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Seicher Rae

Avatar appearance reflect or define mood or neither?

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15 hours ago, FairreLilette said:

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So adorable! I know if I was running around in that avatar she'd be reflecting a certain mood. Sweet and playful and innocent or something.

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14 hours ago, Mollymews said:

whenever I do start over I think (pretend really) to myself that this time is going to be different. New name, whole new other appearance, new place to live, etc etc. Then I end up as a SL neko again, because this is what defines me in SL and to some extent in RL as well, at least attitudinal wise.

Yeah, this. I think this is what is happening with my Seicher 2.0, that I was hoping/trying/pretending that this was going to be "different" but there is a certain part that is "just the way I am" and I can't get away from it.

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13 hours ago, Rhonda Huntress said:

Yeah.  Like you, blonds are just not me. 

For the most part, my avatar's look is a reflection of my mood.  My body is me and is what changes the least.  Not too thin, no massively large parts, just a normal body body.  I teak my face often and do full make overs every few months where I look at other heads and bodies just to keep myself current. 

In pre-mesh days, I was much more stable to the point of wearing the same hair for years. Now I change often.  On bad days I'll me in scars and bruises.  When I'm feeling mean I'll be in tan skins and dark hair.  Then again, sometimes I'll be in dark tones just because I want it to contrast with bright color clothes so it's not always mood driven.

Since we are sharing old pics ...

Then and now.

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And when I'm in a down phase ...

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I remember the old Rhonda, just like that! :)  And I can so relate to the down phase version, I've done similar but in a more subby way! 

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13 minutes ago, Seicher Rae said:

This is so me, from the evolutionary journey (planned or not) to having different avis affect the way you feel. This makes sense to me in that we all have various components to our personalities, and so one look just emphasizes a certain part of ourselves. It is complex because I am assuming that when you log in as Daisy (or whomever) you already are in that mood to be more Daisy, but I wonder if you are in a different mood than "Daisy" but want to feel more like "Daisy" does logging in as Daisy give you enough to change your mood?

Yes.....^^^ This.....Daisy has a powerful effect on how I feel, because she is so assured and confident, and the minute she's in world, reactions to her are significantly different to the reactions I get as me. In fact I tease myself about it...….(weird or what!). If we go out together, she gets most of the attention, I'm like the ugly one...…...it's been quite illuminating. 

I'm about to go in world now, not as me...…..but as Daisy...……………………..

SL21a.png

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15 minutes ago, Seicher Rae said:

This is so me, from the evolutionary journey (planned or not) to having different avis affect the way you feel. This makes sense to me in that we all have various components to our personalities, and so one look just emphasizes a certain part of ourselves. It is complex because I am assuming that when you log in as Daisy (or whomever) you already are in that mood to be more Daisy, but I wonder if you are in a different mood than "Daisy" but want to feel more like "Daisy" does logging in as Daisy give you enough to change your mood?

I think kind of what you are describing Seicher is an alterego which I believe is most likely the where the word 'alt' for Second Life comes from.

I have not delved into the realm of having alts as my alterego personally but I would love to hear more about this concept of alterego and how it relates to rl mood, etc.  

My alts are for testing purposes only and really do not have a SL.  

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29 minutes ago, Seicher Rae said:

So adorable! I know if I was running around in that avatar she'd be reflecting a certain mood. Sweet and playful and innocent or something.

Yeah, what the Dinkies are to me is kind of like our inner child.  

However, some think Dinkies are adorkable and others think Dinkies are kewl.   There is no specific role play for the Dinkies.  Dinkies like to have fun and be goofy too....as well as be cool.   I think for a male, it is easier to relate to the being cool part...kind of like James Dean or something.  There are Dinkies who are even bikers and have choppers.  However, there are girl Dinkies I would also describe as "cool" and that their persona is cool as well as guy Dinkies who are cool.  To me, it's like my inner child.  

Edited by FairreLilette
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I had no idea people had alts in the beginning. I was truly shocked by that. What poked me into going that way, was that I suffered a couple of bake fails close together, and had to relog with a system avi…..I wasn't even mesh then, maybe just a Lara body. The bake fail screwed up my face and made me very unhappy, twice.

So I figured if I made an alt, I could use her as an emergency way in, and also to experiment with mesh and appliers...….so BelindaSalt, (Salty) was born, just for that purpose.

But then I started to immerse into Salty, buy her clothes and before I knew it she was meshed up, and going out in world, making her own friends...…….

