Personals: Portraits of Real People and Their Personal Ads!

Personals: Portraits of Real People and Their Personal Ads!


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Personals: Portraits of Real People and Their Personal Ads! by Michael C. Smith

Some people find love in the strangest places.

Ever peeked at the personals and wondered, "How would I describe myself in fifty words or less?" Well, these lonely hearts have come up with some daring and creative strategies for luring the perfect catch. Here are the most outlandish and charming ads actually published in newspapers, with witty portraits of the real people who placed them. These aspiring lovers-from a debonair hermaphrodite to an ex-male stripper-will shock, titillate, and tickle you.

"I cannot help but be seduced by the quirky charm and humor of Michael Smith's unique and imaginative photos. This book illustrates how far many of us will go to connect with another human being and gives me hope that there might indeed be someone out there for each of us. No matter how bizarre we are. I was only sorry I wasn't the seventy-eight-year-old male virgin's type. Michael Smith's book is a delight." -Carrie Fisher

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780789305237
Publisher: Universe Publishing
Publication date: 02/28/2001
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.76(d)

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Personals 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The concept behind this book is unique in my experience. Mr. Smith read many personals ads offered by people looking for companionship. He then contacted those who had placed the ads, and offered to do a fantasy portrait of them based on the description in the ad. This book contains the actual photographs of the people behind the ads along with the ads themselves. The perspective is a humorous one, touched by more than a little pathos. Before going further, let me caution you that the images in this book include people of almost every major sexual persuasion and practice. I have written my review so it will be acceptable to general audiences. This book should not be shared with children, in my opinion. The images exceed an 'R' rating if this were a motion picture. The author explains his purpose (and his ambivalence) rather well in the introduction. 'Although I've always been drawn to personal ads . . ., I had never . . . answered one until I began to research this book.' 'Maybe the project was really just an excuse . . . .' The results will surprise you, as they did the author (and me). 'I had no idea what I was in for.' 'I was touched, shocked, titillated, saddened, amused, horrified -- but always fascinated -- by the people who placed the ads.' Let me give you a few examples (selected from among the less controversial photographs). The quote is the ad's headline in each case: 'Start a Fire in My Heart' In this one, a young woman describes her desire to meet a handsome fireman. The portrait has her wrapped in a fire hose that is attached to a hydrant while smoking a cigarette. 'Tennis Playing Cross Dresser' Here, a man dressed like a woman in tennis whites leaps over the net in a way so that you can see that this is a man dressed like a woman. 'Do You Have a Hairpiece?' A nude young man is standing in front of a barber shop window holding a small wig strategically over a central part of his anatomy. The title refers obliquely to a contagious skin affliction mentioned by name in the body of the ad. 'I-Dream-of-Jeannie-Looks' In this one a blond woman in a harem outfit lies next to an open lamp with smoke coming out. She does indeed remind one of Barbara Eden in the television series. 'Urban Mermaid' This one has an Ariel look-alike lying in a crummy bathtub on a seedy urban street. 'Tickle Party Guy' Here, a nude young man strategically covered has disembodied hands all over him. 'Bowl You Over' A nude man wearing socks and bowling shoes is standing on the lane with a bowling pin strategically placed. Here are some other titles where I will leave the photographic image to your imagination: 'Vampire Huntress;' 'Don't Stop When I Tell U;' 'Rock Tigress;' 'Killer Mouth;' 'Cinderella;' 'Spanker Sought;' 'L.A. Girl Seeks D.C. Guy;' '78-Year-Old Virgin;' The bulk of the people in the book are either quite attractive or at least reasonably attractive. One wonders about what lack of social skills led them to try personal ads. Presumably, the headlines suggest a strange view (in many cases) of what people are looking for in a social relationship. I was particularly surprised to see the number of women who used celebrities for whom they bear a resemblance in their ads. After having seen this book, it occurred to me that this book could make a great party theme for Halloween. Have each person write a personal ad, and dress and act like the headline in the ad. Someone could take photographs as souvenirs for each guest. I am assuming that you could handle the invitations so that people did not aim their humor too low for the other guests to enjoy. After this, you can also read personal ads and imagine the photographs that Mr. Smith would make. I also hope he does a sequel. Seriously, this book points out that written expressions can give very mixed messages. Think about the visual images you are creating when you write. You may be heading people in a direction th