Second Life before 2003

One of the things I like to do in Second Life is to explore. In that, websites like Bitacora-Viajera and Ad Vitam Aeternam are vital to highlighting photogenic sims I consider to be worth visiting. If I find a particularly photogenic sim I like to give other SLN staff members a heads-up on what’s out there (although they’re just as alert at informing me if they find somewhere they think looks great).

A few weeks back, Canary Beck and I were in discussion about ‘niche’ blogging, and it occurred to me that one niche waiting to be filled is bloggers highlighting ‘vintage’ clothing. Come to that, there’s a gap in the market for creating vintage clothes.

Where bloggers are going to get discouraged (by lack of traffic) is that they’re often all blogging on much the same thing. Often, they’re blogging on exactly the same thing, the same dress, the same group gift, the same Fair. It can all look and feel the same.

Early in SLN’s existence we set up a ‘vintage’ page, and occasionally we’ve tried to imagine SL being older than 12 years. We’ve tried to imagine it existing in the 1950s or the 1850s come to that. Yes, these posts have also come from a ‘naturist’ kind of perspective (the movement was hugely popular in the years between the two World Wars). Below is one of the earliest vintage photos we produced, with period hairstyling being used. These bright, gay young things (to slip into the vernacular of the 1930s) would certainly have embraced something like a ‘radical’ nudist lifestyle (it wouldn’t have been called naturism then).



Our ‘Vintage’ page doesn’t see much action, often because there’s not a great deal of ‘vintage’ settings in which to place models, or to reimagine a SL of specific eras. This is a shame. Yes, there are vintage clothes and vintage hairstyles around but, frankly, not enough RP sims in which to utilise them and probably not enough vintage clothes or hair in which to keep the realism levels up.

For me, it seems that there is huge scope to expand the timeframe in which we see SL operating. A masked regency ball? And if certain SL activities are your preference, well there’s every opportunity to slip off to Mi’lady’s chamber after a couple of waltzes around an ornate ballroom. Sometimes it feel as if we’re trapped in sim builder’s lack of imagination as to how they could re-tool and broaden the entire SL experience. The same applies to the bloggers themselves. How many pairs of jeans does an avatar need? How many blogposts about a new pair of jeans can you read?

The decadence of the ‘Cabaret’ (pre-war Germany) experience? The swinging 60s? The dichotomy of perceived Victorian sexual attitudes against what went on in the bedroom? After all, having given birth to her ninth(!) child, the royal physician warned ‘no more. Do you understand what I’m telling you?’ Yes, the Queen replied, no more fun in bed.

Very little of this would broaden the naturist experience in SL. That’s as may be.  But we would certainly all benefit, have new SL experiences and possibly even learn a little if there was a much increased range of historical sims, and the clothes and hairstyles that might accompany them. We would also all benefit by a much broader range of ‘ethnic’ sims and clothes and hairstyles. That would broaden our Sl, broaden our SL experience too.

You never know, sims dedicated to Sparta, the Pharaohs, post-revolutionary Russia…all had periods where clothing was out and nudity was in (after the Russian Revolution there was a movement called ‘Down with the shame’ who held mass nude rallies in an effort to ‘dispel bourgeois morality’. And you think Top-Free Equality rallies are a modern invention?)

Where we do step outside the ‘norm’, the shopping mall sim experience, the shopping mall purchasing experience, is that it’s only to locations we know of via popular culture. Steampunk sims. Game of Thrones sims. It appears we sometimes need to have these presented to us before we can adopt them to SL. Yet out there we’ve got several thousand years of human endeavour and invention from which we should be creating our Second World, and filling it with clothes, implements, houses, hairstyles of those periods of history.

Certainly, I’m always willing to reimagine ‘the nude’ within SL, hence our ‘Vintage’ page. But even if naturism or ‘the nude’ isn’t your thing, you have to agree that a broader grasp of the historical, in sims, in clothes, in hairstyles, would be a good thing for SL.






Underarm hair…it’s a trend, apparently

Back in May, Miley Cyrus was in the news (again) for revealing dyed underarm hair.

Around about the same time I was experimenting with underarm hair, in the sense I was growing it! I wasn’t putting any dye on there, but I had a period where I was quite happy not shaving under my arms and I quite liked the look. I just got lazy in respect of having to do it all the time…a week went by…then a second…

‘Eewwwwww!!!! Gross!!!’ said friends when I mentioned it (or if we had a rare warmish day when I’d be in a tank top and it was visible). I went to the swimming pool, as I do most weeks. ‘Disgusting’, a teenage girl muttered to her boyfriend as I raised my arms to put my swimming cap on, ‘I bet she doesn’t shave anywhere‘, hissed the boyfriend before they both giggled. Just my legs, dear, just my legs.

Strange how we’ve all become conditioned to think of what grows naturally as ‘gross’.

Or do we?

I’ve read that females with unshaven armpits is a bit of a trend on instagram. The NY Post also has done a piece on this in the past few weeks, with one Mum who has stopped shaving her armpits saying “it was kind of startling that these gender stereotypes were already so ingrained (in her five year old daughter). I do it, or rather don’t do it, for me but also as a reminder to my daughter that it’s up to the individual what we decide to do with our bodies.”

