Does a user profile need to show their image? Somewhere I came to understand that this will give the user more of a feeling of personalization, but would it add any other value?
People scan before they read. Profile photos are highly valuable where there is user interaction on a website - think of this one, where you can look at the various avatars and not even need to read their name to quickly understand who has posted an answer to a question.
Profile pictures can also help build a community, and promote gamification and participation. When you see a bunch of customizable alien avatars having a conversation on Reddit, you feel a connection with your fellow sub-Redditors.
If there isn't user interaction, though, there might not be much value in adding profile pictures. Profile pics can even be detrimental in some cases, too - think product reviews, where reviewers might use politically controversial, inappropriate, or hateful pictures while giving opinions on a product or brand. If you add profile pics, you're going to likely need to moderate them and have rules around usage.
It's worth weighing pros and cons. There are good articles about it.