Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Good Looks are a Slider Away

Good looks in SL are common. Actually its a bit hard to actually have an ugly avatar unless you start going all psycho on the sliders that make your shape.

Even though there are a lot of handsome and pretty avatars, there are the borderline ones, and of course the "WTF Do you not ever look at yourself" ones. Each avatar's appearance is as different as the person controlling it - but I've noticed that some features are more widespread than others.

Lips are typically large in most female avatars. Is this really a trait of beauty? My avatar doesn't have pencil thin lips - but there are a lot of shapes roaming around the grid that look like they've been taking tequila shots all night. Pouty lips are one thing .. but these are ginormous.

Eyes seem to come in two variations: there's the "SURPRISE" and the "Damn the sun is bright today". That's it. You've either got these huge open eyes or they are really squinted. Of course I am basing all this on majority and not any one person in particular. Males seem to have a better handle on the eye situation, though.

And as much as I hate to go into it, boobs. Darlings there is a such thing as gravity, and wouldn't you know it they put that slider into the boob option in SL. Why does no one use it?! I see so many chicks roaming around with a friggin shelf for cleavage and its so horrid. I mean the armpit area of your shirts should not be crinkled - and even when you add gravity to your ta-tas most of the time skin makers will shade in cleavage so that you still have that 'shelf' look even after you've obeyed the laws of physics.

Legs anyone? Yeah stop running around like a stork in hooker heels and get a bit of perception of proportion when it comes to legs to body ratio! I just can't stress that enough. I get accused of being 'short' all the time - even though my avatar is about 5'5". I am NOT the short one, people! You're just too damn tall for your own good with your 6' legs! You aren't related to Wonder Woman so you aren't from Amazonia .. stop making your shape say otherwise!

There are plenty of other body parts yet to go. Hips are a delicate subject. I was once a victim of being under the influence of the prim skirt. There is no universal size for building prim skirts and therefore so many have opted to have waif thin Kate Moss avs just so they can wear that brand new skirt put out by InsertDesigner Here. Girls its not true! I can guarantee that if some of you models were to give yourselves some curves that designers would re-think their products and product proportions. There are plus size women IRL - and also in SL.

Speaking of models ... what exactly makes someone a model in SL? I've never been one, and I can't say I even know one but I see a lot of profiles that say "model". Is it their face, their body shape, the skins they wear to make their face look better? And in a world where good looks are only a slider click away .. why isn't everyone a model? Better yet why are there so many similarities in so many avatars if they are 'infinitely customizable' (and I refer mostly to shape)? What exactly defines beauty in a virtual world where the meaning of the word could be twisted shaped and molded into anything? Well I'll tell ya - its a bunch of people who all have similar traits but different flavors. Like ice cream! You know what ice cream is - and what it looks like but it just comes with slight alterations .. overall its all the same.

Because of all those 'problems' some people are totally bankin' off selling premade shapes. Why!? Its so friggin' easy to just move a couple sliders around yet people are going to spend more on a shape than they would a badass hairstyle. And those premade shapes rarely seem worth it to me .. one you normally can't modify them so if you want to just change how big your nose is .. too damn bad. Two - the fact of knowing that there is another chick out traipsing the grid that looks exactly like me is enough to make me want to NEVER buy a pre made shape.

Once upon a time folks used to hold building classes in SL - and I'm starting to ask myself if someone should host shape making classes. I guess I'm just against conventional beauty :/ Any thoughts?


Manticore Pinion said...

ok, ok, so I'm guilty of the leg thing, haha, I have height issues, irl, (5'1") but at least I made my shape all by myself! =]

Guenevere DeCuir said...

I'll admit that I bought a premade shape, but I also did a LOT of shape shopping beforehand so that I wouldn't have a completely disproportionate AV. I like the one that I eventually picked, and it's now the only one I wear. Yes, the boobs are 'anti-gravity', but at least they are not Dolly Parton (sorry, Dolly!) sized.

