Black (and Asian) Naturists

We’re preparing a mini series on ‘black naturism’ for SL Naturist. It seems to us that those who might wish to maintain a black avatar are discriminated against in Second Life, given the disparity in costs between good white skins and good black skins. Typically, you can get excellent white skins free, or have regular group gifts delivered for a one-off group join fee. For those wishing to maintain a black avatar, the cost of a good skin, no chance of a free or group gifted one, the costs appear to be somewhere between L$700 and L$2000!!!!!

In a virtual space where we preach equality, something is deeply wrong here!

Not only are black avatars discriminated against, so too are Asians, either oriental or from the Indian sub-continent. As there are several new global economies emerging in the real world, including Brazil, India and China, we feel it’s time that SL did something to close the disparity of costs in skins, hairstyles and even clothing, to allow an enriching diversity to emerge on the grid.

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Multi culturalism enriches all of us, wherever we live in the world. So why does SL often appear so unremittingly white? Often because of the apparent disparity in skin costs to begin with.

We’d like to change this, and we’d like to see SL reflect the diversity of colour in the real world, and allow people of whatever ethnicity to reflect their ethnicity affordably.

If you are a black or Asian avatar, please write to me (you can IM me at Trine9045) and outline your experiences, your difficulties (or ease) in obtaining a skin, hair or ethnic clothing you like and would like to see promoted by us. I have a list of stores where ethnic clothing is available, which I’ll be highlighting in subsequent postings, as well as…I hate to describe it thus…ethnic hairstyles (on the basis that today, regardless of skin pigmentation, many people experiment with hairstyles historically held as ‘white’ or ‘black’). In the first instance, though, the issue is skins, the basis for identifying our avatar as we would wish, from whatever ethnicity. Good skins, bad skins, cheap skins, quality skins, rip-off skins…please, let me know!

I’ll also be trying to identify the reasons why naturism appears to be such an overwhelming ‘white’ experience out in the real world too.

Our ‘Ethnic Season’, of sorts, will commence in February and continue throughout the month as we attempt to unravel reasons why those of black or Asian origins appear to have such a hard time in establishing an avatar that reflects the real them!

Trine

 

Photogenic

There are an increasing number of beautifully photogenic sims (not naturist) emerging. I’m not sure, but it seems to me that ‘the recession’, the global downturn in the economy which hit all of us, and Second Life, a few years ago is beginning to recede, with people now feeling they have the disposable income to invest in SL.

I can only go by hearsay, as this recession pre-dates my SL time, I think, but it would appear that in talking to others there used to be greater diversity of sims, with many existing for the pure pleasure of their creator building them. There was no real emphasis on making money from them.

That continued right through ‘the recession’, but it was just there were less around apparently.

I’ve noticed lately that more and more sims with ‘no real purpose’ have begin to emerge and you’ll find many listed on the map page of SL.

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I’ve blurred the ones listed, so no accusations of favouring a particular sim can be made!

We do try to provide a flavour of naturism in Second Life through photography, of course, without myself or Abi being particularly great photographers. While some of SL’s naturist sims look wonderful, endless photos of palm trees and sandy beaches can look the same after a while, so it’s often good for us to get out to other photogenic sims to do photos beside buildings or a different aspect of nature.

Of course, a rather odd mindset sometimes exists in respect of nudity. You would have imagined that a Second Life would have led to a radical rethink of social attitudes, but no. Many people bring their first life mindset into Second Life with them, and define their SL according too their RL attitudes and thinking without pausing for a bit of a rethink. So a fear of nudity, their gymnosophia, accompanies them into SL.

While I work on the basis that it’s their sim, and their rules apply, I also work on the basis that I’m not complying with their stupid rules, particularly if no one is around. It’s like the old Zen question, ‘if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?’ If I’m naked on your sim and there’s no one around but me, have I broken your rules?

