Posts Tagged 'appearance'

Conformity is NOT a Crime

I have a friendly acquaintance – a smart, talented, passionate woman. For the most part I respect her as I believe she tries to live a “good life”. What is a “good life” in my terms? One who tries to help and heal, not harm others. I don’t like her much, however. Her passion extends to her politics. And while we actually agree on many things, we don’t agree on all things. And despite her protestations of “people should be free”, no one should be persecuted, the victim of discrimination, this woman is incapable of living that way when it comes to politics. I am NEVER allowed the courtesy of polite acceptance of my differing views. No; she harangues, argues, contests, makes faces and exasperated noises should I not agree with her point of view. So that teaches me that I am only free to my view as long as it agrees with hers or as long as I do not voice mine. Which leads me to the discussions of virtual worlds and conformity…..

Conformity is NOT a crime. It’s not a sin. It’s not wrong. It’s not bad. Keep your dismay and your disillusionment off my appearance and behavior. You do NOT know me. Maybe for ME, doing in virtual worlds what YOU consider “conforming” is me rebelling from my regular persona. Maybe my body does not fit within normal physical measurements. Maybe my mental condition is such that acting “normal” in the virtual world would astound those who know me. Maybe I live my organic life in a fashion totally at odds with how I portray myself in avatar form. YOU DON’T KNOW. Even if you know my external trappings and behavior, you do NOT know what rages, swirls, flows, twists, soars, floats, plummets, dances within me. How DARE you presume that my avatar indicates a lack of creativity or individuality????? Who are you to judge MY choice of expression? As Jesus said: He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone. Oh Scarecrow, scared of a little fire??? Too much religion there? How about the saying usual credited to Native Americans: Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their moccasins.

I’m not posting links. You know who you are. Look at your avatars. Are you a sphere? Are you amorphous flashing lights? A tornado? Is your avatar repellent by “normal” standards? Do you hangout with your friends or do you go every time to meet new and different people, different experiences? Do you have ‘your crowd’? How do you spend YOUR virtual time? Are you so different than I?

Virtual worlds do INDEED give us the ability to break free of our organic lives. And maybe for some of us, we take smaller steps than others might take. Maybe what we seek is the community of souls, the togetherness of being. Maybe by “conforming” in our looks, we can break past that particular obstacle and reach to the inner core of where we are truly ourselves. Maybe conformity actually frees us to be us.

I did it again – PWA (Posted while agitated). Maybe one of these days I will learn to rein in my inner-6 year old. Or maybe, just maybe, the blog convention has freed her.

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Even Dervish Monks Care About Appearance

I know there are some of you out there who find my preoccupation with hair and boots a bit shallow. You are entitled to your opinion, of course (wrong though it may be). *grin* But I have pointed out to you time and again that most of my coworkers who come inworld immediately begin focusing on their avatar’s looks. I am in the process of moving my project from one grid to another. My host on the new grid immediately began raiding my inventory for clothing, AO and hair. I figure that is fair trade for hosting my work for free. *grin* And writing code for me.

It’s not just SecondLife and Opensim avatars, however, who worry about their appearance. My son plays Guild Wars. He is a Dervish Monk. /me nods indulgently. “That’s nice.” I have no idea who or what a dervish monk is, but hey, it sounds better than say “ogre of terror” or “orc” or something like that. This morning he came over to me and dropped $10 on my keyboard. I looked up at him, startled. “I used the credit card for my game” he said. “I needed to improve my outfit.” *grin* Ah, this IS my son, after all. *bigger grin* I replied “Far be it from me to criticize anyone who needs to improve their avatar, but you are right – *I* don’t need to pay that particular bill.” He invited me to his side of the table to see how he spent the money. (When he is home, we sit together at the table, laptops covering the surface. Yes, more than 2 laptops.)

First I got to see the plain vanilla Dervish Monk. I have to say that I thought the monk looked fine. Then the upgrade appeared – The Lich outfit. DEFINITELY much more impressive. (I could almost have been convinced to pay for that upgrade, it makes such a difference! *laugh*) Apparently the monk also has a fiery head costume as well. I’d never pay for THIS. Pumpkin head??? Fiery pumpkin head? Nah. I vote for The Lich.

