Shapes and Changes

Alright. I did it. I explored alternative life styles in SL. 🙂 Hah! Get your minds out of the gutter!!! I’m talking about avatar appearance. After my discussion with Ryg (see “What would YOU do?”), I tp’d back to NCI to my friends who thought I looked just fine. LOL. But I decided that perhaps their opinions were a bit skewed. That evening, more of us were non-human than human. Everyone was rotating through their various forms and appearances. It really was quite a show! U and I were the only ones without a non-human av. I do have at least 2 other avatar shapes I picked up for free, but I’ve never used them. Oh, not quite true. I took the eyes from one. 🙂 Used the hair from another to go shopping one day. But you get the point. So when L offered me a new shape I figured now was the time! So I took myself to the dressing room and transformed myself into a Mini Black House Cat. 🙂

It was cute. I’m not sure why Tinies need to have special chairs for sitting. Note the carrot that L supplied as well. Certainly the orange set off my black fur and blue eyes quite nicely. But when all is said and done, eh. I still have no desire to be an animal. Perhaps I am simply boring or uncreative. Wearing wings on occasion is amusing. I’m still thinking about getting ears and a tail. But being a cat really didn’t do much for me. Maybe this is like true love – I’ll “know” when the right shape comes along. In the meantime I will simply admire and enjoy everyone else’s creative shapes. Such as this 3-headed dog that leaves fire-y footprints. You really do meet the most interesting people at NCI.

A RL friend asked me about buying hair and skins. It does sound peculiar if you’ve never done it. 🙂 So here you go. The first photo shows the display (the ad) for the hair style and the various colors. If you click on the gray Demo box, you buy a demo for L$1. You can try it on to see how you like it. Notice that there is a big box floating above your head. 🙂 So you can’t wear the demo unless you also want to wear the box. If you decide you want the hair style, you click on the color you want. At that point you are charged the full amount (assuming you click pay). And that’s it – the hair is in your inventory and when you want to have your hair look like that, you wear it. And when you want a different look, you wear different hair. Or skin. Or shape. It’s really that simple. So what do you think? I rather like this ‘do. Now which color……

What would YOU do?

A few weeks ago I wrote about my appearance in SL and how so many people felt they had the right to walk up to me and make suggestions for improvements (“Makeover”, July 28). I thought I’d looked fine when I was “born” back on June 26 but I had to agree that once C got done with me, I looked much better. I’ve added a few more little tweaks here and there (like buying hair). I’m not a knock-out. I’m not going to turn heads when I walk into a room. I went skin shopping and picked up some demo’s I’m still contemplating. I have an idea for the next hair I’m going to buy. I’m sure I’ll do some changes but I’m not in a big rush to do so. I am comfortable with how I look. It suits how I feel when I’m in SL. (Or – do I act as I do because of how I look???? I’m not going there today.)

So I am still somewhat at a loss about a conversation that took place a few nights past. I was inworld tp’ing about, listening to live music. Several of my friends were online but most were in the middle of other activities and I was enjoying my own company. I was savoring the freedom of roaming a new world all by myself without fear, enjoying my growing confidence in navigating all the aspects of living a virtual life. I tp’d into a well-known jazz club. How do I know it’s well-known? LOL. Even I had heard of it! 🙂 It was a large room and most people were up close to the stage. I strolled over to a table on the outskirts of the room and settled in to listen to the music, sending occasional IM’s to other friends.

A new IM popped up in the window. It was from RemakeYourselfGal, Ryg. (No, of course that isn’t her name – the names have been changed to protect the guilty.)
Ryg: you get that pic?
AH: excuse me?
Ryg: I sent you a pic I took of you
AH: oh! no. are you sure you are talking to the right person?

The message box popped up and there indeed was a fairly nice pic of me. I was baffled. Why was a total stranger taking pictures of me? Ryg and I exchanged pleasantries. She told me she was trying to guess my age by my avatar’s appearance. It turned out that she specialized in makeovers: nightclubs, landscaping and people. I began to have an inkling of where this conversation might be heading. I thought Ryg was trying to recruit me as a client. I figured that she simply approached many strangers and began her sales pitch this way. But she told me she didn’t charge for make-overs, she wanted to help others so that they didn’t struggle as she had. I was still fairly relaxed and happy, so, laughing to myself, I asked her if I should be worried that a make-over artist approached me.

