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Thursday, February 23, 2017


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Shug Maitland

Thanks for the linkback to your 2006 post. It is what inspired to create the avatar that has been my primary ever since.

Better then Ezra

Well make more imaginative pictures???. What a crazy idea!

after all anytime someone does not like your work they are a racists so no need to do any self reflection or consider other reasons. when your work is average at best someone has to be blamed so what better way to get attention when your work fails to be exceptional you start crying racism and trying to guilt others.

The two black avatars have been poorly done and with really poor clothing/background choices that's why less votes!

the black girl at top well nothing is more attractive then blank noob facile expressions and being in an edit pose! and that hair style drowns her not letting her face shine. she has no personality.

Black chick in bottom photo is it laundry day? nothing match's in the scene..you really think that shade of green highlights her? bwhaaa.

Here is an idea..learn what makes a great realistic avatar of color, learn what backgrounds and themes highlight her then learn to create the best expressive photos that way. people of color often need different lighting and angles used to bring out the best results. from the photo it is likely she needs a better graphics card while needing to brush up on PS Filters .. might want to try using the black dragon viewer.

Even being black in real life does not mean you are an expert in creating photographic art using people of color. if anything it has made you blind to the obvious.

The crybaby photographer sucks as does this over-inflated article.

Clara Seller

Better than Ezra has a point. If we're here to talk about these photographs, I actually think that the bias is with the photographers and how blatantly they dress down their dark skin avatars to lower skank class to contrast them with a more sex-kitten appeal of their preferred whiter counterparts. The white subjects get soft gentle hair and the dark-skinned females get off-putting touch me and die hair. The white avatars get organic seductive backgrounds and the dark avatars get Stonehenge and beehives. There's also body proportion contrasts I don't feel like discussing.

I really think that this article should be about bias in how dark skins are presented, not how they are received.

Bixyl Shuftan

Doesn't make sense to me. When I had a black human avatar, only two people complained about it, and one was a non-SL user whom was a reader of the newsletter I write for. In fact, I had people asking me if I was going to keep the look.


On the other hand, I admit to a little bias. The lady at the top looks smarter.


While I would be reluctant to come down in the camp that denies racial bias, it might actually be that the white girl is going for that sex kitten look, with a little kawaii, which is very popular. When you compare the "fantasy/rp" theme, photos one and four the votes are a little closer. I think it's possible that people hit "like" on photos they identify with, and especially photos they'd like to look like themselves, or using hair or clothing they want to own.
With that said, I have seen some startling racial bias in SL, it's quite noticeable to me, because in my country (historically anyway) the open racism is not articulated like it is in the US, though I note my country is extremely racist, it's also full of brown-skinned people.
I've done a lot of makeovers, for example, and had people refuse tan skins because they don't want to be thought of as "coloured".

Chic Aeon

As a blogger of almost ten years I have to agree with some of the comments here. I saw this post when it first came out and didn't want to be the one that said, "well, look at the pictures!". But since someone else did, I concur. To me it has nothing to do with the color of skin but the imagination and photography skill of the two gals shown.

So far as numbers go? A whole lot of that is how one does their social media. Since I don't at ALL, I have horrible "favs". Do I care? Not really. My choice. I am happy doing what I do and showing off other people's work.

While I doubt either of these gals opted into the system, it is fairly easy to get huge views and favorites by cheating. So really, what do the numbers mean? Unfortunately for bloggers, some creators have set their rules so inflatedly (hoping to get better coverage I would guess) that many bloggers repost and buy views and favs in order to get in and stay in some groups. This has been talked about often on the blogger groups and really -- pretty sad.

I had a very dark skinned avatar for many many years. I wouldn't say I looked "ethic" but definitely very tanned :D. I had no problems at all getting folks to blog for and keeping them. When the mesh bodies and heads came out I ended up being lighter simply because I couldn't find any darker skins with a lot of definition for filming. Not a racial choice at all.

In real life I look pretty boringly white with a lot of Irish and English in the mix, but I also have African American and American Indian DNA and I am happy with that. It keeps me from being completely "vanilla" :D.


I wouldn't say any of the pics are particularly bad except that the very top one is perhaps a little unimaginative. I've been guilty of that myself on my own Flickr stream but so many things garner more 'click' likes.
The bottom 2 pictures, the one with less likes is posted to 3 groups, the 2nd in 73. Depending on the time of the day it's posted with SL being a worldwide community makes a huge difference to the number of likes. It's not *just* about composition and style. A lot of bloggers know when to post, how to use correct tags, which groups to post their work in in order to maximize the impact of their shots. My partner in SL actually holds back from posting till certain times of day for that reason. I've had shots that people tell me are really good that get round 50 likes and others I think personally are average ge 80-100; Go figure. I don't go around complaining about it.


Some of my favourite avs are the ethnic ones from Angel Rock. I love the way they get the body and facial proportions authentic for someone with darker skin, not like the darker examples shown here; they just look like white girls painted dark, this is the usual dark avatar look, but not realistic at all, hence maybe another reason they don't get so many votes.

Pussycat Catnap

It is both these pictures, but also a very strong racist current in Second Life.

SL's users are an older generation of people. They are more white than most people, less integrated in their social lives, and less accepting of cultures outside their norms. SL's users are full of Baby-boomers and Gen-Xers. And Gen-X is a retrograde generation that slid back - being more conservative and more racially divisive than its parent generation (Baby Boomers), at least in the USA.