Over time this got seriously addictive and this is how I ended up with three sisters, and this to me is a huge part of my SL...……. :)

 

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Alts do open up yet another side to this discussion.  It's a confusing one, because you can be in world at the same time as your alt, and can therefore find yourself with a split personality in real time.  There are some things about my own alts that I have never figured out. 

For example, I have an identical twin who has shared the stage with me as a body double in magic shows.  She was originally my dressmaker's dummy when I was still making clothes.  When the two of us were in world together, she was the one who got the compliments, but I swear that we are identical.  The strange thing is that once I discovered how other people were reacting, my twin developed her own personality .... more saucy, talkative ....    I still can't figure that one out.  I'm concerned that she and Snugs McMasterson have been comparing notes

Edited by Rolig Loon
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35 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

I'm concerned that she and Snugs McMasters have been comparing notes

I suspect their notes might be a little different. From my perspective, Snugs and Maddy are, apart from their visual differences (blonde/black hair, reversal of mismatched earrings, etc.) equally me. Snugs has largely been a vehicle for self-deprecation. When I'm too lazy to log her in to take a shot at me, I'll take a shot at myself. To the extent that I separate my self awareness into two characters, people will perceive a difference. I don't. Maddy and Snugs are just the personification of my internal dialog.

Though I'm sure others see me differently than I see myself, I don't feel or behave differently depending on which avatar I inhabit. The avatar I inhabit depends on what I wish to do with it. My Maddy avatars are like my RL clothing. I wear them to suit the purpose. Sundresses and bare feet for light gardening, heels, blazer, and skirt for a night out, bib overalls and steel toed work boots for welding the muffler back on my car. Since being gifted the Li'l Devil, I've found it better suited for the mischief I like to cause here. It doesn't change my mood, it reflects it.

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I am answering this on my phone so I can't post pics, will probably add some in when I get home.

These questions are very relevant to me right now. And it's all Greville's fault. 😁

From 2006 to 2017 I rarely changed my appearance at all, except to upgrade skin and hair, and eventually get a mesh body and head. Even my clothes were the same basic outfit with the only change to upgrade them to better quality. Then in late 2017, I discovered Chiaroscuro, owned by Greville Oh, and specifically their themed costume parties.

So I would get a new costume together each week and it wasn't always just a change of clothes. Sometimes I changed my skin, hair and eyes too. Added wings, tails, horns. And I realised that I liked experimenting, so I started changing my appearance more often, not just for Chiaroscuro.

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About a year ago, I figured out that my choices for these costumes could be greatly increased by adding a female body to my collection, so I bought Maitreya and figured out the V-tech chest, and for a slim elven shape it worked well. Though I originally intended to use it only on occasion, its become a permanent change. And then, Greville and I somehow became a couple, and one day he asked me if I had ever done drag. I said no, but the idea intrigued me, so I gave it a try and to my surprise I actually liked it.

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It felt liberating, I originally went with Maitreya to increase my options, and now they increased again.

I think of my SL self now as fluid; gender-fluid, species-fluid, appearance-fluid. I still default to a red-haired male elf, and that will always remain my "true form", and there are still a few things that remain constant.

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First, no matter how feminine I appear to be, I am still male. Flat chest, no boobs, male "bits". My appearance may be gender-fluid but my identity isn't. And my missing arm, which has been part of me for so long now, it just feels wrong otherwise. A few days ago I made my avatar with two hands in order to wear a jacket that looked odd with one hand. After ten minutes it bugged me so much, I took off the hand AND the jacket.

So there are two questions here. First, does my current mood affect my avatar's appearance? I would say yes to this, if by "mood" you mean "what do I fancy doing today?". I will adapt my avatar depending on where I want to go. There are places where the people there don't know that I sometimes present feminine, and other places where they don't know I sometimes present masculine, so I pick whichever is the convenient one for that place. Some places will welcome fantasy avatars like demons, angels etc and some don't. I guess it's no different from changing clothes to meet a dresscode.

However, if by "mood" you mean  "emotional state", then no, that doesn't seem to have much effect. I haven't (yet) noticed any correlation with my emotions and my avatar's appearance,  but it might be an interesting thing to keep a record of. 

The other question is much more difficult to answer. Does my avatar's appearance affect my mood? My fancy-of-the-moment, or my emotional state? I am pretty sure that the answer to both of these is no, however the places I visit and the people I hang out with certainly do affect my mood, so there is perhaps an indirect link.

