Android 4.0+ - Removing Thumbnail Pictures from Text Message Threads

While texting in Android 4+, during the conversation, either a thumbnail or a grey smiley face will depict next to the message. Is there anyway to just show the phone number or contact name without the thumbnail picture? I'd like to keep my messaging app as simple looking as possible.

For example - http://reviews.cnet.com/2300-6452_7-10010260-15.html

Here you can see the grey smiley faces. Is there a way to remove that so the text can expand across the full screen?

Thanks