Appropriate profile picture?

In the context of this thread: we wouldn’t be talking about it if it was against the rules. I think in the context of this post he is right. Her profile her rules.

1 Like

But above this post we have a response from @Mundoo that says that Postcrossing would ask for the image to be replaced - therefore who owns a profile, and what they do or don’t want to put on it does not matter. There has been a clear answer.


She did not close this thread which means it’s still open for discussion. If she had closed the thread and would have said to not do it, it would be another story.

She said postcrossing would ask for it to be changed if people complain. Asking someone to change it, is different from enforcing someone to change it.

So for me it’s not a definitive answer.


I think I won’t be the only one who associates guns, even toy/fake ones, with violence and pain.
Possibly a clearly colourfull fake gun (like a water pistol or bleu-neon-orange nerf gun) accompanied with a smiling person, clearly joyful playing, won’t cause much frowning.
However, paintball guns can look rather real.
As someone already said in the replies, guns have caused, and alas still are causing, so much pain and death (the school shootings, the present wars).
A profile photo tells something about the profile owner, and ‘one picture tells more than words’… And: beauty is in the eyes of the beholder (who cannot see the intention the photo was made with). Furthermore, profile photos are very tiny, so many details are lost.
So my question would be: would you post the photo as a profile photo if you realize that several people would misinterprete it and would not see your good intentions?


I certainly agree that it can be discussed, I just personally feel that the phrase/opinion “your rules” disregarded the previous reply… its only my contribution to the discussion!


By the way, there is are page showing Postcrossing guidelines,

See the paragraph “On using your account”, the topics ‘be friendly’ and ‘mind the children’.
There is much room for different interpretations though.

(By the way, speaking about hunters with guns, also they make me frown and cause sadness - hunters cannot always be distinguished from man-killing persons. Besides that, I think photos like that aren’t really child-friendly, remember Bambi and Watership-down (neither friendly for grown-up animal lovers).)

1 Like

There is so much gun violence here in the United States. Personally, I would find the image of a gun, even a fake gun, triggering. There is nothing amusing about it to me.


You do you. You stated on your post that you like it, so I think nobody should stop you there. I don’t find it offensive at all because the context of you, going to use the picture isn’t supposed to offense anyone (you like cosplay)

It can be nice if you write it on your profile that the picture is taken when you’re cosplaying, so there will be less miss understanding

I assume, most of postcrossers probably won’t pay that much to the pictures detail :joy:

Sure gun can be seen as symbol of violence, but what about those who have verses from holy book as their profile pictures? Holy books can be seen as symbol of violence as well since a lot of wars happened/ still happening because of it. The list may continue to for example picture of national flag, covid theme, etc

So it depends on the context and how you present it really :wink:


Personally, I would not feel triggered or otherwise offended by such a profile picture, but would probably put the person in a drawer, at least subconsciously. Why? I know quite a few cosplayers. While many of them simply represent a character who has nothing to do with them in real life, others embody what they would like to be and what they stand for.

I agree with those who have written that there is so much gun violence in the world - I don’t think you have to show it on a profile picture, even though it’s probably obvious to most that it’s just cosplay. :slight_smile:

@xxxyyy Trypophobia

Off topic

What you explain could really be a light form of trypophobia. While I have no problems to see such things in reality (where I have a wider view what is around them) I feel a bit uncomfortable to see e. g. lotus pods or also octopos leg circles (what’s the word for this? ^^) on photos. And I asked my psychotherapist and then he explained to me about a light form of that phobia. But there’s nothing to do if it’s limited to photos and not very imparing :slight_smile:


I think it is fine as long it doesn’t feel threatening.

I personally would not think much of it, but seeing as what is happening in the world currently, I would not use that picture. It might be triggering to people, maybe someone who lost a loved one due to a gun incident. Even though it’s cosplay, there’s many negative feelings and a lot of hurt feelings towards guns. So I would use another photo.


If I would recognise the Cosplay: great! If not it would let me wonder about the choice at least :sweat_smile:

1 Like

Off topic, but this is the best typo I have ever seen. Amazing mental image :wink:


Thank you! Now I have a mental image, too :smiley:

Maybe for octonauts :joy:


I find profile pictures with weapons inappropriate and nudity as well.

1 Like

The original poster didn’t ask for an interpretation of the rules or guidelines. The way I read the post my take away was that they wanted my opinion.

