The BP portrait prize, 2012

I don’t know much about art, unless you categorise photography and what it attempts to achieve as art, but I picked up on this story from the BBC yesterday. American painter Aleah Chapin has scooped a substantial prize for her portrait, entitled ‘Auntie’, apparently of a family friend.

I think it’s marvellous, and shows that beauty isn’t confined to youth. As usual, I tried to replicate it in SL. Probably less successful than previous recreations of RL art that I’ve done, but it’s a picture I will try to re-do at some point in the future, closer to the pose and background.

Harry

Interesting…because ‘older avatars’ are a topic discussed, probably as the ‘keynote’ piece, in Issue 4 of the magazine. And I’m in a position to tell you that it will be published tomorow, Thursday. 🙂

Ella.

 

 

Issue 4 : Older avatars

by guest writers Maura Daines and ‘Pops’

Pops makes his point

There’s no doubt that there’s something Peter Pan or Dorian Grey about SL. We need never grow up, never grow old. There’s an emphasis on youth in SL, regardless of how old we are in RL. Despite this, some of us like to sport avatars that accurately reflect our age. I’m naturally attracted (not necessarily in a physical sense) to fellow older avatars, mainly because they’re likely to have the same interests or cultural touchstones as myself. We should be honest here; I can’t really identify with the outside, RL interests of a 20 year old guy, while I’ll possibly enjoy the same music, the same wines, read the same books, been touched by the same movies, had the same RL experiences (in terms of marriage/divorce/parenthood/mortgages/illness(!)) as someone my own age. It makes for easier conversation. And I’d say that when it comes to forming a physical relationship (in cyber terms) guys of a certain age may well be able to apply their RL knowledge of women to their text, making for a quite possibly deeper sense of mental connection than some young guy who lacks that experience. I dunno, what do you think, ladies? (or guys for that matter).

I’ve certainly been naturist in SL, but it’s almost secondary. I’m not a RL naturist, although as I get older it is one of those ‘things to do’ that rises higher on my list with each passing summer. I’ve just fallen into it in SL by accident, but the great thing is that through SL I’ve come to know a lot about it, and also done some external research as a result of that.

So, I don’t necessarily pose here in a sense of ‘attractive older woman’, which in its own way brings its own headaches in terms of younger guys certainly wanting some sense of ‘milf hunting’, which isn’t my thing. Instead, I’m posing, and posing nude (as well as clothed, is that a first for SLN?) (I think it is: Ellaas -hopefully- an example of avatars not necessarily needing to be youthful.

Of course, that presents its own difficulties when assembling an older avatar. For one thing, grey hair just looks ‘unrezzed’, so care is needed in determining what style to wear. And long hair isn’t really an older woman thing. We tend to wear shorter hairstyles as we age, so that too is a challenge. Body shape? An 18 inch waist will look deformed. The reality is our hips have filled out, our tummies will have sagged with middle age spread and muscular weakening through age and childbirth. Our breasts will definitely have succumbed to gravity. So these things all need to be considered when assembling an older avatar. Clothes too. Certain dresses won’t look right on an older avatar. Thankfully there’s enough choice to build an older avatar’s wardrobe, but it’s a thing that needs some proper thought put in. Women of a certain age need to choose a skin carefully. I find a lighter one gives shadow, and increases the look of age to some degree. It’s also important to tweak the jowls and things like that in order to make an accurate older avatar. However, for me, the effort has been worth it, as I feel I’ve ended up with an avatar that is a more accurate reflection of the RL me! For those of you who wish to consider ‘older’ avatars, I suggest you begin at the Uncommon shop or First Lady. Atea, where I began my ‘mature’ SL, is still available, and Elegant Mature, new to me, also offers much older avatars skins. I wear a ‘middle aged’ look, reflecting my RL, but Elegant Mature offers a more ‘elderly’ range.

Maura

This article has been in the planning for months, and so Harry has had a brief to take pictures of older avatars where and when he could. Of course, not all are naturist, and some declined the opportunity to pose nude. Some loved the idea. Below, we present a small gallery of older avatars that we’ve managed to snap. Ella.

An anonymous mature avatar poses for usThe same lady, looking beautiful by Sweden’s sunbathing lake.
Polish avatar Bozena gives her name, but says ‘Nie, dziękuję’ to appearing nude.