AH: I am curious as to why you initiated the conversation
Ryg: well I mentor an I have seen a hundred girls that look like you
AH: does this mean you think i am desparately in need of make-over?
Ryg: mmm the short answer is no, but I feel you could look a lot closer to what you want to project here

Deep Breath. At this point part of me is ready to lash out at her and ask her how she, a total stranger, dares to presume to tell me what I want to project. The other part of me is fascinated by the whole conversation and wants to see how far she’s going to take it. Obviously the latter won or there would be no blog. 🙂 I was going to put all of our dialogue in here but that is overkill and boring. So what follows are a few choice excerpts. (Which may still be boring! 🙂 ) We talked about many things, but it always drifted back to her presumption that I needed to be “fixed”. Let me say, however, that I believe Ryg was trying to be nice. She thought she was being kind, offering to help a newbie figure things out. One inworld friend thought the conversation constituted a form of abuse and I should have reported Ryg. I think that’s extreme. I don’t believe she was trying to insult me or hurt me. But….. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

AH: I am curious as to why you initiated the conversation
Ryg: well I mentor an I have seen a hundred girls that look like you
AH: so you like my boots. what is it about my appearance that you think needs fixing?
Ryg: you need to differentiate yourself from the 5 million other sally sue’s out there . . eyes first then hair, maybe a nice skin
Ryg: NICE skin
Ryg: I like just enough makeup to accent my lips and eyes . .maybe a touch of rouge on the cheeks
Ryg: you need a facelight too, this place is notoriously dim, all of sl
Ryg: other people need to see your pretty face
Ryg: see you are over in the corner in the dark, no one witout radar will know you are there
AH: But Ryg, what if that’s okay?
Ryg: thats fine
Ryg: you don impress me as someone who wants to avoid people
AH: so what do you think of this face light? better?
Ryg: lol is it on?
AH: that leads me back to my original question, why me? how did you “see” me walk in
Ryg: you are the only woman outside help island I have seen that looks like you
AH: LOL. i guess that’s a bad thing
Ryg: well not a bad thing, you are not unique
Ryg: an I think you want to be

At this point I confess that she was really starting to depress me. Good thing she liked my new black boots or I think I’d have run out of the club and jumped off the nearest bridge. Good thing I had friends on the IM telling me to ignore her and to gasp at her comments. I was giving serious thought to slinking out of there and finding a paper bag to put on my poor, hundred-other-girl face. Ryg told me how she made-over her current girlfriend. Ryg gave her Ryg’s own body shape. They had different skins, eyes, hair, etc., but they had the same shape. I replied that I thought there was no problem with sharing a shape but that otherwise being the same could be problematic. I realize now from reading our chat that Ryg thought I was talking about my own body staying the same shape. Even so.

Ryg: She is the only person I gave my shape to, she has diff skin an hair, or she would look like me
AH: i can see where that wouldnt work. but same shape should be fine
Ryg: well . . thinner waist? biggger boobs? some butt? who knows . . but lord you can try

“but lord you can try”

That was the point at which I decided I’d had enough. I excused myself and tp’d to the NCI boardwalk.

Let me give you the last little supreme irony, a line from Ryg’s own profile: Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

So, dear reader, there you have it. What would you have said or done?


Finally – I have some time to write about skins and SL makeovers! (Unfortunately I have time because our network is down for repairs, supposedly only for an hour. But I have things to do and I forgot (whine, whine) that the network was scheduled to be down. I’d just hit SEND when – wham – no connectivity. Bummer…..

First – to all my new and very very dear SL friends – do NOT take this the wrong way!!!! Try to remember when you were new and green and fresh off the farm! I positively LOVE that you are all helping me with makeovers and tweaking my appearance and all the other delicious and fun things you are teaching me. Please please don’t stop!!!

But….. and I’m literally smiling a big smile as I type this….. very few people in RL would say to me what I’ve heard the last 4 weeks. LOL – let me restate that – I HOPE that very few people would say (or want to say) to me what I’ve heard.

If you are reading this, then you probably saw the pictures I uploaded of myself in SL. (By the way – have you noticed that I’ve stopped drawing a distinction between “me” and Ahuva?? I have come across some very interesting discussions on self and avatar on other blogs, notably Botgirl Questi’s blog and Sohprosyne Stenvaag’s blog, specifically this one. Check them out.) If you saw my pictures and blog, you know that I thought I looked pretty darn good!!! Hot, even. You may have figured out that my RL appearance is not the same as my SL appearance. More than that about the differences I’m not prepared to say. It’s fun to change appearance. Especially to change appearance so easily!

I feel good about how I look. So WHY does everyone feel compelled to offer to make me over, change my hair, change my skin, change my clothes, change my walk?? LOL. Sometimes I feel like a Barbie doll. 🙂 People give me clothes, objects and animation overrides so fast I can barely get them into inventory!!!! People are always saying – Oh you should talk to X, X is great at make-overs. LOL. Um, what was so WRONG about my appearance??? Besides no eyelashes. My favorite was my male friend who pointed out that my eyebrows were WAY too large. Well hey, maybe I LIKE bushy eyebrows!!!!