Just remember – you only have one chance to make a first impression!

Birds of a Feather

I made a new friend today. Except she isn’t really a new friend, she just has a new look. Usually when Honour IMs me and says “I’ve been bad”, I know she’s been shopping. It’s usually either a skin for her or she’s treating me to some fantastical gorgeous outfit. This time, however, it was a new avatar for herself. Adorable!!!

We discussed what breed of bird this avatar might be. I rejected the descriptions of “hybrid” and “mutt” as not being anywhere near beautiful or special enough for this creature. I told Honour she needed to come up with a better story. So, she did. She is one of the long lost Gytis Birds. They are shy and don’t come out of hiding very often – so most people think they are extinct. As you can see, that is a mistake. *grin* I asked if the Gytis Birds were on the endangered species list and therefore a protected species.

Ahuva Heliosense: are you a protected species?
Honour McMillan: oh yes
Honour McMillan: mess with us and you’ll regret it 🙂
Ahuva Heliosense: rofl
Ahuva Heliosense: you carry concealed weapons?
Honour McMillan: we are weapons 🙂
Honour McMillan: we are trained from birth in wing to hand combat

So there you have it – right from the bird’s beak. *grin* A beautiful, dangerous, talented bird. A perfect description for Honour 🙂

Honour blogged that her avatar makes her smile. Makes me smile too. AND gave me blog material!! What a great friend!!!!

Sometimes You Need a Professional

We’ve all heard the admonishment: Kids, don’t try this yourselves at home. *grin* I ignore that ALL the time when I take pictures in SL. I really am not a good photographer. That’s okay with me – I don’t have to be a good photographer. It would be NICE of course, but usually all I really care about is showing you a glimpse of my life. And for that “okay” is sufficient. Until last week.

Honour gave me a gorgeous outfit last week. She’d been shopping at Bare Rose, saw the Black Salamander Lady outfit and says she thought of me. Apparently something about the red garters, or so she said….. Excuse me a moment while I tease Honour. For someone who claims to HATE shopping, Honour spends more time shopping in one week, than I spend in a month. *grin* It’s true. I swear it’s true. But Honour has great taste. She is also friends with some of the best fashionistas in SL. And so I’ve learned to trust Honour’s fashion sense. *grin* I know, Honour, I’m killing you here. LOL.

Of course when Honour dropped the folder on me, I had to wear the outfit IMMEDIATELY. It was sensational. I loved it. Honour was shopping for a skin so I went to keep her company. She actually wasn’t shopping. She was going to stare and either talk herself into or out of that skin. If you read her blog (as you should), you already know how that ended up. She bought that skin, a drow skin called Chromatic from [][]Trap[][]. The store is located on The Twilight sim. I couldn’t resist – I bought a skin also. Considering the last time I bought a skin was over a year ago, and I think I dithered for days, finally going to Calli for advice, buying a skin in less than 20 minutes is quite remarkable for me.

So I had this sensational outfit and a new breath-taking skin. Of course I went to take a picture to show you all. Except…. drow skins are dark. I couldn’t get the lighting correct. The pictures were okay. But this time, this look, “okay” was not okay. I am fortunate to be friends with one of the best photographers (if not the best) in SL – Callipygian Christensen. Calli was logged on. I IM’d her and asked if I could hire her to take my picture. In the interests of keeping this post to a manageable length, I won’t detail how LONG it took for the 2 of us to actually have time to be logged on at the same time to do a shoot. *grin*

The difference between a professional and me. I thought, okay, yeah, we’ll go downstairs where there’s no furniture, or down to the beach, take some shots. Oh no, no, NO. One gets posed in a proper LOCATION. I love Calli. She found a sim – we were at Rustica, a wonderful furniture store in a castle (Quality Medieval and Castle Furniture). She found a window and managed to walk/talk me into the right spot and then she took pictures. I took pictures too – of us doing the shoot. But Calli – she captured exactly what I wanted to show you. The incredible package: outfit and skin.

