“An example I often use to illustrate the reality of vanity, is this: look at the peacock; it’s beautiful if you look at it from the front. But if you look at it from behind, you discover the truth… Whoever gives in to such self-absorbed vanity has huge misery hiding inside them.” – Pope Francis
Is there really such a difference between RL body shaming and SL Avi shaming? I mean, in both lives it takes time and even money to look a certain way, the way “society” dictates we should look. Sure it takes less time and less money to make your avi look good…but is there really a difference in shaming someone else cause their pixels aren’t up to SL societies standards? Whatever those standards may be. We look down on people who still wear system layers for clothing. We ridicule those female avi’s in SL that have giant breasts and god forbid visible giant lady bits. I myself have made fun of the avi’s that me and many others refer to as “the sad pony girls” (For those not aware, that is the not so nice name given to the female avi’s that were short with incredibly skinny eyes, downturned frowny mouths and extremely exaggerated bow legs – they looked like they were riding a horse that ran away mid ride and were upset about it..hence the term “Sad Pony”).
I myself was judged on my avi back during my “blink and you’ll miss it” career pursuing runway modeling in SL. I was well over 7’5″ inches tall and even for a model, my shape was incredibly thin. Now I am still tall for a woman on SL but I don’t get the “eat a cheeseburger Bella” comments since I shortened my avi by almost a foot and gave Bella a rockin hourglass figure. (Albeit a slightly elongated hourglass). OK so it is human nature to judge others — as much as we try to take the high road, and I am sure there are a very small percentage of people out there that honestly do not judge people based on their physical appearance (I would assume most of them are legally blind). I have read more than one profile – both male and female avi’s – that have something along the lines of “I take pride in my avi – if you don’t don’t bother talking to me”…..and I am always been taken aback by that statement. It is obvious that I take great pride in how Bella looks, but I would never ever not talk to someone cause they didn’t have the most updated clothing or mesh body parts and it instantly turns me off from those well put together avi’s.
I know for me, Bella’s physical appearance is very important. Probably too important. In RL I was never the pretty girl growing up. I never had men (and women) lust after me physically and honestly, I was raised that you don’t want a person to just want you cause of your physical appearance…and you don’t. But if you have never had that experience before, it’s intoxicating. People wanting to talk to me just because of how my avi looked. Now, on the flip side, even now, I have had people say to me that they never would have talked to me if I hadn’t spoken to them first, cause judging me by my pixels, they thought I was a snob or a diva. (Some may still say that about me). There is always a joke or more to the point a snarky comment that good looking people don’t always have the greatest of personalities, cause they never had to cultivate them in order to be seen as special or to get what they want, to get a head in life. I don’t know if that’s true or not. Do conventionally better looking people have it easier in life. More than likely. It’s human nature. We judge someone based on first impressions, which take less than 10 seconds. Is the same true of SL? I know for me, a good looking or unique looking avi will catch my eye and then I look at the profile. But for me, it’s what said in the profile that dictates whether or not I want to talk to the person, not the look of their avi. And sometimes I find myself perving the profile of those “noobie” avi’s more than the perfectly dressed ones. I don’t know why. I guess because for me, looking good in sl is so important, the fashion world is so important, I like to see what is important to this person. And more times than not, I have learned something new about SL, found a new place to visit because of this.
So to those who have it stated in their profiles “I take pride in my avi, you must too” realize that people take pride in different ways. Some people may not be on a computer that can handle mesh (yes those people are still there) and may not be able to afford it. Some people may not know what to do to improve the look of their avi or even know where to start (this is especially true of men). Some others may not want to put money into SL and chose not to work in SL because they do enough of that in RL. Whatever the reason, to judge someone and refuse to get to know someone based solely on their pixels….well it’s ridiculous. About as ridiculous as refusing to get to know someone based on their RL skin color. Behind everything we are the same. We are all sitting at home or in a cafe behind a keyboard looking to make that human connection.
Hair – Bree – CatWa
MakeUp – 50’s Set (Full Face) – MUA
Jewelry – Laysa Set – Lazuri**
Dress – Hedy Gown – PurpleMoon Creations (GROUP GIFT)
Candles in Background – Vellum Candles – Jian
Poses – LaBos**
Hair – Flip (Monotone) – Ploom
Lipstick – Tricolor in Teal – MUA
Jewelry – Ailia Set – Moondance Jewels**
Dress/Gloves – Pallua in Turquoise – PurpleMoon Creations**
Peacock – Hatsayume Blue – A.N.C
Poses – Di’s Opera
**Denotes Review Copies**