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Choosing the Perfect Avatar for Hubpages

Updated on May 31, 2013
This is the avatar I now use.
This is the avatar I now use.
This is the proposed new avatar.
This is the proposed new avatar.

Choosing the Perfect Avatar for Hubpages

Avatar, the film, was immensely popular and the movie appears to be on its way to becoming one of the highest-grossing films of all time. Note: if you haven’t seen it, choose the 3-D version – it’s mesmerizing.

Even before the film, I have used the word, avatar, but without understanding the real meaning of the word. So I looked it up.

According to Webster, avatar is incarnation. Incarnation is the embodiment of a deity or spirit in an earthly form, or a person showing a trait or typical character to a marked degree.

Hubpages asks its writers to write a profile and include an avatar for their hubs. Without knowing exactly what an avatar should look like, I chose one for my Hubs that looks like the 'hag/maiden' above.

I wanted to show that perception is reality – not everyone sees things in the same way. Some of you, actually most of you, will see an ugly old crone or hag when you first look at my avatar. I really don’t look that bad. The rest of you will see a pretty young girl with a black ribbon around her neck. I really don’t look that good.

If you do not see both images in the avatar at first, do not worry. With practice, you will see both the hag and the girl. This illustration has been used for years to demonstrate that the picture itself doesn’t change. What changes is the way we view it. What changes is our perception.

Now that I have become more aware of what an avatar should represent, I am thinking of changing mine. What do you think? I have selected a new graphic and I want my fellow Hubbers and other readers to help me out. Tell me what you think of it in a comment below. Should I use the above 'broken-down' fairy godmother graphic to replace my original 'two-faced' avatar?

5 Cateogories of Avatars

Being more avatar-conscious now led me to start thinking about the varied, intriguing and even provocative avatars other hubbers use, and to speculate about what they may be trying to portray with their avatars.

So I have selected eleven interesting avatars of just a few of my favorite fellow Hubbers to examine. And placed them in categories so you can choose the type of avatar you want to model.

nicomp
nicomp
yoshi97
yoshi97

Category One – Surrealism

Surrealism - also known as “Is that all there is?"

nicomp is one of my favorite hubbers but I haven’t a clue as to what his surreal avatar reflects. I see the head of a horse contained in an orange-colored vase with a hole in the side, a small orange and a piece of curved metal. A previous avatar had a companion for the horse-head – the head of a kitty cat encased in a tiny helmet – a tribute so to speak to fellow hubber, Hal Licino. It’s a thoroughly mystifying avatar, but then so is most of Comp Sci to me.

yoshi97 also features a surreal image as an avatar. I’m not certain but it appears to be a red-orange creature somewhat like a dragon with wings, four appendages and a tail that seems to be attracted to a light, much like a moth. Yoshi claims to be from “a land called what if.” So is the avatar.

JacobKuttyta
JacobKuttyta
Hal Licino
Hal Licino

Category Two - Substitution

Substitution - also known as“It isn’t what it is.”

The beautiful although somewhat familiar avatar for Jacobkuttya is absolutely gorgeous but do you think it suspiciously resembles that actress, whatshername, who lives with Brad Pitt and a dozen kids. Or maybe it's two dozen. I love the photo, though, Jacob. Very classy.

Look at the avatar for Hal Licino. It features a cute kitty-cat in a helmet driving a motorcycle with what appears to be a large bag on the rear of the cycle. Hal says it represents his interests which are cats, cycles and pasta and ;probably in that order. The ziti and rigatoni must be in the bag.

James A. Watkins
James A. Watkins
Niteriter
Niteriter
KazeemJames01
KazeemJames01

Category Three - Realism

Realism also known as“It is what it is.”

James A. Watkins has a photo of a real, apparently live human male person who may or may not be James A. Watkins. In the background behind a town or city are mountains which also appear to be real. The only thing we do know is that the person has a pleasant appearance and possesses (or borrowed or rented) a tie. Nice photo, James.

Niteriter displays a photo of a guy, still young-looking, with a beard, a moustache and soul-searching eyes partially obscured by a hat. I enjoy his well-written hubs. Enjoy his incisive humorous comments even more. Is that you in the photo, Niteriter?

Kazeemjames01 reveals an avatar of a pleasant-looking, young man with inquiring eyes. It is a real photo of a real person whom I assume is Kazeem. Interesting name – does it have a special meaning, Kazeem? One that you would like to share?

