Archive for February, 2007

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Anorexia in SL?

February 28, 2007

When we create our avatars, or avies, in Second Life, it seems that we generally take one of two routes. Some of us attempt to manufacture an approximation of our real-world self. Sure, we may shave off a few pounds, add a little more muscle tone, and try our hands at rhinoplasty, but for the most part, we have created an avie that resembles us in our everyday lives. On the other hand, there are those who take advantage of the freedoms provided by a virtual environment and produce sex gods or goddesses, furries, nekos, dragons, knights, princesses, wizards, vulcans, klingons, elves, dwarves, fairies, wookies . . . well, the list just goes on. So, for most of us (excluding the few who are brutally honest in their avies or even make them less attractive than their RL selves), we either present our self images or what we would like to be.

If we accept this as the case, then there are some avies that are really problematic for me, because whether they represent a true self or an imagined self, they seem to reflect real-life issues that wreak havoc on the lives of many women in our society (note: I’m writing this as an American). Specifically, I’m referring to those avatars who are so thin that they appear to be anorexic.

Obviously, self image among women is a subject that has been discussed thoroughly. We constantly hear about the influences our culture has over the way a woman perceives herself. We hear about the early indoctrination we receive through toys like Barbie which present an unrealistic model of the female form. We hear about magazines and the way they focus on a woman’s body, commonly by choosing to show full-body shots of women (while men are usually shown from the waist up or closer). We see music videos in which women are all very fit and scantily clad, presented as objects of desire. It’s all well-documented and has become a part of the public consciousness.

Yet, even though I am aware of the problem and know of women who have struggled with this issue, there is something about seeing ultra-thin avies in SL that I find very disturbing. I know that women who suffer from anorexia have a distorted self image, often seeing themselves as fat even though their they are almost skeletal in appearance. That this image is carried over into SL—either as a representation of the true or ideal self—causes me to realize just how ingrained this image is.

Perhaps I’m making too much of this, but the other night when I was in an SL club and saw a newbie named Neo—her legs, her arms . . . her entire body so pitifully thin—I immediately felt for her. Of course, she may be quite healthy in RL and actually have a good body image, but she brought to mind all of the other women I have encountered in SL who, though not as skinny as Neo, still have avies that appear overly skinny and unhealthy by RL standards.

So, I’ve managed to add to add to the discussion of the problem, but where do the answers lie? Even as I write this, I realize that my own avie—though I tried to make her a good representation of the RL me—is a bit thinner. Fitter. Sexier. She is me if I were to hit the gym for a few months. She is me if I paid for a little cosmetic surgery. She is me without the occasional blemish and freckles that mark my skin. By allowing myself these fixes, how far removed am I from the anorexic avies? Aren’t we all giving in to the same notions of beauty?

I wonder if the time will come when we quit focusing on the exterior so much. Flipping through the TV channels, it doesn’t appear that is coming anytime soon.

Anyway, that’s what’s on my mind tonight. I’ll revert back to my stories of shopping trips and hanging out with friends soon enough 😉

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Shop until I drop

February 25, 2007

I think I more than made up for my absence from SL the last few days, as I was on for about 14 hours today. That’s just insane, especially since I have RL work to do.

Most of the time, I was shopping. I bought several new outfits, the majority of them from the Virtual Angels charity yard sale. If you haven’t checked out this event yet, I would suggest you do so soon (it ends in early March). You can buy high quality outfits here for 100 lindens! Some even come with shoes! Also, you can pick up hair, heels, boots, and even furniture at low prices. I had to limit myself, because there was so much I wanted to buy.

I also bought a dress from Sirena Fashions that won me best female goth at Husky’s Den this afternoon. This is the second time I’ve won one of these contests (the other was the school girl contest I posted about earlier). Here is a pic of me in my goth attire:


Finally, I also shopped at a couple of freebie stores today. Though I found quite a bit of free stuff when I first started, there were a couple of large stores that I missed. Now I have a lot of stuff to go through to see what’s worth keeping and what needs to be tossed. That should give me something to do the next time I’m on at 4 AM 🙂

OK, I need to get to work. Be back soon . . .

