Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I don't give a damn what you're wearing


So I logged on yesterday to find 30 comments on my last blog post. I thought some kind of frightening Blogger error had occurred . . . until a friend of mine told me that blogger Luna Jubilee had Plurked it.

Wow. Thank you, Luna! <3

A friend of mine once told me that the problem with SL blogs is that once an SL blog gets popular, sometimes that blogger starts getting a little preachy, and then the blog becomes kind of a drag.

I don't know anything about that. I do know that I planned this post way before a bunch of wonderful people came and dropped all those comments on yesterday's blog. And that aside, I'd never call this blog popular. Dorky, sure. Not for the delicate and easily offended, yeah. But popular, not in a long shot.

So that said, let's talk about fashion, and let's talk about body oil, and let's talk about pizza and let's talk about not taking everything so gawd-damn seriously.

When I see an outfit in SL, particularly if it's one that many people might label "fugly," I often think about the person who made it. Like, maybe that person spent hours toiling away in Photoshop trying to make this one tiny skirt. And maybe it's not anything that would knock your socks off, but that person put love and time and hard work into making that skirt. And they rent a little store space and they try to sell their little skirt, and they're really proud of it . . . and then some A-hole comes along and laughs at it.

Go ahead and slap me across the face and call me a preachy sap right here. I'll polish my holier-than-thou halo and wait . . . . .

[insert face-slapping theme music here]

I only think this way because I have some real-life fashion designer friends whom I'm always hounding to make some Second Life versions of their clothes. And they always respond with, "How the hell do I do that?" And I always respond with, "To hell if I know!" 

So see, the whole SL clothing phenomenon seems like an awe-inspiring and complicated process to us. 

But if they ever actually did figure it out and try to sell something in SL, well, for me those outfits would have real faces behind them. And that hypothetical scenario makes me realize that behind every article of clothing, there actually IS a real face, and that person probably really cares about that piece of clothing.

And no, I'm not smoking weed right now.

So I'm trying not to rant, and I'm trying not to preach, but a couple of recent incidents sort of struck a nerve with me, and that's why I've been thinking about this stuff lately. And you know "incident" sounds a little ominous, like part of a crime report. I'm changing that word to "instances."

Let's take Instance No. 1:

A couple of days ago, a chatty fashion group was mocking the group Fashion Consolidated. The underlying theme of the mock was that "FashCon has gotten oh-so-ghetto lately." The FashCon announcement that sparked this lively chat-bash was the store Morbid's limited-time offer of a gothy dress for 29L.

As I was reading the chat, during which several people were gagging and hee-hawing over the outfit in question, I pulled up the notice and looked at the pic of the "offensive" outfit.

And you know what? I'm not a fashion connoisseur, but it really didn't look that bad to me. I mean, it's not gonna evoke a standing ovation at a runway show anytime soon but sheeeeeeeeh, I've seen much worse. I shared this observation in the chat and was bombarded with "Are you kidding me? Look at the butt-ugly textures!!!"


I zipped over to the store and dropped a whopping 29 lindens on the gown. Let's look at it, shall we?


Chest detail:


Back detail (tattoo undershirt included):


Short version (stockings are included):


(Please pardon the duck.)


(that was sarcasm)

OK. So it's a whole lotta pattern that's a wee bit in your face. And it's not hanging on the racks of Tres Jolie or Baiastice. But it moves beautifully, a lot of thought obviously went into the detail and, FOR GAWD'S SAKE, I realize we're all entitled to our opinions, but when did we all get so flippin' snobby that we're calling something like this dress "ghetto"????

Somewhere out there, there's a person on a tight budget who likes this style of clothing and is going to love this dress. And if you happen to fall in that category, it's called Morrigan and I think you can still buy it for 29L here.

Instance 2:

Some friends of mine whom, don't get me wrong, I love dearly were having a "dress as fugly as you can" party. Somewhere in the conversation when people were discussing what to wear, someone mentioned that everyone need look no further than hO wEAr for all their fugly fashion needs.

I feebly tried to defend that store then and I'm going to feebly try again now.

Yes, the majority of hO wEAr's selections isn't my preferred style of clothing. But as with many stores, I've found a few diamonds in the booty-shorts rough there. And that aside, HeidiHo Huet is one of the most generous designers I've seen in Second Life. Every day she offers a new $1L outfit. And yeah, they might not all be your cup of tea, but they're somebody's cup of tea and I bet if you checked it out every day, you'd eventually find something you like. Try it! I dare you!