Rebecca E
Rebecca E
Ivorwen
Ivorwen

Category Four – Quasi-Surrealism

Quasi Surrealism - also known as "Surreal but with a clue.”

Rebecca E has an avatar featuring what looks like a dragon poised behind the upper level of a structure with ancient-looking apertures (windows). Also present is the sun and the moon. The clue in her profile indicates her ancestors are from Romania. So perhaps the building represents a Transylvanian castle or the summer home of Vlad the Impaler whom we fondly refer to as Dracula.

Ivorwen features an illustration of a young, attractive brunette woman in a long black gossamer-looking dress holding a black parasol with several mystical-looking creatures in the background. There’s more than a clue in her profile; there’s a link for her second realistic profile which indicates she is married, has five sons and home-schools them. Brava, Ivorwen – you are a brave woman.

Marcofratelli
Marcofratelli
Bayareagreatthing
Bayareagreatthing

Category Five – Caricatures

Caricatures - also known as “What is this?”

Marcofratelli is an engineer and a “marketeer”. His avatar features a large caricature (is that really you, Marco?) being either fastened or removed from an imposing wrought iron gate by two nubile, young women. The caricature, that is, not Marco.

Bayareagreatthing displays the avatar of a young girl with her mouth wide open yelling, “Hi.” BAGT, as she labels herself, says “In real life – I’m a cartoon.” She is real. I know because if you follow the link at the bottom of her profile, she reveals all. Nice to meet you, Laura.

Now you can select from five different categories the model for your new avatar "that‘s you, that's really you" - the same statement the clever salesperson tells you when you try on that new outfit.

Oh, yes, don’t forget to tell me which avatar you think I should use – my original dual image avatar? Or the new one with the fairy godmother and the broken-down wand?

© Copyright BJ Rakow 2010, 2013 Rev. All rights reserved.

Readers of my book on job search say it has provided them with the information they needed to write a dynamic resume and cover letter, network effectively, interview, and land jobs sooner than they expected. There is a chapter especially for older workers.

Comments for Choosing the Perfect Avatar for Hubpages

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    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, MizB. My original Hubpages avatar is the same one I have used for three years : the crone/young girl image. The image is commonly used in black and white to illustrate the strength of our perceptions. Like you, I loved Avatar, the movie, and I believe a sequel is in the works. Thanks for your gracious comments and the Up, m'dear.

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, jabelufiroz. Any photo or graphic that belongs to you can be used for your avatar. Hubpages and most other article directories do not charge a fee for including your avatar. When you open your account, go to your profile page and upload the image you want to use.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 4 years ago

      I guess I got here too late to see your original Avatar, that's a pity. I knew what Avatars were because I have sons who used to play video games at home (before they grew up and left, anyway). Avatar, the movie, OMG yes, it's got to be the greatest CGI movie ever made! Top that, Hollywood! Anyway, looking at Avatars on HP is interesting, and I love them. This is a good informative hub. Voted you up and useful.

    • jabelufiroz profile image

      Firoz 4 years ago from India

      how to create an avatar online free??

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Thanks so much, drbj, for linking and for being a great inspiration as to creating a new design for an avatar. This hub is very insightful as to the importance of avatars.

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks, dear Faith for missing me. I do that, too, from time to time. :)

      And thanks for linking your avatar hub to mine; I have already returned the compliment, m'luv.

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Vinaya. Happy you found this avatar hub via Faith. And thanks for your added history re avatars. Your additional information is very welcome.

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for your concern, Bill, yes, I am well. Thanks for finding this avatar hub and the Bravo. Your comments are always appreciated.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hi drbj,

      I linked this hub to my new avatar hub. You have been missed.

      Hugs, Faith Reaper

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      drbj,

      I took a cue from Faith Reaper to land on this page.

      Avatar is a Sanskrit word, wich means incarnation (You have already explained the word). One of the basic principles of Hinduism is Avatar of God. The Hindu God Vishnu has taken many Avatars. Ten Avatars of Vishnu is very popular in Hindu religion.

      In the western language, the word Avatar was made popular by social media to indicate the profile picture.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I was just checking in to see if you had written anything of late. You have been missed my friend. I hope you are well.

      Bravo on this hub.....and I loved the new avatar for Faith.

