I am having trouble with my avatar... or rather, the lack thereof.
You see, since shaving my goatee (it was lovely, but I couldn't get out of the habit of picking at it) I have become a beardless, brown-haired, Caucasian male. Now, there's nothing wrong with being a beardless, brown-haired, Caucasian male -- but I find it aesthetically troubling.
Here in Western culture, (North America in particular) the BBCM is in some way the default human being. When one loads up a video game of some sort and is offered a chance to customize one's character, the blank slate is a pale-skinned man in a bland, grey outfit. I often wear grey. I like grey.
The main problem is my minimalist (read: lazy) art style. My faces are usually no more than a few pen strokes, you'll be lucky to get more than a couple of dot eyes and a mouth. In a rant or something, I don't want to spend time on the art. I just want to indicate, visually, that I'm talking to you. I want to chop up the bland text with something.
I have used my gecko avatar on occasion, but that's really more for my private roleplaying. I like it for its flexibility, its cool factor, its reptillian austerity.... but it makes a poor mouthpiece. Besides, continued use has increased the cartooniness, and I am not a cartoon animal, here to cavort for your amusement.
I suppose the easiest thing to do would be to embrace minimalism in its extreme form, and simply portray myself as a few lines. It could be understood, whenever you see a floating pseudoface, that the words pouring from its oval aperture are the voice of Tailsteak. This approach is good because of the ease of use, and the distinct lack of statement it sends about my self-esteem at the moment. I don't always want to be broadcasting my subjective body image.
Of course, in real life, I am not a human default value. I'm actually quite distinctive. I'd go so far as to say that people tend not to forget me. There are many aspects of my body that are not easily conveyed in a few penstrokes. I have dark, brooding eyes and a generally somber countenance. I have a high forehead, peppered with post-adolescent acne. I have a bit of a paunch (though few would call me fat). I have small ears. My hair is an unruly clump that tends towards poofiness. Regardless of my mood, I tend not to smile. Ever.
I suppose I could incorporate all these things into my avatar, but the result would not be flattering.