I’ve been working with a lovely lady who says that she wears a ‘larger sized’ avatar to reflect her RL.
I like her thinking. Too often, despite the opportunity to re-invent in the context of SL, people like to reflect a certain media-driven idea of ‘perfection’ in SL. Slim, tall, pneumatically-breasted or with equine-like male genitalia. And we all know that RL isn’t like that.
So my model keeps it on the larger size, and complained to me that ‘mesh actually reinforces the idea of the body-beautiful‘, as even the XL sizes don’t fit for the shape of avatar she employs. As a result she says she’s forced to go back to older items of SL inventory in order to get dressed. SL designers please note! Perhaps the time has come to consider XXL or even XXXL mesh sizes, to allow avatars to dress well. And just how reflective of the real world is that plea? I imagine there’s not too many ‘larger sized’ people in RL who wouldn’t say ‘he’s talking about my RL shopping experiences right there!’.
Women designers, in particular, please take note. The introduction of an XXL size would empower women to dress beautifully, and wear larger sized avatars to reflect the diversity of the human body.
The painter Lucian Freud (grandson of Sigmund Freud), was known for painting models who didn’t conform to a ‘norm’ of beauty. This, I think, gives them a beauty all of their own. Above is ‘Benefits Supervisor Sleeping’, featuring ‘Big’ Sue Tilley, and which sold for $33m in 2008, a record for a living (at that time) painter.
While I can’t replicate the pose, exactly, in SL, I’ve tried to capture a little of the wholly apparent beauty of a larger-sized avatar in the image, below, which I’ve titled -in a kind of homage to Freud- ‘Primary School Teacher Pensive’.
I would also like to take the opportunity, on this Remembrance Day (in the UK, the day we remember our war dead), to draw attention to this Independent (UK newspaper) article, explaining why Freud refused to permit his paintings to be exhibited in Vienna during his lifetime.