Who is this Kid Even

Made by Lucy Tan

An examination of how people react to a profile picture rehashing old profile pictures.

Created: September 18th, 2015



As we learned last week and during discussion in class, there is an expectation for profile pictures on Facebook to be of one's face. As for me, it is not often that the face in my picture (if there is one at all) is mine. These days, I use tend to use my art for my profile picture, and it's not often related to my appearance. Even the most recent picture ended up being just an eye. I wanted to see if the in-jokes I've been perpetuating will still gain attention even after the umpteenth usage.

For the new profile picture, I decided to combine the most recent representations of myself on Facebook and see if it would get more or less attention. This portrayal continues the tongue in cheek portrayal of myself that I have been using recently, but is a little more staged. 

old profile pic and source image
Current propic.thumb


I went through a few ideas about what I could use as a profile picture. I thought about possibly using old profile pictures as a literal mask, but in the end settled with a combination of my last two profile picture themes (illuminati and salt). The portrait was drawn specifically with this site in mind. My current username here is the puntastic @iLucynaTi. It was obvious that I would include the iconic illuminati eye and pyramid. There also happens to be a running joke within my friend groups about how salty I can get, so I had previously used several different iterations of a picture of a salt crystal as a profile picture. Combining these two things, I took a lovely picture representing some of me and some of my interests (art, puns, and dank maymays).

Salt was a the theme over the summer.
Pure Toasted Rock Salt


Setting up to take my profile picture was easy enough. I printed out a copy of my portrait after sizing it in Photoshop, cut the portrait out, get some tape and a salt container, arrange things on an empty part of the counter in the kitchen in such a way that the lighting isn't absolutely terrible, and take a picture with my phone camera.

Voila, here we are with a rehashing of known pieces of my identity with a fresh twist -- photography of inanimate objects and heavier symbolism than usual. A freshly printed and cut disk that represents me placed onto a container whose contents also represents me, all within an image which will be used to represent me. Symbolismception? 

me irl


As expected, I immediately got several likes when I posted the image around 2:00 PM on Friday. These were from the usual people who like my profile pictures. After three days though, the picture gathered 36 likes total and a few comments, including several likes from people who don't normally interact with me on Facebook. This profile picture is now the most liked profile picture of mine, which was rather surprising. 

There aren't any thematic similarities between this and the next most liked profile pictures (coming in at 25 likes a piece). For the picture of me, I simply thought it was a decent image that one of my friends took and decided to use it. For the illustration, I had finally finished a proper illustration for once and used it as my profile picture because I was relatively proud of it. My new profile picture was much more deliberate and clear with symbolism, and I suppose that was what put it ahead. It's also possible that people just reacted to the joke.

#2 most liked profile pictures
Past propics.thumb


After looking at some of the other projects in the pool, I realized that I am somewhat of an outlier for having picked to do something very much "me" in terms of internet behavior. In the end, I suppose the association between my profile image and my online reputation was too important to me to disregard and my choice for this assignment reflects that. I did briefly entertain the idea of using something that is the opposite of what I believe in for shock value as a profile picture, such as a confederate flag or straight pride poster since the majority of my Facebook friends are rather liberal and would absolutely cringe at those things (as do I, to be perfectly frank), but there was no way I could bring myself to associate myself with such movements. But it might be an interesting experiment if I can ever get over how much it might damage my credibility with my Facebook friends. 

Share this Project


An examination of how people react to a profile picture rehashing old profile pictures.