Case in point, let's take a recent almost-free outfit that I deemed worthy of my one linden, called Gothly Night (sunglasses, hat, gloves and tats included):



Here's the long-gown version, which includes a separate lace underskirt (and yes, it all needs a little adjusting):


(Please pardon the duck.)


And here's the ad, since I was too damn lazy to model and shoot the outfit's many options (yes, stockings, jewelry and garter belt undies were included):



No - I'm not going to wear it often (or even again, considering that my inventory is now at 83K), but obviously a lot of thought, work and love went into this outfit and I appreciate the vision. I also appreciate the details. The corset top, hat and shades might even get paired with other things in my inventory. And yep, a few of the accessories have bling, but I dropped a scrubber script in them and, voila (thanks, Eevie!), problem solved. 

I don't know. This place is supposed to be all about fun. God bless the people who make gorgeous clothes and God bless the people who at least give it a shot. When did we all get so critical? When did we all become a bunch of . . . pixel-bashers?



I will admit that my Ambien is sort of kicking in right now.

As some of you know, I recently reunited with my friend Jon. After about a year of not talking, we're trying to get to know each other again. But the other day he said to me, "You've changed. You're way more concerned about clothes now." And it made me sad. 

We used to laugh a lot and run around like this:


YES. That was a bikini made out of PIZZA and -- OMG!!! -- I was also wearing BODY OIL! And SYSTEM SHOES! And Jon has some kind of a . . . a . . . duck head coming out of his crotch! Or maybe it's a goose. Regardless, it has a BEAK!

We looked a mess. But on that particular day, I laughed so hard in real life that I cried.

Now I just drag him around to stores and we spend way too much time talking about hunts and furniture and what we're wearing to parties and ridiculous gossip and . . . where the hell has the joy gone?

We've all created this so-called Utopian virtual world, but then we've put the same superficial petty pressures on ourselves that we do in real life. (Look fashionable! Buy the latest hairstyle! Flaunt your stellar skin! Does this system skirt make my butt look huge???)

My mother always says, "It's not the clothes that make the woman; it's the woman that makes the clothes." . . . or something along those lines.

(Of course she also always says, "If you're having a bad hair day, stuff your bra and no one will look at your head.")

And by God, I am a woman who can make a pizza bikini look FULL OF RADIANT JOY!

So I don't know. I'm glad I've found some Second Life designers that I truly love, and I love the artistry and creativity that so many others bring to the grid. I love reading good fashion bloggers because of the pictures they create with their words, not their poses or Photoshop. And I love the fact that I can wear things in Second Life that I'll never be able to wear in real life.

That little girl inside me who loves dressing up Barbies probably isn't gonna go anywhere anytime soon. But I think I'm done worshipping the SL fashion gods and killing myself (and usually failing anyway) trying to be some kind of a fashion plate.

And I don't give a damn what you're wearing either.

So rock your bling, if that's your thing. And I'll put my pizza bikini on and we'll hang out.

*flashes a peace sign and runs off*


Amie Adamski said...

You know we are all superficial I believe-I have been in SL for 7 months now so I'm still pretty new at it all, but when I see a noob (mostly males) who looks bad I hardly want to talk to them-superficial hell yeah something I'm trying to get over b/c I KNOW I looked really bad in the first few months and sported the free outfits that linden gave us and the bling hell yeah I loved it. I do spend a ridiculous amount of time getting clothes (most of which is still free since I'm a cheapo)

Those outfits are not something I would wear but they were in no means fugly. I would wear the one with the gown skirt. And yeah we definitely have to look at the fact that real people make these outfits and that the people who make them have feelings and some people do not consider sl a game.

I'm constantly paranoid I will end up on What the fug. Your bikini was hilarious and like you said you had so much fun that night so does it really matter what you wear?

Ok done being preachy now and afraid I'm a big superficial witch now :( Maybe I shouldn't comment so late at night.

Emerald Wynn said...

LOL Amie! Those noobie dudes with freenises are fair game for mocking, as far as I'm concerned. I will get off my noble high horse and admit that.

Right after I wrote this post, I went and dropped 850L on a gown at the Fashion Designers Challenge store, so I guess we can slap a big hypocrite sticker on my damn forehead right now.

I might delete this post tomorrow.

I think the point I really wanted to make was that everyone has her or his own style and just because we hate an outfit doesn't mean someone else doesn't love it. To each his own and all that.

But the whole post kind of ended up sounding like that teacher on Charlie Brown. bwah bwah bwah bwah bwaaaaaaaap

Peter Stindberg said...

Reader #4 loves you blog. When I'm down or stressed or moody there is always a bright thought and a chuckle here.

Alicia Chenaux said...

Hm. Sorry if we offended you, Em.

Nuuna Nitely said...

