weebluebirdie says:

    I like how this post encouraged us to have a wee nosey at each other:-) Some really interesting stories behind the avatars. Mine is simply because I have a thing about wee decorative birds and the colour blue. I chose this sketch because the bird looks quite thoughtful, which seems right for blogging. The one I have for the header is a singing bird – because when I started blogging it was about me finding my own way to be content with myself – have deviated from that concept since then to a more random whatever-is-in-my-head. Sometimes I do other bird sketches to go with posts; but that can become such a palaver!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. franhunne4u says:

    My avatar shows a photo I took at an aquarium in London – a big underwater head, resembling the Easter-island heads. Does it mean anything? Nope – it is just a photo of which I liked the colours. I try not to get too recognisable on the web. So – yes, it does show – my paranoia.

    Liked by 2 people

    • pegoleg says:

      I wondered where that photo came from. I don’t blame you for wanting anonymity, though. The web is a rather scary place when you come to think of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • franhunne4u says:

        Now you know, a rather rainy July-day in London, spent in the London aquarium – a not so quiet place, loads of children there, but then – places with animals are usually meant to attract children, so I did not complain.
        Year: 2005.

        Like

  18. The Cutter says:

    I think my avatar kind of speaks for itself. My love of My Little Pony is mostly ironic…I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. My header is all whirly swirly…kind of like my head feels all the time (being constantly dizzy). But it’s also pretty and soothing, which is the way I like to think of myself (pretty and soothing, if not a bit deluded). My avatar shows my blonde hair and blue eyes: two of my best features (from the next up, that is). I didn’t show my whole face because I’m shy (or want to give the impression that I am full of mystery, yes, that’s it). Maybe it’s because I wanted to stave off cyber stalkers…which hasn’t worked all that well, which has nothing to do with the fact that I tell everything about my life in my blog. Did I mention I’m blonde? 😐

    Like

  20. My avatar picture was taken by my friend Melanie. I had no idea she was taking it, and she’s proven, on several occassions to be really good at taking pictures of me without my awareness. I used it because I don’t really mind the picture that much. (I look awful any time I know my picture is being taken. I’m not sure why.)

    Like

  21. makeitupnow3 says:

    Nice.

    My avatar is a screenshot from my first YouTube video as my invented character Vera, the plastic-surgery-addicted alien. (Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44LtCJvYeL4&list=PLntd7WqSPJ6knuJecoGH9cT85G61PJm0Q&index=15 ) This was the day I invented this character, kind of by accident, when I bought prosthetic lips at a Halloween store. I was messing with my face, trying to decide which surgery to get Vera next. I liked this screenshot because it shows how I like to manipulate the image I convey. I am an actress and becoming different people is my favourite thing to do.

    My Banner art is a photo from a stage performance I was doing for a show called Under Derek’s Bed. Our costumes and set were very colourful and the shutter speed on the camera was very low at that moment. I loved the resulting image of colourful movement. Colour is another of my greatest joys in life. I overlaid my YouTube channel name so that it would be memorable. Shameless self-promotion.

    Like

  22. Al says:

    I’ve changed my avatar and header many, many times. That’s the way things are when you are in a witness protection program. Why, my wife was saying to me just the other day, “Vito…..er….uh…I mean, Al, don’t you think you should change you picture again? I saw a black limousine parked out front for two hours yesterday.”

    P.S. Sproingy?

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      I’ve noticed you like to mix it up a little, but I thought that meant you were easily bored and needed constant new stimulation. Now we know, eh, Vito…er…uh Al?
      Sproingy: Having the characteristics and/or sound effects of a large, metal spring. From the verb: to sproing

      Liked by 1 person

  23. lexiemom says:

    My avatar is me in a hat, because that’s who I am, the crazy hat lady. It was also taken 8 years ago when I was 40 lbs. lighter. And that’s also who I am…living in denial of the scale. When (or if) I ever lose the lbs again, I may update the pic, but probably not, cause lately I’ve been in denial of the wrinkles. Hmmm…maybe I was Egyptian in another life since I seem to live in de-Nile. (Yuk, yuk, yuk) perhaps I should update my avatar to Annubis.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I never even noticed that was a hat. From the tiny picture, I thought you just had really dark roots.
      I am also living in denial of the scale, and have the same fears that the wrinkles will take over (more) by the time the pounds are gone. I’ve been really trying, but somehow went UP a pound in the last few days. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Fun topic! My avatar is a photo I took of my son when he was about 20 months old, throwing rocks into our river. I always loved the photo. My banner changes seasonally, and is always one of my photos (which reminds me, I need to change it from a spring to a summer photo).