The photos in this post are by the incomparable Callipygian Christensen. My deep thanks to you, Calli, for capturing the essence of what I feel when I put on that outfit. *hugs* You are amazing.

The Discerning Eye

I really do not observe very well. There is nothing wrong with my vision (well, maybe that’s debatable) but basically I can see what’s there. I don’t observe, however. At least, I don’t observe in SL. Right from the beginning I decided that there was no point in knowing what people looked like, because they change all the time. I don’t, but I think I’m in a minority. i recognize meI focus on the text: avatar names, labels, local chat, IM. I almost never cam about. I tend to pull my camera to one general over-all view and then socialize. People are always asking me “do you see that?” or they all comment in local chat about someone’s appearance/arrival and I have not seen it. People always say to me “watch this” and I still struggle with my camera to find where the “this” is that I am supposed to watch. In a sense, this is very odd, since I think that I typically learn visually – by SEEING pictures or actions. When my husband and I learned to ballroom dance (and oh my, we are HOT, trust me) he would stand there with his teacher discussing in great deal WHAT he was to do. My teacher would grab me and lead me through my paces. I could watch in the mirrors, feel my body learn what it was to do, watch when my teacher demo’d with another teacher or student. Visual learning. But for some reason, I’m really bad at this in SL. LOL. Ask poor Honour, who has been trying for months to teach me to use my camera, to build, to OBSERVE. Still, my typical approach is really NOT visual.

I was in a fashion show the other day. We were all requested to be brunettes with short hair (we were modelling jewelry, need to display those earrings!). So I found some hair, modified it a bit (it was in my face and another lock stuck out too much) and there I was – brunette. Ahuva the brunetteI was chatting with a friend and said that NO ONE would recognize me, since people always seem to comment on my blonde hair and to find me by my hair. I amended that statement by saying Calli and Dale would recognize me. The two of them definitely OBSERVE. Calli saw a picture of me and recognized the skin I was wearing. I was totally blown away, as I’d not worn that skin in months in SL. But she was right. Dale is usually the first to notice if I’ve goofed and worn an entire folder, thereby blowing away my usual shape/features. *grin* Dale notices before *I* do. I just do NOT see. But I figure most people see my hair and nothing more.

pretty in pinkEither I am totally wrong and in the minority about how most people view SL avatars, or add my husband to the group with discernment. There I was, all brunette, on my pose ball for the show. My name was not showing in the particular view I had up. My husband walked over, looked at the screen. He said “Who’s that? Oh, it’s you.” I looked at him and said “how do you know it’s ME?” He said “I recognize you – that’s your face.” I was totally blown away. He recognizes my avatar’s FACE????? I’m not sure that *I* would recognize my face. Maybe, but probably not. Actually – he has also noticed when I’ve blown away my shape. So, either I’m totally out of things, or my husband KNOWS me.

What about you? What do YOU see? (LOL – I know – if I was running Emerald- I would at least know WHERE you were looking) Do you know me without my hair? Do you recognize YOURSELF in the viewer?

Getting Comfy

Oh, yeah, Opensim is starting to feel more like home. *grin* Major hugs and thanks to Natalya! And to Dz too!
Opensim boots1 open sim boots 2

Hair – Version 2

hair version 2
*grin* It’s getting better, no question about that. What do you think, RL friends? Is that my hair? I’m not sure why you can still see the edges of the prims. I have my expert adviser looking into it. Because I had that problem with version 1 and I thought I solved it. Also, it’s still perhaps a bit thin in spots. I want to rebuild the top from scratch. I had help with that – I want to do it ALL myself. *grin* Yes, I am being incredibly stubborn. But when I give this to anyone else – the only name on it should be MINE. I’ve had a request for white hair, so that it can be changed to any color. My expert needs to get back to me on that as well. But I’m quite pleased. This will do quite nicely in Opensim until version 3 is ready. I think I’d like to maybe take a break and start on boots.


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