Others have taken to youtube to show their approach to  the issue, and explain why shaving is now, for them, ‘out’.

ella armpit hair_001b

As a result I took to wearing underarm hair in SL. It did attract comments.

‘Are you like that in RL?’ asked one avatar, and even in text form on the screen you could almost sense a disapproving wrinkling of their nose at the idea.

I didn’t do it to attract comments but just to reflect RL as it was at the time. Besides, I’m operating my life (and Second Life) for me, not you. Your opinion is worthless to me.

We all change hairstyles from time to time, many of us will wax our shave our ‘bikini line’, and many of the younger generation now routinely remove all traces of pubic hair. I suppose there are positives and negatives to this: received wisdom is that pubic hair is there to cushion friction against sensitive parts, and removing it can lead to infections. On the other hand, pubic lice have been practically wiped out around the world due to many women removing their pubic hair. In times gone by, pubic lice, often known as ‘crabs’ was linked in with other venereal diseases.

In the past, apparently, it was not uncommon to hear people talk of having to visit a ‘VD clinic’ because they had ‘a dose of the crabs’ or ‘a dose of the clap’ (gonorrhoea). Nowadays these are referred to as STI’s (sexually transmitted infections) after a period of being known as STD’s (sexually transmitted disease). The reason for the ‘rebranding’ is obvious. These are often easily treatable infections, not a full-blown ‘disease’.


Winning World War 2 by not having sex.


But we’re drifting away from the point of the initial post here. Let’s get back on track.

Body hair is natural, there is nothing gross about it, and it’s high time that the media stopped perpetuating the myth that there’s something wrong with it. There isn’t. What there is something wrong with is the idea you can or should be belittled, sneered at or held in contempt for making your own body choices. In a time of tattoos being fashionable, would we stand for people like the media adopting the same approach to tattoos? ‘Ooh, they’re gross. You look like a tramp‘, etc, etc. No. It would be regarded as bullying. The same applies here. A woman’s decision to grow her armpit hair, or even dye it thereafter, should only be reported as that person indulging in ‘a bit of colourful fun’.

During research for this piece, I discovered that it’s not just armpit hair that’s getting colourful. Some ladies are extending use of that bottle of dye downstairs as well.




I don’t know about you, but I think these two photographs (above) are absolutely stunning and beautiful. They make me want to….well….

..where’s my alt? 🙂


Hahaha! I like it! I actually like it a lot! 🙂 I got this short hairstyle at Boon & Saikin. Perhaps I need to give my main avatar a radical makeover! 🙂

As for ‘downstairs’, we’ll take this back to where we came in, and the shock revelation that, yes indeed, Miley isn’t a total fan of the razor (follow the first link in this post).















Canadian top-free equality

Congratulations to those Canadian women who have turned out for a Top-Free equality parade.

The genesis for this was when two Canadian sisters were stopped for riding bikes topless. You can read the background to the story here. It has been perfectly legal to be topless in public in Ontario since the mid 1990s, apparently.

One of the sisters, Alysha Brilla is a well known Canadian singer/songwriter.


Alysha Brilla


As is often the case with these things now, Twitter has responded with the hashtag #barewithus

cover up

boobs not bombs


These marches are now getting very familiar, but it shows how far women have to go in the quest of trop-free equality when women will still be stopped for doing something that has been legal for two decades. What do they teach policemen at police training schools?



Pillow fight!

Depoz is a long-established store which does high quality furniture, with many of the lounge, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom furniture having a lot of static animations built in and they look fabulous.

karen bedroom2_001b

Does my bum look big in this? Karen tries out a bedroom mirror pose at Depoz

Hugh’s original intention with this shoot was to capture some of the animations and follow Karen’s morning routine, from bed, to shower, to dressing. That photo-shoot is on our Flickr page. However, along the way, Hugh and Karen discovered a L$0 free ‘pillow fighter’ box that they bought, tried out, thought was lovely (as I do too). Summoning another model, Jayne, they tried it out. It works without the need for Depoz furniture, you can essentially have a pillow fight anywhere, and the pillow you get has a feather emitter 🙂

karen bedroom3_001b

Feathers everywhere as Karen and Jayne have a pillow fight.

karen bedroom4_001b

Karen appears to be winning this pillow fight.

Hugh says that ‘as there’s such a flurry of movement as the pillows are used that it’s hard to capture the sense of movement the attachment provides. I’ve not done it justice and in the end had to resort to a couple of semi-static poses that captured the feathers cascading’. At L$0 it’s going to be something you can take a chance on anyway, isn’t it?

pillow fight

I’ve been over there, picked up a copy and I can say that it is a fun attachment, even though I was pillow fighting my shadow! 🙂 I’ve created the link above that should TP you directly to the free attachment and you can pick up your own copy. Take your significant other, get them to buy a copy and you can fight out who gets the larger share of the duvet! 🙂