When you choose your primary Facebook picture, you want it to accomplish two things.
1) You want it to make you look physically appealing. Nobody in the right mind is going to choose a picture of themselves that captured them from a bad angle or a bad light.
In fact, people go out of their way to doctor a photograph so that they could use it as their profile picture. What I mean is that when they are photographed standing directly next to some one — but they think they look good — they might crop the photo so that they cut out the other person. The result is a picture of them where they are situated in the very far side of the picture, and you can often see the arm or the side of a face of somebody else that has been cropped out.
This always amuses me because it just informs you how much people care about their primary Facebook picture. But it is what it is.
2) The other thing people want to accomplish with the profile picture is maintaining a politically correct image. In this day and age, you would be bonkers to post a photo of yourself drunk as your Facebook picture — let a lone a photo of you holding a beer or a glass of wine. Because you know that future employers might encounter this photo and make a decision based on it.
So people choose a photo where they are dressed nicely, or where they are posing with a family member or significant other, or a picture of themselves on vacation to show that they are well-traveled.
Everybody bears those two things in mind when they choose their profile picture. There are other factors to consider, of course, but these two are mandatory.
So what else accomplishes those two items on the checklist?
A picture of yourself holding a small baby.
Everytime I log onto Facebook now, I have to do a double take at people’s thumbnail photos of their profile picture, because I can’t even tell what I am looking at. And then when I click on it, I see them holding a baby, and then I curse aloud for wasting five seconds of my life actually clicking on it.
Posting a picture of yourself holding a baby is borderline sinister, in my opinion. It’s also brilliant. Here’s why:
a) Girls love babies. By posting this picture, you are guaranteeing yourself at least seven comments and/or likes from girls, who will saying something along the lines of “Awwww!” In other words, it will draw girls to your Facebook page like a moth to a flame.
b) It shows that you’re a family man. By holding a baby — in a proper fashion — it shows that you are not afraid of them. It means that you are tolerant of infants, and you know how to handle and be around them, and chicks dig that too. Also, the baby is not yours — you’re too young. It means the baby is either your niece, nephew or cousin, and that shows that you are very close with your family if you are allowed to hold it. Awwww!
c) It makes you look mature. Sure, you may go out on Friday nights, get wasted, and then pee in people’s bushes on your walk home. But that doesn’t matter, because all sins are forgiven as long as you’re holding a baby. The fact that you are trusted to hold something so small and delicate — so much so that it could die if you drop it — means that you have your shit together. At least you did for that one photo, and girls acknowledge that. Awwww!
d) You look good. Nobody in the history of the world has ever looked ugly while holding a baby. This is for two reasons. The first being that whenever you’re holding a baby, you always have a doofy smile on your face. It brings out an innocent and endearing side of you and, again, chicks dig that. Awwww!
Secondly, you are not even the focal point of the picture. All anybody is looking at is the baby. So whatever faults you may have are overlooked and unnoticed, because all anybody gives a shit about is that goddamn baby.
So that is why posting a picture of yourself holding a baby is ingenious. The reason why I said it was sinister before is because it borders on exploitation. Not in the sense that the picture was taken, because everyone likes to document the early days of somebody’s life.
Nor is it exploitation in the sense that it was posted to Facebook, because everybody likes to keep their friends abreast of the happenings in their life, which includes a baby.
It is borderline exploitation, however, that you chose it as your Facebook profile picture, namely because you are trying to accomplish the four things that I listed above. You can’t blame someone for doing it — most of the time it is a very cute picture — but by using the picture of the baby to accomplish ulterior motives, it is indeed a mild form of exploitation. I don’t make the rules.
And if it is your baby, then you have a lot more problems in life then trying to look good in your profile picture.