I think most of it is that folks are too lazy to sit and mess with the 20+ sliders it takes to make a custom shape, truthfully. Easier to just go and buy one that someone else created for them.

Autumn Hykova said...

Everybody always says I'm short too, and my AV is 5'9. SL is populated by giants... or people with the napoleonic complex. I made my shape, and I also sell a (different) shape. It is mod-able though, I hope that people would tinker with it. My shape is a work in progress, almost everyday I'll go into appearance and slide here or there.

One thing that bugs me are the disproportionate arms I see. Everybody has mile long legs and GIANT shoulders, with *short* little arms. They look like circus folk.

Dinee Ghia said...

OMG, I think I just fell out of my chair laughing at this post. For each point I saw at least 2 Avvies in my mind that fit the description. At least we don't see what we did about 2 years ago, huge hips and asses, I'm not sure why the trend for major thunder thighs, but I'm glad to see that its over. My own avvie I tried to make look proportionate, its my own shape not a bought one. I dont know for sure if I have it right or not, but I'm happy with it.
There is also another thing you could have mentioned here, concerning the men and the part they have to go buy in order to "complete" themselves. Guys, we know you want us to think that your well endowed and all that, but be a bit more realistic. If a man approached me in RL with those proportions I think I'd either stand and laugh or run like hell.

Tenshi Vielle said...

It's all about proportion, honestly. That's the only way you can get your avvie to look right - and get the many different shapes that you sometimes see in avatars - model/asian hottie Violet Xiangjen comes to mind.

(Side thought: Why is the grid offline?)

Anywho, I've seen so many "variations" of the Naughty shape that I'm sick of it.

This new "Gracie Girl" contest where the owner of the shop asks girls to conform their bodies to stick-thin figures but leave their faces is disgusting. As if I want to see another stick-thin model. I much prefer Dakota Buck to, oh, Twiggy. TYSM.

Although personally, Stephanie Misfit's avatar knocks me out. She's hawt.

Crissa said...

...I always forget my google login...

But really, I kinda feel neat not always being so tall! I'm only a couple inches shy of six feet iRL, so it's kinda 'refreshing' not to be so tall...

...But gosh, so many tiny hands and tiny feet and freakishly long limbed people about.

Carissa said...

OMG! Thank you thank you thank you! This precise subject was nagging the heck out of me last night. I actually tried to set about taking pics against a measurement grid to show how proportions should work. I'm NOT perfect by any means...but there are a few rules to proportion when it comes to the human body. My pet peeve? ARM LENGTH!! OMG!! Seeing an avi with legs up to her armpits and these stubby little arms drives me BANANAS! Ladies...take a tip from Da Vinci and the Vitruvian Man...your arms span shoud be just shy of your height, and your height should actually be proportioned to the length of your radius (the bone in your arm that runs from your elbow to your wrist). I'm not making this stuff up...there's a formula I swear. I KNOW this is SL and we are free to make our bodies whatever we want, but when you're whining and complaining on your blog that someone called you an ugly skank, and your avi is sporting a frankensteinian shape of disproportion, what did you expect? And, (I'm throwing my hat into the Mean Girls ring here) When you see said naked neanderthal shape sporting gorgeous skins on Fashion Planet for a skin "review" (sans landmark or any other method of finding the store), it's like looking at a gilded turd. A big ugly, gold plated piece of poop.

♥ JellyBean ♥ said...

ROFLMFAOOOOOOO! I just have to spin here for an extended HIGH Fucking 5!

Carissa said...

It's been building...I had to say it.

I actually spent an hour making a custom shape for this person...coz I felt bad for her. I passed it over as subtley as I could. The response? I was told the shape I made was "out of proportion, looked Gorean, and wouldn't work for a 'model'".

*shrugs* Oh well, I tried.

Roisin Hotaling said...

I'm SOOO glad you said this! I made my own shape, and while I'm still tweaking the details to be still pretty but more realistic, I'm glad I'm not going for the Glamazon look. A guy walked up to me in a club recently and said "Wow, you look so real!"

'Kota Buck said...

