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 · iheartslFeed · Looks

That razzle dazzle birthday bash…

It’s really hard to believe that it’s been two years since Collabor88 began, but it has! This baby is growing up fast… and it just gets better and better. Collab – as so many of us affectionately call it – has consistently been my favorite monthly event since its inception in August 2011. That hasn’t changed, and in fact with this birthday bash round, the designers have just outdone themselves. First of all, the theme of Razzle Dazzle is awesome. I love all the vintage clothing and furniture. Secondly, Cory Edo of Trompe Loeil built this gorgeous birthday building for the celebration. It’s truly spectacular, and when the crowds die down (that could be a while!), it’s worth popping over for a visit just to see the building… but bring your wallets because you will want to shop, too!

I have lots to show you from Collabor88’s 2nd birthday round. Let’s consider this first post a warm up, shall we? Everything aside from my SLink hands and feet, my eyes and eyelashes is available at Collab… even my pose!

This dress from Auxiliary is just so cute. I love all the jeweled colors in comes in, and the studded collar gives it a touch of edgy modern flair, which I’ve come to expect from Aux. My shoes are from Ingenue, and they require the SLink medium mesh feet, but they’re utterly adorable and available in tons of colors.

It's like a dream

This skin is a 20’s inspired version of Izzie’s brand new Kaelyn skin. I’m not sure when the full release of this skin is coming, but you can snag several versions of it at Collab’s birthday bash in the meantime! Oh, notice I’m not a redhead? I know… I was shocked, too. But this look wanted dark hair, and well… once in a while even I want to be different! The hair is from Alice Project, and it’s utterly adorable. Also, here you can get a better look at the studded collar I mentioned on this dress. Oh, by the way… if you buy this dress, be sure to wear panties with it, as the alpha doesn’t cover, erm… your bits. Of course, if you’re channeling Sharon Stone ala Basic Instinct, then by all means, skip the panties. 😉

Plum Perfect

Finally, here’s a close up of the Ingenue shoes. I love the details on these flirty little shoes. The bows are so sweet and sassy.

Kick up your heels

More to come! I know many are still having trouble getting into the event, as the sim has been full, but you have time to get to Collabor88 before the round is over. It’s one you don’t want to miss! Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the gallery on the Seraphim blog post!

~Lucie

Credits:
Skin: Izzie’s – Kaelyn 20s edition – Purple (Collabor88)
Hair: Alice Project – Mary (Collabor88)
Eyes: IKON – Ascension – Plum (Collabor88)
Lashes: Gaeline Creations – Fantasia
Dress: Auxiliary – Studded Cocktail – Plum (Collabor88)
Shoes: Ingenue – Pickford Heels – Plum (Collabor88)
Hands & Feet: SLink mesh
Nails: Izzie’s – Metallic – appliers for SLink hands
Pose: Kirin – Florence 1 (pics 1 & 4) & 6 (pic 2) (Collabor88)

Events · iheartslFeed · Looks · SL Places

Summer of hair…

Boy, I do love Hair Fair! There are just so many goodies to be had. First up, in my last post I promised a better look at one of the gorgeous skins Glam Affair has to offer at this round of Collabor88. I paired this skin, and an outfit from Collab, with one of the LeLutka offerings from Hair Fair. The fantasy, dreamy style suited the Midsummer Night’s Dream that is this month’s theme at Collabor88 perfectly. The hair is called Alvina, and I am wearing it in the red shade called Jessica. You can find at Hair Fair LeLutka here. Please note that direct landing points aren’t currently enabled, but you can follow the beacon to find the booth!

LeLutka for Hair Fair & Glam Affair for Collab

I often don’t do location shoots for Hair Fair pics, but I really wanted something dreamier than my studio background for this style, so I took the last pic and this next one at a lovely spot called frog’s garden. My pretty, ruffly dress is from ISON for Collab, as are the seriously cute sandals which are SLink add ons.

Sunny Days

Next up, one of the gorgeous styles from Tableau Vivant. This one is called Teichmann. I really like the reds in their color packs. The packs have seasonal names, and mine is from Fall. I’m fussy about my reds (you may have noticed I often write “tinted” next to a color name), so it is always a thrill to find one I like out of the box. My adorable owl tank top is one of 2 clothing gifts you’ll find at the Auxiliary Hair Fair booth.

More Hair Fair!