      Have a great weekend.

      bill

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Faith. What a pleasure to meet and greet you here, thanks to Martie and her bassoon hub. Your present avatar is easy on the eyes. What should it look like, you ask? Whatever turns you on, my dear. Thanks for the visit, the sharing and the Up pluses.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hi drbj,

      I arrived here via Martie's amazing hub this day, and I am glad I did. You have provided great insight as to one's avatar and what it represents! I love your new avatar, but don't know that I've seen the previous one. Guess I need to see the movie too. Hmmm, just pondering what a Faith Reaper Avatar should look like?

      Voted up +++++ and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Ps. You're most welcome, m'dear. If you do watch movie videos at home, you could probably order Avatar from Netflix. It IS awesome - very creative. I believe that James Cameron, the director, is working on Avatar 2.

      I think sometimes about changing my avatar, but to date haven't found anything I like better. Like you, I'm waiting for something very clever to come along.

      Angels to you, too, on day 27 - forgive the delay in answering you please, I was away.

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, precy, forgive my being late to the party - I was unaware of your generous comment. So you always see the maiden in my avatar? Do you see the hag now? That green thing in the avatar is supposed to be a feather.

      To answer your question, yes, I have been tempted to change my avatar - the reason for this Hub - but decided I like it more than the alternatives. I like yours, too. It's unusual. Thanks for the visit and the Up, m'dear.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Thanks for the education on avatar...I have not seen the movie as I rarely go to movie theaters..long long ago I went to one..but I do watch videos at home so will have to check out the movie.

      Maybe I will come up with something clever for mine..someday.

      Sending you Angels on day 21 of this new year. :) ps

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 5 years ago from USA

      Hi Drbj :) Every time I see your name, or your avatar commenting in any of my hubs, my attention is on "it." Maybe because I always love cartoon and anime and I find cartoon avatars cute. In fact, most of the time I would used a cartoon as my Facebook avatar. I didn't know there was a hag there as I always see a maiden, looking at her right side, or maybe looking at a leaf or handkerchief (whatever that greenish thing is that seems to have flown away by breeze.) ^-^'

      Anyway, just curious, have you ever changed your avatar or tempted to change it? I feel that way. I don't even know why I ended up with a five-starred lemon... maybe because it was unusual ^.^' Voted up!

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Pamela. Most folks see the old woman at first and only after some time recognize a young woman as well.

      Here's a tip to help you see the young lady. Take an index card and hold it below the nose of the old woman using the larger image above. Then it will be easier for you to see that the nose is also the young girl's chin. She is looking away from you.

      Your avatar is beautiful. I would use my own photo, too, if I looked like that! Trust me.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Drbj, I only see an old woman and no matter how I look at the picture I never see a young woman.

      My picture is of me. I wasn't clever enough to choose anything else.

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      It's a pleasure to meet you, Felixedet. Thank you for your sublime comment: '... the flow is simply flawless.' So is your comment!

    • Felixedet2000 profile image

      Felixedet2000 5 years ago from The Universe

      I love the style of this hub, the flow is simply flawless, thanks for this piece.

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Angie, for pointing out that the alternate graphic I displayed looked like a poor weak thing in 'granny' clothing. Heavens to Betsy, that would be the last thing I would want to portray.

      Still chuckling over your interpretation of the avatar - probably the most original I have ever heard. And definitely not boring. You could never, m'dear, be boring!

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Mary. Re my avatar, you may be surprised to learn that most people see the old woman in the graphic before they see the young girl. That makes you more positive and optimistic than most. Trust me.

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

      Doc,

      Since I've read this wayyyy after it was posted, I believe I'm safe in assuming you decided to NOT go with the fairy God-mother with the broken wand.

      I'm really happy you didn't. The poor thing looks annoyed, tired, weak and she's wearing granny clothes.

      In regards to your current avatar, and the only one I know you by, yeesh, please don't laugh but, in my zipping and skimming, I'd not paid much attention to it, and until not long ago, I thought it was a guy in a rumpled white shirt with brown slacks, his elbows on his knees, and not showing his head.

      I know. I can be such a dork, lol.

      But, as soon as I realized that it WASN'T what I'd thought it was and looked more closely, I did see both ladies.

      I don't think I can do avatars. I've used photos on facebook for my profile pic, but everyone on fb knows what I look like anyway. I do still switch it out on occasion to keep away the boredom.