Funny Tenshi should bring up Twiggy, she's my favourite model... and even one of the girls who model for my store is named after her.

Also, I think I must be one of the only women in sl who can say that they are shorter and with smaller breasts compared to their rl self. I'm 6'1" and my av is only 5'10".

Kesseret said...

I was glad to read this. Everyone asks me if I am a child avatar because I am 5' in SL. *sigh* I'm 5' IRL. Plus, my love handles are at around 40 and my body fat is at up there too. I'm a chunky av and I was working on a product ad when someone said I looked pregnant in a dress and I got pretty defensive about it. My avatar is chunky, that's how I am, thus I like it, especially in a world of mile high legs. Thank you and thank you!

Sasy Scarborough said...

No Mod bought shapes I always had a fit about, but grew to understand that if it is mod you can see the configuration and then copy it and sell the same product and we all know that is too often the goings on lately ......I do think though that all shapes sold should provide a notecard of basic info , such as head size and your waist and hips measurement, so that if an outfit doesnt fit prim wise and the store owner is willing to do a custom fit for you they at least have something to work with.

Its taken me a year to tweak and such with my AV, and Im done with it , the only changes I make now have been thinner legs for boots and bigger head for certain hair as I suck at editing lol .

the big lips and such though I am not so sure is always the fault of the person though , as you know many many skins when you put them on have all the evidence of mouth outsid of the lipstick and if you dont adjust your mouth it looks strange from the way the make up is done , and if you love that skin and that make up then it doesnt seem always like such a huge deal , and yes arms are a huge issue and proportion, not just crazy short arms but short torso with short arms and long legs is way odd .

I am also tall rl and when i made my shape originaly 5ft ten as I am in RL i was still tiny compared to others .... now there is a lot more diversity in sizes and skins even in the last year and how people were before then im not sure , but at 5ft ten sl height I felt extremely short in comparison to others so I am now 6"4 and when you stand beside all the 6'8-7'4 people in sl its about right for me .

I love that Dakota puts different skirt options in her packs, but like hair too I guess it comes down to what is the average to actualy do that to suit, also Dark Eden does it too with their skirts three sizes that rocks .

and Tenshi I KNEW you would feast on that face of post I was fuming the NO furries part was bad enough but the your shape must be mod and thin stick thin was so grrrr , I love my 33 handles and my 14 saddlebags, I put them there so i should lol .

xoxo Sasy xox had to repost I didnt see that Id said the same things about arm span :)

CronoCloud said...

My shape is Alaska Metropolitan's freebie Centerfold shape, modded a bit. I eventually dropped the height, added a bit of muscle and weight. The boobehs are still 66 though. I think I tweaked the face a little. I like it though I'm no SL model.

I like seeing non-Barbie avatars. Folks like 'kota, Roslin Petion, elka.

I agree with Tenshi, Stephanie Misfit has a great avatar, oh okay, she's "hawt". There, I said it.

Caliah Lyon said...

I actually first set my avatar height after seeing all the furniture was sized for rather large avs. This is a bit frustrating for people who follow the actual height scale, but after I decided on a height I never looked back, and just gauge my height based on everything else around me. This isn't hard as much of the grid is still sized for oversized avs, it seems :P

As a person who was always slighter due to her heritage and was always being forced to stuff herself to conform to the Western standards of a healthy weight(oh yes, this resulted in a lot of psychological stress and other repercussions as you can imagine), I kind of resent the implication that only curvy is healthy. I was always flatter-chested and slimmer than my Caucasian counterparts, and being told to drop a few pounds when I gained more than what some Asian men thought attractive.

I've always thought the current weight/health problems - obesity and eating disorders - in the United States were caused by mixed messages - the media bombarding the public with food ads, the ready availability of food, vs. a national obsession with being glamourous and thin. We don't need mixed messages and all that weight consciousness/political correctness garbage messing with our self-confidence even in SL, do we?