Yesterday I went to one of my favourite places as an angel, purely because of an offhand comment one of the guys made in group chat. 

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This perfectly illustrates how I'm blending gender right now. The body is Maitreya but the chest is flat, with body hair. Facial hair. And then, a feminine tattoo, and make-up. I was wearing high-heeled boots too, and teeny-tiny little booty-shorts, but you can't see those here.

I rarely think "I am in the mood to be an X today, where can I go as an X?" I am much more inclined to think "I want to go to Place Y today, what avatar can I go there as?" But even when I do, my underlying sense of self doesn't change. I may look like a demon or an angel or a mermaid or a chibi dragon, but I am not roleplaying a different character, nor does my identity or personality change when my avatar changes. The way I act, the way I feel, and who I am, is no different regardless of whether I look masculine or feminine, human, elf or something else.

All of these things may change over time. And they probably will.

Edited by Matty Luminos
adding pics
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12 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Though I'm sure others see me differently than I see myself

There's no need to speculate: I can guarantee it. You're self-deprecation, while admirable and useful even, tends often to overshoot its mark. And, despite your self-honesty (and you are very good at that), you can't see, or won't acknowledge, the degree to which you are not merely "devilish," difficult, and hard to get close to.

16 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Since being gifted the Li'l Devil, I've found it better suited for the mischief I like to cause here. It doesn't change my mood, it reflects it.

Some of us think (*cough*) that your Li'l Devil avatar, as appropriate as it often is, doesn't actually express the full range of who you are. You sometimes wear a sundress in RL: why not in SL, too? None of us are monochromatic, and you certainly aren't.

I submit to you, Ms. McMasters, that your over-reliance on your devilish self-representation is in fact an index of your unwillingness to concede that you are, at least as often, at least a moderately cuddly sweetheart. And that you therefore do not always and consistently assume the avatar that matches your mood.

Anyway, we're working on it.

/me opens the MP and searches for flame-proof sundresses.

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9 minutes ago, Matty Luminos said:

I think of my SL self now as fluid; gender-fluid, species-fluid, appearance-fluid. I still default to a red-haired male elf, and that will always remain my "true form", and there are still a few things that remain constant.

This is so very cool; I am actually envious. I don't think I'm really capable of the journey that you describe here. It shows immense strength that you are.

I think that the process you've led yourself through is one of the really valuable things that SL can contribute to our sense of self, and even (maybe especially) our RL self-identity. Not merely in that it allows us to experiment and explore different sides of ourselves, although that's obviously vital, but even more because it underlines the degree to which identity is always complex, multifaceted, and, to use your word, fluid.

And therein lies the key to real freedom, in the liberation of our identities from the tyranny of what others think we are, and what we have come, by force of habit, to think of as ourselves.

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3 hours ago, Matty Luminos said:

 ... I think of my SL self now as fluid; gender-fluid, species-fluid, appearance-fluid. I still default to a red-haired male elf, and that will always remain my "true form", and there are still a few things that remain constant.

...

So there are two questions here. First, does my current mood affect my avatar's appearance? I would say yes to this, if by "mood" you mean "what do I fancy doing today?". 

...

However, if by "mood" you mean  "emotional state", then no, that doesn't seem to have much effect. I haven't (yet) noticed any correlation with my emotions and my avatar's appearance,  but it might be an interesting thing to keep a record of. 

The other question is much more difficult to answer. Does my avatar's appearance affect my mood? My fancy-of-the-moment, or my emotional state? I am pretty sure that the answer to both of these is no, however the places I visit and the people I hang out with certainly do affect my mood, so there is perhaps an indirect link.

Yesterday I went to one of my favourite places as an angel, purely because of an offhand comment one of the guys made in group chat. 

This perfectly illustrates how I'm blending gender right now. The body is Maitreya but the chest is flat, with body hair. Facial hair. And then, a feminine tattoo, and make-up. I was wearing high-heeled boots too, and teeny-tiny little booty-shorts, but you can't see those here.

I rarely think "I am in the mood to be an X today, where can I go as an X?" I am much more inclined to think "I want to go to Place Y today, what avatar can I go there as?" But even when I do, my underlying sense of self doesn't change. I may look like a demon or an angel or a mermaid or a chibi dragon, but I am not roleplaying a different character, nor does my identity or personality change when my avatar changes. The way I act, the way I feel, and who I am, is no different regardless of whether I look masculine or feminine, human, elf or something else.