Okay, I DON’T like how my eyebrows look. Looked. But to tell me that??? Can you imagine if he’d said that to me in RL? I don’t think so. 🙂 That would strain our relationship for sure. But in SL I simply smile and say “yes, I agree”.

Having said that I thought I looked pretty good and I liked how I look, I have to confess that I think I look even better now! I DO like the skin tones and the makeup and the eyelashes (no, I CAN’T let that drop) and all that goes with it. Changing skins is as simple as changing clothes. I stood there with C & D Monday night as C gave me skin after skin. They have fantastic names – Gluttony, Pride, Greed, Lust. LOL. I asked if there were any named Chastity, Hope or Innocence. The closest we came was Humility. Quite honestly – Gluttony looks WAY better than Humility! So I’m wearing Gluttony. LOL. As I modeled each skin in turn, D pointed out the similarities. That’s when C said “Pride is just Lust with different makeup”. That is – the skin color and all were the same, but the eye shadow and rouge and lipstick had changed. But I’m still sure that somewhere in that comment is a great philosophical blog. I’m mulling it over – don’t be surprised one day to find it here (probably the next time the network is down for an hour).

One other observation that fascinates me. And it hearkens back to my earlier comments about choices people make in SL and how those choices reveal so much about our RL selves (if both the observed and observer could interpret correctly). Someone went past me today. The avatar was shaped like many people I see in RL. There is no way that I would want to look like that if I didn’t have to look like that. It merely proves that beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. And I’ve seen numerous avatars with humanoid shapes that look too much like RL shapes that I would think need, hmmm, work. (yeah, yeah, I’m being judgmental again. Strike work and write what I mean – need improvement.) So I am intrigued by what that says about them and what it all says about me. Because there’s no question that my reaction to such avatars is revealing tons about myself, but I’m not sure what. Or maybe I’m not sure “why”. 🙂

’m still extremely nervous about changing my appearance. Way back in the beginning I blogged about changing my appearance and getting it wrong and being gray and beige and black – all at once. And I’m still confused about my hair and why it disappears and I have to re-wear it. Some of it may be due to my connectivity issues (hey – if YOU’RE sick of hearing about it, think how *I* feel!!!) and some may be because I messed up my appearance during my first few days.

But I want to get myself into some private spot and swap skins and hair til I’ve tried on all the items in my inventory. I want to figure out if skins change the shape of my face as well as color & makeup. (hmmm – I have a friend with a nice beach house that I like to call home. LOL. Maybe I could go there to change. With only a cat to witness……). I want to try on all my outfits. I want to find a pair of jeans that actually meets the bottom of my shirt! I want to find the beautiful necklace C gave me that seems to have vanished from my inventory (can’t trust the inventory anymore – that’s one of the bad connectivity symptoms). I want to take pics of myself in Greed and Pride. I want to change my hair. In other words – I want to play!

And now I know why everyone in SL is always offering to help me with a make-over – because it’s so much fun!

My SL Photo Album

Well, it’s not much of a photo album yet. I’m still pressed for time but I did want to share 2 photos with you. The first is the kind of thing you really only see in SL or some other Virtual World.

Personally, I’m very glad to see these signs go up. I was getting very tired of shoo’ing away those pesky vampires. It was getting so you couldn’t take a simple stroll down the boardwalk without being accosted by someone offering to leave bite marks in your neck. Next thing you know someone will be offering to wash your windshield. (Okay, you probably have to have been in NYC before the Rudy Giuliani days to get that reference. 🙂 )

Monday night I went sailing with a friend and ended up making 2 new friends. One was trying to solve my computer’s technical problems, the other decided to solve MY problems. 🙂 I’d already had someone point out to me that my eyebrows were simply TOO big. LOL. And I’ve already moaned about my eyelashes (or lack thereof). So C took me in hand and remade me. That has to be a blog in and of itself – I learned about skins and such. Not to mention C’s comment “Pride is just Lust with different makeup”. You KNOW there’s got to be a blog in that somewhere!!! But the end note of that evening is that not only did C remake me, she also took my photo. So my SL profile has been updated, eyelashes and all. Okay Dale – I will do my best to come up with some text for the profile as well. In the meantime, the “new” Ahuva:


Editing Appearance
Editing Appearance
Rest of time
Rest of time

Why? I’ve been told i need a new and better skin to solve this problem. Maybe time to do some serious shopping.

But not today. Someone near and very dear to me has bought me a brand-new computer with 2 graphics cards (is that possible?). So with any luck – no more MSC!!!

And besides that temptation we have a very active RL today. Maybe tonight? tomorrow? I REALLY want eyelashes! And I think I’m looking a bit grim – I need to get a smile too!