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 · iheartslFeed · Looks · SL Places

Buy ALL the things… on sale!

The coldLogic and FATE sales are winding down… you only have through tomorrow (July 5th) to benefit from these great discounts! coldLogic did a brand new release during the sale, and I’m wearing a top and shorts from that release. Even better, it’s also on sale! That’s like virtually unheard of in SL… a new release during a sale that’s also discounted?!? It’s pretty awesome, so don’t miss out! I thought our new pose pack for My SLink Obsession (opens July 5th) was perfect for this pic, as it features lots of shopping bags and is called Retail Therapy.

I’m also wearing PXL’s new body applier freckles that are part of a new event called Mix. This is a HUD based shopping event located in each individual designer’s store. so you’ll find these freckles at PXL (the mesh body applier freckles).

My hair is also a new release… from Tableau Vivant, and available at Shiny Shabby. And finally, my beautiful skin is from PXL for Candy Fair which is now open.

Happy shopping and buy ALL the things!

~Lucie

Credits
PXL: Violet skin – bare lips – pale tone w/light freckles, moles & lip gloss 3 Candy Fair
SLink: Physique mesh body, flat mesh feet, gesture mesh hands
PXL: Freckles body appliers, fair tones Mix
Tableau Vivant: Morgana hair – reds
Buzzeri: Elysium eyes – Amber
coldLogic: kerr shirt – sky, short 151 – kidd – grey sky
Cae: Scrolled necklace & earrings Cosmopolitan opens July 6th
FATEstep: Ziggy chucks
Repose: Retail Therapy poses w/props 3 (pic 1) & pose 1 (pic 2)
Location: coldLogic sim

Events · Friends · Homestyle · iheartslFeed · Looks

We’re Pink Lemonade

I grabbed a fellow blogger and dragged her to the coldLogic summer sale so we could blog coldLogic and FATEstep (which, along with the other FATE brands, is also having a sale) together. It is a refreshing look, especially with Jian’s Asbury set out on my deck!

We're Pink Lemonade...

The coldLogic and FATE sales run to July 5th, so be sure to check them out!

coldLogic

FATEstep, FATEplay, FATEwear

~Lucie

Credits
Left:
Glam Affair: Katra Skin – Jamaica – 02
Maitreya: Lara Mesh Body
Truth: Lucrecia hair w/roses – browns
Buzzeri: Lillian eyes – Midnight
Redgrave: Lashes 35 & 31
Izzie’s: Celestial rings – silver
coldLogic: beam dress – blush
FATEstep: Jessie wedges

Right – Me:
Glam Affair: Summer V3 skin – America 02 Collabor88
SLink: Physique mesh body
Tableau Vivant: Leste hair – reds Kustom 9
Egozy: Illuminate eyes – Turquoize (marketplace, system layer only)
Cae: Wish necklace
coldLogic: Haver dress – minty
FATEstep: Jessica wedges

Repose: BFFs pose

Decor
Barnesworth Anubis: Hamptons Cottage
Jian: Asbury Patio Furniture set
LAQ Decor: Curtains

iheartslFeed · Opinions & Thoughts

Mesh Body Comparisons

I began this post a while ago and have had the draft saved. Since I can’t type much, now seemed like a good time to finish it up.

I’ve wanted to do a mesh body comparison post for a while, but I was finally prompted by the recently updated SLink Physique body (the heads, hands and feet all have updates, too, if you missed them). Before this update I honestly didn’t feel the Physique flattered my curvier build. While I thought it looked lovely on my more slender friends, it just didn’t work for me. But that is over! The updated body works very nicely with my curves, as you will see below. I will say, however, it is a more athletic build than either Belleza’s Venus or Maitreya’s Lara bodies. So if that’s something that appeals to you, then Physique is the body for you.

It should be noted that, for the sake of this comparison post, I am wearing the same shape with all three bodies. I have shapes for each of the bodies that have been tweaked to meet my needs, but for this I wanted you to see the differences amongst the same shape. Click through to Flickr to see the comps bigger.

