After launching an open forum to help Iris Ophelia select 2008's hottest male avatars, we were immediately inundated with names, well over a hundred dudes put forth by their friends, lovers, and admirers. It was such a great response, I asked Iris if we should run a similar search, for hottest female avatars.
She did not think that was a good idea.
"I don't want to be Little Miss Teardown," Iris warned, "but this is very much the dark side of SL aesthetics... Beauty is what leads to the bad feelings." And because she's my style correspondent and is intimately familiar with Second Life's fashionista scene, I had to take notice.
"I'm gonna say 'style' and 'elegance' and 'creativity'," I protested, "that kind of thing." I wasn't interested in a tacky digital flesh parade. After all, I noted, "Anyone can slap a supermodel-looking skin on themselves."
Iris was mollified by that approach, but only somewhat. "You really really need to emphasize everything other than beauty," she said, firmly. "If you want it to not be a nightmare, it can't look like a beauty contest."
Which seemed like a strange thing to say.