So in answer to your questions (there were two):

  1. “Is there something you wouldn’t consider appropriate in a profile picture?” Yes, there are a wide variety of images that come to mind, that, based on my values system, that I would find inappropriate. That being said, I also recognize that this is a very international forum, with people from all sorts of cultures and backgrounds, many of which are likely to have very different value systems than my own. That being the case, maybe a little more caution is appropriate when choosing an image. This would of course, need to be weighed in the balance against expressing your true self.

  2. “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?”

I think an image of a gun toting individual (fictional or otherwise) would be triggering for a lot of people, and it is not how I would choose to represent myself. My country is somewhat unique in its relationship between the government, the gun laws and the people. I have no idea what the gun laws in Finland are like, but here in America, it is pretty easy for anyone of age to get a gun and ammo, or many of them. There are, in fact, more guns in circulation in America then there are citizens of the country. We lead the world in mass shootings. So I’d imagine the response to your chosen image might be a lot different here, than it might be in your country.

I’d like to be clear that I am not passing judgement on which country’s ideals or values are better or worse. Just noting that there are significant differences that you should consider.

In my experience, humans tend to sort things into categories. I think that is how we’ve evolved, a means for our minds to make sense of the constant sensory input that they are bombarded with. Which means that when we read your post, or see the image you’ve chosen, or look at the way you’ve dressed, we automatically start to categorize you. This unconscious activity is generally frowned upon. I’d rather not be stereotyped, just like you, but we all do it. So, when you pick your picture, ask yourself, “How will I be judged?,” because that is inevitable.

While it was kind of you to ask for my opinion, and I hope you will take it into consideration, in the end, your profile picture, your profile write up, your posts on these forums, the cards you send, the round-robins you join, all of those are what combine to paint a picture of you. When you look yourself in the mirror, and ask yourself “How do I want to be thought of?” let that be your guide.

That’s my opinion. Hope you find it of use.


Hello I was thinking about having a zombie profile picture for Halloween but was wondering if it would be allowed as it has fake blood. The image is a cartoon, but I just wanted to ask and make sure so that my account doesn’t get banned. The picture I had in mind is this one. Please let me know if it would be too scary for postcrossing. Thanks!

Just my personal opinion here…I read through everyone’s comments, and I have noticed a trend. It seems most people believe that guns are associated with violence and pain- and that they specifically cause pain and death. To an extent, it’s true, that they can be associated with violence and pain, however, remember, it is the person holding the weapon and using it that is actually inflicting pain and death if that is what it is being used for. Or in the case it’s an accident, it was due to a person not properly knowing how to handle a weapon, which I personally believe should be a requirement prior to purchasing one. Something like this doesn’t just hurt another person without the force of another human being. When it comes down to it, yes, we do have the most gun violence, but the US is also one of the top countries with the worst mental health. It’s expensive, care isn’t great…the list goes on. I think this topic leads into the mental health crisis and it’s something I think could, infact, lower the rates of gun violence. I am a gun owner; however, I was trained to properly use a weapon through the military, I’ve also never had issues with mental health. I can go all on about this topic…but I’ll end it with this. We can’t live our lives tiptoeing around other people in an effort not to “trigger” them. It gets very tiring after a while. If I know someone’s triggers, I will help not to expose that person to those things, however, when it comes to the mass of people, I don’t worry about it because I’m not targeting individual people and I’m not doing what I’m doing with the purpose of triggering them. I’m doing it because I like it and I’m doing it safely and promoting weapon safety is awesome. I don’t really mind what people think of me, everyone is always going to have an opinion about someone else, whether it be positive or negative. I personally wouldn’t have that type of profile picture not because of the potential of triggering someone, but because of extremist political views and the possibility of those people finding it necessary to attack me on social media here in the US.

I agree with what @Ip says above.

Blockquote 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.


In my humble opinion, you are free to put any picture you are comfortable with. If someone sends a message explaining that he or she is uncomfortable, maybe you can think about it twice.
But I don’t think it’s possible to make a general rule.
Last time, I saw a profile picture which represented a propaganda image of a dictator who is responsible for the death of millions of people. I won’t tell who to avoid polemics, because I know that this person is unfortunately still admired by some people.
Well, was this picture appropriate? In my opinion, it definitely wasn’t, but the person who chose to put the picture did it not because the dictator killed millions of people, but because he learnt at school that he was someone who did great things for his country.
So it’s not just about guns, I think it’s more about respecting others.
Well, I don’t know if it was very clear, but to summarize; if you believe some people may be offended by the picture, maybe it means something…