Self confessed ‘old hippy’ Jack says he’s ‘not so much a naturist, as someone plugging into the free love 60s. Festivals had a lot of nudity back then, and they were fun times. So my avatar is me as I am, still sticking to those peace and love principles. I’m not really a naturist I suppose, but I’d certainly be relaxed about being nude in some sort of commune, if such a thing existed in SL’

nb: There is, Jack! It’s called Commune Utopia, and it’s a free love sort of place that may include some (or lots of) nudity. It’s not strictly speaking a naturist place, although it’s certainly naturist friendly, but as such I won’t provide a slurl to it. But it’s readily available on ‘search’ : Ella

Older and black. Avatar Kandye wears a ‘first lady’ skin, as referenced in Maura’s piece (above).

The same skin appears to be available for white avatars in their store.


Why did I opt for an older avatar? It’s who I am. And it’s also something different in a world of pneumatically breasted women and men sporting genitals like donkeys. I feel comfortable in the skin I’m in. If there’s anything I don’t like, it’s that I’m too muscular. Sure, I work out in RL to stay supple and I’m not overweight, but I’m just not that toned. The shape’s pretty good, I think, but the muscle tone’s too much. While I like the hair, to the point that it’s a pretty good reflection of me too, I’d prefer it a bit whiter, and my pubic hair a bit greyer, hahaha.

Am I naturist? Yes. Where I live there’s not much opportunity for it in a social context, but I’m certainly a backyard naturist, have gone skinny dipping int the past, and would have no shame or embarrassment in stripping off on a nude beach if the opportunity arose. I’m happy with my body, and I don’t really feel any need to be judged on how I look by anyone else. I also think that I wear a mindset that matches my age (mid 50s) so like Maura, I’ve got certain cultural reference points that would sit uneasily with a younger avatar. A 20 year old avatar talking about seeing the Stones at their peak would be silly. There’d be little giveaways I think, so I keep my avatar older, knowing that my conversation will match the things I’m discussing. I don’t really care for current music much, and I see movies as re-writes of things I saw 30 years or more back. They’ve not been improved by re-writing, so I don’t go to see them. In that respect I’m disconnected from popular culture, and me dancing to techno in SL would be ludicrous.

While SL may be about reinvention and maybe having the RL you never had in RL, there’s a line. There is for me anyway. I think, even before joining, that I understood the role I wished to play, right down to the name I chose.

Pops

Introducing…

Oooooops!!!!

A couple of nights ago I promised I’d put up ‘one more post’. I’m not sure what went wrong, but it never published. I guess I didn’t actually hit the ‘publish’ button for the post. My apologies.

What it was supposed to be was the following, with some ‘important news’, I said in the previous post. regarding the development of the blog/mag.

And what’s ‘important’ is the introduction of two new writers for the blog. 

I’ve been anxious to get a male writer onboard, in order to give SL naturism a male perspective, so I’d firstly like to introduce Pierre, who will focus on just that.

And, ever keen to broaden the range of views we can offer, I’m also pleased to welcome Fionnuala aboard. Each will present their own vision of what they hope to add to the blog/mag in ‘Issue 4’, coming next week. I think you’ll find their views interesting, and I look forward to their adding to the blog/mag.

By way of ‘getting to know you’, Pierre and Fionnuala popped out for dinner last week,and Harry played gooseberry, snapping them over their meal. Remember to keep checking back for publication of issue 4, when you can read their own words.

Ella.

Photo essay with Gabby

Losing all workable speed yesterday set back this week’s posts. I’m holding back some posts (did we tell you Issue 4’s due next week? 🙂 ) so I’ve not developed any real theme, or written any ‘news’ type items this week.

I knew I had to use the lifebelt as a prop, and frame Gabby within it. The effect works well, I think.

But as you know, we don’t like to let a week go by without at least some posts. And this week is no exception. Harry was out and about, as he often is, photographing for SLN (as well as his own projects, and managed to get the lovely Gabby to do a photo session with him.

Another shot using the lifebelt as a frame.

The photos are above and below, with some commentary from Harry in the captions.

I’ve asked Ella to insert this pic as a full size photo.

