I was really Gung Ho the last 2 weeks with editing a shape for a mesh head I took. I already have a mesh head but I wanted to test a new head to see if I could reinvent my visual identity in a way I could like as much as I like the present look. I always have found it hard to change of look in Second Life ( when it means to become a main look for daily use, not for a picture or themed event ofc). Not that it changes who I am and how I feel and talk and act, the avatar stays ME, but to feel comfortable with a look does matter.
In real life I hardly ever wear make-up. I like the natural look and when I use make-up it always is very modest. When I don’t do that I cannot look into the mirror without feeling odd. A kind of upgraded version of me feeling unreal and too much pimped. It just does not fit me as persona. I like to be seen how I like to see myself, without too present or too many additional ‘beauty enhancements’. I even tend to not call it enhancements (for myself) because I do not feel more pretty with them, I feel like not being ME anymore and with that I feel ugly in a certain way. Ugly has to be explained as . . . masking myself behind layers showing a polished version of myself. Disguising myself is a sensitive element in my life due to specific issues with self-image in the past. Always showing a polished me was extremely tiring because it controlled my life in a very unhealthy way. Therefore I am happy to have left most of that behind with sometimes a trigger making me nervous with an urge to run back to the old methods of feeling OK.
Second Life beauty
It is so easy to be beautiful and perfect in a visual way in Second Life, it almost is pathetic. I have a love hate relationship with it myself. Yes I like to create a nice look I can identify with more or less. Yes I like the options of having sliders and hair changes we do not have in RL and yes I admit to find it hard to make some sort of avatar that will be seen as ugly and rejected as let’s say acceptable. Maybe because we DO have the option in Second Life to make it all quite perfect, sort of makes it logic and tempting (not legitimate) to tell someone an avatar looks terrible. But if you want and dare to make someone feel rejected based on a visual it has to be said beauty, also in Second Life, is not an absolute science, except for some standard beauty elements like symmetry. Many other beauty elements are subjective. Perception of weight for instance is very cultural based, wearing tattoos as well, to mention a few. I suppose make-up will be seen as a general beauty improvement but the kind of make-up (how heavy and present) will differ again in certain lifestyles, cultures and jobs. And then there is the context. One person can feel extremely pretty with a huge amount of make-up at a glamorous party but feel totally overdone with that at a funeral. I myself would feel like a a failed and fake Cinderella with very visible make-up at glamour parties and prefer to escape such venues. And when I would not wear a lot of glitter and glamour at and on my body at such a party I would feel like the Frog Prince(ss), maybe kind and smart, but not the one you want to be seen with in public. So it all is very personal as well.
I make an exception for one specific layer. The freckles :) But I can defend that with stating freckles are a natural beauty element you cannot buy in a RL shop. In Second Life you can however and so I did. Yes I am a very inconsistent consistent piece of mesh.
So I took a GENUS head, still BETA but with very nice options and promising features to come. It is the first head of which I actually liked the emotions. More natural (yes here we go again . . . My Natural Fetish) and I think the creator really is doing a good job. I took 2 skins to test (from Not Found) and those skins also are really well made in my opinion. Good to go was my start mood . . . GUNG HO!! I fiddled with shaping the head and played with make-up layers endlessly. Zooming in, zooming out, taking pictures to look back at it in a 2D way, comparing with the present look and trying to get the best possible look with that head and these appliers.
The Grand Finale
Yesterday I think I found the for my taste best possible shape/look and one more time decided to look at it in 2D with the old and new head changing all the time in a short MP 3 (prepared in Photoshop first). I was surprised to be so happy with the work I did while doing it and a quite convincing way of thinking I would probably change of look permanently, but then . . . when actually walking with it and looking at myself in 2 D as well as in 3 D in a less precision close-up focus like we do with shaping ourselves, I was immediately done again with being convinced. It is not ME somehow is what I concluded. Too much blush, too much shiny glossy skin/ glamorous foundation, too much odd looking lips ( I am allergic for lips looking like plastic) and too much forehead section looking a bit odd with many hairs I like. Maybe I seek excuses to hide my inability to change of looks, maybe I am too attached to what I feel as me, maybe I like to think I am more different and unique with the present look or maybe I just suck at shaping and fitting into the community where changing of looks for many is as easy as drinking water. Whatever it is, I at least now can stop trying again for a long time. I like how I look and do not feel like changing it. Take a look for yourself and maybe you disagree, which would be interesting but not convincing :P
The trial below was done with tweaking the existing shape of my present mesh head. She changed into a silly looking girl , a bit like a teenager as well which I cannot relate to so well anymore :)
Barbie and Bimbo look
I think my fear to look like a Barbie or Bimbo probably also makes me stay away from too much layers on my face. Strange thing is I do not look at other avatars like that when they use them in a very present way (except when really too much and often in combination with an overall look). I even can find it very pretty and well done on many others. Just not on ME.
I will use the head and skins for other things, even if it would be for testing purposes only ( I like to test things and play with stuff) and this is most certainly not a complaint about the creators or a middle finger to the ones who do feel pretty and OK with the same heads and skins and likewise shapes as I used. By all means, create what for you feels good and show it off if you like. And even the Barbies and Bimbo’s, whatever that is precisely, do as you want and what makes you feel pretty, attractive, cool, smart, sexy, seductive or maybe just YOU, but for me it has to stay as natural as possible without painted layers and excessive shaping :)
And this only exists in Second Life: Marketplace offers you a BIMBO mesh head. For ‘only’ 1399 Linden you can be the perfect Bimbo! If you like it . . . Bimbo Head