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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.


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.

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

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

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.


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.


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