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

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Events · iheartslFeed · Looks · Opinions & Thoughts

Enchantment

SL has become so saturated with events that I am kind of feeling exhausted and overwhelmed by them all. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of events that I absolutely love and would be really sad to see end. It’s just that lately I feel like every time I blink, there’s a new event! I say this as the owner (but not creator) of two events. I love my events like they are my babies, so it’s hard for me to say that I think there are too many in SL. But I do. So it takes something really unique, or a special and short term event (like Skin Fair or the highly anticipated Shoetopia) to grab my attention these days. Enchantment does just that. It’s also only every three months, with exclusive items and/or colors. Based on Grimm’s fairy tales, this event is perfect for those who love dramatic, fantasy themed items. The first round is Snow White. The build is spectacular, and there is a wide variety of items, many of which can be used just for every day fun as well as fantasy/RP. You can read more about this new and exciting event here.

My gorgeous gown is from Junbug for Enchantment. It comes in a wide assortment of colors, and all of them are stunning. Junbug is a new to me store, and one I’m thrilled to have discovered! The tiara I’m wearing is a Glam Affair release for FaMESHed, and seemed perfect for this ensemble. It also comes in a lot of color options, which makes me happy! My skin is also Glam Affair, from the new Elvi line which is part of a youth-inspired skin line from Glam. The apple pose prop is from Vanity Poses for Enchantment.

Care for an apple?

I really had fun with these poses. The apple cart is from The Garden and is by Trompe Loeil. The spilled baskets are Dysfunctional Dolly Designs (aka [DDD]). My hair is a new release from Exile, and the romantic, messy updo seemed perfect for a possibly slightly evil queen.

Sweet but tart

Also from the current round of The Garden is this gorgeous camping set from What Next. My outfit is another item from Enchanted by The Library. This ensemble is inspired by the Once Upon A Time television series take on Snow White.

Guardian of the Camp

In this look I am wearing the adorably sweet new Lucie skin from Izzie’s. I was incredibly touched by this release, and consider it an absolute privilege to have been granted such an honor.

Lucie Skin by Izzie's

~Lucie

Credits

Look 1
Glam Affair: Elvi skin – Europa 12 H
Exile: Dream Of Paradise hair – Naturals pack
Glam Affair: Princess Tiara FaMESHed
IKON: Perspective eyes – Black
Mon Cheri: Falsies lashes
Junbug: Snow White gown – Black Enchantment
Paper Couture: Gemstone Heart Set – earrings
Maxi Gossamer: Rejuvenated Stitched Heart necklace
SLink: Mesh hands – Mouse (r) & Relaxed (l)
The Wicked Peach: Blood Drip nails (for SLink hands/feet)
Vanity Poses: Bad Apple 2 & 4 Enchantment

Look 2
Izzie’s: Lucie skin – Pale w/rust lips, moss shadow & eye gloss tattoos
Truth: Arianna hair – Reds01Fade
IKON: Perspective eyes – Pewter
Mon Cheri: Falsies lashes
The Library: Snow outfit Enchantment
SLink: Mesh hands – Relaxed (r) & Bag (l)
Maitreya: Stagioni boots – ash green
Hopscotch: The Huntress – props & pose 2

Rustica: SkyMoon Environment (used in both scenes)

Blogger Challenges · Events · Getting Personal · iheartslFeed · Opinions & Thoughts · SL Places

Chapter Three

When I initially read the prompts for Chapter Three of The Writer’s Block, I really wasn’t sure I’d even have anything to say this time around. I don’t really think too much about going back in time to change things. Not because there aren’t things worth changing, but because I believe that every event in our lives leads us to the place we are right now, but literally and metaphorically. I happen to love my life, despite the challenges I’ve faced. So, I wouldn’t risk making a change that might completely alter my entire history, or cost me all the good I have in my present life. The other three prompts seemed interesting, but well… I’m in SL with my RL husband, so sex in SL is sort of irrelevant to me at this point. But I did mentally keep coming back to the fourth prompt… “the struggle between the real and the second” seemed very compelling to me. But what to say? I honestly wasn’t sure I could think of anything. My SL and RL have always been pretty merged (the whole RL husband thing again).

Then yesterday I was shooting a new poster for the front of our store Embody. We have six huge posters of our products, and we try to highlight the basics and best sellers with the posters. One of our biggest selling categories has always been maternity. So, for the poster, I got all dressed up like I’d been thoroughly knocked up and was about to pop. I thought I looked pretty darn adorable, dressed like a pregnant diva on a shopping spree, and well… it made me realize that maybe I did have a story to share about the struggle between the first and the second.

