Events · Friends · Getting Personal · iheartslFeed · SL Places

Good Advice

I loved this sign I found over the jukebox in the Blithe Tavern. I found I relate to it, and think it’s true of me. Don’t ask me for advice if you don’t really want my honest opinion. I’ll be as kind as possible giving it, but I also won’t sugarcoat it. It’s how I want to be treated, so it’s how I treat my friends. Plus, I swear a lot, talk about TMI and other inappropriate things and I think it’s fair to say that I’m definitely not the friend for those who are easily offended! But I’m loyal, love my friends with all my heart and will defend them whenever needed, too.

Anyway, let’s talk the sexy dress I’m wearing. It is new from Apple May Designs and you can find it at Tres Chic through October 5th. It comes in four beautiful colors. My skin and eyes are both from Cosmetics Fair, which is doing a gacha round. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t overjoyed by that, particularly during an Arcade month when I’m pretty gacha’d out. But I did cave and play Essences and The Skinnery.

Good advice

~Lucie

Credits
Maitreya: Lara mesh body
Essences: Amelia skin 04 – Medium 01 Cosmetics Fair
Exile: Come What May hair – reds
The Skinnery: Flirtatious eyes – 13 Cosmetics Fair
Apple May Designs: Selena dress – Blue Tres Chic
Reign: Peep Toe Pumps – Black
Picture Me Pretty: Bobbi 5 (coming soon)

Events · Getting Personal · Homestyle · iheartslFeed · Opinions & Thoughts

Perfectly imperfect

So, there’s a new club opening Sunday called Altitude. Actually, it’s more of a destination venue than a club. It’s designed for live music performances, which is really cool and something I used to enjoy a lot of in SL (before I became a platform dweller 😛 ) In honor of the grand opening, Valentina E. Couture has made this sexy outfit as a launch gift! This outfit will only be available during the big debut event, from 12 pm to 5 pm SLT Sunday, September 13th! So don’t miss out… take the opportunity to go check out a new venue AND snag an awesome gift at the same time. Oh, and my adorable shoes are from fri.day, for the new Collabor88. This month’s witchy theme has been super popular, and it may still take a few tries to get in, but oh my, it is worth the effort once you do.

Living Room Star

Now, please bear with me while I get personal. And wordy.

You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful. ~Amy Bloom

I love that quote. I think we live in a world that encourages this quest for flawlessness and perfection, and no matter how perfectly that foundation covers your “flaws,” they still exist. Not to mention, the most beautiful parts of ourselves aren’t the parts that show on the outside. Who we are as individuals isn’t contingent upon our skin being perfect, a number on the scale, the size of our pants or any other external thing. It’s about our personalities, and this is where true beauty lies. And even then, we’re still not perfect. No one is… and the quest for it just tends to leave us feeling inferior, self-conscious, empty and frustrated.

In Second Life, it’s possible to be physically “perfect,” whatever “perfection” might look like to us personally. And actually, it’s hard to NOT be perfect in some respects. Most skins are flawless, gorgeous works of art. And not that I don’t appreciate that, because I do. I appreciate beauty, in all of its forms. But sometimes I find myself wanting SL to be a little… more realistic. A little less perfect. Last year, I went from being a (smallish) medium in standard sizing to a very lush large. It was a big change. Most of you will have noticed that the size difference from medium to large is quite a jump. Much more pronounced than the difference from small to medium. When mesh first came out I was between a small and medium and I went smaller. The idea of making my avatar larger was so… distressing. And I didn’t want to admit that to myself, let alone to anyone else. But it’s true.

