What Does ‘GPOY’ Stand for?

‘Gratuitous Picture Of Yourself’ most commonly known on the internet as ‘GPOY’. This acronym can be used on the internet forums when you upload an image of yourself or something that represents you or your life perfectly. This could be done by adding images or GIFs and adding captions under them by simply writing ‘GPOY’.

The word ‘Gratuitous’ here refers to being grateful. So any picture that defines what your life is right now. Or for a picture that shows how happy and gratified you are, you can use the word ‘GPOY’ under its caption. To let people know that this is you and this picture or video defines you. And it doesn’t always have to be a happy picture. Any picture that shows your current emotion or mental state, whether you are sad or happy, can be used with ‘GPOY’ as subject.

This specific acronym can be used to tell people that this is me, and this is how I am right now.

Where Is It Used?

The acronym ‘GPOY’ is mostly seen being used on Tumblr, which is one of the many top social networking media forums and the very first one to start the GPOY trend.

How Did It Start?

Initially, and afaik (as far as I know), it started off when Tumblr had a huge number of users which were women only. This became kind of a trend to upload pictures of yourself and write ‘GPOY’ on them. The trend of using your own pictures of clicking your own pictures in a specific pose or angle was a trend started by a social networking website called ‘MySpace’. And gradually, it moved to other forums and now has become a ‘thing’ among the young generation especially.

Tumblr and ‘GPOY’

It was Tumblr, who initiated the hash tag process and gave its users plenty of options. You could hash tag your picture, pictures or videos which basically had no purpose at all. The acronym ‘GPOY’, let the users use their social space by uploading pictures that just showed what they were or felt. These pictures were not profile pictures, but just a set of pictures on your profile which represented your mood, feelings and emotions.

Since Tumblr, in its beginning periods, had a huge audience of women who regularly used this platform. Using ‘GPOY’ here as a caption made more sense now.


Let’s look at some examples of how you can use ‘GPOY’ in your pubic posts.

You just graduated from college after finally putting up with the stress and deadlines. What would you be feeling in this moment and how you would express it? You can use a picture of either yourself smiling, or a GIF that shows your level of excitement and putting it up on social media forums and captioning it, ‘GPOY’. Now that picture is a representation of your emotions which has been successfully been conveyed to the viewers on your list.

That is exactly how users on Tumblr started to make use of ‘GPOY’.

There are a number of examples of such posts that you can view through the tag ‘GPOY’ on Tumblr. This helps you understand how exactly people use and why people use it.

What interests me more is, that people don’t just use pictures of themselves to show a ‘GPOY’ but use GIFs and videos and other quotes that could clearly display their feelings and emotions, through this one picture. This gives other users a variety to choose from, a variety of ‘GPOY’ posts that would help them get ideas of how they can make their posts interesting and different.

Do Users Follow the meaning of ‘GPOY’ when posting?

For most of the users, yes. But there are people who use ‘GPOY’ not literally in meaning, but something that they would want to be. For instance, if there is someone who recently lost someone and is super sad. They could and would post a picture that would show their feeling of wanting, more than needing, to be happy again. So the picture might show that this is what they are feeling currently, but in fact, it is a state that they would want to be in, in the future or as soon as possible.

More Examples

Similarly, another example for this could be that a student, who has been working so hard all day long on repeat for a year, they would put up a picture or a GIF of a sleeping baby. This could show that they ‘want’ to be this stress free someday and also be able to sleep in peace like this adorable baby in the picture.

‘GPOY’ can be a very powerful acronym which can give people the courage to display what they really are without worrying about being accepted by the social norms of approval decided by unknown people. So you can too, use ‘GPOY’ to show how you feel right now or how you would want to feel tomorrow or a year later.


Habiba Rehman

Major love for reading, but writing is what keeps me going. Dream to publish my own novels someday.