The reality of dreams

I remember when I was still brand new to SL. I mean, maybe two weeks old, and we were at a club where a woman had a tummy talker. I found it so odd. I didn’t understand the point of role playing a pregnancy (or anything) at all. But I had literally no exposure to RP before SL, so that’s not really surprising. Also, let’s face it. It’s easy in life to be judgmental. Humans are judgmental by nature, and my personal opinion on that is that we need to be able to make judgments. Being judgmental helps us make decisions and choices. The question is whether or not those judgments are flexible, and are they based on all the facts. Can we be fair judges in our lives, both real or second? That’s the part that’s tricksy.

I like to believe I am open-minded. I am fond of saying that I am a bisexual, anti-dieting, Libertarian atheist with a degree in anthropology. If I couldn’t be open-minded, or accepting of differences, I wouldn’t really have very many people to talk to in this life. Besides that, agreeing with everyone all the time sounds boring to me. I like debate, and intellectual discourse. I like to learn. I may be opinionated, and there are some things which I cannot imagine I will ever feel differently about, but I’m willing to listen to other perspectives.

Okay, so back to the story… the tummy talker kind of freaked me out. The SL pregnancy thing just seemed odd.

Then a friend of mine in SL got pregnant a few weeks later with twins. She looked, well… adorable, to be honest. All round and cute and dancing around with her new husband, and she mentioned that they couldn’t be together in RL and he couldn’t have anymore RL kids even if they could. Suddenly, I saw the whole thing in a new light. You see, part of how I wound up in SL was infertility. Oh, not directly. It was not like “well, can’t have kids, let’s join SL.” It was a series of events, but they are all events that would’ve transpired very differently had we had children as we’d planned, and tried for for two years. That all ties back to my not changing the past thing, really. If I’d become a mother, as I’d dreamed of my entire life and for years after meeting my husband, I know I would have been damn unlikely to be in SL. Which is not to say mothers shouldn’t be in SL, by the way. I just want to clarify that. It’s just my personal belief that I never would’ve been in stupid YoVille, which is what led to me winding up in not-generally-stupid SL. Just a disclaimer.

It wasn’t long before I realized that I could have an SL pregnancy and baby… I didn’t get to do any of the fun “I’m pregnant” stuff in RL because I couldn’t get pregnant. Infertility sucks all the joy out of the entire experience, at least until you get pregnant, if you’re fortunate enough. I wasn’t. But here I was, in a virtual world with virtual doctors and my real life husband. Rad is a serious trooper, and he went through it all with me and even played along. Once he asked a silly question about whether or not the gymnastics type run in my AO was safe for the baby. The first time, I was pregnant for only 5 weeks, and Ashlan was born. The second time I was pregnant 20 weeks, and we had Trinity. After Ashlan and Trinity, I was supposedly done. I wasn’t going to do it again. It wasn’t inexpensive, and it was silly… right?

Then my real life sister got pregnant. She was 17, and pretty much got pregnant the day she left rehab for the third time. Now, I love my nephew. I’ve only gotten to meet him once, but I adore him and we talk on the phone (he usually hangs up on me). He’s so sweet and I am so grateful we have him in our lives, but it was hardly ideal for my troubled teenage sister with a dysfunctional relationship to have gotten pregnant. And it just tore my heart to shreds. My sister was like my daughter, which is a long and complicated story I will spare you all from reading, but she was. We were inseparable, and we were so much alike in many ways. Until the drugs. Then things changed. Eventually, we had a huge fight. She told me I was just jealous of her because she could get pregnant and I couldn’t. Now, she was 18 and troubled and pregnant… but that is something that will always sting, and our relationship has never been the same. Maybe when she gets a little older (she’s not quite 22), things will change. But for now, it’s a gaping hole in my heart… and in the moment, several years ago, it was utterly crushing.

During that painful time, I decided I wanted another SL pregnancy and baby. Rad told me he didn’t think I’d be satisfied until I did one that lasted nine whole months. Now, you won’t meet a lot of people in SL who have done nine month pregnancies. Not in SL where a week seems like a month, and a month easily feels like three. Time in SL is so strange and nebulous. But I said yes… okay, let’s go for it. Let’s do the whole nine months. I didn’t pick the gender this time, either. I did, about halfway into the pregnancy, decide I was having twins, but we RP’d it like the doctor “discovered” the second baby. I didn’t pick hair color, but rather gave options based on our avs. Same with eye color, skin tone… you get the point. I made it as real as I possibly could, so that I could get it out of my system. And it worked, too. No, it is not the same. It could never be the same, naturally. But it’s as close as I could get to the real experience.