I’ve struggled with a RL eating disorder and body acceptance pretty much my entire life. I was a fat kid, a fat teen and I’m a fat adult. And I say “fat” merely as a descriptor, but oh it’s such a loaded word. It shouldn’t be, anymore than saying “I’m tall” or “I have brown eyes.” But our culture abhors fat, and strives to do everything to eradicate it where possible. I decided I wanted my SL shape to be fuller figured. I still wouldn’t call my av “fat,” but comparatively speaking she is… particularly in the blogging/fashion world of SL, where it seems most people tend to be thinner. In reality, even though to me, a (real life) person of a comparable size isn’t “fat,” I suspect that if you went by the (useless) BMI charts the woman in question would be considered “overweight,” if not “obese.” But size is relative, in some respects, and what is “thin” or “fat” varies depending on perspective, too. I have never and will never be that person who goes into any store and easily finds clothes that fit, perfectly, without trouble. Though it may seem strange I’d want to relive that experience in Second Life, I have worked very hard on eating disorder recovery and body acceptance in real life, and it occurred to me last year that my avatar being so close to a societally idealized shape was not a healthy thing for me. It should be noted that Lucie’s build is really nothing like my RL one, but it still feels more true to myself. It was a matter of finding the balance between fantasy and reality that wouldn’t messing with my head… but I still often wished for a fuller face.

Enter Mallory Cowen, the talented creator behind LAQ, who has recently introduced skins that are exactly what I’ve been craving in my SL. Particularly Elise, which I’m wearing below. Elise comes with a “built in” double chin. There’s a tattoo layer for a “simple” chin, too, for those who love the skin but don’t want a double chin. Her features are fuller and I just love this skin so much. You can also buy the double chin tattoo separately for use with other LAQ skins (and you may be able to match them to other brands, but I’d demo first, to be sure). My cute fortune cookie necklace is a new release from Cae for The Mix, and which you can grab at the Mainstore.

Perfectly Imperfect

It struck me as I photographed this skin, trying to find a light that didn’t minimize the double chin, how… counter-intuitive that is, how even now, with all the work I’ve done to accept myself as I am today, I’d probably cringe if lighting made my double chin seem even more pronounced. I would immediately recognize what I was doing, and shut down the negative self-talk. But it would probably still happen, particularly on a bad day. But that’s what I mean… no one is perfect. We all have our problems and flaws, and trying to deny that or trying to “erase” them, well… for me, at least, that’s like trying to erase a part of who I really am. And that’s just not something I am willing to do anymore.

I applaud Mallory for her work. It’s something I think SL really needed, and it’s going to be great for RPers (she did several more mature skins, too). Check out the LAQ blog for more pics, and I plan to blog some of her other newer skins, too! I look forward to seeing what she does next.

~Lucie

Credits
Fashion:
SLink: Physique mesh body
LAQ: Elise skin – tone 1.5 w/smoky eyeshadow tattoo
Magika: Itch hair – Hud 1
Buzzeri: Duo eyes – Molten
Valentina E. Couture: Altitude Ensemble Altitude Opening Gift
Cae: Fortune necklace The Mix
SLink: Casual mesh hands, High feet
fri.day: Samantha booties – ghost Collabor88
Repose: Red pose & prop 01

Decor:

Jian: Lyle Console Record Player
floorplan: scattered sheet music, guitar bookcase
Lisp: Persimmon Grand Piano – Noir
TeddyJr: Dorene store building (in the apartment above the store)

Events · Getting Personal · Homestyle · iheartslFeed · Looks

Til the cows come home

Let’s talk about cows. I know that’s probably a strange first sentence to an SL blog, but I promise it will all make sense soon. Or, well. To me, anyway. I can’t promise it will make sense to you. But give me a try!

In RL I live not far from a ranch. And every year, right around my birthday in late February, there are newborn calves. Our second year here, my husband mistakenly called them “mooborns” as a joke, and I squealed in delight. Now “mooborn” season is highly anticipated by all. Or at least by me, and possibly by the pregnant cows and the ranch owners. Not so sure my husband highly anticipates the squealing of “MOOBORNS” every time we pass, along with delighted shrieks of “ohmygawd they are SO TINY!” What can I say, I’m a child at heart. Besides, this thing with cows began with my father. My father was a man of many faults, but one of the more endearing (and yeah, okay sometimes frustrating) qualities he had was this childlike joy of life, this ability to be so silly and make us laugh. When we were little kids, he’d take us to The Land Of Make Believe in Hope, New Jersey. Hope is in a part of New Jersey few people realize exists. It’s beautiful, as rural as you get in a state that small and with that many people, and it’s full of farmland (or was, I imagine there’s been some build up). It’s near the Delaware River, and it will always remain a very special place in my heart. But as you might imagine, there are some cows in that area. And when we drove by them with our dad, he’d cry out “MOOOOOOOOOO!” It became a thing. So as silly as my “mooborns” thing might be, or as silly as it may be when we drive by at Christmas and I say “Moory Christmas, cows,” it also makes me happy. It’s like some sort of weird tribute to my dad, a way to remember happier times with him, and I know he’d approve and probably join in, if he were here to do so.