Don't delete this post. It says exactly those things I've so long thought and wanted to say, but I'm not good with words like you and especially with English words.:D I so hoped that SL will be the place where people could look like they want or wear what they want and not be criticized or made fun of. Enough of that in RL. If you don't like something in SL cam away, you don't have to zoom on peoples exposed bits etc. People don't have to dress properly to please you. You don't have to buy and wear those (what you think are) fugly clothes. It's their SL and they can do what ever they want here. And I miss the days where one could just wear the most ridiculous things around the grid and not care or be afraid to be featured in wtf or fashion police blog. Ok, I'll shut up now.:p This topic just always gets me fired up.:D Oh and I'm reader #5 who reads your blog regularly.:)

V said...

1. Don't delete this post- stop deleting posts, forget writer's remorse :)
2. It's voila- for the whole wah-lah thing :)
3. I've thought the same thing about the person behind the avatar too.. but instead of thinking they designed it, I mean, we don't really know the person behind the av- and they might just think clothes are secondary.. might be that they think it's ok to run around naked in stores b/c it's just an av- not real live flesh... etc.. so many could be whys. Won't stop me from "WTF"-ing though....
4. Umm..this is reader #6...

-Eevie L.

Celebrity said...

Rarely does a new content creator enter SL without some stumbles and mistakes unless making 3d content is already her day job.

I've got dresses from 2006 in my inventory from well known creators that would definitely be in line for some fashionista ridicule.

Anyway just like in RL it's way too easy to be judgmental and I thank you for reminding me of that.

Seriously though I need you to join plurk! LOL

Tymmerie Thorne said...

#7 here. Yea, no more post deleting! One of the things I value in the people that I know and admire in SL (and in RL) is that they do have varying opinions. I like hearing all sides of an issue. It makes me think and grow. Plus, you deliver your thoughts with amazing hilarity.

I can hardly wait until your SL turtle wanders into a picture.

Lilla said...

I went to the store after reading your post. I'd say people from roleplay sims would love the styles...imagine vampires, nekos, witches and whatever character there is.
Some of the designs look good for balls and costume parties too. I don't know, I'm probably tasteless, but really, I don't care and PLEASE, don't delete this post.

Anonymous said...

Yay you did it! You wrote the post and you didn't delete it. I think we forget that we create our avatars based off our own sense of beauty in second life. For some that may be our fantasy of being a tall, thin, statuesque model. For others it may be the Goth girl with white skin, black hair and a black lolitaesque dress. And you know I have never heard of Ho wear but I hope the creator is laughing all the way to the bank! She obviously gets it LOL.

@Alicia Cheneux - I don't know you very well but I have to say I have never been a fan of blogs like What the Fug and SL fashion police. Who are we to judge what looks good in second life. Now mind you I have no issues saying "ok that hair was not made well" or "that shirt has too many seams," but I will not ridicule some nameless, faceless avatar for the enjoyment of others just because they have on body oil, prim boobs, too much bling or because their sense of fashion if very different from mine. Look at me...Lizzie and Elizabeth are both chubby. Elizabeth had some hateful flickr postings once and was called a Fatvatar, lol. And Lizzie, hell she is known to show up in a club with demo hair and demo skin, ha! I'm surprised I haven't been Fug'd.I am sure you are a very nice person Alicia and please do not view this as a personal attack. Your tutorials have been wonderful but the overall spirit of the blog can overshadow wonderful posts like that. I should shutup now LOL. Hugs and take care

Emerald Wynn said...


This post wasn't a jab at What the Fug. Those gals are friends of mine and they're all extraordinary souls. They're also used to me getting on that site and trying to find the silver lining in the fug they feature.

<--- Proudly defending hos and bling since March 2008!!!

*Wonders if they've all fled my friends list now* :\

I've been fugged on that site before for my big orange Halloween boots. And I thought it was awesome. Like, my 15 minutes of fug fame.

If you haven't been fugged, you're livin' too safe!!!!

The day some friends were rippin' on hO wEAr happened to be a day I spent 400L on an outfit there. It was an Easter outfit. And yeah, it was a little vampy but I had an occasion that called for vamp that night. But when it happened, I started worrying about my taste level and whether I even had one. Because I thought, despite the vamp, some of the details on the little dress were REALLY PURTY!And then I wondered why the hell I was worrying about my fashion taste in a world we've supposedly created for fun.

I guess what I really wanted to say is that there's a store and designer out there for just about every style and budget, and thank God for that or we'd all look the same.

