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Friday, May 29, 2009


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Ari Blackthorne

Wait... "Shopping Cart Disco" blog and "controversial" in the same sentence is news?

Okay, okay... seriously then: The problem is with the SL avatar shape controls. People have no idea what they are doing. No, not because they bare stupid, I mean literally: there are no "measurements" to know what you are doing.

So people are creating 8-foot-tall Amazonian freaks and not realizing it. The original default Linden shape was 5'10" I think - but that's based on scripted prims that "measure" your height.

However, even those are not always consistent. I have seen one (the most common one) judge me at 5'10" (which is what I am going for) and another judge me at 6'4".

So the problem is there is no way to really know what you are, other than to compare yourself either to: 10 meter tall prims (and know what a meter really is) or to other peaople around you and in either case: decide whether you are too tall or not.

And most 7-foot-tall Amazonian freaks are 7-foot-tall Amazonian freaks because they really do give a rip about it. The gossipists... er, diatribe at SCD and anywhere else about are all a bunch of people taking themselves way too seriously over cartoon pixels on a computer screen.

I mean...really.

Sorry that I am harsh about it, but sometimes the truth hurts.

Arcadia Codesmith

Any one example of body image distortion may be trivial, but the pattern is disturbing. When we must digitally enhance the most beautiful women in the world for magazine covers because they're not quite flawless enough, something is fundamentally wrong.

Truth may hurt, but the lies we're telling our daughters kill.

Maddox DuPont

My friend does touch up for living and it is more of a photographic necessity to make images look polished and good than it is about misrepresentation. I take photos in SL, used to for living and I would never give my clients raw image - it needs touch up - same in RL.

People have problems with their self image not because of media but because they compare themselves with other people and try to be who they are not. Instead of pretending learn to be content with what you got.

As for the SL shapes are concerned.

Seriously, the advertising quote for SL has been for a very long time: "Your world - your imagination" So anything is allowed and possible. Once you start policing and bashing people for expressing themselves in SL in ANY way they like you rob them of the freedom that SL offers and is selling point of the place.

Should people who play opposite sex in sl be also prosecuted?
How about furry and nekos?

I wish SL could have that much impact on my RL - would that mean I can lose weight just by moving sliders? Yippeee!

Laetizia Coronet

Maddox should not be telling sweet lies about photographic necessities. Women - supermodels, actresses, the lot - are being made thinner in Photoshop. That's not a photographic necessity, that's not 'touch-up', that's a very literal distortion of the truth.


"beauty is in the eye of the beholder", "slider choice is in the hand of the player"..

This designer is stating her preference for models for her clothing, not dictating what she believes everyone should look like.

Many adult strip clubs in SL have the same thing given to potention applicates.. shape and size and even skin and hair requirements for their specific venue.

It is the individuals choice should they wish to model, or dance, or whatever else requires a specifics of this nature for the job.

Many of us have different shapes saved for different situations.. roleplay, runway, everyday, etc.. sometimes I look at other avatars and thing WHY? or does their monitor work??, and then I realize, I am sure some people look at mine and think the same thing.

In the end, how we look is really no ones concern but ours, and we make those decisions, to live in the sl, we wish to.

Gahum Riptide

Even though I am a guy and I play one in SL, my mockery of the measurements was that it made the female avatars who tried out the measurements look stick-like and unpleasing to *my* eye. I decided to poke fun at it all and alter mine using the measurements she posted, here's my result:

Gahum Gracie Shape

Compared to how my normal shape looks:

Gahum Normal

I found the skinnier shape absurd, especially since from what I saw, no head measurements were given, so it makes my avatar look gaunt to me. This caused me no end of amusement. Now, I'm sure my normal shape is "too big" to some, and maybe not accurately proportionate. However, that's exactly how I like him. I'm also sure some people may prefer the skinnier version, but it's just not for me.

The one thing I did notice was, once I switched back to my normal shape, I had a brief instant of feeling "fat". I can't really explain it, and it was quite odd to me.

While I find this all absurd, a designer can require their models to look as they want. I honestly don't care. However, as the designer put out her requirements, she opened herself up to whatever critique came her way.


The superthin models tend to look like 7 year old kids with breasts pasted on. Creepy. This weird body fetish has alot to do with trying to control real women. They want to make us into children. We're supposed to feel bad about being real human beings and constantly strive to look like sticks with breasts.

The cultural norm is being created by what we see on television, in movies, and in magazines and it is going in a very bad direction. Porn has already completely screwed with men's visions of what women look like and what kind of sex they want to have. (Here's a clue, most women hate anal.)

Until men speak up, this bad trend will just get worse and people will continue to wonder why they can't find someone to date who looks like their fantasy. Those women don't exist without a lot of surgery guys. Get real. Fight for us. The species needs you. Anorexics die young and can't breed.

