Hello, Bridget. I'm Bridgid.
VERY interesting thread discussion :)
The picture I have up now, is kind of not as "good" as the other ones I have on the profile itself, save for one. The current icon is actually not the one I wanted. My friend refused to let me put a less attractive picture for my icon. I negotiated the one I have now.
Here's the thing.
I can see what merit there is in having an approachable, sweet, and kindly looking picture. I think for the most part, one would want something that doesn't "scare" someone off. I get that, and I'm glad people want to do that.
However, I rather not. :P
Honestly, I don't like the idea that pictures can have that swaying effect. The first impression someone gets is important, but, we all already know that old phrase about books and their covers. I thought I'd give my book an ugly or annoying cover, and see who had the guts to read it anyway. I think pictures are fun, and I have some. I just want anyone who spends too much time on how the first icon looks, go away immediately.
If they glimpse it, form an idea, and stick with to just skip it over, not willing to see past that to read what I have written, then by all means, may they leave my profile very much alone.
This is how I view it, however, and when I have seen goofy/weird/insane pics, or no icon at all, I just click anyway to see who it is who put it up. To read who they are, instead of making an assumption about the image, and not letting the image put me off.
They can have any reason to make it look funky, and this reason I have explained, is my own. :P
^_^ Love your name. Just want to throw that out there.