      And now I'm thinking I should maybe do that here as well.

      Heaven knows I hate to be bored and don't want others being bored either.

      :)

      femme

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, drbj! I have wondered about your avatar for a while; finally went back to your profile. I remembered you live in S. Fl. as I do, then I saw this Hub. Maybe, I'll get an answer! I did. Now, I know. I have NEVER seen an old hag; only a beautiful young girl with a scarf on her head. Wonder if that makes me normal or abnormal???? See you around....

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you for visiting, deenahere. It's so nice to meet you. And no thanks are necessary. It's entirely my pleasure.

    • deenahere profile image

      Deena 5 years ago from India

      Informative and interesting hub. Thanks for sharing

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      I still get a kick out of you, too, Becca. Thanks for the re-visit and the suggestion - perhaps I'll do another 'avatar-choice' hub one day. Soon.

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 5 years ago from Canada

      I still get a big kick out of this hub, do you have more people/avatars upcoming?

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 5 years ago

      Your welcome drbj and you've earned the appellation. I've just read another of your hubs. They are brilliant. Well done. Voted up on both.

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Wow, michael, an inspiration? What a great appellation to try to live up to. But I'm game. Thanks for explaining your avatar; I would never have guessed you were examining a rifle. But your explanation makes a lot of sense. Illuminating and exposing topics in order to educate others makes a great teacher and a very interesting writer. Thanks for the up and a warm welcome to Hubpages.

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 5 years ago

      Hi drbj I will be visiting your hubs regularly; you've written many topics that are interesting. I like your interpretation of my profile picture,I can see the reasoning. Thanks for taking the time to think about it and make a comment. I agree with your assessment; spot on. Hubpages is a new experience for me and I have spent much of my teaching career warning people not to disclose information on the web. The picture was taken a few weeks ago at an army day that I took my grandchildren too. They got to see the big trucks etc. I am holding a world war II lee enfield 303 rifle. The picture was taken by my son. We play war-games online so it was taken for that purpose. When I came to Hubpages I thought I'd use it; as it represents (for me) my intention to take aim on topics that I think need exposure, illumination or education. If you check the 3 hubs titles I have written so far you will get where I'm coming from. Great to meet you and thanks for the input. You are an inspiration. Voted up

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Nice to meet you, Michael, thanks for stopping by. Yes, the crone/young girt graphic has been around for a long, long time just like the duck/rabbit illusion so I'm not surprised that you have encountered it before. They are both great tools to use when explaining perception to others.

      Thanks for the hub; I would be honored to receive your comments on other hubs of mine in which you have an interest. Re your avatar. you are a sturdy-looking male peering through some sort of instrument (telescope?) which also tends to obscure your image. Someone who wants to learn more wihout necessarily revealing all? Just a guess of course.

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 5 years ago

      I have seen this old crone many years ago and I knew their was a young woman in there somewhere but it took a while for her to appear. The perception switch (Gestalt,I know I'm showing off teaching Grandpa to suck eggs; but hey what can I do?) I have used the gestalt switch when teaching (duck/rabbit). In really helps the students to understand that things are not always what they seem but more how we see them. Great hubs I will be back for more. voted up. Cast your eye over my profile picture (it's me) and let me have your clinical assessment of what it represents. Just for fun. Go on you know you want too!

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Rochelle - I just love return visitors. Of course I understand, perhaps because the old crone looks even younger than me. (That's supposed to be a joke.)

      I have always enjoyed displaying this avatar to folks who see it for the first time. It is a perfect example to explain perception. The graphic does not change - only our perception of it.

      Thanks also for reminding me that owls don't show their age - they are also very wise. Like you, m'dear.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Hi, again-- glad to see that this has so many great comments.

      Dang, (as Teresea McGurk would say) I wish I had thought of using this avatar. I now realize that people might see me as an old woman, but I know my 'younger self' is still in there. I'm sure you understand.

      Owls don't show their age.

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      How nice to see you here, Erin. Thank you for stumbling. Over this hub, that is. Most people do see the old crone first and the young girl afterward. And when the picture is enlarged, the young girl's visage is much more evident.

      I wanted to use the 'fairy godmother,' because, like you, fairies appeal to me. But she is rather broken-down-looking so I had second thoughts about a substitution.

      Love your description of my avatar-personality: 'intriguing and layered'. Just what I have always wanted to be! Your photo IS cool and you ARE a writer, m'dear.