So, as you might imagine, when Dysfunctional Designs recently released cows, I was delighted. See? I told you it would all come together. I already have the Dysfunctional Designs chickens (their clucking sometimes might make my poor husband crazy), with their adorable (and texture change) hen house. And I recently built a pen for my Half-Deer Kerfluffle collection (or at least some of them). So of course, I needed a pasture for my cows. Which, by the way, MOO! They actually moo (both the cow moos and chicken clucks can be turned off, btw). They also swish their tails, and lower their heads, as if to graze. They’re texture change with a bunch of color options, including a couple not seen below. Oh, and there is a static, non-mooing version with built in animations. So if you’ve ever wanted to sit on, sleep on or hang out on a cow, here’s your chance. I’m sitting on Ethel below. The official name given by Dysfunctional is Bessie, btw. But of course, they can’t ALL be called Bessie! I am obsessed with naming things, and so is my sister Isley. So I named the white cow Bella, the grey cow Tess. Isley named the rest. Ethel is the one I am sitting on, Martha is the solid black one, the red and white one is Beverly and Bessie is the black and white one. I know you really wanted to know all of that. Just be glad I didn’t share the chickens’ names. And yes, they have them.

What is she doing to Ethel!?

Okay, enough about cows. Let’s talk about my outfit next. I’m wearing a new(ish) release from coldLogic. This was their first release designed to be mesh body friendly. I’m not wearing it with the mesh body here, but it did work nicely with my Maitreya and SLink bodies. I’m also wearing one of the releases from the newly opened FATEstep, the Ziggy chucks. Finding cute sneakers in SL is such a challenge, and these are awesome! The FATEstep shoes have so many color options via the HUD, and these include versions for system feet, so if you’re not into mesh bodies or body parts, and have been frustrated trying to find shoes, check out what FATEstep has to offer. Not all of their shoes include system feet versions, but some do!

My skin is Izzie’s latest full release, Romy. This lovely skin was released at Skin Fair, but is now available at Izzie’s Mainstore. I look so sweet and innocent, and no matter what anyone might tell you, it’s not a lie. 😀 Again I am wearing Truth’s new Flynn hair. I know I just blogged this, and I pretty much never repeat something that fast (if at all), but I am really in love with this hair. After hanging out with the cows, I needed a break, so I took shelter in my floorplan sleepover tent.

Sunset Solitude

If you’d like to party until the cows come home, or better yet, party with some cows, go get your bovine fix at The Fantasy Collective. The pack of cows is just L$145 which is an amazing deal for how detailed they are and with the texture options.

~Lucie

Credits
Fashion:
Izzie’s: Romy skin – Rosy w/rust matte lips, green eyeshadow and moles tattoos
Truth: Fynn hair – Reds
Buzzeri: Bewitched eyes – Jade
Cae: The Goddess necklace Level Up
coldLogic: Connor outfit – moss/khaki
FATEstep: Ziggy nylon chucks

Decor:
Roost: Sunny Dale house and Sunny Dale Fence
Studio Skye: Enchanted woods trees and corral
floorplan: Sleepover tent – grey Rare (past Arcade item)
Dysfunctional Designs: Chicken coop w/chickens, Wood Chopping Stump & wood pile, Bessie The Cow The Fantasy Collective
We’re Closed: Grass field green
Half-Deer: assorted Kerfluffles (past Arcade items)

Friends · Getting Personal · iheartslFeed · Just for fun · Uncategorized

My 6th rezz day…

So Saturday marked 6 years since I joined SL. It’s been quite the journey, and the past 6 years of my RL have been, at times, very turbulent. So there’s been a comfort in the constant that is SL. And I’ve made some truly amazing friends.