People can be whoever they want to be in SL, and although they may be the subject of ridicule for it, let them choose what their standard of beauty is. This is a virtual world, with adult players. Whether or not we choose to perpetuate certain faults, including those in our perception of beauty, is ultimately up to ourselves as individuals.

The only time I'll really criticise someone for their shape is if someone is going to model for me or competing in a model contest. And I'm sorry, but shop owners have the prerogative of choosing what kind of model they require, and are well within their rights to do so.

Orchid said...

My boobs are at like 60 something - but they have like 50 something gravity and according to the body fat on the rest of my av the boobs are porportional. Who ever saw a fat chick with tiny tits? That's right - no one.

The lips I'm talking about looks like they came straight off a Bratz doll onto the avatar .. matter of fact I'm just sick of seeing avs shaped like Bratz dolls with their popcicle stick legs, tiny waist, and long long arms.

I'm 5'4 185lbs IRL - and my avatar reflects that as well. I Used to be almost 7' tall with huge floating tits and no hips when I rezed in but I had so much trouble identifying with my avatar as being 'me'.

Skins are a bit of a problem, and I don't mind modding my lips for most of them so long as the rest of the skin is badass. Should I have to adjust just to wear a design? No .. but its almost inevitable. I still say that 'models' in SL start being more realistic and less runway. Then again .. I say the same thing about RL models. Maybe I just have skinny-envy due to being fat?

Ku DeSantis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lill said...

"Who ever saw a fat chick with tiny tits? That's right - no one."

Rosie O'Donnel.
These ladies are commonly refered to in street slag as Flatsoes.

*cues "The More You Know" music*

Guenevere DeCuir said...

OMG thank you caliah!!!

You are soo right that in America there's this mixed message out there about weight and appearance. Women (and most men) are supposed to remain slim and yet just about every fast food place you go to anymore has these "super bacon double cheese quadruple Angus beef triple sized" grease burgers. And with that folks get... a Diet Coke. WHAT?!?! Like that's going to counteract the 2000 calorie sandwich you just scarfed down.

As for proportions on SL, I agree that there's a lot of AV's out there with weird shapes. One of my closest friends (a male AV) has one of those huge torsos with linebacker shoulders and then tiny tiny butt and legs underneath. Why??? I dunno, but I guess he likes how it looks.

The lips are due to the "Angelina factor". Big puckers are hawt because of her, and that fad won't go away for a while I think. The big butts are due to (insert rap star's name here) with their bootylicious and mostly nekkid women flaunting all over the place in their videos.

Basically, a lot of this is due to current pop culture tends. Until these change, we'll see a ton of other folks who think that certain body shapes are "in".

Xaria Concord said...

"Like ice cream! You know what ice cream is - and what it looks like but it just comes with slight alterations .. overall its all the same." - Orchid

You should have said Parfait, everybody loves Parfaits! :P

I seriously wonder, if LL ever implemented "jiggly boobs" to SL, how many av's would require a shelf bra just to keep those puppies off the ground?

Phoenix Chapman said...

I too hate the overly large fish lips, ginormous boobies, tiny pencil waists and giraffe-like legs. I especially hate it when these shapes are running around in the sort of stuff no self-respecting stripper in real life would ever wear.

I like to think that my body shape is fairly well-proportioned; I sure worked hard enough and long enough on it. My avatar is fairly slim and tall (at least compared to my best friend, but she's a tiny neko girl. Everyone else I know is gigantic.), but everything on her is fairly small, from the breasts to the shoulders to the hips.

I did buy a premade (moddable) shape from Calla, actually, that taught me a lot about proportions, particularly in the face. I could never understand why my face was always so hard and angular and just...ugly, until I bought that shape. Pre-made shapes, particularly moddable ones, can be very useful to one who's just starting out and doesn't understand how to use the sliders and how powerful a few clicks can be.

