Saturday, December 20, 2008

Beauty is as beauty does

I won't even try to guess how many blogs I read... some on a daily basis, some hit-and-miss. When I've read somebody's thoughts regularly and interacted with them online, whether through blogs or message boards, I start to feel as though I know them. Of course I don't really know them, because none of us reveals everything about ourselves. But it feels as though I do.

One of the things I'm always curious about is what each person looks like. If they're like me, it's no problem. Because I pretty much splash my face on the Internet at any excuse. Believe me, it isn't because I think I'm beautiful. It's just that I really don't mind my readers knowing what I look like. Of course, I'm careful not to smile too big since I recently had a tooth pulled; because the space does show in a broad smile. So I must posses a certain amount of vanity, right? But I digress.

I've noticed that if a person hasn't ever shared a photograph of himself, after a certain amount of time I get a mental image of what I think he looks like. Years ago I haunted an AOL chat room and met my first real online friend, Lona; she reminded me of my sister in the way she worded things, and because of her wisdom and good nature. So I found myself picturing her as looking similar to my sister.

When she finally sent me a picture of herself with her husband, she looked nothing at all like I had imagined. It took me a long time to get the false image I had of her out of my head. In fact, I don't think I successfully managed it until I met her face to face.

So, if I read your blog, or read your words on a message board on a regular basis and you've never posted a picture of yourself... rest assured I have a mental image of you. If you seem friendly and kind on the Internet, the picture I have of you is probably a pleasant one. You are most likely handsome and slim-and-trim, with a full head of hair. For some reason, women post pictures of themselves freely; men, not so much. So it's mostly men that I have to guess at. I suppose that would be a good reason for most of us to never show our likenesses on the Internet, but to be very careful to show kindness to all. Hmmm.

Online, my mom's old saying rings true: Beauty is as beauty does.


Robbie said...

Oh please picture me thin! :-D

I'm actually going to update my picture soon. I've put on weight since I quit smoking and feel like I'm not presenting the "real" me by posting a picture pre-weight gain. Although, my plan this coming year is to lose a good hunk of it.

P.S. I'm the same way with people I talk to on the phone at work. Even after I meet them I can't wipe the original picture I have of them out of my mind when I talk to them next. Funny!

Absolutely Feisty said...

I too, get that mental image thing going. It's bad for a single woman online.. making up images.. it's a real let down most of the time. lol

Jspiker said...

Merry Christmas Donna,

I've enjoyed reading your blog this year (although it's hit and miss sometimes).

Happy New Year to you both!

RNSheets said...

my current pic is on my blog,

I got rid of the goatee, but it will be back soon. It's cold out there!

cw2smom said...

Even though my picture is there, I'd like you to rethink things a, the camera adds a good ten pounds! I am NOT nearly that ahem...HEAVY! Oh..that's right, it's the holiday season, perhaps that photo is entirely on the mark. But, you can notice those nice Native American cheekbones that I have, despite how fat my face is! LOL, Lisa

loopymamain06 said...

o.k. donna...the gauntlet has been tossed!...LOL I will post a pic of my self then post many others to bury my pic, ya see I admit to myself and all I have a inferiority complex...bad hair(sister says I should get a wig) weird nose(hairdresser says I look like a bird)small build(they nicknamed me twiggy at work)
I like your blog, I like your picture. wish me luck, because i did post a pic of myself , then promptly took it away, that was me being normal...LOL

Brad said...

I do the same thing, letting my minds eye form an image of someone based on loose perceptions. My images are seldom even close to what the person looks like. I don't post a lot of pictures of myself on my blog. I tend to dislike my own pictures. Must be my vain minds eye not liking reality.

Becky said...

In my experience, most men just done care about photos. They don't think about taking them and certainly don't think about posting them online. I think women are perhaps more visual or perhaps just more creative than men. *wink*

Amy said...

My camera adds 40 pounds. Please imagine me accordingly. hee hee hee...

