Barbara’s back. Remember Barbara? She used to contribute on an irregular basis as a kind of ‘correspondent for older looking avatars’, but hasn’t featured for a long time in SLN since Trine wished to rejig the blog in her own style and Barbara’s own reluctance to blog following the death of her husband.
I’ve been trying to persuade Barbara to make a return to SLN since I (re)assumed the editor’s chair, not least because increasing numbers of avatars in clothing optional locations appear to adopt a look more commensurate with their age. I guess that in the early days of SL the whole thing was to live life as our younger, thinner, more vibrant selves, and there’s an appeal in that. However, as time has progressed it seems that many avatars are quite content to present themselves as they really are -in middle age at the very least.
She often blogged about the difficulties in obtaining clothes, hair, skins etc that made a middle aged avatar seem real and plausible, but suggests it’s getting easier.
‘I’ve been through a dozen or more hairstyles with the idea of saying ‘hey, I’m this 50 year old woman, my hair’s gone white, I’m not prepared to dye it, even though most women seem to do that in real life now to extend their youthfulness, take me or leave me’. And I’ve met quite a number of fascinating guys in SL that way, many of whom are the same age as me or older. Some of us are alone due to divorce or the death of our partners, so SL provides a light, fun way to socialise.
‘Trine invited me to continue blogging during her tenure as editor, but I was going through a grieving process, as well as being aware that I needed to gather some new skills for the workplace as I was too young to retire. So much of the past two years have essentially been me back at college, retraining for employment. I’m pleased to say that I’m back in work, although my social world is fairly blank so I do like to log into SL as a relaxation in the evenings. I’ve been back at SL regularly for quite some time now, but didn’t consider a return to SLN until Ella asked me to take on the role I held once more. Again this will be on an occasional basis, but Ella and I have agreed that I should be more pro-active in it, actively approaching skin designers, clothes designers and so on to consider offering a wider range of items for older avatars. At the moment I’m exploring how fairs are set up, to see if we could run a fair, at some time in 2017, specifically aimed at older avatars. I’ll begin approaching some designers for their views on this once these holidays are over. I could see an exciting range of clothes, hair and skins that would look great on older avatars, and Project Bento looks like something that can allow older avatars to exploit the potential of Bento in the coming months, making for more realistic older (and younger) avatars should people choose to utilise them.
‘So all in all it seems time to come back to SL, and be glad to be back in SL on a regular basis’
Barbara wearing a La Vian outfit that looks equally good on older and more youthful avatars.
A Ydea outfit, whose cut and styling seem ideal for the older looking avatar
Barbara has undergone a bit of a makeover in SL, something that corresponded with her ‘reinventing’ herself, for both the workplace and social life, in real life. As a result, she says, she’s being rejigging her avatar accordingly too. ‘Being older in SL doesn’t mean having to be drab or unattractive’.