Our second political nude dissident is….’anonymous’. She has asked her SL name is not used, and I have respected that. The reasons for remaining anonymous? Our model is an Egyptian girl in real life, and does not include much nudity in her SL. For her, there’s still a sense of embarrassment about even a nude avatar. Still only 19, and living in a different social structure from those of us in the west, I sensed a very distinct mindset and approach to sexuality than we might commonly encounter.
We cruised a few Egyptian sims to take these shots.
Ella: How are you finding the shoot?
Anonymous: It’s scandalous, a bit embarrassing, but also oddly liberating to do this in sims where someone clothed, male and maybe with an Arabic mindset turns up. I’m quite excited, actually.
Ella: Yet you do this in support of Aliaa Al-Magdy?
Anonymous: Yes. She is something of a cause celebre in Egypt right now. I support her right to claim ownership of her body, and the fact that her nudity is not seen as obscene.
Ella: Yet you remain embarrassed rather than embrace it in your own SL?
Anonymous: I think the idea that nakedness is natural will come. For now, I am a new person in SL and I am a little wary of what I do.
Ella: But your avatar is beautiful!
Anonymous: Thank you. I think, if there are many women from the Arab world playing they will all want to look beautiful, but maybe it is a little secret they have between themselves and their computers. I have a couple of friends in SL who have the same outlooks. We buy lots of lingerie to put on in SL and feel sexy and maybe sexual. And this idea is not accepted within the Arab world. It is very patriarchal.
Ella: Bathing in milk as a homage to Cleopatra!
Anonymous: That was fun, posing for that.
Ella: What is it you want from your SL?
Anonymous: For now, I like to buy clothes and explore. I do not feel I have found a proper role for myself in SL.
Ella: You enjoy the game?
Anonymous: Very much, but I am still a little frightened to speak to many people, particularly males. I’m sorry, this must be strange to someone in Europe.
Ella: Not at all. It’s the diversity of cultures and meeting people like you who make it such an enriching game to play. You wished to remain anonymous.
Anonymous: I do not wish to attract unwanted messages. I have a real life, and my circumstances dictate that I want to make my SL, if discovered, I play in secret, not embarrassing to me. Often, I wear plain clothes in SL to reflect my reality and not make the game an embarrassment for me in front of my family. I need to go now, though, as others will be in the house soon. Maybe we can talk some other time. Bye! 🙂
Ella was talking to ‘anonymous’ via chatlog during the brief photo shoot