The skin I’m wearing with this look is another Glam Affair skin for another event! This time it’s for The Boutique, and the skin is called Katya. There are six makeups available. For this look I liked the drama of the bright pink lips and yellow shadow. You’ll find Tableau Vivant’s booth here.

Glam Affair Katya

Stay tuned for yet more from Hair Fair 2013!

~Lucie

Credits
Look 1:
Skin: Glam Affair – Lulu – Jamaica 02 B (Collabor88)
Hair: LeLutka – Alvina (with crown & pony) – Jessica (Hair Fair)
Eyes: IKON – Ardent – Parchment
Lashes: Gaeline Creations – Fantasia
Dress: ISON – Ruffle Dress – Forest (Collabor88)
Sandals: ISON – Leather Strap Sandals – Tan (Collabor88)
Feet: SLink – Flat Mesh Enhanced (needed for shoes!)
Pose: Embody – Stand In 2

Look 2:
Skin: Glam Affair – Katya – America 05 C (The Boutique)
Hair: Tableau Vivant – Teichmann – Fall (Hair Fair)
Eyes: IKON – Ardent – Moor
Lashes: Gaeline Creations – Fantasia
Top: Auxiliary – Slouchy Tank – Owl Love (Hair Fair gift)
Pants: Maitreya – Leggings – Black
Poses: fri.day – sweet.sour 5 (pic 1), Hopscotch – Standing Pretty 5 (pic 2)

Events · Looks · SL Places

Curtain Call…

Cinema’s last days are upon us! This awesome event is open through Halloween… so you have 2 days left to shop it. Here are some more of my favorite looks from the event.

First, for the Halloween horror lovers… Auxiliary has two really cute tops. One is the bunny hoodie with a sugar skull type motif. I paired that with bloody jeans from Evolve (also at Cinema), and my beloved Izzie’s Asylum skin. This Haunted House Ride was really cool. It has many rooms based on popular horror films, and since you just sit and get driven through it, it’s low impact. :p

Haunted Ride

I took this next pic in the cemetery at T Town. I love that sim, and this was the perfect location. This top is also from Auxiliary, and seemed perfect for Zombie Hunting since it features some walking dead. I can’t wait for the regular release of this top. I am crazy in love with it. I paired it with cute hair from Aushka, Gos’s recently released Equestrian boots and jeans. Who says you can’t be glam while hunting the undead?

Zombie Hunter

Speaking of glam… this dress from SySy’s for Cinema is just stunning. It comes in a wide variety of colors, but I felt like a wedding cake topper in the pretty, frothy, white. I paired it with this elegant ponytail from a recent Truth release, and the softly elegant Fuyu skin from Izzie’s.

Cake Topper

I also snagged this Shakespeare cameo set from Caroline’s at Cinema. As a future English teacher, I just had to have this. It was unique, and I love chokers in general.

Shakespeare In Love

One thing I love about events like Cinema is the chance to discover a new store. I’d never heard of Volstead before, but oh, there was so much there to love. I have other items from this store I plan to blog in the future, but this little chemise was one I had to get into this final Cinema post. Unlike most mesh items, this piece uses glitch layers instead of alphas. The result is subtly sheer and very seductive. The detail work on this item really astounds me. I’m very impressed by the texturing.

Little Blue Chemise

Finally… this is a closeup of the Femme Fatale series Alyx skin from Pink Fuel. Though not for Cinema, I couldn’t resist pairing this dramatic, sexy skin with my little blue chemise. You can find this skin at The Costume Ball event. I am eagerly awaiting the full release of the Alyx line. I really love this skin!

Femme Fatale

More from me soon. Due to RL illness, I’m late (yep, again) with my final RYCC post! It’s coming, though… as soon as I figure out what to wear.

~Lucie

Credits
Look 1:
Skin: Izzie’s – Asylum Estella
Hair: Wasabi Pills – Cookie – Licorice
Top: Auxiliary – Bunny Hoodie – P/R*
Jeans: Evolve – Bloody jeans*
Shoes: Gos – Gators – black
Taken at Scared To Death! Haunted House Ride

Look 2:
Skin: Izzie’s – Fuyu – Pale
Hair: Aushka & CO – Alex – Cherry (tinted)
Top: Auxiliary – Zombified – Cinema Special – Double Cropped*
Jeans: Decoy – Dana 76 jeans – Night
Boot: Gos – Equestrian – Taupe
Pose: Embody – Serial Killer pack (no longer available)
Taken at T Town