I know pregnancy in SL is one of those “hot button” issues everyone has an opinion on, and I know the vast majority of people I’ve met find it silly, stupid, weird or some combination of those things. I’ve seen plenty of snarky comments about prim babies, tummy talkers and pregnant avatars. I always get really mad, but I remind myself that at first I also didn’t “get it.” The thing is, you don’t have to “get it” to be more accepting and less judgmental. I don’t get a lot of things. I don’t get prayer, for instance. But I try to not judge people for whom that is an important part of their lives. I believe that, so long as your choices aren’t hurting other people, they are yours to make.

For me the struggle of not being able to have children in real life turned into something of a struggle in Second Life when I felt judged by total strangers or even friends for being (or having been) pregnant in SL. Now, mind you I muted my tummy talker in public places (with only family-friendly locations as an exception). Or I took it off. I didn’t wear it to laggy events. I didn’t take my (prim) babies to public places because I personally didn’t see the need, although I know some people RP in a way where leaving a baby with “Nanny Inventory” is not okay. But I went through so much trying to get pregnant in RL… and I never could. Second Life gave me the chance to live out a dream. No, it wasn’t the dream I wanted or imagined, but it was as close as I could get to that dream. I remember being baffled when a girl wearing an interactive cat tail judged my av’s pregnant belly. Really? I doubt she had a RL cat tail on her body. Part of what makes SL fun is doing what we can’t do in RL, or what we choose not to do in RL. For some of us, that includes pregnancy and families.

So, the next time you see a pregnant av before you snicker about it, consider what it might mean to her (or him!). Consider that maybe the person had cancer treatments that left her infertile. Or that her partner can’t have RL kids. Or that it’s the only way for two people who are currently living thousands of miles apart to share that experience. Consider that just maybe what you don’t understand is allowing the person to work through something very painful and difficult, and you don’t have to understand it. It’s okay for everyone to have their own unique SL experiences, and their own unique RL ones.

After all, don’t you?

Belleza for Collab

Some of the cuteness I have on can be found at the new edition of Collabor88, so if you love autumn, be sure to hop on over. I took these pics at the gorgeous sim that is home to Little Closet, and if you want a lovely autumnal place to hang out and take pics, definitely check it out. My hair is new from Truth for The Season Story event, which is full of wonderful fall goodness, too!

~Lucie

Credits
Skin: Belleza – Leila – Pale – 03 (Collabor88)
Eyes: IKON – Perspective – Glass (coming soon)
Hair: Truth – Junpier – Reds (The Season Story)
Dress: Geometry – Love Maternity Dress – Ivory 3rd trimester
Jacket: coldLogic – Plume – Earth (part of a dress)
Hands: SLink – mesh -Casual
Boots: League – Lauren – Taupe (Collabor88)
Poses: Embody – Mother MegaPack

Getting Personal · iheartslFeed · Opinions & Thoughts

On eating disorders…

Anyone who follows me on Plurk knows that I am very outspoken about body acceptance. As someone who has struggled most of her life with an eating disorder, and who has many friends with eating disorders, this is an issue very near and dear to my heart. I spent seven weeks as an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital in NJ, on the eating disorder unit, when I was 15. I became very good friends with many of the other teens there. The vast majority of them were anorexic, though some had began as bulimic and the disorder morphed from there.

Here’s the thing, though. Most of these girls “looked” healthy. Very few of them were so thin that you’d think “oh, I wonder if she has an eating disorder.” Not that we should be thinking that when we look at people, but that’s an entirely different discussion. The point is, they were beautiful, passionate girls. They often had great families. Most of them were popular, great students, involved in sports and genuinely appeared to be that iconic picture of health we’re all told to pursue. In other words, they were slim, but not overly so. Whatever that means. Few of them would’ve made the average onlooker think anything was wrong. In fact, most of them seemed to “have it all.” But they were all slowly starving themselves.

Just two years ago, at only 37 years-old, one of my friends from that hospital, who I’d kept in touch with all these years, died as a result of cardiac arrest, directly related to her over two decade long battle with anorexia. Anorexia is the deadliest of ALL pyschiatric illnesses. It’s a very, very serious battle that too many struggle with, and it’s complicated by so many factors that it is impossible to make a single image that represents everyone who struggles with the disorder.

*8.23.13 edit* As I expected, the Flickr group I link to in this post has been pulled. You can see an example of one of the images that was in the group here, but please be aware it is very triggering.