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SL disappointment

February 24, 2007

Since I’m unable to use SL right now, being away from home and limited to a dial-up connection (ugh!), I’ll talk about my last SL experience (Wednesday night) and some disappointing developments in my SL life. Sorry, this won’t be a cheery post. I’ll try to do better next time 🙂

So, first, I’ll talk about Wednesday night. It is, without a doubt, the worst night I’ve had on SL so far. Up to this night, I’ve been able to find something in SL to keep me entertained, but this night I was bored. I think what started the night off so badly was losing 1200 lindens playing heads-up poker. I may have had the worst run of cards in my life, and I’m not a good enough player to not get frustrated and play poorly :/ I was ahead at one point, then the drought started and I dropped 400 lindens. I bought in for another 400 lindens, determined to at least break even, but lost it as well. Not willing to cut my losses, I did it again. I put the last 400 in having the top two pairs on the board. Unfortunately, the board had paired sixes, and my opponent just happened to have one. Granted, 1200 lindens is only like $5, but it still hurt to lose 🙂

I followed up my poker loss by teleporting around SL trying to find something interesting to do. I checked out a few places, but I really couldn’t find anything to keep me entertained. My friends were either busy or offline, so I just wandered aimlessly. *sigh*

I did get to spend the last part of my night (maybe an hour?) talking to Sexy, but after several hours of no action, the night as a whole was a bust.

To add to the disappointment of that night, I just now learned that there will be no more First Land. So, I signed up for a premium membership to receive a measly 1200 lindens per month. Joy. Sure, I still get the free 512 m tier, but with land prices the way they are, I’m not sure I’ll ever make use of it.

Oh, and I’ve been getting e-mails today stating that my lease is about to run out on the land I’m renting, and since I can’t get into SL to renew it, I may log in next to no longer have my plot to rent. Grrr . . .

OK, I’m done complaining. Thanks for allowing me to air my grievances 🙂

On a positive note, I did work on an image I took in SL to improve the picture quality. You can find the original muddy version in my Flickr pool

I love my neko skin 🙂
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So much to cover . . .

February 21, 2007

I should be sleeping right now. Instead, I’m posting. Why do I do this to myself? 😉

Anyway, I have a lot to post about, so I should just get to it.

Starting off, Toe’d Up gave a concert at Harmony on Tuesday (I can’t say today anymore, since it’s now Wednesday morning). Because of work, I arrived late, which was disappointing but couldn’t be helped. At first, I stood near the back of the crowd, as moving around a lot of times in SL is clunky, and I didn’t want to keep running into people. Finally, I squeezed my way to the front (after being run into many times myself) and positioned myself to the right side of the stage (my right), where I stayed during the remainder of the concert.

Toe’d Up did indeed rock, putting on a great show. Unfortunately, I was so busy trying to take pictures (I’m still not very proficient with the SL camera), I wasn’t paying as much attention to the music as I should have been. I can tell you that there were covers, and I do believe they did some original stuff as well. I know that everything sounded good, but I can’t get into the particulars (sorry :/).

I can tell you that the crowd was very appreciative. At times, it was hard to hear the music because someone kept running an applause script (wish he/she would have waited until after songs). I don’t know what the grand total was, but I saw a lot of lindens being dumped into the Toe’d Up tip jar (I may have even put a buck or two in myself).

Fantastic concert, and a fun way for me to spend my Tuesday afternoon. Afterwards, Annie even passed out Toe’d Up shirts for free to anyone who wanted them. I already had mine and wore it at the concert, cause I’m cool like that 😉 Below is probably the best pic I took at the concert. You can see the others by clicking my Flickr link.