      If you are curious, my genuine photo appears on my hub, "Comments and Traffic." Thanks again for your visit and gracious comments.

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 6 years ago from Maryland

      drbj, I just stumbled across this hub and its so interesting! I love your avatar, we have a lot of mutual friends so i've seen you often and have been meaning to visit you for a while. Its funny, I always see the old lady in the little version and now that you explained it, the young one is all I see in the big version. I love the fairy avatar, and I'm partial to fairy tales so I believe my opinion would be prejudiced, but your current avatar suits your personality - intriguing and layered.

      I guess my avatar is in the realism category. I used to use cool pictures (usually a cool one of a silhouetted fairy against a sunset) until I got some decent pictures of myself and felt like a real hubpages writer. It was a self-confidence thing with me.

      Great hub and awesome discussion starter. Take care!

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      I remember that old joke, ED. The only problem today in DC is with all that fertilizer there, unfortunately there is NO pony. Just a bunch of clueless, spendthrift donkeys and elephants!

    • profile image

      ED 6 years ago

      THTNK ABOUT THIS--GARDENING REQUIRES FERTILIZER AND WASHINGTON DC PRODUCES AN ABUNDANCE OF IT.THERES GOT TO BE A PONEY IN THERE SOMEWARE.

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      I'm delighted, Dolores, that you now see the young girl as well as the old woman in my avatar. She does represent my more positive side.

      I appreciate your sharing what you are shoveling in your avatar, since I had no clue before as to the contents of your trusty wheelbarrow.

      Yes, chicken $hi! is relevant to gardening. Though some, not me, of course, might say it is relevant to fashion, too. Sometimes. :)

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi, drbj - when I see your avatar first appear, I see the old woman. But when I come to your page and see the larger size, I see the young one. Every time. My own avatar shows me shoveling chicken manure. I put that one up when I was writing a lot of gardening hubs. Now I've been writing a lot of fashion history hubs and some how it just don't go. haha.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Yep she was wild for a grandma:) Hilarious lady!

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Your grandma was a smart cookie!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Yes right? Haha! I am sure it's all irrelevant and healthier to keep some things out of the discussion. I.e., previous relationships. No one wants to really hear about that junk. I wouldn't want to know some things about him as well. My grandmother used to tell me, don't ever go looking for things you don't want to find!

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      I certainly hope so!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Very interesting that you point that out. When I took the RPSGT exam, even though the questions were not clustered, I received a perfect score in that area. That was a huge surprise to me.

      You know, It would have to be my husband. I think he knows nearly everything about me. Though I think everyone keeps their cards close on some topics:)

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Psychology and sociology were always my favorite courses especially when I realized that marketing and leadership skills were largely based on those two disciplines.

      As far as trusting oneself, RH, who knows you better than you? Hmmmm?

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I think it is all so interesting. I took several classes in psych and sociology but some how I could never seem to apply things to my own self. I guess that is probably good though. I don't always trust my own self!

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Yes, RH, you probably did see my avatar in a class - in black and white. It is an illusion often used to illustrate how our perception changes although the reality does not.

      I often used it in sales seminars to show that the customer does not change. It is the customer service person who sees her (or him) as either young and lovely or as a disagreeable hag.

      Thanks for loving this and my avatar.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I love the current avatar. I have seen something pretty similar to this (maybe in a class, I can't remember?) I loved the hub! You are so dead on with everything. Your magic wand is certainly not broken!

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Nice to meet you readydesigns - thanks for visiting. And loving my hub, of course.

      Yes, I agree, avatars are often underrated when they are much like a brand and a useful method of marketing oneself.

    • readydesigns profile image

      readydesigns 6 years ago from Las Vegas

      I love this hub of yours. Avatars are something often undervalued, but they say so much about a person.

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Like many things in life, susie, you don't need to know why you like it. Just like it! And thanks for letting me know that it is easy to select. That's a bonus for sure.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      I'm so glad you decided to keep your avatar!! When I go to 'hubbers I follow' your's is about the easiest to pick out.. Not sure why, but I like it!

    • Jane Bovary profile image

      Jane Bovary 6 years ago from The Fatal Shore

      Lol..no,no dragons and thanks for the reassurance.

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Do not be alarmed, Jane, your reaction to this optical illusion is perfectly normal. About 3/4 of the population who look at this graphic see the old woman or hag first.