Today I became aware of an SL campaign that is intended to raise awareness about anorexia, and the Flickr group that accompanies it. You can view that group pool here, but I must emphasize the potential for triggering. If you have a history of ED, please proceed with caution. Unfortunately, some of the images it has inspired feel more like “thinspo” or “pro-ana” pics than they do awareness images. To put it in perspective, Pinterest now has a disclaimer that pops up if you search on “thinspo” there. I believe the intentions of those participating in this campaign are good, but this is such a difficult subject, and particularly if you have no firsthand experience with an eating disorder, things are easily lost in translation.

So, I decided to put a new spin on it. People were encouraged to make very thin avatars (though the picture where that was encouraged seems to have been removed), but I went with an avatar who looks to be pretty healthy, don’t you think? The point is, someone who looks healthy can have anorexia, too. It’s not about how someone looks, and the obsessive tendency to focus on physical appearance in our culture is part of why we have such a serious problem with all eating disorders in the first place.

Eating Disorder Awareness

Now, people have already been pulling and/or modifying their original images, and I give those participating credit for that… for listening to those of us who have been upset by the way the message has been portrayed thus far. One of the original images (which seems to be gone now) said “I am anorexic but am I sexy?” and the “model” was in lingerie. Most of the avatars have been scantily clad. Trust me when I say that every anorexic girl I met in my many years of ED recovery wouldn’t have worn a bikini in public under any circumstances. Most of them wore t-shirts over one piece swimsuits, if they were even willing to get into a swimsuit at all. Instead, they tended to hide beneath baggy clothes. This served two purposes. One, it kept people from noticing. I heard so many parents say “we had no idea because her clothes were baggy.” But also, because people who are anorexic have a distorted sense of their size, they believe they need to hide under the clothes. They believe they are hiding their fat bodies from sight. Even when repeatedly told they are thin, they do not believe it.

I was the “fat girl” in that eating disorder program. The only one. I had non-purging bulimia, only because I never successfully managed to make myself vomit (for which I am incredibly grateful today), and I understood enough about digestion to know that laxatives won’t make you lose weight or skinny. As an adult, after years of struggling to diet, and failing to lose and maintain any significant weight loss, I saw an eating disorder therapist. I worked with her for 18 months, and have completely changed my relationship with food. The seven weeks in the hospital when I was fifteen actually made my eating disorder even worse. I picked up “tips” from the anorexic and bulimic girls. It was a well-intended program, and it helped some of the girls, but it also had some serious flaws. I point this out because that happened to me when I was under psychiatric supervision in a hospital program. Some people may wonder how these images can be “triggering,” and I want to make it very clear that when you have an eating disorder, triggers are everywhere. It’s something you have to learn to cope with, but it takes time and years of work to do that, and therefore it is of paramount importance that people trying to raise awareness keep this in mind. Is your image helpful? Does it just further promote stigmas or stereotypes? Have you done the research to support what you want to convey?

The bottom line is this… you don’t know anything about a person’s health from looking at the person. Whether that person seems “too fat” or “too thin” to you is irrelevant. To assume that you must be very thin to have anorexia is erroneous. Several of the girls I was in the hospital with started off in a BMI range higher than is considered “normal,” but they were still anorexic. You can classify a body type, if you insist, when you look at it… but all it tells you about that person’s health is how they look on the outside. There are many illnesses that don’t manifest physical symptoms (I live with “invisible diseases” myself). There are unhealthy thin people and healthy fat people.

Eating disorders are very, very serious psychiatric health issues. Treatment is important, and awareness – with a clear message of such – is also important.

If you believe you, or someone you love, may have an eating disorder please check out these resources.

Something Fishy

National Eating Disorders Association NEDA also has a toll free hotline you can call (at least from the US). That number is 1-800-931-2237. Additionally, there is a webchat feature on that page.

Intuitive Eating

Eating Disorders Hope

National Institutes of Mental Health: What Are Eating Disorders?

But You Don’t Look Sick I threw this in because of mentioning so-called “invisible illnesses.” While eating disorders aren’t really what this website is about, it ties into the entire premise of not judging someone’s health based on how he or she looks.

If you would like someone to talk to about your own struggles, please reach out to someone. Whether you use one of the resources above, or do a google search to find your own, there is help out there. You don’t have to try to get through this alone.

~Lucie

Credits:
Skin: Glam Affair – Katya 01 – Europa (Collabor88)
Hair: Truth – Elisha – Fades – Elvira
Scarf: BOOM – Tinsley Cashmere Scarf – Gunmetal
Top: Auxiliary – Printed Sweatshirt – Camera Dark
Leggings: Maitreya – footless tights – purple
Shoes: Maitreya – Stagioni boots – coal
Pose: fri.day – Sweet & sour 1

Events · Homestyle · iheartslFeed · Opinions & Thoughts

The one with the controversy

Recently, someone said to me “how can you blog (X designer)!?! (X designer) is such a JERK.” No, I will not name names. It’s not really my style. But in this particular case, I don’t personally know X Designer. Funny thing is, neither did the person telling me X Designer is a jerk. That person heard it from a friend. That friend’s friend dated X Designer (supposedly). Now, I’m sure the person who told me this believes it to be true. I’m sure the friend of that person believes it. Maybe even the original source believes it. But I don’t know any of those people, and I don’t know the designer. The designer is incredibly talented, and I love the work… and that, my dear readers, is why I blog X Designer.