Look 3:
Skin: Izzie’s – Fuyu – Pale w/silver eyeshadow, eyeliner and peach lipstick tattoos
Eyes: IKON – Kaleido – Forest
Hair: Truth – Dawson – Blood w/roots
Lashes: Gaeline Creations – Mysteria
Dress: SySy’s – Belle Gown – White*
Necklace & Earrings – Caroline’s Jewelry – Shakespeare Cameo set*
Nails: Izzie’s – French nails
Ring: Cae – Enchanted
Poses: Embody – Bride 2 (Pic 1) & Daisy 1 (pic 2)

Look 4:
Skin: Pink Fuel – Alyx – Vanilla – Siren
Eyes: IKON – Kaleido – Ocean
Hair: Magika – Tomorrow (color pack 2)
Lashes: Gaeline Creations – Mysteria
Nails: Izzie’s – Classic
Outfit: Volstead – Liason Chemise – Marine w/light trim*
Feet: Pixel Mode – Mesh Feet
Pose: Embody – Flaunt 2

*Items found at Cinema

Events · SL Places

Cinema!

I was very excited to have the chance to take a sneak peek at the Cinema venue. This build is possibly the most impressive, beautiful, richly detailed of any Second Life event I’ve been to, and for that reason in this first post I am sharing just pictures I took of the build.

Box Office

The snack bar is really amazing. Click the menu to get wearable props, each with the names of the event sponsors. This was such a creative, cute way to give those sponsors their due!

Snack Bar

Snacks 1

Snacks 2

All of the stores can be found in the various themed theatres. You’ll find Sci Fi, Romance, XXX, Film Noir, Horror, Action/Adventure and Musical/Fantasy. In other words, there’s truly something at Cinema to appeal to every taste. Then there is the adorable theater for the last breedable to hit the grid, Fennux. These critters, inspired by fennec foxes, are seriously cute. But don’t take my word for it… check out this guy, who was taking in a film as I walked by.

Fennux

I had tremendous fun exploring all the stores, and I have snagged so many amazing things I can’t wait to share with you. But alas, ever post must end… so those goodies will have to wait for another post!

Theater

~Lucie

To learn more about Cinema, check out the blog! Cinema opens on October 13, 2012!

Looks · SL Places

Happy Birthday, Truth…

The lovely Kaelyn Alecto sent out a private Plurk reminding us about the RL birthday of one of SL’s most beloved creators, Truth Hawks. I love Truth hair, a fact that has been thoroughly documented. I admire his talent, but more than that, he’s just always been so darn nice. When I was still pretty new, and L$250 seemed like a TON of money, I accidentally bought the wrong hair on my RL birthday. I’m really embarrassed about this now (and today would never, ever do this), but I sent him a goofy NC about it. I didn’t expect a reply. Nor would I have blamed him at all if I hadn’t gotten one. I was the idiot, after all. But he did reply, and he sent me the hair I’d intended to buy. It was such a nice gesture, and it made me a very loyal customer. Every time I’ve had a delivery issue, he has been so nice and helpful. I’ve had Marketplace issues where a creator has never replied, even after multiple NCs were sent. Truth has always responded, and always within 24 hours (often far less). My loyalty is not just because of his talent, though of course that’s a huge factor… it’s also because he has great customer service and is so nice. Even when I was goofy and fan girly, he was nice.

In honor of this event, and for use in a future Embody pose ad, I got my friend Rosa & my alts Sephie & Ashlan.. and naturally we’re all wearing Truth hair! And it’s funny, but unintentionally we’re also all wearing nail polish from RezIpsa Loc and eyes by IKON.

Shhh

Truth… I hope your birthday is every bit as nice as you are because you deserve it!

Kaelyn – you are amazing. What you’ve accomplished this past week blows me away. Thank you for letting me be a part of it!

~Lucie

Credits (left to right)
On Sephie:
Skin: Filthy – Tina – Cream 03
Shape: Embody – Larissa (for mesh)
Hair: Truth – Ebony – Macaroon w/roots
Eyes: IKON – Sunrise – Light Arabian Blue
Top: coldLogic – carter.blue
Pants: coldLogic – mazza.black
Nails: RezIpsa Loc – Sparkly – Onyx

On Me:
Skin: Izzie’s – Dailyn – Sunkissed w/brown eyeshadow
Shape: Embody – Miri (for mesh)
Hair: Truth – Carment – sangria w/roots
Eyes: IKON – Horizon – Gray Green
Lips: Izzie’s – Dailyn Matte Lips – dark matte rose
Top: coldLogic – watts.plum
Pants: Maitreya – zipper jeans – dirty
Nails: RezIpsa Loc – Sinful Pack – Vanity