All of these things may change over time. And they probably will.

Love the description of your avatar(s) evolution(s). And the great photos!

Ahhhh... you bring in yet another facet to this discussion: What is meant by mood? 

Good question!

Interesting that we are kind of opposites on this, that you rarely think, "I am the mood to be an X today, where can I go..." and I'm about 80% that, and you are more inclined to think, "I want to go to Place Y today, what avatar can I go there as?" and I'm probably about 20% that. And until you wrote all of that, none of that had occurred to me. :)

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4 hours ago, Rolig Loon said:

Alts do open up yet another side to this discussion.  It's a confusing one, because you can be in world at the same time as your alt, and can therefore find yourself with a split personality in real time.  There are some things about my own alts that I have never figured out. 

For example, I have an identical twin who has shared the stage with me as a body double in magic shows.  She was originally my dressmaker's dummy when I was still making clothes.  When the two of us were in world together, she was the one who got the compliments, but I swear that we are identical.  The strange thing is that once I discovered how other people were reacting, my twin developed her own personality .... more saucy, talkative ....    I still can't figure that one out.  I'm concerned that she and Snugs McMasterson have been comparing notes

Heh. Here's more confusion with alts. In the OP I mentioned that for my first years that I had to have an alt to be a mermaid, or anything else that wasn't strictly Seicher 1.0. My first alt was created solely to be a mermaid. That was her function. Fast forward 10-ish years. In the OP I posted the following photo. In this photo SEICHER is the mermaid (the one who could never be a mermaid) and the one with legs is my original alt — she who must be a mermaid. O.o 

merlove_005 FB censored.jpg

Edited by Seicher Rae
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I can't change my avatar at all. I just can't. I've upgraded over the years of course, better skins, then mesh, but I haven't really changed my look at all in 11 years.

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Since I took that last pic, I have decided to ditch the mesh head and I've gone back to a classic head with the 2017 skin, because that's the one I like the best and which I've always thought fit "me" the best. I've decided against bakes on mesh though, because while I love the face on that skin, I hate the body. 

The only thing I really change day to day, aside from my clothes, is how much facial hair I have (never none) and whether my hair is neat and short for Club Noir, or scruffy and dragging on my shoulders everywhere else. 

However, I do have alts:

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Only four of them now (I lost the password for one of them and deleted a couple of the others before they started demanding mesh bodies, they were getting expensive). Casteylan's account actually pre-dates mine by two years, and the character himself is far older than that - created for a tabletop roleplaying campaign back in the late 1980s. (he actually has 2 accounts because I forgot the password for the first one, and started again 18 months later, the second is no longer used). My alts all keep more or less the same appearance too, though Frost has changed from a normal-coloured skin to a white one, and Frankie occasionally doubles as a Sinatra lookalike. Cas has been upgraded since that pic was taken, and he spent a brief while as a teen human, but now he's back to being an adult elf. I don't have a current pic for him right now.

The interesting thing is that all these alts, even the ones that weren't created to be roleplaying characters, have their own personalities. It's most noticeable when I have more than one of them logged in at once.  Frost is a brooding emo, Frankie is conservative (small c) and reserved. Cas is outgoing and more charismatic than I am. Indra is probably the one that most closely resembles myself in personality but perhaps a little more introverted than I am. When I am using one of these alts, I feel less like I'm taking on a role, and more like becoming them. 

And yes, I do select which account I log into based on my mood. Though it's not quite as simple as "I'm feeling moody and emo so I will be Frost today". It's just a feeling, like they are all a part of me somewhere, it's just a matter of which one is closest to the surface. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Lewis Luminos said:

I've upgraded over the years of course, better skins, then mesh, but I haven't really changed my look at all in 11 years.

image.png.b39da385b3435a439488d6eed233920c.png

   I found another picture of you!

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The thing that most influences my mood, and - by association - it influences how I look in SL... is music. There's a reason why each of my Flickr images has a random selection from a song lyric as its title. I get inspired by music (and sometimes by a particular item of clothing or accessory that I've found) to create characters,  and some of those characters developed lives of their own.

I don't use alts for those characters (too bloody expensive to buy heads and bodies multiple times over!) so Skell has multiple 'personas' that he slips into. The earliest of these was the Gentleman Bastard (which group title you will still see me wearing if I'm not in Catwa Manager mode). He was the leader of a roleplay group of thieves in some amorphous, vaguely Victorian era, and over the years I've reinvented him a few times:

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The most recent persona is Syd, who is Skell's more pretty-boy bishonen side. He, too, has a character and quirks of his own, as does Skell himself. (Small case in point: I don't smoke IRL, but Skell's a smoker.)

