13 Types of Lebanese Facebook Profile Pictures

The Three Quarter Turn

This is the standard pose of the Lebanese fashionista. She has spent hours fine-tuning the exact angle that puts forward her every flattering feature.  She puts up one of these pictures on a weekly basis, bringing her total tally of profile pictures to at least 137. There is an increase of activity during the summer months, when her tan means that less Photoshop expertise is required.

The Photoshopper

This type of person is a close relative of the TQTer. Saturation levels, contrast and brightness are all essential elements in getting the skin tone right. The person is most probably not a graphic designer (as they fall into one of the categories below) but has enlisted the help of a cousin who works at a web design agency to crop any undesirables out of the image and scratch away that pesky pimple on her right cheek.

The Bride/The Groom

We all know how everyone in Lebanon is obsessed with marriage. Obsessed with getting married, going to weddings or hating your best friend who got married before you. So wedding-related profile pictures deserve a whole field of academic study. They come in an array of variations. There’s the photo of the groomless bride, engulfed by half the annual production of flowers from Holland in her parents living room. There’s the solitary groom, who’s motivations for using a picture of himself without his bride, and looking quite dashing, can seem disquieting. There’s the picture of the happy couple. If they’re facing the camera and set against the backdrop of exploding fireworks, not so romantic. If they’re locked in an intense gaze into each others eyes, happy future ahead.

The Baby

In a concerted effort to show you that they’ve grown up faster than you, your friends from the Bride/Groom category, will move on to the Baby category within a year. They will post a picture of their little cherub, which will make you momentarily wonder if they have gone Benjamin Button on you. Some babies are as cute as teddy bears sliding down a rainbow, and some look like the love-child of Wayne Rooney and the Cookie Monster, but you’ll invariably comment: awww. Hayete. So cute.

The Childhood Photo

Unhappy with the current state of their visog, some people will stick a photo of themselves as a child. If the person doing this is a guy, he’s looking for female comments such as “aww, you’re adorable” and secretly hoping they forget he’s now 200 kilos with a hefty beard.

The Topical Guy

This guy likes to keep up with current affairs. It’s World Aids Day? Here, have a red ribbon. There’s a protest in Iran? Look! My picture turned green. It’s Christmas? Here’s a funny picture of Santa scratching his ass at Toys R Us.

The Professional Model

This guy/girl would have you believe their walking every catwalk from Milan to New York, with a casual stop in Sao Paolo. They have a professional headshot, so they must be in the same category as Gisele right? The truth is that they’ve probably been in an ad squirting Libbys ketchup over some fries and said: “yi shou tayyib”.

The Monochrome Intellectual

Before anyone says anything, I’ve been guilty of this one throughout my online life. From the days of Friendster/Hi5 (that’s pre-Facebook for all you kids out there), I’ve enjoyed looking pensively into the distance. This makes people think Im pondering life’s weightier dilemmas, whereas I’m probably thinking about where I can get a decent shawarma sandwich in the area. The black and white is essential in this category, since it makes the most mundane act seem like a scene from a Goddard film.

The Hipster

Armed with an iPhone and the hipstamatic application, this individual wants you to know he’s cooler than you. “Look, here I am riding a 1960s bicycle across Martyr’s Square, wearing a woolly hat, skinny jeans and a lumberjack shirt”, he seems to scream at you. He reclines on decrepit walls in Hamra, looking with nonchalance at a Kaak seller. And all in a glorious Lomo-effect. He must be in a band or something. I’m swooning.

The Sportsman

This is the type I hate the most, probably because of my complete lack of muscle-tone and rapidly expanding Lebanese Alpha Male Belly. Classics in this category include the “Open Armed Dive From A Perilous Rock Into Turquoise Water” and “Reaching the Summit of A Lebanese Mountain Using A Bicycle Made Out of Recycled Bullet Casings”. The dark underbelly of this category is the Muscle Freak who enjoys exhibiting his bulging biceps with a 6 kilo can of protein shakes in the background.

The Political Activist

Substitutes his or her face with that of a political leader or badly designed political party logo. Sucks the fun out of Facebook. And your day.

The Tech-tard

Also known as Any Parents on Facebook. After the cringe moment you realize your mum has succumbed to Aunty Affifeh’s propaganda  (“Yi Cherrrrie! Je me sens tellement jeuuuune depuis que je suis surrrr Faceboook”), you can’t help but crack up at profile picture she’s accidentally posted horizontally. Nevermind the photo is from 1997 and is about 6 pixels by 4.

