ISSUE 8 Is it just me or…

…are people breaking away from that Dorian Grey/Peter Pan forever youthful look?

I take a bit of an interest in ‘the older avatar’, being one myself in SL, and also being that bit older in RL.

On my travels I’ve been noticing that people, men and women alike, are adopting older skins. Well made ones, too. The market’s still small, and probably always will be small, but it’s a niche that some skin designers are prepared to fill, and doing it well.

Elegant Mature is one such store. Not ‘cheap’, but much cheaper than some of the 20-something skins available around the grid. Certainly well worth the money for what you get. There’s a greater range than that photographed, so my advice is to tp over there if you wish to adopt a more mature look.

elegant mature1elegant mature2

First Lady is another such store that does some older, female skins that look fabulous, as well as a range of other, younger ones and some exceptional black and Asian skins. One thing I love about this store is that the skins are modelled nude, so you get some indication of the ‘full effect’. Other skin designers please take note!

first lady

Apologies for the quality of the photos. I’m not a SL photographer, in the general scheme of things.

Of course, being ‘older’ in SL doesn’t mean you have to wear an ‘old’ skin. I get by with a bog-standard freebie skin (there are always loads available) and with a bit of care you can make even a ‘young’ skin look and feel right on what’s intended to be an older avatar. I accentuate this by wearing white hair. Now, in real life my hair isn’t that white, being sort of  a washed-out black now (OK…dark grey!) and increasing amounts of white at my temples. I suppose I might need to think of dying it soon. 😦 But the white hair in SL creates an illusion of age. As does the hair style! It’s important to get an appropriate style that fits with your intended age.

Equally important is being realistic about the figure that accompanies the avatar. Don’t be afraid, as a woman, to increase the level of gravity on the breasts, widen the hips, round out your bottom, and give it more body fat. It doesn’t mean being ‘unattractive’, simply being truthful. It’s called ageing! Don’t be afraid to embrace it and look the part accordingly.

Finally, a word about clothes. Again, think of the overall impression of your avatar. One of the skins shown above will not look right in a mini-skirt, so don’t buy them! Pick clothes that will be more accurate in their impression of your avatar’s age. OK, so I hang around in naturist sims a lot of the time, so clothes aren’t always important, but I do have to get dressed occasionally, and I’ll pick outfits that reflect a 40-something woman. Formal dresses always look great. Jeans are fine. Tank tops, too, if you’re going for a casual look. But if I’m going to go swimming, for example, at a clothed sim, then a one piece swimming costume looks better than a bikini. No thongs, please!

Barbara.

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