I’ve grieved for friends who have died in RL. I’ve cried over the end of friendships, and celebrated the birth of new ones. I’ve fought and made up with friends. I’ve co-owned two stores with my RL and SL husband, with whom I joined SL back in 2009. I’ve been an event owner, an event creator and an event owner. We own a sim. My first job was as a stripper when I was less than two weeks old, and lasted all of an hour (before Rad realized he was, in fact, jealous, lol). I’ve been a photographer, doing both studio and wedding photos, with plenty of repeat clients. And of course, I’ve been a blogger for the past almost four years, first microblogging on Flickr, and then starting this official blog in 2012. And last year I even bought my own domain. I figured I’d be bored with blogging – or even with SL entirely – by now, but that just hasn’t happened so far.

I’ve lived quite the Second Life so far… and I don’t see myself leaving any time soon. Thank you to all who have been a part of it, and to the friend who let me “borrow” her bedroom for the below picture.

Princess in waiting

I can honestly say I still love SL… I still find creativity and fun and friendship here. I am grateful and happy to have such an outlet in my life.

~Lucie

Credits:
Glam Affair: Sia Skin – Fairy Tales – America 07 Collabor88
Tableau Vivant: Upshaw hair – Side bangs (B)
Buzzeri: Lillian eyes – Jade
Baiastice: Sarah dress w/tulle – Pearl
Cae: Entwined jewelry set
SLink: Mesh hands – casual
Bed: Ispachi – Florian bed – Rare (past Arcade item)

Getting Personal · Homestyle · iheartslFeed

Hello 2015!

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m having a hard time with the whole “wow, it’s another new year already feeling!” But ready or not, 2015 is here! So I threw myself a party for the new year, complete with a buffet and a sparkly dress and some fabulous shoes and jewels and a gorgeous new skin from Glam Affair available at the new round of Uber. My 2015 sign is from Sway’s. It includes built in poses that are a lot of fun, but not very dress friendly, so I’m using a Ploom pose instead. Whether used as decor or to pose on, though, this is seriously cute. There is also an elegant silver and gold version available.

Hello 2015

My jewels are from Cae, and the pearl ring on my right hand is new for Fit For A Princess. It’s so delicate and pretty.

January Jewels

When the party was over, the poor puppy was utterly exhausted, and curled up in his bed by the fireplace… the mantle was still decorated for the season and I couldn’t resist snapping a pic.

Not a creature was stirring

Wishing you all a wonderful 2015!

~Lucie

Credits
Fashion:
Glam Affair: December II – Asia 01 Uber
Argrace: Yuzu hair – Auburn
Buzzeri: Lillian eyes – Winter Kustom 9
Foxes: City Lights dress – Navy
Cae: Frostine necklace & earrings, Eternity ring (left hand), Anna ring (right hand) Fit For A Princess (Anna only)
SLink: Mesh hands – casual, Mesh feet – High
fri.day: Opal shoes – navy
Ploom: Winter Is Here – pose 01

Decor:
Dysfunctional Designs: Mountain Lodge Retreat, fireplace tools, Bauble candle tray
Artisan Fantasy: Poinsettia crate – red
Scarlet Creative: Rustic lace table
Lost Junction: Holiday Party food December 2014 Arcade
tres blah: Soiree food December 2014 Arcade
Sway’s: 2015 prop – colorful
ISPACHI: Florian – Puppy Rare October 2014 Arcade
tarte: Snow White rug
Alouette: Paper village gacha
Pixel Mode: Sled with logs

Charities · Events · Getting Personal

Cirque De Seraphim

Tomorrow at 12 pm SLT an amazing event, months in the making, will open to the public. Cirque De Seraphim is a fundraising event that will benefit the ASPCA. This is an event that is incredibly personal for me and my husband because our first dog was adopted at the ASPCA headquarters in Manhattan. He’d been hit by a car as a baby, and the ASPCA saved his life, and when he was ready, put him up for adoption. He was an amazing dog. Incredibly smart, sweet and born with wanderlust, just like his humans. We took him on many adventures in the nine years he was with us… and I still miss him every day. Arthur’s story can be read in full on the Cirque blog, along with a photo collage.