@ Dinee Ghia - if you think that look of thunderthighs and ass is gone, take a look at the latest post on slfashionpolice.com :P

Anonymous said...

yaaay...well written...when I first started, I saw all the barbies and wanted to be them, and I wasted hard earned camping Lindens on buying shapes and was so disappointed in every one (I think the selling of shapes is just sad, it made me think, as a noob, that there was some "secret" scripting or something to get an ass like that). I finally just took some time and tweaked and saved, and tweaked some more...does my avie look like me in RL..Hell no, but at least she doesnt get black eyes from her boobage!! I wish we had sliders in RL, cause my ass could use a lift right now..LMAO

Miriam Woyseck said...

I've spent time and effort trying to look subtly unpretty in Second Life. You're right, it's not easy. So many sliders, so little middle ground between freakish and identikit. I also keep thinking I've made my body more realistic, only to see it a couple of days later and realise that no, I still have a skinny-bint avatar. Worrying thing is, she's still too big for half the skirts out there.

Oh, pet peeve: breasts that form perfect hemispheres clagged on to the front of a torso. Because breasts don't start in your armpits, oh no, they start somewhere halfway to the middle of your chest. No matter how small you make them, those are still going to look like bad implants. Yum.

Hope Paravane said...

I made my own shape from week one. It really is not hard. Though I must admit I am guilty of the tall thing and the skinny thing. The skinny thing probably because I have never been skinny in rl, so why not have it in my sl? The tall thing is only because my bf is too tall (working up a nice way to break it to him that I don't care for his humungous bought shape all that much) I am one of those amazons and I still only make it to him shoulders!

Willis said...

I've had the same shape since day one, and 3 years on, I still tweak it!

I know everyone has a vision of what they would like to look like, but sometimes ridiculous is not pretty.. to US.. might be to them! Who knows?

I've been toying with the idea of making shapes lately, just because I enjoy playing with the sliders, but I have to admit, it's fookin HARD to make anything that doesn't resemble me in some way, prolly cos i've been wearing my shape forever, I like to look like me!

I'd make them mod though, I know that's leaving things open for people to copy and sell on if they want, but hey, if that's what floats their boat.. making like $100L from a shape they stole, let em enjoy it, poor souls!

October Hush said...

I agree with Autumn...SL is populated by giants! My av is 5'8" tall, which is considered pretty short. Ironically, I'm 5'4" irl, but I really don't want to make myself that short in SL just because I'd really be a dwarf neko!

The only sin I think I'm guilty of is the big eyes...but my av is pretty feline-looking, and with the right-size eyes (thanks, Sin Skin!) it doesn't look odd.

I did make my shape myself, and that's something I really encourage people to do. It's not that hard! Do you really want to run into another version of yourself (or several) on the grid? I sure don't.

Claudine Jewell said...

i love this post i made my own shape and had to tweak it for hair and some outfits but my shape is 6'' like me in RL but i feel small in SL thats funny another experience since im pretty tall in RL lol i love the full lips too i have full lips in RL so good for me lol other than that my shape is far from perfect but i like it eventhough i hear the oh my are you skinny comments alot im pretty skinny with long legs in RL so thats how my avi looks ok i have to admit my avies boobs are a little bigger than my RL boobies looool but i like them hehe anyway i like to see different shapes and different sizes i think swirly ciclone (dont know if spellt right) got a hot avie shes different and i like that hehe oh and play with the sliders girls its fun and alot cheaper than RL plastic surgery lol

now to the not so funny part the standard of beauty is being skinny / slim i see that in SL everyday most avis are skinny thats just the way it is i dont know if its just the world the media or whatever everyone defines beauty differently but most people think skinny is beautiful thats why you dont see alot of chunky or more curvy avatars i dont really care everyone is free to be creative here in SL thats great but do people have a healthy body image here in SL? i think No! oh well i dont wanna be a hypocrite because im skinny i think skinny is beautiful and no i dont eat burgers in RL lol

Moran Singh said...

I saw someone last week that had only been in SL for two hours. In that time she had found good hair, good skin, and some fun clothes, she also found the breast slider. My god, does anyone really need giant helium balloons stuck sticking straight out of their torso?

