Thursday, March 24, 2011

Body Image

It seems a little strange to talk about body image in a world full of pixel perfection. In Secondlife there are no love handles or flabby abs, for the most part the residents of sl wonder around looking roughly 25 years old and model perfect. You are, however you fantasize yourself to be and theres nothing wrong with that. Its your secondlife, to do and be whatever you wish. But, after nearly 4 years in world I am beginning to wonder ... where have all the curves gone?  Like a lot of people I think, I got my first shape from Body Doubles, I remember  being taken there on my first day and I was amazed! I could seriously look like Angelina Jolie? . To freaking cool!!  I'm sure like a lot of others, I quickly learned that the shape didn't just magically make you in to the celeb of your dreams  As time passes shapes changed but one thing remained the avi , like most, was "barbie".... tiny little waist and  a rack that only the gods could have created..  Several months ago, It kind of started to bother me that me and most of the people around me all looked like we could where the same size. Yes there were slight differences in the way the  shapes fell together and the faces were different but we all looked like we were a size 5.  So I decided to fluff Crowley up a bit, make her a little more like the real me.  Believe me,  Crowley still has the body the RL me would give my left  non-existent testicular fortitude for, she's just more like a size 12 instead of a 5.

Original Crowley shape v.s. Fluffier Crowley Shape

Although it took some tweaking I was really pleased with the outcome.  I really didn't think about it much, it didn't seem that big of a deal to me but as I went about my normal sl business I began to see just how anti-fluffy this world is.  I know that when creators design their products they do so based on their own shape and the average size of the avi's purchasing their items.  However, I've found it increasingly difficult to get prim attachments to fit correctly. Specially sculpted skirts, in order to get them to fit I often have to stretch them so big they just look ridiculous. Also, animations can be difficult at times because they place my hands and arms inside my body , not accommodating for fluffiness. I have had my avi insulted , called "fat". told she " eats to many donuts" . For F*&@ sakes! this is Secondlife! Where people run around as purple rabbits and zombies ! is thin really that important? Friends of mine have told me how great they think it is that Crowley's outside  the "normal" avi size, they've told me how brave I am, as although, they have considered doing the same they were not confidant enough to do so.  Ok people , the sliders didn't really go up that much..whats going on here?  But the biggest thing I have notice, since Crowley got fluffy, is just how thin avatars are becoming. Its not even so much the barbie syndrome anymore, more and more I am seeing stick thin avatars with little to no curves whatsoever. Now, I do realize that just as there are us fluffy girls in RL there are also slim girls and all sizes and shapes hold beauty, no one shape or size is better then another.  So some of these  avatars may just be based on their RL counter biggie...but wheres the equal representation here?..Where are the fluffy girls hiding?.Where are the curves??   in RL we are bombarded wth images telling us that thin is beautiful.  It has been that way for any decades recent years various campaigns  have started up trying to improve body image. They try to to teach us to love who we are and that beauty is in all shapes and sizes. But,you really have to wonder how effective these campaigns are against the tirade of media images that say otherwise, specially when we now have anorexic avatars.

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