The (ironically a freebie group) chat dogpile on the store Morbid -- and yeah, I'm gonna go back into the post and add the name, since I called out hO wEAR -- sort of disturbed me because it attacked a designer who was trying to do something kind for the general SL shopper -- which was offer a rather elaborate, versatile gown at a discounted price. I thought the bash session was a little over the top.

I'm all for people expressing opinions (no really?), but at the time I wanted to say, "HEY! Just because you don't like the damn dress doesn't mean the store is polluting the whole grid -- or all of FashCon, for that matter." Because the chat had gone beyond saying "I don't like this dress" -- it was getting downright mean. So you hate the dress. Don't buy it then. And please shut up.

But yeah Lizzie, that deep discussion we got into the other night about not falling into the fashion cookie cutter trap and being brave enough to physically express your inner goof. Unfortunately this blog post didn't turn out to be the fun one that I had originally wanted it to be when I was tossing that blog post idea around with you. Instead it kind of turned into a "Stop being mean!" thing.

*Sneezes Whine Flu all over Tymm's blog*

LOL @ Fatavar. Or Favatar. Or whatever. That is horrible. Just horrible.

Anonymous said...

Oh, when Alicia commented I assumed it was about her blog. Oops my bad.

chestnut rau said...

I <3 this post! You are a rock star Emerald.

Luna Jubilee said...

Woohhoo!! I feel the love I really do!!

Em, your blog style is friggin' awesome!! So glad to see 30+ comments on that post!

All the best <3 Luna

Emerald Wynn said...

That's really kind of you to say, Luna, particularly since I just realized that a big chunk of this post -- the main segue, actually -- mysteriously vanished. I put it back.

This post has ticked off some people today. But I believe that friends can have differing opinions and still be friends. If we all agreed on everything, wouldn't all our conversations be boring as hell?

I'm done thinking about Second Life, possibly for a week. I have to go feed my pet turtle.

Thanks to everyone who commented. And I guess I need to make some kind of a public statement to the fact that if you disagree with something I say in a post, you can say that here if you want to. I'm not gonna get all nuts and call you names. If anything, I'll probably thank you for offering a different perspective.

(Unless you use the F-word or get flat-out mean. Then I'll have to throw a system shoe at you and click the little trashcan by your name.)

It can be a forum for discussion. We don't have to . . . call off friendships and stuff over a blog post. *sad face*

WillowC said...

Brilliant post, and it's nice to see so much positive. It's the silly that makes - plus I really want to know where you got that pizza bikini!

Love this blog, thank you Luna :)

Aisuru Rieko said...

OK I think there should be no more post deletions from you, you're too good a writer to be second-guessing yourself, even at your most random or potentially controversial moments. SO STOP IT :P let your words stand.

oy this thing might turn into a novel.

regarding the actual points of the post, how I think is a bit hard for me to express properly I think. I'm no writer, but I think I'm pretty empathetic, able to see an issue from multiple points of view. So I can see from the view that certain groups (or certain individuals who happen to cross paths at the right time, say in group chat) have some fun "roleplaying" (if you will) the whole mean-girls, uber-fashionista character. And I do think in some ways the fashion scene is as full of roleplayers as some areas screated specifically for roleplay. In some ways the nature of humans is to point & laugh, it might not be our best attribute but I think it's an honest one, how else to explain slapstick, the prat fall, Americas Funniest Home Videos, Failblog, fat jokes, and endless "wtf were they wearing" features in magazines, on blogs and gossip rags, the fountain of posts that is Onotheydidnt. IE I think where you have people, you will have people laughing at other people, if you banish one form through social change or legislation, it will only migrate to another reason. I think we can try for peace & love but its ultimately against our nature.

As a creator I can see from the point of view of the shop owners whose creations get mocked. Honestly I don't know how I'd react if someone blogged about how they hate my creations. Sometimes I think I probably hate my creations more than anyone else possibly could. I'm notoriously hard on myself. I would hope that some of the designers would attempt to channel it in a creative direction, try to show up their critics by succeeding. I watch shows like Project Runway and I know you do too Em, and they use the phrase "the taste level just isn't there" sometimes and I believe it about certain designers. It's hard to hear but some people just aren't so good at fashion.