    Like

  25. Jill's Scene says:

    My avatar is me putting a brave face on it … The photo was taken as I was about to head up the Nam Ou River in Northern Laos. I was scared s*******s, literally. I’d had a stomach bug for the previous three days. I was going to be on that boat for seven hours, there was no “facilities”, I couldn’t speak the language, the boat driver didn’t speak English, for six of those seven hours it was just me, my husband, the boat driver, the river, and the jungle. Yup. I really did do that and I lived to tell the tale.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Wow, you ARE brave! I had a bout with that ol’ bug recently and it was just your garden variety, North American version. My only comfort was the fact that I was at home with nowhere I had to be, and I had a choice of TWO bathrooms.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Peg, I love your header. It’s hilarious and sums up your blog content perfectly. I have to confess, it wasn’t until I read your piece about playground equipment (can’t remember the title, but it was a cracker) that I understood what was going on in your avatar pic. Mostly because I use WP on my phone a lot so it’s often tiny when I see it! I thought you were crouching down proudly cradling a sandwich in your lap or something. Sproingy sheep makes waaay more sense!

    My own avi is my first kid on his first birthday, basically going berserk. It’s my favourite picture of him as a toddler, and I think it’s a good illustration of what I’m up against as I try to parent these lunatics! I don’t have a header for my blog at the moment – my current project is trying to create one on Canva.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Isn’t that funny – I thought MY avatar was obvious, and it’s just everybody else’s that wasn’t discernible. I love your picture – it is the perfect toddler meltdown photo.

      Liked by 2 people

  27. I had an avatar of our little haven, the “shed”, also the “man-cave.”
    I changed my email address and suddenly my picture is gone. What to do???

    Like

  28. I knew I couldn’t use my photo as an avatar. I am the least photogenic person on the planet. I’ve never been in one photo with my eyes open.
    Also, Reggie is a reincarnation of a Hindu deity so it made sense to use his pic.

    Like

  29. Sandy Sue says:

    I always wondered what that thing was between your legs, Peg. Thank you for not making me ask!
    Most avatars are too teeny to even try to decipher. I find myself scanning for the colors.
    Mine is my kindergarten picture jacked up with collage stuff. It’s kind of my signature on anything artsy I do. And I liked the header on the WordPress template I picked (Koi), I just kept it.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. My avatar is me at about 3.5 years old, dressed in Easter finery. My header, is a transitional piece intended to be backwards from now to the past. My Queenly Tiara is on the left (QBG really has a meaning), with the storm clouds over the islands being the life I have lived and the child me on the right, trying on a traditional hat from the Black Forest.

    Like

  31. As always another interesting post, Peg. My header is of a whimsical looking little town, silhouetted against a sky at dusk. I love the look, and I picked this particular setting to suggest that somewhere in this little town, I am secluded up in my cluttered attic, busily typing away on my next madcap post. Of course, I’m never busily secluded anywhere, much less typing a madcap post (as any of my readers will likely tell you), but no matter, I am as delusional as they come. And in keeping with that rather bizarre theme, is the normal avatar of myself, albeit with a slightly large red nose (of which a rather notoriously named reindeer, no doubt has designs on) smiling at my beloved readers. And yes… I am a Hindu god. How on earth did you ever guess? 😀

    Like

  32. LOL…well not yet. 😀

    Like

  33. It’s a mouse. In a hedge. Fits. Things are not are not always what they seem. Hopefully helps people remember the name of the blog. (And besides, the darn things are so small, color is mostly what people see much of the time)

    Like

  34. Skin Tickler says:

    You got me thinking about my avatar, as well. A crop of a casual shot taken during a rehearsal that shows me sporting my “game face”. (I reworded that last sentence 4 times and I’m still not happy with it – sue me) Should I have chosen something more spontaneous? Hmmm… The only one I currently have stored on my computer is of me riding a Little Tikes rocking horse (y’know the blue one?). I thought of changing it, but now I’m worried that it would look too much like me imitating yours, so I have to hold off for now. Thanks for ruining it for me. 😉

    Like

  35. If I’ve learned nothing else from Ghostbusters, it’s that whenever someone asks if you are a god, you say “Yes!!!” So, yes, I am a Hindu god.

    Like

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