Black and white

Ella says…I’m colour blind, in Rl and in SL. Yes, I can see the spectrum perfectly. What I mean is that I judge people on who they are, not the colour of their skin (or their religious beliefs, for that matter).

There aren’t enough black (or Asian, for that matter) avatars in SL, and it’s refreshing to see the occasional person of different skin pixel pigmentation.

It might also be refreshing to see people not wear or use skins for the purpose of stereotypical roleplay. Often, too often, I see black avatars, where I see them at all, reduced to the function of gangsta, thug from the hood, pimp, rapacious black man playing out ‘white chick’ fantasies (even where the avatar controller may be white) or crack ho’. Too often there’s ‘inter-racial’ play out there in SL, and probably almost exclusively with perceptions of black people in negative terms.

Harry had a great idea. ‘We should have a post called black and white, featuring black and white models, photographed in black and white’. He’s been working on this for a couple of weeks, and wanted to do more with it, but events have overtaken me today, so here it is.

It’s a second life out there, so maybe it would be a spiffing idea to leave first life prejudices and stereotypes at the log in page. What I’ve got here is a black girl looking like a supermodel. In conversation she has a fierce intelligence that immediately dispels any notions any of you might have that she might be interested in joining your roleplay sim as a crack ho’ teenage baby machine. In RL the model is black, a graduate, a sim builder, a RL businesswoman and SL clothes designer. I just love to puncture people’s prejudices and perceptions.

No other words are necessary, and maybe I’ve said too many. But I’m angry today. My RL neighbour and best friend is Afro-Carribean. My children and her children are the closest of friends. And on the way home from playgroup today some acne-ridden, shaved headed yobs racially abused both my friend and her children. They’re 3 & 4 years old. So I’m angry, exceptionally angry and I need some sort of outburst to release it. Sorry. And yet I’m not sorry.

SL offers us the opportunity to re-invent ourselves. Yet too often we arrive with RL attitudes. It’s a new life inworld. Let us adopt new attitudes to accompany it.