Why? I think it’s as close to photo-realism as SL can (currently) manage.

I’ve one more post to add this week -an important one- and it’ll appear later today, Thursday.

The shots were all taken at the Eternity Island ‘photo studio’. It’s not a naturist location, so I’ve not given a slurl to it, but feel free to do a search if you wish to use it for pictures of your own.

Ella

Grab that towel! (A naturist accessory)

Over on the Naturist Accessories page there’s a list of items/links to things that add that finishing touch to your time spent getting an SL all-over tan.

The links there are constant, at least as constant as SL can ever be, so I can be pretty confident many of the locations will be there when new readers wish to check them out.

I could have popped this onto the Naturist Accessories page, but I’ve opted to put this item on the main page because it’s a group gift and, as such, won’t last forever. So if you want it…go get it soon!

This is a free pose (complete with hand held towel) available at Hispose. As the name might suggest, they’re poses for ‘him’, but that’s no reason for us ladies not to pop over and grab the pose for ourselves.

***

Whenever we go for a dip, naturist or textile, I think the thing most of us reach for first on exiting the water is the towel. I know I do, wiping excess water off before settling down on my beach towel again. And this pose, modelled by our old friend Don, demonstrates this in SL action. You can tell it’s a windy day by the way the towel’s flapping around, and there’s nothing to induce shivering than not getting dried properly before sunning oneself again if there’s any sort of wind blowing.

Don has grabbed his towel after a dip, and dries himself, before sitting down in the free pose.

Other poses from the same set, a further four, are reasonably priced at L$30 each, so a set of five -including the freebie- will set you back a mere L$120.

But will the pose work for ladies?

Well, yes, I think it does, lol!

The Little Mermaid and the Mona Lisa (Nude Tour of the World and its artworks no.1)

Su Casa appears to have added a ‘little mermaid’, just like the one in Copenhagen, Denmark. I’m not entirely sure of the relevance of the fur hat, though! 🙂

Never mind. It adds a little touch of ‘folly’ to the statue, a quirkiness we can identify with. At least the statue is more impressive than I remember the real life equivalent being. You walk down a harbour to be underwhelmed by this relatively small work of art. I do recall being equally underwhelmed by the size of the Mona Lisa, too, when I went to see that.

Inspired by our model’s pose beside a RL work of art, and mention of the Mona Lisa, and I decided that maybe I should embark on a nude tour of the world, taking in artworks, landmarks, wonders, and offer you photos ‘au naturel’. 🙂

I’ll get around to getting my own ‘Little Mermaid’ photo in due course (it has the added advantage of being on a naturist sim) but I thought we’d kick off with the Mona Lisa. So, below, are a couple of photos of me posing beside the painting.

Perhaps you’d like to suggest where else I should visit on my nude tour of the world and its artworks.

Pookes

The Mr and Miss SL Naturist 2012 page…to be discontinued

As Harry says, SL sometimes replicates RL (and vice versa, as evidenced by his occasional photos which attempt to recreate RL situations). Particularly so, with attitudes to photography.

What we’ve learned is that while many people embrace and enjoy SL naturism, and merrily run around in their birthday suits, attitudes change when a camera appears.

This is true in RL, and also seemingly true of SL. Many people, ladies particularly, will run around without a stitch on in SL, but don’t wish to be photographed, in pixel form, for a blog, and have their image published. We always respect people’s opinions on this, and will only photograph without permission if we’re doing a ‘general overview’ of a location where participants cannot be easily identified.

We do ask people if they’d like to contribute to the ‘Mr and Miss’ page, but even willing models for the magazine/blog are, at best, indifferent to the notion of being in ‘a beauty pageant/contest’.

As things stand, half way through 2012, we’ve no one willing to add a portfolio to the page, and I expressed my own uncertainty with the concept on the page when we first added it.

With that in mind, it’s my intention to ‘mothball’ the ‘Mr and Miss naturist 2012’ page in the coming days, and replace it with something new. As there’s some important information, regarding the entire concept, on the page, I won’t delete it, but may expand the theories behind these pageants, and then ‘close’ the page.

As ever, I’d like your input, but I honestly don’t see this as a viable concept within the concept of the blog.

Ella.