A Thousand Words, Poorly Spoken

In Vox Day’s latest post at Alpha Game, Delta Face, he treats the subject of Brandon Eich, the former CEO of Mozilla. Vox is anything but complimentary. Including a picture from wikipedia of Eich in the post, this is what he had to say in his initial paragraph:

No one who saw this picture and understands Game was even remotely surprised by the way the Mozilla debacle played out over the last week. Human socio-sexuality is visible to the naked eye; just look at the soft features, the large, teddy-bearish frame, and most important, the uncertain, ready-to-please smile.

Vox continues to go on about how Eich is a Delta in Vox’s own socio-sexual hierarchy, and how other ranks would have reacted in the same situation that Eich faced. While interesting as speculation, that isn’t what drives this post.

Rather, I wanted to briefly echo the old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” It really is true, and in fact pictures might be worth far more than just a thousand words. They can convey an awful lot, whether we intend to or not. This is something I have become particularly aware of since I found this part of the ‘net. If you aren’t careful, a poor picture of oneself can make those who view it believe you are something other than what you are. Or it can reveal a truth about you that you didn’t intend to reveal.

Here is the photo that Vox was using as the basis for his post:

Now, I have never met Brandon Eich. At least, that I can remember. I’ve met a lot folks over the years, so who knows? I certainly don’t recall any meeting though, so will treat him as an unknown. So I don’t know what he is really like in person. But if all that I had to go on of him was this picture, well… it just isn’t very favorable.

Its not that he is ugly or anything. Or that he seems like an unpleasant person. Or lazy or a bum or anything like that. But his smile is simply awful.

It is tepid.



That really gets to the heart of it. Eich’s smile here is completely unmasculine. Without knowing more about him, I would evaluate him as the kind of guy who would buckle when the going gets tough. Of course, I knew that about him before I saw the picture. But if I had seen the picture beforehand, I would have guessed that he would do what he eventually did.

Of course, he might not have been that way at all. He could have just been at the dentist earlier, and so his mouth was sore and his smile was awkward as a result. Or maybe the picture was taken in some other circumstance that would explain away such a weak smile. But I don’t know that, and neither does anyone else who sees that picture. It conveys weakness, whether he realizes it or not, and whether he intends it or not.

Compare that photo with this one:

[Edit: This has been suggested as a better picture. I included it originally in the comments, but have moved it here:

For those curious, it is Sean Connery as James Bond.]

Quite a bit of difference, right? Does anyone get that same impression of weakness and indecisiveness that was present in the first photo? I don’t. Again, I don’t know this guy. Never met him, probably never will. He could be the very worst White Knigh to ever live. But this photo conveys the impression of a suave guy who is in control of his life, and won’t bend or break easily. And  this is due not to his looks, but the expression on his face. For those inclined to use the word “Alpha” when describing a man, this would fit the bill. He carries himself as an “Alpha”, whereas Eich carries himself as (in Vox’s terminology) a “Delta.”

So what is the point of all of this?

Well, I have had some pretty awful pictures of me taken in my life. Some that I hope are lost and gone forever. Because as I look back on them, I realize how utterly unmanly I was in them. This is something that I think all men need to be careful of. If we want to provide a good impression of ourselves, good photographs matter, a lot. You will be judged by your demeanor, and you shouldn’t forget that.

So if anyone tells you to smile, and they don’t like the cocky grin that you give in reply, too bad for them. Hold your ground, and tell them that it is how you smile. If they have a problem with it, it is their problem, not yours.

If  pictures are going to speak for you (and they will, whether you like it or not), don’t let them speak poorly.



Filed under Alpha, APE, Attraction, Beta, LAMPS, Masculinity, Men, Red Pill

23 responses to “A Thousand Words, Poorly Spoken

  1. In Vox Day’s latest post at Alpha Game, Delta Face, he treats the subject of Brandon Eich, the former CEO of Mozilla. Vox is anything but complimentary. Including a picture from wikipedia of Eich in the post

    I dunno, man, that looks like a pretty badass movie – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Delta_force_poster.jpg

    [ rim shot ]

    I figured this one out when I was in school, even though I knew nothing of Game or any such thing. I just knew I didn’t like smiles like that, and tried to avoid making them, especially in photos. You’ll almost never see teeth in any pic of me. People hate that I don’t smile (or smile with teeth), but I’d rather look indifferent or angry than be caught on film with a wishy-washy smile.

    Besides, my canines are practically fangs…. if I’m gonna smile enough to show teeth, I’m gonna get the maximum effect out of it..

    [DG: Here is the poster that NSR was referencing:

  2. I think the real issue with his smike is how milquetoast it looks. If he fully committed to a giant smile then it would be fine. It becomes an all or nothing situation.

  3. Agapoula

    Interesrting post. Maybe I am weird, but I really cannot see what is unmanly in this man’s smile. I actually think he looks quite handsome. 🙂
    I do like his smile, but the problem is that his eyes are not smiling, if his eyes were smiling too it would look more genuine.

    And the second photo I really do not like, honestly it reminds me of this. http://weknowmemes.com/2011/12/how-you-think-you-look-like-when-giving-that-sexy-stare-to-a-girl/ I know that is mean, but I can’t help finding it hilarious. Sorry if that offends anyone. 😦
    He looks very handsome, but I would cringe if a man smiled like that “naturally”, as it looks more like a “seductive” look.