      The young woman is more difficult to see because she is turned away so that only a small portion of her profile is visible. While the old crone shows her entire profile.

      Often people will see only one person and have to be shown how to see the other. So don't worry.

      Unless you see a dragon. Then, worry!

    • Jane Bovary profile image

      Jane Bovary 6 years ago from The Fatal Shore

      Drbj,

      Your avatar, interesting as it is, has been causing me grief. I've only ever seen the old woman..and after reading this thread, tried for a very long time to see the young woman, without success. I began to worry. ..why can't I see it? do I lack all perception? am I a chronic pessimist?

      Eventually I did see it, after much effort. Then I rationalised....I've been looking at that picture for several months and the old woman is imprinted on my brain as the right way to see it. Anyway, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Even now I can only hold the image of the young woman for a few seconds before it starts to revert to the old one.

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Micky - thanks for the visit. But you are so wrong! You have tons of imagination and creativity - it is evident in every hub and poem and comment you make. And your avatar IS colorful - got my attention. :) God bless backatcha.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      drbj- I have little imagination. I just grabbed a pic and went with it. I like consistency so I'll probably stick with it. God bless!

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, shibshake, thank you for visiting. You are absolutely correct. Our first impression of anyone or anything is hard to replace. That's why a positive-looking avatar or profile is so important.

      If it appears negative to the reader, then you, the writer, are facing an uphill battle to change his or her mind.

      You are fortunate that you see the young girl - you are an optimist, but I can help you see the old hag, too. Place two fingers over the left-hand quarter of the large graphic. Can you see the chin, the mouth, and the nose of the hag? Then move your fingers away and you will see the rest of that charming crone. The young girl's ear is the hag's eye. Did that work for you?

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 6 years ago

      Great hub! I love the way that you started it. Avatar is one of my favorite movies. I just watched it again during the thanksgiving weekend.

      I definitely agree that it is all about perception. We all say "Don't judge a book by its cover" but the fact is, we all do. It is built into our DNA. It is difficult to escape from this even if we consciously try to do so.

      I have tested with some different profile pictures, and it is really interesting what reactions I get based on them. I also used to role-play characters on online games which is also extremely interesting.

      I like your current profile picture although I must say that all I see is the young girl. No matter how I squint I can't see the hag. Maybe I'm an optimist. :D

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, vc, good to see you. Most people do see the old woman first and sometimes need assistance to see the young girl. This remarkable optical illusion has been around since the early 1900s I am told. No, I did not see it then!!!

      Delighted you loved the hub and thank you for your generous adjectives. I'm the lucky one when it comes to being a BFF! :)

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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I only saw the old lady when first looking at your avatar. After reading your hub and all of the comments (whew!), I looked at it again and immediately saw the pretty young lady. Fascinating. I wonder what it means.

      Loved your hub. Unique, fun and thought provoking as well. I am so lucky to be your newest BFF. Thanks

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Good to see you again, AC. This double illusion illustration has been around even longer than me which would date it somewhere in the Mesozoic era. I adopted it when I found it in beautiful living color. And yes, I can't bring myself to discard it even though I said I would in my hub on Comments and Traffic.

      Thank you for stopping by and your kind comments.

    • ACSutliff profile image

      ACSutliff 7 years ago

      drbj,

      I keep trying to remember the first time I saw this image.... I'm sure I was told early enough that there were two ways to look at it, and so I have always known that I should see both ways, and so I do. The old woman is easier for me to see than the young woman, especially with the color. I'm not used to seeing it in color.

      Did you decide to keep the picture as your avatar then? I like it. Double Image Optical Illusions have always intrigued me. Maybe I will pick a new Avatar with a similar theme some day.

      Great hub, drbj!

      ~AC

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Great, Fuzzy, now surgery won't be needed. First, "awesome," and now, "I rock"? Wow! My cup runneth over!

    • FuzzyCookie profile image

      FuzzyCookie 7 years ago

      omg.. I am FINALLY able to see that grl. thanks for the card trick or else I would have never been able to see the shy grl looking away..lol.. but for me the old woman is more prominent.. :D .. but now I can clearly see the old lady's mole and eyes are the young grls nose and ears respectively..lol you rock :D

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Fuzzy, for your "amazing" comment - I shall cherish it.

