Another in my series of Why? Why do we do this, Why do we say that, Why do we make the choices we make………

The other day in SL a friend said to me that I was “smart and beautiful”. I accepted the “smart” part – you can fool some of the people some of the time…. 🙂 – but “beautiful” gave me pause. My intelligence is what it is, regardless of the medium. Intelligence, or lack thereof, tends to be revealed by communication, whether written or oral. But what does beautiful mean in a virtual world?

For the sake of discussion, let’s start with the premise that my avatar is beautiful. So what does it mean to tell me that I’m beautiful?

Does it mean that you think I look like my avatar? Probably not.

Does it mean that you think I did a good job creating my avatar’s looks? Maybe. But people change their looks/avatars regularly. And I didn’t even “choose” that look – someone gave me a skin. If you look at the before and after pics within my earlier entries, you can see that the skin reshaped my face, mouth, eyes. Not to mention the makeup. So I didn’t do anything. I am not my creation. I can’t even take credit for the design.

Does it mean that you think I have a good eye for creating beautiful things? Maybe. There are countless combinations of features for avatars. I do have control in what I select. So the compliment isn’t on my features, but on my creative talent. Or in this case, someone else’s creative talent. Maybe the compliment is on creative eye.

I’m sure there are many other ways to interpret the question. I know that I have frequently told others in SL that they were beautiful. I’ve written that here in this blog. When I said that, I usually meant that they had a created a beautiful avatar, so I suppose I meant either the 2nd or 3rd interpretation. Typically I’ve said that to non-human avatars. My friend S has 2 dynamite shapes – big white wolf and big black wolf. Both are beautiful images. F has the most stupendous set of wings – stupendous in look and in sheer size. She has obviously tweaked her appearance and she too is beautiful.

I have met many beautiful avatars. But I tend to save “beautiful” for the non-humanoid or modified human shapes. Somehow it doesn’t usually occur to me to tell a human avatar that they are beautiful. I compliment the outfit, the overall appearance. But I walk around in jeans and a top, barefoot. There is nothing “beautiful” about my outfit. I haven’t modified my basic human form. So “beautiful”, from someone who isn’t “hitting” on me, simply surprises me.

Perhaps my reaction means that I am still somewhat detached from SL – that I see avatars as “things” and not as people. I certainly don’t feel that way when chatting. I am very much aware of the reality and “person-ness” then. I wonder what will change my outlook. Will I “see” the avatars more when I can animate myself more? Will I “see” the avatars more when I know more people in SL? When, if ever, do you cross the line from seeing “animated characters” to seeing “people”? It is obvious to me from reading other blogs that many people have crossed that line, so I know it is a possibility. And not a bad possibility.

Writing these words also made me think about RL. Why do we compliment someone in RL and tell them they are beautiful, meaning their physical appearance? So much of that is not an option. That, however, is a far deeper topic than I’m up to discussing at this point. 🙂 But if anyone else wants to tackle it – I’d be delighted to hear what you have to say.

Published by


There's not much to say about me. I discovered SecondLife by accident, wandered in, and decided I wanted to stay. This blog was a chronicle of my adventures and misadventures in SL. It also includes stray thoughts that occur to me as a result of my time in SL. Both I and my avatar are female. We both love water and the beach and gardening and parties and hanging out with friends. Updating this after quite some time. I haven't appeared in SL in many many months (probably over a year by now) but SL has remained in my thoughts. I do miss my SL, but at least I still have contact with some of my friends from there. In the meantime.... this blog has evolved to be about my RL adventures. :) Nowhere near as risque as my SL but I do keep busy. I still like all the things listed above. I didn't have any cats in SL (only ducks and a panda) so my cats feel that they should play starring roles in my posts. :) I didn't do much eating IN SL although certainly food and drink accompanied me in RL while I roamed inworld. Cooking and baking have become more fun and interesting once I redid my kitchen. That renovation took longer and cost more than if I'd done it virtually, but I'm thrilled to have a tangible new kitchen! I hope you like food and drink as well! Thanks for reading!

3 thoughts on “Beauty”

  1. As I said somewhere or other that I can’t remember recently, looks in SL reflect personality so much more than in RL (since we can easily choose to look so many different ways), that praising someone for their beauty makes more sense in SL than in RL. In both you’re to some extent praising their creative eye, their sense of style. In RL you’re also praising them for their genes, which they didn’t actually have much to do with. 🙂 There isn’t that effect in SL; we all start with the same raw materials. It’s true you didn’t make the skin that you’re wearing, but you did put it on and then not take it off again; you continue to wear it rather than any of 1000 other skins you could wear.

  2. There are different levels of quality when considering your skins, shapes and hair. And with quality comes price. A really good quality skin, such as Vogue is going to cost you about $1000 lindens. (if memory serves me) I recently began wearing Cupcakes which are $800. But these skins are much higher quality then the freebies. So to attain a well-made avatar look, you’ll need the lindens. Another factor is personal taste. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We often make fun of body oil in SL, but for the people that wear body oil…they must think they are beautifying their avi. So in my opinion, a “beautiful” avatar is a mixture of budget and personal taste. Because Dale is right, there is no DNA involved. 😉

  3. Nodding in agreement and adding (truthfully, echoing Dale and Krissy) that beauty is also of the essence, the spirit, which comes through in many ways…as a reflection of what we wear, and how we present ourselves both visually and through our personalities. In RL and SL, we’ve all seen some gorgeous individuals with personalities that worked so totally against their physical beauty as to make that physical beauty disappear. And we’ve all seen those who might not win a beauty pageant based on appearance outshine those who would. Communication skills and how those skills are used are, for many, as much indicators of beauty as they are of intelligence, smiles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s