SL does not have many Millennials - who are driving much of our 'real life' culture in a different direction.

So there is that.

But it is also showing in these pictures. The darker skinned avatars have not been posed as well, and use some class-based stereotyping.

One of the white images in this collection appeals to another set of stereotypes. The extreme blond that looks like she comes off of a WWII German propaganda poster... posed sexually. The second white image in this collection is shot with a very moody greyscale shading, in an adventurous exploring moment - though her facial expression is... dead / unemotive... The rest of the image makes up for it MORE than the flaws of the two black women images do.

Get some images that have equal levels of dedication and character to both sides of things - you will still see the white one being favored by the SL audience, but not as extremely so.


Stating an opinion on what constitutes authoritarian regimes, as authority, is an authoritative action. Actions speak louder than words.

Boyd Doghouse

@ Pussycat Catnap-What generation you are born in has nothing to do with who you are!
you are who your parents raised you to be then at some point you had the choice to reject that life perception as well.
my preferences do not include black women. I do not like how they look,act and think all on a relationship point of view while working with them daily at work I treat them as everyone else. Interpersonal/mother of my children point of view i do not find them sexually attractive in my preference for women and beauty the keyword is preferences and that's not a raciest point of view if a black man dates a white woman then good for him.

Count Burks

Here is the privileged white Secondlife residents offline discriminating against harassed folks of color in the real world! (Proof on Camera)



Pussycat Catnap

The very fact that some of those above refer to non-whites as 'ethnic' speaks of racial bias.

The fact that one respondent justified exclusion based on who he desires to have sex with speaks volumes on both a racist and sexist front...

That people do not see this in their statements says a lot as well.

As a general statement:
When it comes to racism your intentions do not matter if your conduct is still harming others. If your exclusion is still excluding - it doesn't matter why you did it to those you have left out. They are still harmed.

You cannot just own up to your biases, you have to then act to counter them. And you cannot just profess to not have a bias, you have to act to make sure you are not doing harm.

Clara Seller

It would be a nice challenge if the fashion bloggers would get together and do some kind of week of focusing on dark skinned avatars. I'd like to see how well the extremely talented photographers rose to the occasion and what their Flickr responses were like.

Better then Ezra

@Boyd @Pussycat

You're both raciest at the opposite end of the spectrum
BLM is a terrorist group just like the KKK...Every race has its trash
Here is the other side of the coin.. with normal smart black people....yes they exist.. but fake black people like pussycat marginalize them often using Nazi style social tactics to silence the real black majority.



It's somewhat silly to assume this is all about racism. Let's break this down. Who is liking these images? Of course, I'm guessing, but I would imagine that it is mostly white women viewing these images, hence why there is a disparity. I'm also not implying that these white women are racist. IMHO, this all comes down to what the viewer can relate to. If the viewer is white, and they see a white women in the image, the viewer can more easily envision themselves in that scene, or in those clothes or whatever.

Me, I'm an Asian guy. Is the SL blogger industry racist or sexist against Asian guys, cause I rarely, if ever, see any SL images with Asian men? No, the industry is not. It all comes down to how many of those types of people are engaging in that form of media.


Racist are funny little rats.

Princesskalika/ bellahyae

To New world notes, good topic to bring up! thank you, i do appreciate that you are enough to use your voice and question things.
to everyone else:
Yes. There is a very big bias. African people are treated pretty poorly in sl and rl. Pictures taken with an African character (as in there color and look) are very often mistreated or ignored. The pictures of African people as sl characters themselves are too often derogatory or disrespectful. as though the only way you can see people of my color are when they dress and behave in ways that African people originally have not been like from the past...but are forced into behaving like in the present because you get no coverage unless you do what the media and society in general want from you.
my experience with this is being African while walking, talking, speaking and using a computer since the 90's. and through the years seeing people of great talent who are of color pushed and often shoved to the side. while also seeing people who did not have the talent or the depth being giving the limelight when they are not ready, or just using someone elses style to get to where they are. but it was not there talent they were chosen for: but being the right color (in the pictures or in real life) or that they are well connected and have popular friends. this too happens in Flickr photos from sl. i do not mind if any of you agree, but sadly this i have to live with on a daily bases, so my whole world is colored by it. thank you for giving the chance for everyone to speak about this. there are too few places in which you can have a conversation about the injustices happening in sl, online and rl. much appreciated.

Princesskalika/ bellahyae

Typo: i ment to say: To New world notes, this is agood topic to bring up! thank you, i do appreciate that you are Kind enough to use your voice to question things being done in sl.


@Better than Ezra wrote: "normal smart black people" "fake black people" "real black majority"

and then threw in some random links to somehow make some random point about somehow normal real smart black people who are not somehow fake


change the texts to: "normal smart white people" "fake white people" "real white majority"

chuck in another random link: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20111011131836AAnuMhV&page=3

and somehow we can get another random point which I somehow suspect the readers here will go wtf as well... somehow


just a comment about inworld and avatar colour

if go to places inworld like Black Horse Country and Wildcats where its wall to wall USA (with a few Aussies and such) country folk line dancing and country, western and southern rock on the stream pretty much 24/7, you would think (if you didn't know better) that the avatars be predominantly white-looking. This is not the actual case

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