      I have found that most people see the old woman much more easily than the young one. Here's a tip so you can see it for yourself. Take an index card and hold it below the nose of the older woman using the larger image above. Then it will be easier for you to see that the nose is also the young girl's chin.

      Let me know if that works. If not, surgery may be in order. :)

    • FuzzyCookie profile image

      FuzzyCookie 7 years ago

      I can only see the old woman :O... I've seen this picture bfore and know that there are two women one is old and another is bful but I've always failed to see the other woman.. :O

      btw amazing hub :) I would have never thought of writing a hub on choosing avatar images.. cheers!! xD

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Rochelle, I was thinking of changing my avatar when I wrote this hub but because it carries a lesson in perception I may keep it for awhile. It does suit me, as you say.

      And your last line is most insightful - we all are Popeyes who are what we are. Remember Olive Oyl and Brutus and Wimpy? I miss them.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

      Looks like you picked a winner subject for hubbers-- (since almost everyone has one). I do like yours and I am familiar with it, since I have always enjoyed teaching the lessons of perception and optical illusion in my classrooms.

      I think yours suits you well.

      After reading this, I am thinking I should choose something more enigmatic and meaningful, but as Popeye the Sailor was fond of saying " I yam what I yam".

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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, nicomp, for that extraordinary explanation of the meaning of your unique and artistic avatar. Now I am really worried because I understood EVERY word!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      My avatar graphically illustrates the inhumanity of birds towards horses, counterbalanced by a cat in a riding helmet, which eats birds but will not ride a horse except sidesaddle. The cat eats the birds, not the helmet.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Colin, with these comments you feed my soul. "Entertainment, enlightening, intellectual calories?" If you haven't already ascertained my weakness ... flattery will get you everywhere. Thank you for being such a constant follower - you, your comments, and your prolific poetry are much appreciated. :)

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 7 years ago

      ..you have a veritable smorgasbord of hub material - something for everyone - so much entertainment and always enlightening - I will never starve here - I cannot go hungry - there are many intellectual calories - and I always go away - well fed!!!

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, tracykarl - Haven't a clue as to how this hub appeared in your cellphone but delighted to see you here.

      Yes, the avatar I use of the old and young woman has been around for ages and is often found in old, very old, psychology texts.

      Changing avatars is a fun thing to do - why not? I was going to change mine but I've become sort of attached to it.

    • tracykarl99 profile image

      Tracy 7 years ago from San Francisco

      Drbj, this hub popped up in my cell-phone screen today, for some reason. It's interesting, I have always wanted to mention to you that I remember your "avatar" icon from high school psychology class! We studied it and analyzed "perception" and many of the things you mention here. I changed my hub pages "avatar" many times before arriving at the present one ~ but I may change it again ~ who knows:)

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Emma. I don't blame you for using that adorable photo of your daughter. She is beautiful. I have used my avatar for years as an illustration of how two different customer service people may see the same customer. One sees her as a disagreeable old hag. The other views her as a charming younger person. The picture remains the same but the perceptions of the picture are poles apart.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Hello, Randy B. Please read the comment I ascribed by mistake to Minnetonka Twin. I forgot exactly where I read it. I have noticed that there are 3 variables that remind you of advancing age. The first one is loss of memory. . . and I can't remember the other two.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Minnetonka Twin - nice to meet you. You made a very interesting comment. The majority of people who see my avatar for the first time see the old hag before they see the young girl. Your observation that the size of the graphic may make a difference is very perceptive.

      And "true beauty needs a closer look." I'll buy that. Thanks for visiting.

    • EmmaMedu profile image

      EmmaMedu 7 years ago

      I had to laugh when I read the first part of your hub regarding your current avatar. I saw this picture for many times before. The last time it was in Stephen Covey's book. He was describing the perception and how two people can see the same thing in completely different way.

      And the funniest thing was that every time I looked at your avatar I saw young lady. I haven't even noticed until now that it is THAT picture with an old lady on it too.

      I first didn't know what to put for my avatar. And since I had so many photos of my daughter I decided to use one of those. She has such a special look in her eyes, and I feel blessed every time I look at that photo, so I don't want to change it.

      Some may find me not serious enough when they look at my avatar, but I'm quite serious :o))

    • Randy Behavior profile image

      Randy Behavior 7 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Until today I only saw the old crone. When you blow up your avatar I can see the young girl so clearly but not when its small. Perhaps ugliness is easy to spot a mile away and true beauty needs a closer look?