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A rocky shoreline! A rarity in SL, it puts a whole different spin on SL beach topography

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Hills backing the shoreline, again, something rare in SL. I’m not climbing up, though. Those mountain goats look as if they’d defend their territory

Before I continue I’d like to say that the photos above were taken at The Keys sim. However, this is not to suggest that what I’ve said above -the rejection of nudity in some sims- is part of The Keys policy whatsoever. It’s an ‘adult’ designated sim, which means I always presume nudity is acceptable. I certainly didn’t witness any signs that outlawed it.

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Thus I felt it was ‘fair game’ to do some nude photos, as well as more general photogenic shots of the sim, which looks wonderful. Moving forward, I expect this to be something of an SL Naturist theme for me at least, as I try to bring you images of photogenic sims with naturist potential.

Abigail

 

 

 

 

 

Deux Chevaux

The Citroen 2CV (shorthand for ‘deux chevaux’ or ‘two horse(power)’ is an iconic French car.

Citroen vehicles are, in some sense, a European naturist’s car of choice (although the VW camper van would run it close). Why? The 2CV is a fun car at a time when cars aren’t much fun. Well appointed, computerised, liable to expensively break down computerised sophistication. The 2CV harks back to a time when a coat hanger and some tape might fix most faults, if you know what I mean. That concept has been readily replicated in Cuba with old Buicks and Pontiacs being fixed up, fixed up and fixed up some more in the absence of spare parts.

The 2CV is no longer in production, but has an enthusiastic fan base, not least France’s 2CV naturist car club.

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That’s right. There’s enough naturists in France with equal interest in 2CVs that they can combine their interests.

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Citroen also appears to loom large in SL Naturist’s psyche, with us covering their H-van previously, and now the 2CV.

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Given the apparent interest in the vehicle by naturists and photographers, maybe it’s not such a weird thing.

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You can now own your own 2CV in Second Life. Paris Metro has an offer on right now, join their group (L$0) and grab a 2CV of your own! Several of us have already got our own fun, French, chic car with the intention of doing a larger post in the future featuring it and naturism, as the two seem to be joined together in some way.

Feel free to grab your own car and send us your 2CV/naturist photos!

Trine

 

 

Can you have too many shoes?/Nacktwandern

Can you have too many shoes? asks Fab Free, who are currently rounding up the free footwear in Second Life and pointing you in its direction.

No. You can’t. There’s always room for more shoes, hair, lingerie, skins and…naturist accessory.

I’ve been out and about Imelda Marcos-ing, courtesy of Fab Free’s ongoing mini-series of footwear offers, and picked out a few items that could be part of your beachwear.

Thanks to Fab Free’s link, I touched down at Gabriel where there’s a number of shoes they’ve blogged as free group gifts (L$0 join fee). And here’s where the fun begins!

I got shoes, certainly, and there’s several types for males & females alike, but they aren’t particularly ‘naturist’ orientated.

What I did get, and which does fit our ‘naturist accessory’ wardrobe, is their ‘bum bag‘ or ‘fanny pack‘, as it’s sometimes described. Ideal for loose change to buy the ice creams and keep your car keys in.

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I’ve also picked up some stout walking boots, from Oddity, which look great too. While intended for male avatars, they also look great on girls. What Fab Free didn’t blog, as they’re focusing on footwear, were some additional items that set me off down a particular naturist oriented theme : naked hiking.

The gloves and sunglasses (below) were part of the freebies at Oddity, as well as the boots, so I headed off to some SL mountains for a bit of naked hiking.

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Naked hiking, or Nacktwandern, is popular in central Europe, around the Alps, apparently. Perhaps not in the weather I’ve chosen to do it in! 🙂

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While SL isn’t too well served by forest or mountains, I’ve made it my next project to see if we can assemble a small group of naked hikers in SL and embark on our own naked hike somewhere. I’ll get back to you on this in a day or two 🙂

Abigail

Tracey Ullman

The British comedienne -well known on both sides of the Atlantic, returned to British TV screens this week with one sketch (I’ve no idea if it’s going to be a recurring joke or not) featuring ‘topless feminist MP Sally Preston’.