Pamela said...

I do the same thing. I have a mental picture and when they finally do post a pic I go into shock! LOL!
Hey..I might be meeting your daughter in March. Fun, huh?

Astaryth said...

Hmmm... I'm sure your mental image of me would probably be better looking than the real thing... unfortunately, I -have- posted the occasional picture of myself, so I am out of luck LOL!

Diane@Diane's Place said...

I don't have any problem showing my pictures, as you know. I am what I am.

Like you, I form mental pictures of my online friends. Most of the time when I finally see a photo of them my mental image is waaaaaay off. ;o)

I'm stealing your weather widget for my blog.

Hope you have a happy, blessed and joyous Christmas and New Year, Donna.



Ora said...

well actually I was going to show a different picture...cause I firgured will I ever see any of these folks...and then I remembered...Donna has seen me in the flesh...all of it LOLOL...I cannot hide from her!!!! Merry Christmas and God Bless...hugs..Ora

Hollie said...

I do the s thing...getting a mental image of the person... LOL

Muhd Imran said...

Yikes! I post my pictures and of my family too often than required.

Unfortunately, I replace pictures for words since I have difficulty describing things... not so articulate with words.

As the saying goes "a pictures paints a thousand words"... imaging I post so many pictures in one post... that would have amounted to thousands of words! A paperbag book of one day in my life?!

You are right. We have to exercise caution whenever we "expose" ourselves to cyberspace. We gather our image of the person drawing it from our experiences... the best thing we know how under these circumstances.

That is why I prefer to interact with people showing their real selves in pictures and doing everyday things.

It makes it more personal and pleasant for me to know them as I would be doing the same for them to know me... nothing deep, just casual friends who share and learn thoughts and experiences together.

I go to your blog as often because I get to see you and the far away places from my seat in my home. I get to know a lot about the lives people lead from across the globe.

It interests me because I love traveling. This is one way of knowing other cultures without spending a ton of money.

The interaction with comments is a great tool!

So, knowing me, here's wishing you a good weekend. Christmas is so around the corner. Bet it's thrilling to celebrate it in your home.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It is so true, Beauty is as beauty does... It not the outside that counts but what is in the heart. One thing I've noticed with most people I've met is that their name always seems to match their face.
I know 3 Donnas now and you all have hearts of gold. 'On Ya'-ma

Traci said...

I love that phrase. I use it on horses I used to "have" to ride and then found out what horrors they were. I was always sucked in by a beautiful horse!

Celeste said...

I need to update my pictures. I never show any good ones of me. Of course I don't thing any are good. The main picture I use is a bittersweet one. It was taken the day before my mama died.

m.v. said...

I have a post about mental images somewhere on my blog. I work on the phone and talk to the same people almost daily for years. None of them turned out to look what I imagined them in my head.

Kansas Sity Sinic said...


Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and picture Heidi Klum--with bigger boobs, obly 5'5" and without the German accent. Thats pretty much what I look like. :-)

MissKris said...

Oh, this is so true! Also true of people you have occasion to speak with on the phone as well when you're working. And then you meet them face-to-face and it's like WHOA! I had kind of a surreal 'epiphany' a few years ago when my Dad passed away and my younger brother and I were going to meet in our hometown for a memorial to him, just a private one with the two of us and our spouses. Dear Hubby and I got there a little early so we stopped at a coffee shop to pass some time until we needed to meet my brother at an agreed spot. Our hometown is small. We moved away in 1966 and in the past 34 years since getting married, I've rarely gone back. But as I sat there sipping coffee and watching the different people coming and going, I found myself looking for some of my old friends in their the KIDS' faces. You see, I was 12 when I moved away! And then it dawned on me...all of THEM would be as old as I was at that time...52! That sure stopped me in my mental tracks! I have posted an occasional photo of myself. If you'd like me to post another one, tell me in a comment and I'll indulge you. How do you picture ME, by the way?? LOL!