I'm one of those people who changes their look constantly, but once my body shape is settled I don't vary from that, and I tend only to wear two specific heads these days: one for all iterations of Skell, and one for all iterations of Syd. With skins and appliers etc I change how they look all the time. This is a random selection from the last five or six months:

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Every one of those looks was influenced in some way by how I felt when listening to a certain piece of music.

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52 minutes ago, Skell Dagger said:

I'm one of those people who changes their look constantly, but once my body shape is settled I don't vary from that, and I tend only to wear two specific heads these days: one for all iterations of Skell, and one for all iterations of Syd.

You've reminded me there of one other thing I keep the same - I always use the same head. Mainly because they're too expensive to get a collection of them. But if they were cheaper, I probably would.

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On 11/4/2019 at 2:25 AM, Seicher Rae said:

So the questions are: How much do you relate to your avatar's appearance? Is it always the same, regardless of your RL frame of mind or what you are up to in SL? Does your avatar change with your RL moods? Have you ever experienced an avatar appearance that just felt uncomfortable or off? Does your avatar's appearance ever change your mood and what you get up to in SL (as opposed to your mood changing the appearance)?

Or... :::looking a bit paranoid::: is it just me? :)

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The "evolution" of Rae over the years, since we're showing pictures. I'll get to that first one in 2011 in a bit...

How much do you relate to your avatar's appearance?

Very. Initially and consciously Rae was created fairly close to the RL me. Not exact of course, I was never happy enough in my own skin to the point I wanted to be myself here, but enough similarities that I felt comfortable with or could in some form relate to. That changed over the years with the release of mesh, etc. There's always been fundamental aspects to Rae's appearance that will likely never change; such as hair colour or even body shape. And I say that because the few times I have tried it never feels "right" so I quickly just revert back to what I know and feels most like "her" - and that's an important distinction to make here. As similar or relatable as Rae the avatar is to the RL me I have never seen her as a direct extension of the RL me. She has facets of me, even down to what she wears at times, but we are not one and the same. That was a deliberate choice at the start and over the years she has literally grown into her own identity; an offshoot of me. An alter-ego that is at times a projection of who I wish I could be. And who, after all this time, people expect her to be.

Does your avatar change with your RL moods?

Yes. But I'll give a little back story first that may help make some sense of all this...

As some of you will have read over the years Rae was not my original account. My original was a male account featured there in 2011 and blacked out in that pic above on purpose. Because when he was created he was, essentially, a male form of "me" or Rae the alt, that would be created soon after. I'll call him "S" for the purpose of this post. When I joined SL initially my intention was purely to role play. After migrating away from text-based Invisionfree RP forums I brought my male character here and gave him a face that was most relatable; mine (or to a degree, Rae's). I had no intentions on "playing" as a woman here at first. S was my main and appeared as a man. Whether it was the circles I ran in or the shift in values (away from pure fantasy when I first joined to having to prove or validate one's self or be seen as guilty for "hiding" behind an avatar as it is these days) S was prematurely retired and Rae was born in his place. In an odd way I felt like part of me died when I shelved S. Most certain'y his avatar did. He had been my character at other places for so long he had developed his own personality. Since Rae wasn't planned she grew first from sheer appearance alone. And since both S and my real self are/were both fuller-figured Rae's genesis appearance-wise started purely from that. She quickly grew as S did into her own "person".

In RL I can't have kids though I always wanted them. Rae became my "mother" account. She adopted a child avatar at one point, RP'd the virtual pregnancies, discovered sisters of varying ethniticies, and has over the last year or so really matured to a place where her in-world attitude and forum voice are essentially one-and-the-same. But this is where things get even more shady. Rae is still not "me". It probably sounds odd to some but after all these years R, and to whatever degree S before her, have developed their own personalities that seem to exist separate but at the same time in-sync with me. I'm not schizophrenic (though I've often joked SL encourages it) but how I respond, how I dress my avatar, how I style their home is both a reflection of what I want in the real world, and how I feel in the real world, while at the same time still being true to their unique personalities in some inconceivable way. 