In the meantime, this event looks amazing and has so many talented designers who were willing to share their profits to benefit animal welfare. Please be sure you check out the official event blog for the maps, full opening information and sneak peeks at what will be available. Also, you can read the stories of other shelter pets who found forever homes with those involved in this amazing event here.

And if the blog sneak peeks aren’t enough for you, check out the Flickr group for even more!

On a final note, I want to add that winter is often the most difficult time for shelters. This event is perfectly timed to provide a much needed boost in funding for the ASPCA and all the work they do for animals. If you are participating, thank you. My Arthur got the chance to live and be a part of my life because of people who shared so generously of their money and time… you are giving other animals that same chance with your acts of kindness.

A very emotional Lucie

Friends · Getting Personal · iheartslFeed

The Childless Mother

I am the childless mother.
Dreams shattered, the pieces
lurk in dark corners
linger in shadows

I am the childless mother.
But not the only one
who weeps silent tears
from a seemingly endless well

I am the childless mother.
My day is not today,
when those who give life
are celebrated

I am the childless mother.
But never alone,
the sorrow cannot overtake
gifts given by those who love me

~Lucie Bluebird

Childless Mother

Dedicated to everyone who was there for me today… and to all who know my sorrow. But most of all, dedicated to the husband who loves me through every day, no matter what.

Credits
SLink: Visage mesh head – Emma
Izzie’s: Maci for Visage head
Argrace: Akane hair – red
Blacklace: Pippa – white (inset picture)
Baiastice: Leather corset – purple The Dressing Room Fusion
SLink: Mesh hands – Casual, Mesh feet – Natural
SLink: Margot ballet slipper (for mesh feet) – black
Kuro In Motion: Shattered mirror prop, Just a Ghost pose (outset picture)
Argrace: Akane pose 3 (inset picture)
Theosophy: Nicholaston skybox

Charities · Events · Fantasy · Getting Personal · iheartslFeed · Opinions & Thoughts · SL Places

Why I Relay

Trigger warning: I discuss cancer fairly bluntly in this post, and I just wanted to provide a sort of proceed with caution for anyone that may find this a difficult or painful topic. ~L.

I walked around the blogger preview for Fantasy Faire waiting for a phone call. I’d had a suspicious mole biopsied ten days earlier. That morning, around 10 am, I finally heard the words, “the biopsy was negative. It’s not cancer.” I heard those words as I was browsing Fantasy Faire, and it just struck me how it could’ve gone the other way.

Cancer runs rampant in my family. I know the odds are it will be me someday. I am vigilant and watchful, but I refuse to let it take over my life. There’s too much joy, beauty and love to be found, to be experienced. But I’m one of the lucky ones. Right now I just have to watch.

Watcher

I know so many amazing, strong, smart, fiery people who have been down this road. I relay for them. The following is just the short list, but there are so many others, both SL and RL for whom I relay.

My great-grandfather died from leukemia, without even knowing he was sick until he developed pneumonia. He was diagnosed while in the hospital. He never returned home. I relay for him.

My (paternal) grandmother fought a seemingly endless battle against bladder cancer. She went in and out of remission about 10 times over a period of 15 years. She finally beat it, only to have had her kidneys utterly destroyed by the radiation treatments, and to have permanent nerve damage that made it difficult for her to walk. I relay for her.

My (maternal) grandmother has fought not one, not two, but three distinct types of cancer in just the past few years alone. Two different breast cancers and a rare form of lung cancer. She had part of her lung removed. She’s had two rounds of chemo. Years ago, she had pre-cancerous growths in her colon, and had to have over 3 feet of it removed. She’s also had pre-cancerous skin growths. I relay for her.

My grandmother’s sister, my great-aunt, had breast cancer in the 1980s. She felt the lump, but was terrified and paralyzed by fear. She waited too long to seek treatment, and the breast cancer spread to her bones. She saw doctor after doctor and was used as a guinea pig in various “studies” by less-than-honest “physicians.” It ultimately cost her her life, and a very painful death. I relay for her.