Annie Carnell

You know, after reading all this bullshit about anorexic avatars and how men should speak up about it, ive pretty much come to the conculsion that most of you don't know where rl ends and sl begins.
Who cares if it's not realistic, neither is secondlife, get over it it. its a GAME not your life.
Im a creator in sl and damn right i will only accept the most beautiful avatars to me as my models, and my avatar, is not only incredibly thin, she also has no ass, curvy hips and huge tits (outside the Linden Labs max.) does my avatar exist irl? no, it'd be damn near impossible, she'd barely be able to stand, got a problem with it, eh IM me, ill just mute you anyways.
In all seriousness, who cares what people choose to make their avatars look like, maybe it's a representation of what they are on the inside not on the outside, for the most part it has very little to do with their real life appearence, im sure we're all adult enough and all mature enough to know that when it comes to real life you cant simply edit appearance.
and what about furries? nekos, demons, pixies... they are deffinetly not that irl and yet you don't bash them for having thin shapes and horns or wing or even tails and ears.
Here's a little something you should remember next time your judging someone on their shape, or a creator on what she or he wants for a model.

I'm SL Size.

deal with it, or don't look at my avatar.

Zed Essex

Secondlife is an extension of real life, so until the idea of what's attractive changes in real life the female avatar will be held to this overly thin standard. This is a sad commentary on the world but it does make perfect sense.

In science a "model" is designed to be as close as possible to something that is or will be "Real". This is done in the hopes of testing a theory or learning something.

In the fashion world a "model" is an ideal of what a perfect woman should look like. This ideal woman in fact being more or less a fluke of nature whose proportions are not even close to attainable by most women. This is done to keep women buying products in a futile attempt to attain even the smallest measure of irrational beauty.

This only works if women keep buying based on this method of advertising. If you want to live in a world where the unrealistic female form is not so objectified, google "the venus project".

If women were really meant to have the body of a greyhound walking on 2 legs then maybe, just maybe I'm wrong about this. Call me old fashioned but, I myself prefer women who look like they might belong to the same species as I do. I'm a stickler for that sort of thing.

Katelynn Dastardly

and i STILL look like a friggin barbie. grrr! /me sighs. back to work i go.

Nexus Burbclave

@Zed, you lost me with your very first words, because they should have been:

Second Life is an extension of real life FOR SOME.

Not everyone sees Second Life as a slavish extension of the first one. I can fly, I can teleport, I can materialize things from thin air. I can be a dragon, a cyborg, unnaturally short or unnaturally tall. I am limited only by the rules of the world and my imagination, and none of this has anything to do with my desk job.

Until you get that not everyone comes into virtual worlds with the same hang-ups that some of the hyper-realists seem to, you're going to be doing more damage to your cause than helping it.I think it would be far more constructive to show people positive examples of non-cookie-cutter beauty than to criticize people for practicing the freedoms inherent in a world with the motto "your world, your imagination".

Also, if you are truly committed to being a mirror image of your real world self, you should give up flight and teleportation.

Biggy Snails

"Not everyone sees Second Life as a slavish extension of the first one. I can fly, I can teleport, I can materialize things from thin air. I can be a dragon, a cyborg, unnaturally short or unnaturally tall."

No, you can't do or be any of these things. There is an animated character on your computer screen that can do or be these things. But you are not that. You are a human being, and will always only be what you truly are. There is no magic, there is no other reality.

Nexii Malthus

So predictable.

Give a bunch of humans the power to do anything and most of them will choose to be as boring as much as possible.

Thats the mainstream for you.

Peyote Short

I have spent hundreds of real $ on my avatars -- clothes, skins, accessories -- over the months I've been in RL. My avatars look like they do, because I've been tweeking every detail week after week.

I've learned that in SL, as well as RL, that you stand out by not emulating the cookie cutters. My primary avatar is short, pear shaped with cropped hair and glasses and every day I hear people say, "Wow, you have a beautiful avatar."

In a world where anybody can be tall, thin and big busted with the touch of some sliders, creativity and proportion becomes the standard of beauty. It's the obvious difference between a mature avatar and a "noob".


1) A model's job is not to make herself look good, her job is to make the clothes look good.

2) Virtual men have the same problem. Our avatars tend to make Schwarzenegger look puny, and to walk like they just climbed down from the empire state building.

Arcadia Codesmith

It's amusing that the same people who mandate these stupid-looking alien standards upon their models blow a gasket when it's pointed out how weird and freakish it looks. Face it darlings; if your clothing doesn't look its best on a normal person, perhaps it's the fault of your staggering lack of talent rather than the human norm.

Sleep Disorder

What are the expectations of real women in the world, in their opinion? Is more important than the physical internal?

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