Monday, September 14, 2009

It's All About Respect

This will be another "opinion" piece. And yes, since it is my blog, it will be my opinion. I suspect it will make me seem "old" or at least "old fashioned" but I can live with that. :)

One of the things I'm sure psychologists have a field day with in SL is our ability to create our own "look". Shape, skin, hair, eyes, fur, scales ...whatever we wish. The way we portray ourselves says a lot about what we think of ourselves now or how we wish we were. This breeds, among other things, a type of narcissism. Many residents become obsessed with appearance. You'll notice that we bloggers post a lot of photos of ourselves - mostly I think because we're happy with the way we look. My avatar is pretty close to the RL me in form but she is prettier, younger and has much better hair. :)

Another interesting thing about SL is that, in general, we identify with our avatars. We don't think "I'll just move my avatar over there". No, we think "I'll go over there." Because we do identify with them, the way we dress our avatars and the way we behave says a lot about the inner us.

A female avatar showed up on my island yesterday (my PG island) dressed in a cowboy hat, tight vest, boots, chaps and a g-string. That's right ... chaps and a g-string. I've thought about this a lot in the hours since and reached 3 possible conclusions:

  • She was a hooker looking for customers. Which would be pretty dumb on my island - I would expect her to have better business prospects in Zindra.
  • "She" is a man in real life with a female avatar. Now, a number of men I know do this and there's nothing wrong with it. But every now and then you see a female avatar that you're sure is not a female in real life. The physical proportions are too exaggerated and their clothes take skank to a whole new level. In this case, as in those, they are men who don't "like" women. Oh they want them - and they lust after them, but they don't "like" women and they certainly don't respect them.
  • The third possibility is that it's a woman in real life who doesn't respect herself. Hanging your vajajay out for the world to see while you're shopping is not a sign of high self esteem.

I've spoken before about the need every now and then to ask yourself what you would like to be "known for" in SL. Once you know that, you can make sure your behaviour supports your goal. I really don't believe any woman with self respect wants to be known in SL for the delicate shading of her vagina.

If you don't respect yourself then why would anybody else? So as a simple homework exercise - look at your avatar. Think about what you want others to see. If you don't see it - well, then maybe you need to reconsider some of your choices.

just saying.............


Dale Innis said...

I dunno. I mean, I can certainly imagine a possible world in which a woman could put on that outfit, look at herself in the mirror (on the screen), and think "woo yeah I look *good*", and strut out into the world to show off how good she looks, all full of self-respect and high self-esteem. There's nothing *inherently* self-hating about particular body parts.

But culturally it's quite true that if you look at the actual world, women who are dressed like that are typically dressed like that by and for the pleasure of men, and by and for the pleasure of men who are appreciating them as far less than whole persons.

I have friends in SL who are women in both RL and SL and who enjoy dressing sexy to one degree or another, and who also seem to have a pretty high degree of self-respect. On the other hand they also don't go around in public in a g-string and chaps. (Would it have been better without the chaps?) Not sure where the boundary is past which it's reasonable to start thinking "I'll bet there is not a self-respecting woman behind that keyboard".

But I do hope that someday we get to the possible world up in my first paragraph. I think. :)

R. said...

Obviously, she should be the basis of a new Drama Doll: Wandering Slut.


Peter Stindberg said...

Fourth possibility: s/he can live out a phantasy.

Fifth possibility: s/he can simply have no feel for proportions and taste. There IS such a thing as proportion blindness and horrible taste.

Honour McMillan said...

@Dale I think I understand what you mean by para 1 - but it's a long time off.

@Crap lol I'll think about that. :)

@Peter Her outfit, hair, skin etc were gorgeous. Not out of proportion and all well made. The g - string was just that - not a bikini bottom, not underwear, just a tightly pulled string. If it was a thong or panties you could assume she'd forgotten an article of clothing - but a g-string was on purpose. :)

Anonymous said...

well, i think the g-string is pretty much a necessity, actually, although I DO agree that it sort of ruins the overall outfit. *grin* but see - if you are sitting in the saddle, you really do need the g-string for a little, um, well, to make things just a bit more comfortable. but i have to agree - it's totally WRONG with the chaps.

/me grins and runs away. aren't you sorry i returned from vacation?

Honour McMillan said...

I swear Ahuva, you're the only person I know who could use the terms g-string and comfortable in the same sentence. :)