On Ashlan:
Skin: Filthy – Ayla – Ivory 03
Shape: Embody – Jolie (for mesh – not yet released)
Hair: Truth – Gabriel – Auburn
Eyes: IKON – Sunrise – Bleached Gold
Dress: Miel – Regatta – Natural Solids

On Rosa:
Skin: Belleza – Betty – Sunkissed 05
Shape: Embody – Caralyn (for mesh)
Hair: Truth – Izzie – coffee
Eyes: IKON – Horizon – Pale Glass
Top: coldLogic – andersen.purples
Pants: Auxiliary – Luna – Blue
Nails: RezIpsa Loc – Darks – Black

Pose: Embody – Tight Knit (not yet released)
Photo taken on the lovely Water Reserve sim… home of *emm [shop] & scribbled hearts.

Events · SL Places

Going Baroque @ Collabor88!

I couldn’t resist the truly horrible pun that is my title, but I did go a little crazy at this HUGE Baroque themed, anniversary edition of Collabor88. You still have time to go by and grab so many great items… including an adorable special edition KittyCats kitten. The popularity of KittyCatS actually made this round rather hard to get into early in the month, so if you tried and got frustrated, make sure to go back before it’s over!

I have two looks to share with you… this first one is a bit edgier than my normal look, but it was a ton of fun to create! I loved the mesh leather pants from Tres Blah right away, and I decided they’d be a great match to the sexy mesh tank from Auxiliary. The shoes are from ISON, and I just loved them, too. I added the owl necklace from Maxi Gossamer and this sassy, funky hair from Ploom, and voila, a look was born.

Collabor88

I was wearing Estella – one of my beloved skins from Izzie’s – and I paired it with Izzie’s goth eyeliner, and I just had to show off my metallic gradient nails, which also come from Izzie’s. You can also get a better look at the adorable owl necklace from Maxi Gossamer. I’m wearing it in silver, but it comes with gold, too. Also, this is the short version, but a long version (in both silver and gold) is included.

Edge

My second look was inspired by the Thrive hair from Elikatira. It’s so glamorous… and I know I’m hardly the first to say so, but it conjures up images of Jessica Rabbit. I find that the Elikatira reds aren’t quite as dark as I like my hair, but despite being mesh, this hair can be tinted. So, mine is a tinted version of Red 08. I knew when I saw this dress from Valentina E. Couture that the Thrive hair would compliment it perfectly.

Baroque I tossed on the SLink peep toe shoes I got from Vintage Fair to complete the look.

Baroque

For this look, I went with my Elena skin, again from Izzie’s (I might be addicted to her skins). I also decided to forgo jewelry or accessories, as I felt the dress and hair required no embellishments. However, this dress does come with a cute headpiece… I just didn’t want to hide this hair. It’s so sleek and sophisticated.

new profile pic

To see the overview of fabulousness that is this round of Collabor88, check out the post from Seraphim. Be sure to hurry, though… the September round opens on the 8th. I, for one, can’t wait to see what the next edition brings!

~Lucie

Credits
Look 1:
Skin: Izzie’s – Estella – Sunkissed w/purple eyeshadow & violet lipstick
Eyeliner: Izzie’s – Goth
Hair: Ploom – Tart – Indecisive Pack (tinted slightly)*
Eyes: IKON – Horizon – Deep Turquoise
Nails: Izzie’s – Metallic Gradient
Top: Auxiliary – Slouchy Tank – Cross Flurry*
Pants: Tres Blah – Leather Leggings – Black*
Necklace: Maxi Gossamer – Jeweled Owl – Silver – Short*
Shoes: ISON – Miraya Open Toe Bootie – Black*
Poses: Embody – Charm 3 (pic 1) & Daisy 1 (pic 2)

Look 2:
Skin: Izzie’s – Elena – Sunkissed w/pink & smokey 2 eyeshadows, eyeliner & dark rose lipstick
Hair: Elikatira – Thrive – Red 08 (tinted)*
Eyes: IKON – Horizon – Deep Azure
Nails: Izzie’s – Metallic Gradient
Dress: Valentina E. Couture – Baroque Shell – Blues*
Shoes: SLink – 2 strap pumps – Black
Poses: Embody – Disco 3 (pic 1), Elle 3 (pic 2)