This Halloween in SL, Creep Out All the 20-Something Avatars By Seniorizing Yourself
Iris Ophelia's ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style
I have a real soft-spot for elderly avatars, because you so rarely see them out in the wilds of SL. When you can be any version of you (or of someone else) that you want, most people head straight for some version of themself in their 20's. Maybe it's the fact that I'm still in my 20's in RL that makes me really enjoy the novelty and expressiveness of a senior avatar face, but it's something I really don't see enough of in SL.
A few years ago I wrote about how often the issue of avatar age is overlooked even while fuller-figured shapes and other avatar "flaws" are gaining ground, and not much has changed since then. However, if you like taking risks and turning heads, Halloween might be the perfect opportunity for you to seniorize yourself and really stand out from the crowd of sexy kitties, nurses, and all the other ultra-boring, ultra-clichéd costumes that will be making the rounds this month. Here's how to get started:
I've opted for a skin from the Taylor avatar released relatively recently at The Wrigglesworth's [SL Marketplace] [SLURL]. Like I said, not much has changed since I wrote that article about elderly avs, and as far as I'm concerned Wrigglesworth skins (a pet project of Nylon Pinkney and Polyester Partridge of Tableau fame) are the way to go. There are some photorealistic skins available for this kind of look as well, but I find they don't have the same depth as Nylon's painted faces. The wrinkles and details on most photorealistic skins for senior avatars just look dry and flat and papery and dreadful, so in my eyes there's really no comparison.
Taylor is one of the more glam and gorgeous faces available. Though she comes with a complete avatar, I'm just using the skin -- I didn't want to change much about my everyday avatar for this look, to be honest. If you want to you can add gravity to your breasts or some rolls around your waist, tote around a walker or a small dog in a purse, be a caricature or just be yourself; as with all the best costumes there's a lot of room to make this one your own, just remember to avoid using a senior avatar as a punchline (if you don't want to look like an ass at any Halloween events.)
In my case, I really just wanted to take Iris and add 50 years... And maybe as dash of the kind of kitsch that reminds me of my own grandmother. Iris, international fashion superstar that she is, would no doubt keep in shape and on trend, right?
There are a lot of clothes and accessories at The Wrigglesworth's that are suitable for your standard senior, from suits to sequined sweaters, but there's no reason not to wear the same kinds of things that your younger virtual self does. I decided to have a little fun with my look, so I picked the pieces from this month's Collabor88 [SLURL] lineup last night, right down to the dip-dyed bob. The pink flamingoes theme has produced a lot of items that are a perfect match for Taylor's Disco makeup colours. Maybe your seniorized self is more conservative, or maybe they're even wilder? Let me know, I'd love to see more young-at-heart avatars out on the grid, even if it's just for Halloween!Tweet
Iris Ophelia (Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.