My great-grandmother lived to be 88. One weekend in late September 2000, she was gently scolded by my grandmother (her daughter-in-law and next door neighbor) for hanging her laundry out on the clothesline (instead of using the dryer). “Oh, but it’s such a lovely autumn day and it won’t stay this warm much longer,” she argued. Less than a week later we found out she had pancreatic cancer. She died the day before Halloween, but she was actually oddly fortunate. Pancreatic cancer is known to be rapidly progressive, but also often horribly painful, and she had very little pain. She felt she’d had a good life. She was happy, and able to die at home, as she wanted. I relay for her.

My grandfather had bladder cancer. They caught it early, and he had six weeks of chemo. It went into full remission. I relay for him.

My childhood friend, at the age of 36, found out he had leukemia. He’d felt rundown for a few weeks, and thought he had the flu. It was quite a surprise to find himself rush admitted to the hospital for blood transfusions and chemo. He has two young children. He’s now in remission. I relay for him.

My mother had pre-cancerous cells in her cervix. They probably would’ve remained undiscovered until it had turned into cancer, if not for the fact she’d gotten pregnant with my sister. Nearly 23 years later, thanks to the laser surgery to remove the cells, she’s still cancer free. However, with both her aunt and mother developing breast cancer, she is awaiting her own genetic test to find out if she’s a carrier. She’s already been a warrior for my grandmother, taking her to all of her many doctors’ appointments and chemo treatments, and always helping to get the answers needed when perhaps my grandmother wouldn’t have otherwise pushed (and without she might not today be in remission from three different cancers). I relay for her.

My father-in-law died from complications caused by chemo treatments he was undergoing for a very rare form of leukemia. I relay for him.

I’ve had to get lab work done once every three to four months for the past two years due to chronic, idiopathic leukocytosis (unexplained, long-term, high white blood cell count). I’ve had genetic testing done to see if I am a carrier for the genetic marker for leukemia (I am thankfully not). I know, though, that if any of these results come back over a certain mark, I will be going back to the oncologist to be evaluated for treatment. I know that every four months or so, I will wait, anxiously, for results that will probably be okay. But maybe not. I try to not dwell on it, but I’d be lying to not admit this… I also relay for myself.

I relay for every person who didn’t get to hear the words “you don’t have cancer.” I relay knowing someday it could very well be me, or my husband, or my mom… or my sister or any one of my friends of family members.

I relay for the hope that someday no one will have to even wonder or worry about whether or not they have cancer.

I relay because I care. Because it’s personal. Because it’s one, simple, tiny thing I can do to potentially help millions.

Guardian of the Light

If you want to relay, too… stop by Fantasy Faire 2014 and check out the magic. With eleven sims in this event, there’s truly something for everyone. And even if you find absolutely nothing you want to buy, you will see donation kiosks all over the sims. Just drop some Lindens in one. Any amount adds to the donation total. Even if it’s just one single L. You can even purchase a RL Fantasy Faire pendant, in a wide variety of colors and materials, here. How cool is that?!? You can also donate online!

Cancer touches so many of our lives. I don’t think I’ve ever met a single person who hasn’t been affected, either directly, or indirectly, by cancer. To me, that makes the RFL events personal for all of us. So my question now is… will you relay, too? To learn about why some other bloggers relay, visit the Why I Relay challenge page and check out the comments.

Start your journey here. Fairelands Junction For a full list of slurls and stores, visit Fantasy Faire’s excellent website. But hurry… this amazing event ends tomorrow, May 11th.

~Lucie

Credits
The Skinnery: Ming skin – honey w/lip gloss, blush and matte lips 3 layers
Truth: Lagertha hair – reds
IKON: Promise eyes – Passion
Mon Cheri: Falsies lashes
Sax Shepherd Designs: Devi Jewels – Durga – Bright Pearls – Bindi Fantasy Faire Hopes Horizon Sim
22769 Casual Couture: Elven wood gear – purple Fantasy Faire Hopes Horizon Sim
SLink: Mesh hands – fist & relaxed, Mesh feet – natural
SLink: Ilena sandals (for SLink feet) – brown
Noodles: Anyaiel Staff Lantern Silver Ultra Rare Fantasy Gacha Carnival
Ploom: Regal 3 pose – curvy (left arm position modified by holding the staff, which has a hold anim built in)

Shot on location at the Fairelands Junction.