Now, I have to backtrack a bit. On Monday night, I ended up hanging out with my friend Sexy Larsen at her new club Husky’s Den. She showed me around, and then we danced a bit (I even tried out all their dance poles). While the club is open to anyone, there is an obvious affinity for furries there. They even have a snuggle area for furries on the upper floor of the club.

As the night progressed, I made comments about how I’d probably seem sexier if I had a furry costume of my own. Next thing I know, Sexy and I hit a couple of stores, and I end up with my very own furry avie.


Cute, isn’t she? You can tell it’s me by the red hair and green eyes 😉

If you’d like to meet her in person, you should come to the grand opening of Husky’s Den this Saturday (that enough bold to get your attention?). Not only does Saturday mark the grand opening of the club, but one of the owners is getting married and holding her reception there. Should be fun 🙂

Finally, buying the furry costume must have brought the feral out in me, because today I bought a neko skin for my avie. I had been seeing the great photos posted in the SL pool by such people as October Hush, and, more and more, I began to want a neko skin of my own. I must say that I’m very happy with my purchase. In fact, I almost want to wear this skin around all the time instead of my normal one (which I paid over twice as much for).

OK, I’m beat, and I have to be at work in about 2 hours and 40 minutes (argh!). We’ll pick this all up again tomorrow 🙂

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Toe’d Up—Live, Feb. 20, 11:00 AM (SL time)

February 19, 2007

Tomorrow at 11, my friend Annie’s band Toe’d Up (http://www.myspace.com/toeduprocks) will be performing at Harmony (MCEstates, 78, 40, 29).

If you believe in supporting talented independent artists, you must show up!

Should be a great time with some great people. You might even meet me, if you haven’t yet 😉

By the way, today marks two weeks at SL for me. I should find some way to celebrate tonight . . .

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Sunday evening: poker at the Blue Tattoo, and then the Magic Garden

February 19, 2007

I started off tonight getting an invite from my poker buddy Tommy. I was in the mood to play (even though I seem to lose a lot), so I changed out of my Kermit jammies and teleported to the Blue Tattoo.

I started off playing very poorly, and soon lost the 400 lindens I brought to the table (most of those taken by Tommy). I didn’t want to lose any more, so I said my goodbyes and went exploring.

Well, I just couldn’t take it. I wanted my money back, so I returned to the Blue Tattoo. Not only did I reclaim my money from Tommy, but I ended up leaving with a few hundred lindens extra 🙂

I decided I would spend the rest of the night exploring, when I came across the Magical Garden at Pitcairn. It was so beautiful there that I decided to take some pictures of me in the new Alice in Wonderland dress Cole gave me last night (she is unbelievably generous). I think I managed to take some cute pics. Check out my Flickr page to see for yourself 🙂 Below is my favorite of the bunch:

That smile makes me look like I’m up to no good. Maybe I’m not 😉

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Saturday wrap-up, and on into Sunday . . .

February 19, 2007

I thought that sightseeing would be the way I wrapped up last night, as I went out to take a few more shots (including some beach shots), but then I met up with ColeMarie, and things got a little nutty. 🙂

First, we started off acting silly at Pandora’s Box. Then, she had the idea to take the madness to the outside SL world. We ended up in a very nice area (grrr . . . don’t remember what it was called) doing whatever insanity came to mind. We even teleported people in (mostly Cole’s friends) to partake. It was so funny. I know that we freaked out at least one guy, as I saw him scurrying away from us twice 🙂 Cole’s friend Neb got much of it on video. Maybe I can get the link and post it here.

After the goofiness, Cole wanted to get some pictures. We donned our fairie gear (most of us, anyway), and posed for several shots. Here’s a pic of my friend Annie:


Pretty, pretty 🙂

We went to Neb’s afterwards to watch the video. It was about 9 AM my time when we finished watching it, so I had to bid everyone adieu.

And then came Sunday evening . . .