I don’t personally know a lot of the designers I blog. Even many of the designers I officially blog for, I really don’t know. I have plenty of people I consider friends that are designers, and these are people I know, but that’s more the exception than the rule. I have like 65k in my inventory. I’ve probably never even spoken to the majority of the designers who have made these items, let alone gotten to know them well enough to judge for myself, firsthand, what kind of person they are.

And here’s the shocker, and the part that’s likely to be controversial. I am not blogging the creator, I am blogging the creations, and so I honestly don’t really care very much. So X Designer is an asshole. If X Designer is a talented asshole, I’m unlikely to stop shopping at X Designer’s store, and I’ll probably keep blogging their items. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is that “asshole” is something we all personally define. What one person considers rude or unacceptable behavior, someone else may consider sarcastic wit. It’s really hard to know anyone in a virtual world. Hell, it’s hard enough to really know anyone in the real world! But there’s also the simple reality that what people say in writing can be very hard to parse. Tone, emotion, context… these things can all be translated very differently by different people when you’re dealing with written words. Someone may not mean to say something offensive, and they may not mean something to sound sarcastic, but because we don’t hear the words said, it is often hard to truly know how people mean the things they say.

We also all have our own “hot button” issues. I’m a bisexual, anti-dieting, Libertarian atheist. As I’ve repeatedly said, both in my virtual life and my real life, if I couldn’t “agree to disagree” I’d have like 3 people to talk to in the entire world. I welcome debate, as long as it is respectful. I admit I get frustrated by ignorance, but I also am not going to stop shopping at someone’s store because I think they hold ignorant opinions. So, are there lines that can be crossed, where I will not shop at someone’s store anymore? Of course. We all have that proverbial “line in the sand” that, once crossed, is really hard to ignore. There are some designers (and no, I will still not name names) who have managed to personally irk me in some way, usually by behaving in a way I consider intolerable on Plurk. In these cases, I’ve seen the behavior firsthand and I decide based on that evidence. We all have to know ourselves, and know what we consider behavior that crosses our own threshold of “acceptable.”

If someone tells me, “oh, I refuse to blog X Designer,” I respect that choice, even if I still blog that person. I’m also never going to make a choice with secondhand information. I don’t work with hearsay. Every story has at least two sides, if not more, and words are easily – and often accidentally – taken out of context. I’m the same way with my friends. I need to see bad behavior firsthand before I stop speaking to someone. It’s not that I don’t believe the people who tell me these “bad” things about the other people. I’m quite sure that in most instances, what I am being told is 100% believed. But I still can’t make a decision based on secondhand information, because maybe it’s all a horrible misunderstanding. Or maybe X Designer or person is really a horrible twat. But I’m always going to need firsthand evidence because, well… that’s just how I work. If you don’t work this way, that’s okay, too. We all have to make our own choices in life, and no one has the right to tell you that your choice to blog or not blog (or to shop or not shop at) a specific store is “wrong” or “bad.”

Ultimately, we live with the consequences of our own choices. Maybe someday, somehow, I’ll discover that X Designer really is a jerk. Likely, I’ll be annoyed I wasted money on a jerk, but whatever. We move on. It should be the worst thing to happen to me, and if X Designer’s a big enough jerk – in my opinion – then I’ll stop shopping there and blogging items from there.

Anyway, all this rather serious thought so early in the morning had me wanting to have some fun. So, I grabbed this adorable trampoline from Hopscotch for the current round of The Boutique, and put it in my pretty little courtyard garden and jumped away the stress!

Garden Jump

More from me soon… I know I’ve been quiet lately. Just not feeling well and also trying to keep up with my current grad class.

~Lucie

PS. This house from Zacca is one of my favorite ever houses in SL, and I’ll have more pics of it soon! Click through to the pic on Flickr, and hover for notes to see where garden items are from. Or you can just ask me!

Credits:
Skin: League – Isla – Medium
Hair: Truth – Sadie – Reds04Fade
Top: coldLogic – jacobs – sage
Shorts: coldLogic – pitt – cotton
Feet: SLink – Bare feet – Mesh
Pose: Hopscotch – Jump, Jump multipose prop