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 7 years ago from Minnesota

      Had to let you know that I finally see the young girl. It was because I had scrolled up higher so I could see the eyelash and chin line. When It is a bigger picture, it's hard to see the young girl for me.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 7 years ago from Minnesota

      drbj-I have Always seen the old lady or hag as you put it. I am trying to see the young girl and will be obsessing over this today until I see her. I agree with everyone that this avatar is just perfect. I think if you changed it you would have sad followers, especially niteriter. He would be crushed!

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, kal - yes, I did notice the creativity of your avatar and was going to suggest you resume taking your meds.

      Just kidding. Your avatar IS creative and different and definitely one of a kind.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, hubbuddy.

    • kaltopsyd profile image

      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Haha, I like your avatar now, drbj... although the hag is an interesting thought but I'll probably laugh every time I look at it.

      This Hub was really interesting. I was going to say that I didn't think much about my avatar but that would be a bold-faced lie. I actually put mine together in photoshop, combining music and psychology. Ever noticed? ;-)

      Thanks for an interesting read.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      If you see either the young girl or the old woman, you are with the majority of people who view this avatar for the first time. If you see both within a short time, you may be more perceptive than most.

      If you see a dragon . . .

    • suny51 profile image

      suny51 7 years ago

      Now look at your avatar from another angle,look at the left eye as ear,the black line under the nose as neck line(chin line),the other eye(only eye brow)pointed towards right side,and under the nose line that is now converted in to neck,further down you can see the part of the chest,scarf is still scarf.Now you can see a young girl.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, suny. Your impression of my avatar has got to be the most unique I have ever come across. That's a very creative interpretation. Curious - do you play billiards often?

    • suny51 profile image

      suny51 7 years ago

      Drbj-first glance of your avatar appears if some billiards player pointing his cue to find the right angle on the ball in a white shirt,(while in commenting mod) and see thats what you are exactly doing here.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      How nice to meet you, pinkylee. I think there was once a great comic with the same name so you are in very good and funny company.

      Delighted by your comments and that you were entertained. As Gypsy Rose Lee (no relative, I presume) once said, "Let me entertain you ... and we'll have a wonderful time..."

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Of course you've been here before, Shari . . . in another lifetime.

      Delighted to have you visit and appreciative as always by your generous comments and rating. Come back whenever you're in the neighborhood.

    • profile image

      pinkylee 7 years ago

      This was a fun and entertaining read. Great job.

      My avatar has been many things but is currently one of myself. I tend to change them all the time because I get bored with the same one lol

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      Shari 7 years ago from New York, NY

      hmmmm why is it that i feel I have been here before!! Well even if I was it was a great read the second time around:) Rated up as always .. useful as well:)))

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, habee. Nice to see your smiling visage. I love this avatar image, too, which is why I have delayed so long in replacing it.

      Speaking of Popeye, I remember all those funny cartoons that used to accompany a movie. Miss them. Did you ever see the Mr. Magoo 'toons? - they were hysterical.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Interesting hub! Every time I see your avatar I just have to marvel about the two possible images. Mine is me - as Popeye would say, I yam what I yam! lol

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      How do you do, schoolgirlforreal. It was definitely my pleasure.

      Hubpages is something else and you may find yourself caught up in it but I guarantee you will enjoy the trip.

      Thanks for the visit - I look forward to seeing more of you.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 7 years ago from USA

      First of all thanks for your lovely 'fan comment!' I am so excited with this form of communication and expression: hubpages.

      I like Rebecca E's avatar. I also like the 'real ones' like mine...I used to have a pic of some nature scene.

      Will catch up w/ you later!

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Welcome, Nellieanna, how nice to have you visit. That's an interesting point you made about recognizing the old crone first in my avatar when it's illustrated in a larger rendition. And how folks appear to recognize the young woman first when the graphic is smaller.

      When I've used this illustration in a lecture or presentation, I've either distributed a letter-size handout or projected a large image upon a screen and invariably participants saw the crone first. I had never realized until now that the size of the picture so influenced the way it was perceived. So thank you for that revelation.

      I knew I had not made a mistake to follow you.

      Thank you for your very kind comments which are much appreciated. As writers we all feed on those. And in my case, flattery will get you everywhere.

      Look forward to more back and forth repartee.