As an Elegant Gothic Lolita I can definitely see the point of view of avatars who like their SLives to reflect something different. Making my avatar look well-put-together is something I've spent a lot of time and RL $$ on, and yet I am certain that my style is something that would get me criticized by some, that is the chance I've taken by wearing it. I know with absolute certainty that RL me would draw out the mean-girl critic in a lot of people, but thats how life is. They are free to hold their opinion regarding my looks or style and I am free to hold mine as well, even free to express it. I don't believe I have ever critiqued someone purely on the basis of trying something different. When I write someone up it's usually a taste thing, or a theme thing (as in pick one and stick with it), or a misplaced prims thing or for something truly inexplicable. I fully understand that writing such things leaves me wide open to be called a hypocrite, or mean, or a terrible person. Ultimately I don't really take that facet of my SLife that seriously and think it's mostly for entertainment, mine taking pictures and writing posts, and readers. I rejoined because I find it funny and entertaining, and even somewhat harmless-though I can see where some others would not hold that opinion at all. If me being part of the WTF site is offensive to some friends then I only hope that they will understand that everyone is multifaceted and will be able to accept the parts of me that aren't concerned with style.

I'm pretty sure I've managed to say things in a way that isn't the best possible but rest assured that my opinion of you and your style and your writing remains totally unchanged: you are aces in my book.

Emerald Wynn said...

I love you, Aisu. I really do. You are pure joy, and I'm not just saying that because you're not kicking my ass right now.

I said earlier that I never intended for the post to slam WTF. If that were the case, I would've said "WTF is up with that damn What the Fug blog?"

I love my friends who write for What the Fug. You're all hilarious writers. It's a guilty pleasure to read it, and Ali pointed out to me today that I used to comment often on that blog. That's true. And this post really wasn't about that. Meara fugged me in that blog once and I thought it was pure fun.

My problem is with bashing of content creators who might not appeal to the fashionistas out there, but might be just fine for the average SL resident who's in it for the fun -- not on a quest to be a fashion plate.

And along those lines, my problem is with me, and that's really what this post was about. I used to be in it for the fun. Then I became sort of a crazed, critical shopping fiend. And these days I'm sort of wondering why I'm in it at all.

I just want the fun back. I guess. And when it comes to fashion, maybe some of us need to take Michael Kors' advice on "Project Runway" and "lighten up - it's just fashion." I think I do.

I got told once that if I wanted to succeed in the corporate world, I needed to embrace my inner bitch. Maybe if I want to get the joy back in SL, I need to embrace my inner bling-lovin' blissfully fashion-ignorant self.

Learning Teacher said...

Don't take the post down; in fact, stop worrying what people think about you and your blog, that impedes the creative process :P *hugs*

I agree that there is too much pressure to conform to certain standards of acceptable appearance, but I am also vain, and maybe that's why I never considered having a non-human avatar. I just like dressing up too much ;)


Ivanova said...

I really like your attitude. It's definitely geared toward getting the most out of life and SLife

Meara Deschanel said...

I said this to you last night, but I really wanted to say it out in the open so there'd be no confusion.

I think you are a brilliant writer, and I hate it when you write something raw and from the heart, and then delete it the next day over silly drama and writer's remorse. So I am really glad you didn't delete this post. :)

I didn't take this post as a slam at What the Fug? at all, and frankly, nor should anyone else, especially since Em's said it had nothing to do with our blog. Besides, our friendships should be stronger than that. I know I can call Em my friend because she took my Fugging of her in the spirit it was intended (still one of my favorite posts ever, lol), and I hope she knows she can count on me as a friend because I admire her ability to speak up and say things that might be unpopular, and I don't take offense when she does.

@Lizzie: I know blogs like What the Fug? and SL Fashion Police aren't popular with some. When I created What the Fug?, my intention was for it to be along the lines of the RL blog Go Fug Yourself. Since then it's evolved to where our writers actually offer advice and tutorials as well as snark and commentary. But I think underneath it all lies a sense of humor and the ability to laugh at ourselves even as we might laugh at others.

Anyway...*hugs Em* know I think you're 10 kinds of awesomesauce. Like I said last night, it's all good. :D

Gahum Riptide said...

When I make fun of what an avatar is wearing, it's usually poorly textured, ill fitted prims, or wearing those horrible system shoes.

But with style, it's such an individual thing that while I may go "ummmmok" I would never tell someone to not wear it UNLESS what they wear is inappropriate for the event (there is a small amount of roleplay when we attend events). So, a girl in booty shorts at a black tie event in SL IS going to have me making a remark on how inappropriate it is for the venue, but if she wants to wear that around her house or at the beach or a club (well the right kind of club) so be it.

I've got friends who have a whole range of styles and I like it that way. I really don't want to see my friends all dressed alike like some group of college clone girls. I like to see how they interpret a theme, and I like seeing THEIR style.

Plus, I don't want people dressing exactly like me anyway :D

Stacey er..Bettye said...

(Of course she also always says, "If you're having a bad hair day, stuff your bra and no one will look at your head.")

I think my mom and your mom were separated at birth.

And I LIKE the duck. :)

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