Blogger Challenges · Getting Personal · iheartslFeed · Looks · Opinions & Thoughts

Brave

So, last week I launched a new SL venture called Project EveryBody… and I issued my first challenge to everyone who wanted to participate. The challenge was fairly simple, at least in terms of requirements. I asked people to “be brave.” You can read all the details here.

I have big plans for Project EveryBody, and I’ve even bought a domain for it, with the hopes of translating it to the real world eventually. But for now, I’m content to see what it can do for us in Second Life. For now, here’s my take on being brave.

In March of 2009, I was out in SL at Redgrave. I’d taken the base avatar shape and made it my own… badly. I had no sense of proportions, but it was my shape, my (virtual) body. I was protective of it. One thing I had wanted, like so many, was to be some sort of idealized version of myself. I saw SL as a way to be things I couldn’t ever be in RL. Like, for example, leggy. My RL legs are short. I am not short; at 5’6″ I am taller than the average American woman. But I carry my height in my torso. It’s just the way I’m built, like my mother and grandmother before me. The shape I had created in SL was opposite that, and sort of the… Amazon warrior type, and certainly bigger in width and fat than most avies.

Well, back to Redgrave. Some assholes decided to taunt me in public and call Lucie fat. There was a LOT of uninvited commentary about my “fat” shape, and I was furious. Fat? What they hell were they talking about? These people clearly didn’t know what “fat” meant. But, truth be told, in comparison to other SL avs, Lucie was fat. And that’s okay because fat is merely a physical descriptor, not some sort of bad word. It’s like saying (in RL), I have brown eyes. Yep. I do, thanks for noticing. Now, in this case, they were being bullies and jerks about it, and I didn’t really know how to reply because the concept that I was being bullied for how my pixels looked was kind of mind blowing.

I didn’t change my shape because of their assholery. But, over time, Lucie’s shape DID change. Why? Well… I sucked at editing prims and sculpties and nothing.ever.fit. I was frustrated. Didn’t I already deal with this crap enough in RL? Why did I need to deal with it in SL, too? So gradually, Lucie “lost weight,” so to speak, and as she became smaller I lost a big part of who I – the person behind the avatar – was. I was actively working with an eating disorder therapist in RL when I began SL. I was learning to accept and love the RL me, regardless of size. And by shrinking Lucie, well, I sort of caved to a mindset I was so desperately fighting in the real world. When Standard Sizing for mesh came out, Lucie was between a medium and a small. But closer to a small. Instead of embracing the larger size, I shrunk her even more. For a long time she was a small, and occasionally, even an extra small. Now… you need to understand the secret thrill I felt. I’ve literally never been a small in anything. I was a big baby (8 lbs, 6 oz) and I was a BIG kid. Here, let me show you.

Brownies

Guess which girl I am? Okay, yeah the only one with my face not blurred. But also, by far, the tallest, heaviest and overall biggest. And we’re all the same age. This is first grade. I wore a woman’s size 8 shoe by third grade. Nothing ever fit me right.

So, in SL… when I could be a small! Why wouldn’t I? And that’s a valid question, and it’s fine and fun to be in SL what we can’t in RL. Except in my case, it caused me angst, and played into an unhealthy mindset I’d worked too hard to escape.

I realized over time that I didn’t really feel like ME. So, I became a medium, but resisted becoming a large. If Standard Sizing has a flaw it is that the jump from medium to large is pretty freakin’ dramatic. If you look at the differences between small to medium and medium to large in terms of slider points, it’s significant. So, the jump from a small to a medium didn’t feel so major. But to go from a medium to a large? It felt like putting 60 pounds on my avatar in a few short clicks, and part of me resisted that for a year, even though another part of me secretly craved to make Lucie even more fuller figured. And then… then I saw this picture from Lauren Minuet.