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Those aren’t real boobs, by the way, but a rubber body suit. It’s interesting, nonetheless, that Ullman should choose to pick up on an equality campaign that we on SL Naturist have long supported. It will be interesting to see, if it is a recurring joke in the series, just how the media responds to it, and whether it’s being played for cheap laughs or has some bite in its support for top free equality. Watch this space, as they say.

Trine

SL Naturist’s very own puppy (An SL replicates RL posting)

One of the things you witness, if you’re up early enough in the morning on summer holidays, is that locals walk their dogs on the beach, be it in a textile or naturist location.

In France, in Spain and in Croatia, my usual naturist summer destinations, this is a fact of life.

On naturist beaches, the dog-walker may also be nude. It’s just part of the routine. Equally, as the sun is rising and a slight breeze may be blowing, it can feel just a little chilly on the beach, so the dog walker, male or female, has maybe thrown on a T shirt of some description. I’m often surprised how often that seems to be a ‘uniform’ of sorts, one of those loose, cool, linen shirts that form part of many people’s wardrobe for summer.

We’ve bought our very own puppy, a beagle called ‘Fang’ (because ‘Fang’ isn’t a very beagle-y name) and so I decided to walk him on the beach, replicating a familiar scene from holidays (naturist or textile).

You can see, day one, that a breeze was blowing, so I decided to wear a full shirt and trousers ensemble I bought on the Marketplace (L$250). Yes, it’s the mens version, because I wanted it specifically to have a billowy, loose look.

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Fang looks like a little rascal, doesn’t he? 🙂

By the second day’s walk, it felt warm enough just to throw on the shirt and dispense with the pants, reprising a familiar naturist beach morning.

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Fang came from Miki’s Pet Shop, and comes with his own kennel, food bowl, ball to play with and a little tree to have a pee against 🙂 The best L$450 ever spent in Second Life!

 

On morning three I felt more energetic, and decided to have a jog, another familiar look from the early morning beach, before it gets too hot to jog or run.

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My male friend decided to accompany me, and so we adopted the familiar jogging outfits of naturist destinations. For a male, that comprises of trainers (and optional socks), whereas female joggers very often put on a sports bra to stop that painful boob bounce that occurs when jogging. Both of our outfits came from Plausible Body. The shoes are designed with female avatars in mind, so my companion’s trainers look a little on the small size, but there’s lots of trainers available for male avatars around the grid.

Abigail.

Changeling/Earthling/Grid-ling

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In life, few of us will pack in as much, or be as ground-breaking, as David Bowie.

Being a woman of a certain age, his music has been with me, well, forever! Part of his appeal, part of his talent, part of his genius was the manner in which he was able to effortlessly move between characters. Ziggy Stardust. The Thin White Duke. Mod. Aladdin Sane. Pierrot (Ashes to Ashes video, embracing the post-punk/synth-pop era readily as the scenery changed again). Never standing still. Shape-shifting. Evolving.

In life, most of us go through many fewer scene changes. Teenager. University student. Employee. Spouse. Parent.

In Second Life, though, we have the capacity to be our own Bowie, changing skins, hairstyles, clothes, look at will. And with that, often, we reinvent our Second Life character.

Some of David Bowie is certainly in Second Life. Gender-fluidity, for example, was a large cultural change he managed to effect in Britain (and around the world), and thus have an effect society. Without his look, his words, would the ‘Is that a boy or a girl?’ image of him singing ‘John, I’m only dancing’ on British TV show Top of the Pops, and the outpourings of homophobic attitude at the time, would not have led to a future Top of The Pops less than a decade later when macho lorry drivers would say, of Boy George, ‘he might be a poof, but I’d sleep with him’. Bowie changed people’s mindsets to the very nature of sexuality.

Many people now embrace the fluidity of sexuality within their Second Lives. We change our look as often as Ziggy, the lad insane, once did.

Rest in Peace, David. The shape-shifting possibilities of Second Life owe something to you.

 

Trine