The period between Christmas and New Year is one when people plot their re-invention. Think about their ‘New Year Resolutions’.
Plans to stop smoking, go to the gym, lose weight or stick to a diet aren’t always seen through the entire year. Often, they don’t see out January, but they’re still something we plan. ‘The New Year will deliver a new me’, we say to ourselves.
While that’s hard in real life, re-invention is easy in Second Life, and it’s a topic previously covered by Pookes and Ella at the end of 2012 (November of that year, not this between Christmas & New Year period).
I’m constantly re-inventing my avatar. I did it more than just annually prior to taking on this SL Naturist job, but I’ve tried not to be quite so radical with it since I’ve become editor, as I recognise there is a need for you, the reader, to be able to identify us in the postings. Abigail, too, appears to have been someone who has enjoyed many different hairstyles in the past and she too has curtailed this ‘affliction’ 🙂 for the benefit of readers.
I think that some people find reinvention particularly easy at this time of year in Second Life because of the huge number of hunts, gifts and dollarbies that are available in the run-up to Christmas. Just as in real life, we can sometimes make an impulse buy because L$1 is a minuscule amount to pay, so we have to have the item, whether it fits with our Second Life at that moment.
With this and the fact that previous authors for SL Naturist have maintained an ‘alt’, I decided I should do the same. Meet Trine2016!
I note that the initial avatars have changed since I first joined (and please don’t write to tell me the photos of my alt avatar don’t match. I messed up the initial attempt at registration, had to go back, and clicked a different avatar second time around). The one I’ve chosen (in the third photo) is listed as ‘Shawna’ in the inventory and rather happily she’s not mesh. I’m aware that the previous set of avatars used by Linden Labs were mesh, looked like victims of a terrible car crash, and I’m guessing were confusing to new players. The ‘classic’ avatar (i.e. not mesh) is much, much easier to come to grips with, to my mind. (Note: there’s an upcoming post on mesh bodies, which we’ve been exploring).
OK…the basics. Trine2016 is going to need new hair, new skin, new shape. (Note: we’ve actually been busy over Christmas, and Abi has been writing up a blog post on ‘the basics’. Just because we didn’t post on Christmas Day or Boxing Day doesn’t mean we didn’t get some SL Naturist miles in).
Where to begin? Traditionally, the advice would have been to direct someone new at the Fab Free website. I’d still do that, but their 30 Days List hasn’t been updated since last July, so beware that some landmarks may be out of date.
First stop, Amacci. I want an AO (animation overrider) to give me more of a ‘sexy’ walk. Check into their Hair section, too, as you’ll be able to pick up a free hairstyle, breast physics and hair base layers all for free too (even if you aren’t clear what these are as a newbie, you will see the benefit of collecting items for inventory now that may be useful later on. My main Trine avatar still doesn’t use breast physics (it’s an add-on that gives your boobs some bounce).
Here’s where the ‘great time of year to re-invent’ advice makes sense. The Kitty-Cats advent calendar is set up outside the Amacci store and you can grab 24 gifts for free right now! These include skins and hair from some of Second Life’s top stores (as well as clothes) so you can immediately begin to alter your newbie avatar (or existing avatar) look.
By the way, I couldn’t find an AO at Amacci. We won’t fret about that for now.
OK. I then teleported over to 7 Deadly Skins, where there is numerous free gifts under their Christmas tree (once again, the benefit of reinvention at this time of year is obvious). Some great skins are included, if you’re white!
You’ll have noticed that I’ve picked a black alt look in Shawna, deliberately! Black skins are much harder to find in Second Life (for free or even at affordable prices). 7 Deadly Skins generally offer a range of tones in their monthly gift, so you could utilise a black or darker Hispanic skin, but that doesn’t seem to be the case over Christmas. On the upside, it’s free to join their group right now (as of Sunday morning) and they regularly change the joining fee (anywhere between L$0 and L$50) so I’d hop along anyway and avail of the free offer.
Fortunately, First Lady skins do a fabulous range of skins, for mature and black/Asian avatars, so I did make use of their ‘7 days’ avatar offer for a great looking black skin. (And you’ll be pleased to know the lack of black skins at affordable prices, leading to a deficit of black or Asian avatars on the grid is yet another post that’s in production right now).
So here’s Trine2016 as she looks with the First Lady skin added, plus hair with Christmas beanie (the Damselfly gift) from the Kitty Cats advent calendar at Amacci.
I’m not fussy on her hair, and her shape is terrible. Let’s fix that.
Using the Fab Free 30 days list, I headed over to Sweet Hairs, to get a free (usually L$300) hairstyle. I recommend it to all new avatars. While it’s exclusively female hair, some styles (even that shown above) can be made to suit males.
There’s also a couple of good free hairs at Argrace, and my alt is wearing a style called Sakura.
Remember! We’ve not spent a single Linden dollar yet! And I don’t intend to do so!
First Lady’s ‘Sylvie’ skin, giving a more ‘Hispanic’ or lighter brown-skinned look.
7 Deadly Skins ‘Gluttony’ skin
OK…let’s finally turn to the shape. Trine 2016 is small and squat. I never buy shapes but tweak the existing shape into something I like. To do this properly, we need to get Trine2016 stripped off.
Come on, Trine, off with the clothes!
Don’t be shy. You’re amongst friends here at SL Naturist.
OK. As naturists we don’t judge others shape or size. The concept of a big booty is very much in. But I don’t like this shape, so I’m going to fix it to my aesthetic. It might not be yours, but you can tweak the shape as you see fit.
Not perfect yet, but Trine has undergone a radical transformation, her shape changed, made taller, mouth and eyes altered, breasts changed.
By way of comparison, here’s the same shape with the ‘Tina’ skin (one of 7 Deadly Skins free skins under their tree).
I headed over to Plausible Body where I picked up some outfits, and a lot of shoes for free.
In theory you should pay for the items you collect at Plausible Body (they operate on a ‘pay what you like’ basis) and I’ve previously paid for stuff but if you’re a new avatar without cash…it’s an option to at least get some good footwear.
So with the addition of some shoes from PB, ‘girl next door’ jeans from inventory, and a leather jacket (a gift from the Kitty Kats advent calendar at Amacci) Trine is almost complete, for now. I logged into the Marketplace and got a L$0 ‘Tuty’s free female AO’ (that was my search term). Two come up, ‘Sexy girl’ and ‘Lucky Girl’ so I got both and am wearing ‘Sexy Girl’ (not photographed as static photos won’t do justice to an AO).
And that’s it!
From signing up to signing off, re-invented, in the space of two hours (although it should take you less time since my time includes searches and exploration to achieve a good looking alt avatar).
If you’re a newbie avatar, or an old hand who is in the mood for reinvention, there’s never been a better time to do it than around Christmas with the grid awash with gifts and freebies.
Edited to add: I’m not alone in this reinvention and reflection idea, with several other blogs taking time to reflect on their Second Lives, how they’d do things differently or, like me, opting for a whole new look (sometimes on their main avatar)