Forget about it

While I vehemently disagree with the notion that to look like a “real woman” a person (or avatar!) needs to have “curves,” or that a thin, slender, or athletically built woman is somehow less “womanly” or sexy, I saw this picture and just fell in love. Lauren just oozes sensuality here, and it made me realize that, despite what I’d told myself, I could be a bigger, fuller figured, curvier avatar and NOT feel frumpy or somehow… less than. I could be more like the real me, the me I’d spent so much time working to love just the way that I am, right now, today. I talked to Lauren (who is one of the sweetest people ever) for some tips and advice (mainly I wondered if she was wearing a large or using fitted mesh – she usually wears large, though the dress in the above pic is from a store that doesn’t use traditional standard sizing). And I tweaked my shape dramatically. And I love it.

Going from a medium to a large should’ve been a huge transition, but it felt so… right – at least once I’d realized it was what I wanted, and opinions of others (and especially of my own inner voice that wants to hate on my own body, virtual or real) be damned. Sure, I’m often the biggest avie in the room, but that mirrors my real life, so it feels right. It feels natural. And it’s okay if I’m the biggest, just as it would be if I were the smallest. Admittedly, it can be infuriating to find clothes that fit my new shape properly (because it seems designers don’t always use the exact measurements for large standard sizing and/or don’t make alphas to work with their large sizes). And forget about poses! We need more curvier poses, people. And AOs. Please, AOs! But I digress. So what? These are minor details, minor inconveniences. I feel sassy, sexy and utterly luscious. I feel more like myself. And, not to sound like a McDonald’s commercial here, but I’m loving that.

So, for my “Be Brave” look I picked this outfit from Gizza because of the bold, vibrant and non-matchy colors. I used to dress that way as a kid in RL. At first people made fun of me (not that I cared), but this was the 80s and dressing that way became a trend not long after I first began to do it (which made me do it less, hah). I stopped wearing bright colors like this in RL years ago, and in part I realized it’s because I felt I shouldn’t try to stand out, that I should try to hide my fat body. Somehow, this carried over into SL. I’d bought this outfit in a “safer” color option, even though I wanted, desperately, the vibrant colors you see here. So right after I issued this challenge, I ran back to Gizza to grab the color I’d wanted all along (though they’re all pretty awesome). I picked the hair because I’ve always felt I “couldn’t pull off” these angled bangs sort of styles. The pose is one from Ploom, one of the stores I know of that does does provide curvy avie friendly versions of their animations, and the pose just says, to me, hey, here I am. Take me or leave me, but I’m not hiding anymore!

Brave

I also used a skin that I feel has a more mature face, Simone from Curio. I even got crazy and tried to find some tattoo layer crow’s feet, but I couldn’t find any that weren’t awful and cartoonish. I even made my Mon Cheri Falsies lashes brown instead of black so they’re not quite so dramatic and somewhat closer to a more realistic RL lash look (at least for me).

I'm no heroine

Finally, I have to leave you with a snippet of a song by Ani DiFranco. I love the entire song, and I’ve linked to a YouTube video below. But this particular part resonates with me very strongly (though that’s true of plenty of Ani songs).

I’m no heroine
at least, not last time I checked
I’m too easy to roll over
I’m too easy to wreck
I just write about
what I should have done
I just sing
what I wish I could say
and hope somewhere
some woman hears my music
and it helps her through her day

(For the record, if it helps men that’s awesome, too)

If you want to participate in this challenge, by all means, jump on board! And be sure to share your posts on the challenge page in the comments.

~Lucie

Credits
Note: I am doing a home decor post of this scene in the not-too-distant future, so I’m just doing fashion credits here, but feel free to ask about things if you’d like to know where they are from in the meantime.

Curio: Simone – Makeup 6 – Sundust
IKON: Promise eyes – Moor
Mon Cheri: Falsies lashes
Wasabi Pills: Betty hair – Cinnamon
Gizza: Suspenders outfit – Vibrant
Cae: Cupcake ring, Ascend bracelet
SLink: Mesh hands – casual & mouse, Mesh feet – medium
LVLE: Elena pump – Viridian
Ploom: Strike 1 – Curvy