On the Internet, everybody wants to know if you’re a dog

On Slate, Michael Agger expounds on increasing pressure for people to provide pictures of themselves online. I've managed to resist so far.

That article also tipped me off to a phenomenon I didn't even know had a name: MySpace angles.

Comments (29)
  1. Marquess says:

    That’s also more generically called the Fat girl angle shot. Google at your own risk.

  2. James Schend says:

    Wow, I’d been warned about "MySpace Angles" before, but I’ve never seen the before/after comparison shots.

  3. parkrrrr says:

    That "MySpace Angles" page has to be about the most offensive thing I’ve ever seen linked from here. Shallow much?

  4. Steve says:

    @Parkrrrr and violet – I think your are missing soemthing here. Why do they use the "MySpace Angle"? As a veteran of internet dating, I met my wife on a dating website in 1996, it is pointless to misrepresent yourself. Everyone has a "type". If someone merkets themselves as a "type" and then shows up as something else, the result is usually that you feel decieved, at best. The right thing to do is be yourself and be happy with who you are. If you are not happy with who you are, change! Clearly the examples in the article are not happy with themselves, that is why they post the intentionally misleading photos. That is not my fault or my problem.  

  5. mikeb says:

    >> I’ve managed to resist so far <<

    Raymond, there’s no need to be ashamed of your withered hand (I also like saying “withered hand”).

  6. benjamin says:

    Outside of someone with an eating disorder, the most photo-averse people I can think of are nerds, so it has always surprised me that modern software, as the article mentions, practically demands photos of its user.

    The fact that Facebook seems so insistent on having one or more user photos is one of the chief things that keeps me away from it (Mark Zuckerberg’s involvement with the CIA being the other).

  7. Alexandre Grigoriev says:

    > Raymond, there’s no need to be ashamed of your withered hand (I also like saying "withered hand").

    He should have stayed away from the horcrux ring. It could have ended really bad…

  8. James Schend says:

    benjamin: This is my Facebook picture:


  9. Aaron G says:

    Well well, some people seem to be a little defensive here.

    There’s a difference between "shaming" people who are (very) overweight, and shaming people who posted distorted and misleading photos of themselves while claiming to have an "average" body type.  It’s a form of lying, and I can’t say I have anything against exposing lies.

    I don’t see it as being vindictive.  I see it as leaving a polite warning to other would-be suitors explaining that this person is not who s/he says s/he is.

  10. Steve says:

    @violet – I was just trying to add perspective, you have issues and need therapy.

  11. Fil says:

    On the other hand, I also know many people who look fine in life but have rather unflattering online photos.

    No substitute for the real thing?

  12. Joe says:

    I agree with Fil. A colleague looks rather dorky in her FaceBook photos. Yet in real life, she’s one of the cutest girls I’ve ever met.

    Plus my 1 year old granddaughter is way cuter in real life than in the photos I use to fill my FaceBook albums, though though are so cute, I may get a take down order since I’m causing parents world wide to become depressed at just how ugly their own children/grandchildren are by comparison.

  13. Joe says:

    Speaking of photos. My oldest daughter has a friend who is one of the skinniest people I know, yet in photos, she looks positively chunky. I’ve yet to figure out why.

  14. violet says:

    Seriously. If you’re not attracted to someone, fine. If you *thought* you were into them based on a few conversations and pictures from the tubes… that’s more than a little sketchy, but fine. Let it go. Move on. Find someone you *do* like, who likes you back.

    Or, I suppose, you could shame the woman who "DECIEVED!!!11oneone" you by posting unflattering shots of her on your site, shaming her for being FATFATFATFATTYFATFAT and just generally living up to whatever standards of beauty you conjured up today. And then saying that you banged her anyway, but only after you were *really* drunk.

  15. mikeb says:

    > A picture of Raymond…

    That’s quite a MySpace angle.  

    Raymond doesn’t look Swedish at all in that picture (nor does he look like a knitter).

  16. Cooney says:

    Now I want to see a myspace angle of raymond; that or him taking a cellphone shot in a MS bathroom mirror – comedy gold!

    As for me, FB wants a photo, but they don’t care about it being me or even a real person. For instance, most of my profile photos aren’t even human – my favorite among them is a rodent holding a corn kernel.