As for me, I love playing with those sliders. I was confused at first between the difference between a shape and a skin and when I realized that I could control the shape, that was it for me. I've made several shapes, but I'm really leaning to my one Asian av as the one who best represents the me I wish I could be. The other shapes are more about looking sexy or silly `and are for special occasions, though they don't come out of the inventory much anymore.

As for boobs? My Asian av that I use the most has the boob slider at less than 40. It fits her body shape (she's rather slight - not like me in RL!). I do have an alt av who goes for the trashier big breasts displayed as much as possible, but she's the one who goes for the trashier places in SL. ;-)

As I love to work those sliders I think that selling shapes would be the first thing I could do as a business. Still, what do people want their avatars to look like? Realistic or unreal?

Delilah...Kiss Kiss said...

I was a reasonable height when I first made my shape, and yes I like my shape how it is. Yes my shape has large breasts, but I have large breasts irl, lol. In fact I was considered short by most people I met. I once tried to make my shape have larger breasts as I was going to a party as Jayne Mansfield. The effect looked grotesque to me and I reverted to my regular shape so...I feel fairly comfortable that my avi is sexy and not deformed girl. My avatar does have hips and a behind, but a narrow waist. I frequently have trouble fitting prim skirts and bless the folks who leave in the anchors for resizing or who, like Dark Eden, provide 3 sizes for convenient fitting.

As for my height, I made myself taller strictly so I could dance with my partner Rasmus a little more comfortable and look more matching in pose balls and the like. LOL

Long story short, I think you're correct on your post. Huzzah!

Rosie Barthelmess said...

Orchid, this is an excellent post. And as an avie who is far from the "norm" of avies, I'd like to say I think I love you. :) I'm a legitimately plus-size avie who has sworn off prim skirts! I get a lot of mixed reactions, but at the end of the day I'm happy with who I am, and being a little rounder leaves me no worse for wear. Nothing wrong with a little originality, right?

Rosie Barthelmess

Wilhelmina Yoshikawa said...

Speaking about legs, I think I found an extreme example. Most of her was just legs:

It's hard to believe that people who creates such a shape don't notice themselves there's something really wrong about it!

Orchid said...

Wilhelmina -- hahahahahahahahah! ha. Haha!

Chocolata said...

OMG a woman after my own heart.
There are wayyy too many disproportionate av's running around and it plains looks silly.

I know when my husband and I first joined and we were making our shapes, he would have me stand next to him once he got his height down so I could get mine right. Chest high is as tall as he wanted me since that is how we are in rl.

2 things I have learned in my time here:
#1 Breasts should not be larger than 80. They still look massive but not disfigured and for gods sake if you make them bigger use more gravity. It looks like Silicon valley in most places you go to now-a-days.
#2 Never, ever adjust shapes after changing genders. Create a new shape and set what sex it is before mod'ing it. I haven't tried going from a girl to a guy, but did do one from a guy to a girl and you will be stuck with some massive muscles no matter how small you make your arms and shoulders.

Anonymous said...

From Morgan Underwood:

I got a pre-made moddable shape from a BBW shop, and after a few quick taps of the sliders had a pretty darned accurate SL version of myself. I had to lose the skin that came with it, though, as it was non-mod and perfectly awful! With a decent skin affixed my little rounded boobalicious self went out in public in a rather modest dress- and, of course, a Sexy Walk AO in place- and you would not believe the positive comments I received! So many secret IM's from da boyz came in I finally had to stop replying or crash- and surprisingly quite a few of da girlz were asking where I found that great shape!

I've gotten to the point where I'm putting together a notecard with all the slider settings and passing them on to those who are interested; it's time we all share the BBW love and get some more realistic body shapes out there.

(I did get chastised by some Random Gorean Guy saying that I'd better watch out for roving whalers, but I considered the source and made a point of shaking my bootyliciousness as I walked away- MU)

Behnaz Eriksen said...

I haven't bought a pre-made shape. I use the shape of the "city-chic" provided by SL and spent [forever] on the sliders until it was, er, "perfect", and I must say I'm proud of me.