The Photoless

Ah, the photoless profile. Like a Gaulouise-smoking existentialist, this profile tells you “I’m on Facebook because I’m intellectually curious, but I hate it and I hate you”. With a grand total of 24 friends, this Facebook user publically resents anything invented after 1953. But, when no one’s looking, they’ll stalk your profile and try to figure out what you did Saturday night.

I’m sure there’s a few I’ve forgotten, so feel free to share.

15 Responses to “13 Types of Lebanese Facebook Profile Pictures”

  1. Suzy
    December 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    You crack me up. I am so tempted to relink this to my profile but I fear I may alienate my FarceBook Fiends :p
    There are two you forget. One is the artistically mangled Lebanese flag, something I have an unhealthy obsession with, I’ll admit. My favourites are the red window box and canopy with a cedar tree in the centre, and the close up of an eye with the flag replacing the iris. The other is the pets, one I am currently portraying myself. The logic is that having hit my 40s, sporting the chunky middle aged genes of above mentioned Tante Afifeh and refusing categorically to go under the knife, there is absolutely nothing I can do to make me look appetising on Facebook so I post a pic of my cat instead.
    Keep writing!

  2. Liliane
    December 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    Man do you have a way with words! the tiny details, you’re hilarious! spot on. Specially the parents one 6px by 4, lol!

    oh and congrats on your alpha lebanese male belly :P any b/w photo of it, or did you photoshop it!

  3. Samer
    December 28, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    The Clubber: classic shot with strong flash, skimpy-dressed ladies in the background, one hand raised, the other holding vodka drink (or a whole bottle), cigar on lips, shirt open down to the navel. Could be a solo, or a group photo (more impact).

  4. Bobbyz
    December 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    ha! cute, but it’s *kind* of necessary to put accompanying pictures to support a post about photos, no? :)

  5. marina
    December 28, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    I enjoyed your article a lot. Somehow we all have these stereotyped “friends”. But do you think these portraits are specific to Lebanese facebook users only?

  6. dodosays
    December 29, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    Spot on! I loved every detail, so true! Hilarious

  7. Maristioni
    January 2, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    Ok then here we go!! I came across your blog by chance, started reading at 7pm and then find myself four hours later still reading – not the same post I hasten to add – so I guess that means I found it was written with soul !! Why?? Well I am hoping that you can help me – don’t panic not going to ask for a visa, marriage, or even the name of a good plastic surgeon. Information and a little be of help would be appreciated.

    What type of help?? Well I live in London work in the City and as you can probably imagine after a while the things that you thought were important are no longer the things that you want to be important, so you start to look for a different type of happiness. And mine is travel!

    After a pretty tough year in the City I have managed to negotiate a rather substantive amount of leave and I decided that I would like to spend some time visiting your lovely country Lebanon – 4 to 5 weeks in August.

    However you can imagine the faces of those that I have already shared the news with, that I plan to spend my summer in Lebanon, overjoyed…..no, close to shear panic is more like it, you get the oh my god are you sure that is what you really want to do, or ummm is that wise, or but you are going to be alone lol!! But I have not been put off, but do also realise that visiting Beirut on a Saturday night is not going to be the same as walking down Edgware Road on Saturday night. So whilst I appreciate you are not the Local Tourist Board, I do need some help!! And what better way to ask then somebody that has a good knowledge of London and Beirut life!

    Yes – I can ask friends and I have, but I would like a view from somebody who is has seen “both sides of the coin” and who will not give a bias view because they are a friend.

    I have “surfed” the globe and back to try and find realistic information about your country and to be honest, yes there are lots of stats and facts but not the stats and facts that you want or need?

    So “Our Man in Beirut” can you post a post that depicts “the good, the bad and the ugly” just to give a girl a helping hand, and make sure she starts off on the right foot and not the left!

    I do have a number of requests – if I may? Don’t send me to the lonely planet guide, and be kind with your words. And of course if you can fulfil the request it would be greatly appreciated!!

    Many thanks :)

  8. Karim M
    January 10, 2011 at 2:18 am #

    The Globetrotter.

  9. Musa
    February 26, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

    We want real life photo examples!!!!

  10. Soul
    March 13, 2011 at 12:23 am #

    The observation is detailed with great sense of humor spicing it up. I am enjoying the dish.

  11. Michelle
    June 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    the lebanese hottie with her nephews (i’m good with babies, please marry me and make me some)

  12. Nasri Atallah
    June 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    lol Michelle.

  13. Marven
    December 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    Just happened to read this article today and it is so hilarious I had to publish it on Facebook… Wonder what will response be looking in the next few days

    Cheers!!

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