    I have noticed most men do not smile much for photos, they tend to smile when they are laughing usually.
    Notis Sfakianakis is very handsome http://www.hellenism.net/cgi-bin/display_article.html?s=47&a=129 and he doesn’t really smile for photos.

    [DG: How about this instead?


  4. I don’t think there is really any need for even a cocky grin. Smiling in pictures, especially for men, is highly overrated.

  5. I agree with Stingray. A serious but pleasant expression is the most authoritative.

  6. @ NSR

    Honestly, I don’t know how Alla puts up with you mate…

    @ AR

    That is it exactly. As I said, it is weak. His smile is so… uncommitted, it undermines any semblance of strength.

    @ Agapoula

    I’m not really reading you on the whole “eyes smiling bit.” Perhaps this is just a male evaluation, and not something that women necessarily see. \

    And that compare and contrast photo montage is great. As for Notis, he has a good, serious expression on his face. Very determined and in control.

    @ Stingray and Sunshine Mary

    I too am no fan of smiling in photos. At least, I don’t like smiling. Others can do as they will.

  7. femininebutnotfeminist

    I might just be weird too but I love it when a man smiles. Ditto on his eyes not smiling. I imagine his photo shoot going something like this…

    Photographer: “smile!”
    Him: “I’d rather not…”
    Photographer: *with rude attitude* “I said smile!!!”
    Him: *sheepishly gives a totally fake smile*

    As opposed to the second picture guy’s photo shoot…

    Photographer: “smil- oh good! You’re one step ahead of me!”

    While a cocky grin can be attractive and manly, so can a toothy grin, if it’s genuine. Finnick O’dair from “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” comes to mind here. He smiles big toothy grins quite often, but he’s still very much an alpha.

  8. Honestly, I don’t know how Alla puts up with you mate…

    I bring the awesome music – http://nightskyradio.com/2014/04/05/one-day-my-plane-leaves/

    She says “That’s my band!” Not that you would care, you Steely Dan-dissin’ playa h8r.

    DG (to Agapoula) – I’m not really reading you on the whole “eyes smiling bit.”

    His eyes look like he just rolled out of bed, or like he ate one of the funny-tasting brownies his kid brought home from college on spring break. Combined with the smile itself, the entire face suggests he’s suffering mild digestive irregularity.

  9. Donal, I like that picture, the smile is just right, but I’m blanking on who that is. Is it Frank Sinatra?

  10. @ SSM

    Are you referring to the photo I included in Agapoula’s comment?

    That is the one and only Sean Connery (as James Bond).

  11. The only time a man should smile in a photo is if he is feeling genuine joy. Otherwise be pleasant, serious, and stoic.

  12. Agapoula

    Oooohh yes, the Frank Sinatra one, as close to perfection as can be. Masculine and handsome, simply stunning.

  13. Agapoula

    Is it Sinatra? He looks half Frank Sinatra, half Rhett Butler from gone with the wind. 🙂

  14. Agapoula

    Oh, I just saw you mentioned above it is Sean Connery. Wow, such a good looking face.

  15. @ Agapoula

    Yes, Sean Connery is, in my (not so humble) opinion the definition of “Alpha.” Especially as James Bond. Although I think Daniel Craig does a very good job as well.

  16. I was wavering between Frank Sinatra and Sean Connery. His smile is perfect. No teeth, twinkly eyes.

  17. Elspeth

    The comparison between two photos isn’t a good comparison. The first guy is older, pudgier, just in a totally different category from the second guy who, while very young and handsome, also looks like he could be a serial killer. LOL.

    We’ve taken a lot of family photos, and my husband isn’t smiling fully in any of them. We have one photo of he and I together where he is smiling because I whispered something silly in his his ear before the photographer snapped it.

    I mush prefer the ones when he isn’t smiling even though he has a great smile.

  18. @ Elspeth

    You are correct. The photo of Sean Connery I left in the comments is probably a better choice. I will substitute it later when I get a chance.

  19. Pingback: Lightning Round -2014/04/09 | Free Northerner

  20. Do a Google Images search for “19th century man”. There are very few of those images that you would regard as “weak”. Some of them make even Connery look soft.

  21. Acksiom

    JOTTOMH, Eich’s collars are too high, giving his shoulders a hunched look, while his ‘smile’ is only the lifting of the upper lip. He might also be cringing a little under that, maybe even by default.

    The difference in people’s reactions mostly has to do with the details they notice. Men are looking for signals that the guy won’t fade in a crisis, so they focus on the submissive signs and consistently find him discardable. Women, being richer, are looking for other things higher on the maslow scale than combat readiness (because, compared to men, they can afford to), which is why they can find this guy attractive. If you just focus on the attractive-to-females characteristics of Eich’s face, for example, and blot out what his clothing suggests about his posture, particularly the shoulder-hunching, it’s possible to see an ‘acceptable’ or even ‘attractive’ male face.

  22. @ Sigyn,

    Yes, older photos are far more stoic than modern ones. At least, from the men. Even the women are less apt to smile. Of course, that might have been a result of the slower photographic process back then too….

  23. @ Acksiom

    Interesting points. I think there is some real truth there. Just by his demeanor I wouldn’t want to bring Eich on a hunt/raiding party with me. Men and women might be looking at very different things in this instance.

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