Appropriate profile picture?

Hey! Couldn’t find a topic for this so decided to ask myself. Is there something you wouldn’t consider appropriate in a profile picture?

I just did a cosplay (dressing up as a fictional character) and I have some pictures with a fake automatic rifle gun. That is my brothers painball gun.

I took some pictures of me and like one of them a lot because it also shows my personality and likes but in that exact photo I’m holding the gun close and pointing it. It"s not the main focus but its still there.

Now I’m not sure if the picture would be approproate as guns can be very triggering and upsetting to many people. I really like the picture but realised this might be an issue. What do you think?

And yes, problem would be solved I just posted a profile picture without the gun, but say I only took pictures with it and would like to use it. Of course I dont have to but this just made me wonder this topic a lot!


For me, the simple fact you’re asking means you aren’t confortable with the idea of showing yourself pointing that (fake) gun. In other words, you can’t assume that picture.
You better choose another picture.


I feel the same way about some things now. But unfortunately, it seems like there are a lot of things that could trigger people. I recently learned of something called trypophobia where someone could be triggered over patterns made up of holes or spots- I learned this while wearing a shirt with a polka-dot pattern. I wasn’t going to leave and change as I was in a mall…I feel like if it’s not personally attacking someone or if you’re not using the photo to harass a person with a perversion to depictions of guns, whether fake or not, then it shouldn’t be a big deal at all! If you are comfortable with the picture and you like it, totally use it!

Edit** to add, If someone asks you about the photo because they are triggered, simply tell them you enjoy cosplay and the gun is fake. Though, I don’t personally think anyone would message you out of the blue for simply using a profile photo like this.


I would not like it. It would be upsetting to me.

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Are you pointing the gun at the camera?
If you are just holding it, I wouldn’t see a big problem with the picture. I would probably find the choice of picture weird, but not upsetting or threatening.
Now, if you are pointing the gun at the camera ( thus at “me”) my first impression of you would be negative. Maybe not even actively, but my subconscious mind would mark you as a threat. Pointing weapons at people/strangers isn’t a good introduction. The profile pic is the only visual of you we have to work with.


As you know the internet is a very visual place and people take their instant impressions of people, issues etc from these visuals.

Does this photo clearly represent the impression & values you want to convey to members of the Postcrossing community who don’t know you?

Can you live with the assumptions people may make of you because of this picture that may not be correct or may be distorted?


Personally, I would not be offended, but there is always someone out there who might be. That is just life today, so let it be your choice, I see things on other members profiles I do not particularly like or agree with, but I just move on and don’t make a big deal about it. It is important to be true to yourself, and as far as I know it isn’t against any rules, is it?


People tend to get offended by some of the most insignificant things even if it’s not meant to be malicious. Besides, the people who run Postcrossing will let you know right away what’s inappropriate and what’s not even if no one else is bothered by it. I say go for it.

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As someone who has lost people close to me to guns, I am very anti-gun and would find the photo as described rather threatening and would probably make assumptions about you based on it which may or may not be true. That being said, I realize that it is my hangup about guns that triggers me and I don’t consider it your responsibility to avoid posting it on the off chance it may trigger someone.


Never understood this fascination with guns.


I would leave the gun, even a fake gun, out. Too many senseless shootings in my country to have a good opinion about a person posing with a gun, sorry.


When you ask a question like this, people will start actively thinking about it. If I saw a profile pic like you described, I wouldn’t think much about it. However once you ask people… They will think about it.

Also I think it’s very hard to make everyone happy. There’s always something that will offend or trigger someone.

The value I live by, is that I want other to value me as a person, and I’ll value you as a person. In order to do that we have to create some space or room for each other.

When people judge you negatively because of one profile picture they have not given you that space. This happens a lot nowadays.

Also sometimes it’s just impossible to create space for each other when your so opposed that there’s no common ground left.

I would like to challenge you, to think about this:

What does the cosplay/picture say about you, that you would like to share with everyone?


Honestly, I think there are and will be a lot more disturbing or offending pictures on the Internet than yours with a cool cosplay holding a fake gun.
I would say: Go for it. Add a description to your profile, telling everyone which character you’re cosplaying (so people can google them and see that they are using a gun in this fictional universe). Maybe also add a note that you’re not using guns in real life.
I would not be offended at all when you do that, I’d rather be interested in what characters you’re cosplaying. If you get a lot of messages from people who feel offended, you can still delete the picture.


I was about to mention that maybe you should mention it in your profile text, but @lp already replied way better than I would have :slight_smile:


A postcrosser sent me a handmade card where an automatic rifle gun were showing. Since I upload all my cards, it must have upset someone because a few months later the sender asked me to remove it and I think the sender is no longer postcrossing.
Just use common sense, if it feels wrong , don’t :slight_smile:


Postcrossing does receive complaints about similar profile images and we ask the member to use something different and to put something not so divisive.

Postcrossing Team


I took some pictures of me and like one of them a lot because it also shows my personality and likes but in that exact photo I’m holding the gun close and pointing it. It"s not the main focus but its still there.

I agree that a picture shows the personality and likes of the users.
If I see a picture like that, I guess the for the user is it more simple to solve conflicts through violence rather than through conversation.


Your profile, your rules. Write what you feel in your heart.

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This is OT, but maybe makes you feel better: I don’t think polka dots does the affect, the common thing it needs to be “3D”, not just circles/spots. (I might have this, but don’t want to read too much as I get the images :slight_smile: but I feel like my feet turn numb when seeing honeycomb, flower centre where seeds have fallen, certain mushroom surface, octobus circles in their “legs” etc but like a polka dot washi tape doesn’t do this.)

But yes, there is always worse pictures. I would think with myself why I want the gun there.
I too have lost a person to a happening with a gun, and the “afterwork” that it caused. So, whenever I see gun, I remember that. I can live with it.

(I even “like” guns like for hunting, I would not mind a card showing a hunter with a gun and their dog, but maybe the gun “open” (not shootable).)

(Not only to you, but to all this style). Yes, people do get offended from all types, but I think gun is very “severe” and I believe most of us know the difference between say a flower centre or gun. Both can cause bad thoughts or uncomfort, but once you’ve seen what a gun can do, I think you will respect if otheres prefer not to see it. For me it would be like having a needle, only worse. It can be good (vaccination), but also drug use, which I would not care to see.

No. Postcrossing, Postcrossing rules.


Surely its your profile, but postcrossings rules?