I wanted to show side-by-side comparisons that highlight the things I find most important in a mesh body: Thighs, butt, breasts and belly. This first comp shows off the breasts and belly nicely, as well as the thighs. My favorite thighs, belly and breasts are all on the Lara body. This is really just a matter of my preferring a softer build, over a more athletic one like the Physique offers. However, I feel that Physique is a close second, especially on the thighs and belly.

Body Comparison: Side View

Next, the rear view! I’d say that, for me and what I’m looking for, Lara and Physique tie here, while Venus is behind both (no pun intended).

Body Comparison: Butts!

Lara was also recently updated to have more alpha cuts, and like the updated Physique there are slots where you can save alpha cuts. This is really helpful, and has made me more inclined to wear a mesh body because, honestly, I am lazy and changing alpha cuts is tedious. Venus does not offer nearly as many alpha cuts, which can make it harder to fit clothes not made exclusively for it. However, there are a lot of stores offering clothes to fit the body, so if you prefer Venus just shop around to find designers making clothing for it. As for appliers, both Maitreya’s body and Belleza’s body will work with the Omega system, but Physique does not. Again, this isn’t too much of an issue since a lot of stores have appliers specifically for Physique, but it is worth noting. With the Maitreya body, though there are designers releasing clothing for it, the official developer kit hasn’t been released, so designers are, to an extent, guessing on fit… and sometimes this does show with inexact fits. Now, that being said I run into more issues than most because I also happen to wear a standard size large and my “fit mesh” shape is even curvier than my standard sizing shape. Theoretically with fitted mesh that shouldn’t make a difference, but in reality it does seem to. However, I haven’t had too many issues. Still, if you wear an unconventional shape you absolutely want to demo everything (really a good policy regardless).

Another thing worth noting is that if you wear a Belleza skin, you will definitely want to consider Venus, as Belleza does not offer appliers for any of the other mesh bodies. You’ll have to hand tint if you choose to go with a Belleza skin and a different designer’s body. Hopefully that’s something Belleza will change in the future. Speaking of skins, Maitreya partnered with Glam Affair, so their hud has all of the Glam skin tones preloaded, which is a definite perk if you’re inclined to mostly (or always) wear Glam Affair. I wear Glam skins more than any other skins, so I definitely do consider that a bonus. But I’m a skin addict, and I jump around and plenty of the skins I wear offer appliers for all three of these bodies. Physique includes a skin with purchase, which is also nice. With Physique, you do need to remember that the SLink hands and feet are sold separately. Venus and Lara both come with hands and feet. Lara’s hands have only one basic position, while Venus comes with a very nice, wide array of hand positions. However, both Venus and Lara will work with the SLink hands and feet (just be sure to use the XS size, regardless of your normal, non-mesh body size).

My advice to anyone who hasn’t picked a body yet is to grab demos and wear them for a while. Try all the alpha options with your favorite clothes and see how they work before buying, so you know you’ve made the right choice. For me, it’s all about Lara and Physique, in that order, while at this point I really only use Venus if I’m wearing a Belleza skin because tinting by hand is inexact, to say the least, and annoying.

I am slowly starting to wear the mesh bodies more often, but I’m definitely not a full-timer yet. I still find them to be a bit tedious and time consuming, though the ability to save alpha cut combos definitely helps. However, the lure of these bodies is how beautiful they are, unlike the standard avatar. So, it’s definitely something I see myself using more and more as time passes.

~Lucie

Credits
Physique Look:
Lara Hurley Skins: Elea – red – rose pale
Elua: Jaycee Hair – Redbrown pack
Lacuna: Mae Lingerie – Olive

Venus Look:
PXL: Aeryn – Natural – Makeup 01
Exile: Touch So Warm hair – reds
Lacuna: Mae Lingerie – Blue

Lara Look:
Glam Affair: Katra skin – America 01
Truth: Fynn hair (no headband version) – reds
Lacuna: Mae Lingerie – Sherbert

Other Credits:

Bauhause Movement: Zerkalo 11 – pic 1 (modified to fit my shape using the Animare hud)
Ploom: Bones – 4 (curvy) pic 2

Glam Affair: Olivine Skybox