  17. Gabe says:

    Did violet read the same article I did? I hope I’m not the only person who has no idea what she’s ranting about.

  18. Falcon says:

    Does anyone else remember the Seinfeld episode "The Strike", where Jerry is dating a two-faced woman?

  19. violet says:

    @Steve And I’m sure you’ve always posted the least flattering possible pictures of yourself, right? I mean, if you didn’t, you’re obviously not happy with yourself.

    Which is a bloody brilliant justification for profoundly hateful garbage. Any of the "wronged," "deceived*" men could have just said, "Oh, sorry, your photo looked different," and walked away from the date; that would mark them as shallow, but at least relatively forthright. Instead, they went to the internet. Where they posted the least flattering photos possible of these women, and peppered the gallery with sexualized appearance shaming. Why? What do they gain from that–what does anyone gain from that–except validation of their unfettered rights to women’s bodies, including their right to judge and ridicule them? Outside of that, what’s the fracking point?

    * – As an aside, think about how they got these pictures. Most of them look to be from webcams or cell phones. Implying, of course, that they *hadn’t* met in person, and the intense agony I’m sure these men felt lasted for the MANY AGES it took them to delete a bloody e-mail.

  20. josh says:

    I recently read a blog post on a dating site (OkCupid) where they did a pretty in-depth statistical analysis of profile pictures.


    The suprising result: MySpace angles (for the ladies) and shirtless shots (for the ‘gentlemen’) actually *work*.

  21. ton says:

    LOL the MySpace angles link was hilarious!!!!!!!! All of those crafty women had me fooled until the inevitable and terrifying "exposure". *Ugh* Thanks Raymond you’ve made my day and luckily saved me from several unnecessary marriage proposals for hags on MySpace and the rest of the intertubes. I’ll stick to talking to fat girls in person at least then I know what I’m getting into.

  22. Absotively says:

    @violet: Yeah, don’t you know that anyone who posts a flattering photo of themselves is trying to "rope in unsuspecting victims" and deserves to be publicly ridiculed?

    Wait, no, actually, you’re right.

  23. I look like this o->-< no really ;) says:

    I’m sure the phenomenon is real, but I have to think that at least some of the more exaggerated examples in the first article (eg. the first one starring hyperobese girl) seem clearly staged.  (That is, rather than an actual example from Facebook, they found/paid that someone and took two pictures of them just to make the point in the article.)

    And some of the examples are downright bizarre.  Like, the "myspace angle" photo in the second example is really that much better than the "real" shot?  Seriously?  That the slightest hint of fat is so repulsively that people would prefer a crude, badly lit cellphone photo that you can barely tell whether it’s male or female (or whether she has hair)?

    And frankly, on some level I just ain’t all that surprised or shocked, given that even your everyday fashion magazines feel the need to airbrush pictures of stars and supermodels way hotter than anyone you’ve dated.

  24. Worf says:

    Well, not into the whole facebook thing, but created an account years ago to meet an old friend. My profile photo’s just a cropped picture that was taken on my first solo (pilot) of me doing a silly thumbs-up thing in front of the plane.

    Something decent, acceptable, and above all, professional.

    Came in handy for a silly contest Microsoft’s holding on facebook.

  25. CalmDownBeCool says:

    The Myspace Angles phenomenon is nothing new; it’s just an emergent form of false advertising, which is why people find it annoying and make fun of it.

    On a site where people may track me down for job-related reasons, I’d post something normal and professional.  Me standing there smiling perhaps?!?!

    However, if I post a picture of myself on a dating site where I’m there with no shirt and a six pack, you’d figure the lady would have to be disappointed when we meet and she realizes the picture is 4 years old and I’m horribly out of shape now.

  26. Poochner says:

    Yes.  Yes, I’m a dog.  I freely admit it.  I just don’t have any pictures to prove it.  Having no thumbs, it’s hard to take them.  Typing is much more easily managed, but people don’t care about a description.  I could wax poetic about my shaggy gray coat, but no one cares.  I’m taken, anyway.

  27. DennisP says:

    That reminds of a few years ago when we advertised for a technical (intro programming) position. I was surprised at the number of resumes we got with pictures attached. They were all attractive women, but the motivation to attach a picture to a resume for a job not at Hooters is certainly questionable.

  28. Sarkie says:

    Google/Bing/AltaVista "MySpace the Movie"

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content