Example: in RL I have something of a quick temper (though I've admittedly mellowed out over the years). You wouldn't know it because Rae doesn't share this trait. The minute I log her in she is there and I take a step back. My RL ends to some degree at the keyboard. I log in to escape being me, and so I plug into her. While I may seethe at some perceived slight, what others read on the screen from her will sound far more patient and tolerant than I actually feel in RL. Though I don't think this is intrinsically Second Life more than it is perhaps to whatever level some form of maturity. How we respond to any situation is a choice, and I choose not to respond with snark or sarcasm even if my RL brain impulsively thinks it. To each their own. But the point to make is at times now I don't even have to think about how to respond. She does, even though the words originate from the same source. It's the same whether fictional story or long-winded forum post; sometimes I sit back and read over and get a sense that someone else wrote it. Because to some degree someone else did, subconsciously.

When I am upset in RL I have a tendency to wear black-eyes in SL; completely black or demon eyes. Sometimes horns too. Coincidentally a close friend that I met and made in SL took to mimicking me and adapted it so we could communicate without the need for words, we could just see when the other was having a bad day, or run of bad days - which was handy when we were for a time partnered in SL. Sometimes dressing a certain way can be like a protective suit of armour to keep the world at arm's length. I'm guilty of this in both RL and SL, though it rarely fits Rae for long. In RL I live in black all year round. Rae does at times, but she is more flexible than me in that she can get away with wearing clothes or hair styles or add-ons that I as the RL me would never dare to don in RL. She's both my freedom of expression and something I won't ever be. At times when I'm feeling particularly flirty or girly Rae's choice in clothing or colour-scheme will change too. It sounds odd perhaps but there are times I look at photos and can see my moods. In the last few months I've discovered a new interest in photography beyond snapping whatever's going on in world to actually setting up scenes, something I rarely did before now. Even these staged pics reflect my mood right down to the amount of light I use. Some are brighter and more colourful and happier, some less so. Though strictly defining pictures to mood doesn't take into account what else might be driving it, like a certain outfit or accessory. But the psychology of photography is its own conversation and best left for another time, considering this post is going to be long enough...

Have you ever experienced an avatar appearance that just felt uncomfortable or off?

Yes. Rae as a skinny blond avatar simply doesn't work. I tried. I don't feel her at all. Nor does she shine through non-human avatars. Though I did buy her a zombie avatar once because it was on special and thought it would make for a good picture. I was wrong. I don't think she's worn it beyond that one time she tried it on. On top of that certain add-ons lend themselves more to what Rae feels like than what she doesn't. It's hard to explain I guess unless you are someone who like me tweaks their avatar's appearance almost constantly. Some faces or shapes just "fit" and some don't, and there's no way I can explain how I know beyond what I feel at the time. Sometimes the RL me grows restless or bored and seeks change in the form of re-working Rae's appearance; I have a multitude of heads and bodies and skins and such to choose from, but for whatever reason keep gravitating back to or as close to what I had before I started. Rae's never been the stereotypical girl next door type. Trying to push her into that mold does not work. We disconnect. It's only when she is back to something familiar that I feel her again. I really can't explain it beyond that. As others have said, I can't begin to explain much less rationalize the concept of an independent personality consciously created from one's brain that feels at times as real as a separate "real" living being - but there it is. And funnily enough not that long ago I actually did change Rae's appearance and drastically slimmed her down. My best friend logged in and saw her and immediately said "What's wrong? That's not Rae at all." So even she had a sense of Rae and could tell when something was amiss. After years of having her be a certain way much deviation from that was jarring, not just to me but to others too. That had me thinking.

And that's one more facet to this story I want to add.

During RP, both before SL and now during it, I have always written stories or collaborated with other people. The more I wrote the more Rae (and S before her) kind of grew into their own, or most certainly helped to flesh them out beyond pretty pixels on a screen. I still collaborate to this day, so when I'm not in world in SL Rae is still with me in whatever sense. I'm still thinking of plots for stories and she's still in my head as a voice giving me dialog to write. And I'd be lying if I said what I write and what she says in RL didn't spill over into SL and translate in some physical/digital sense. Hence appearance and mood. Which leads me to...

Does your avatar's appearance ever change your mood and what you get up to in SL (as opposed to your mood changing the appearance)?

I can't say what I see changes mine, on reflection it's more the reverse is true. But I can't help but wonder at times if Rae (or her personality or "voice") doesn't influence other facets of my RL mood in that perhaps she sees things or approaches things in ways I as the RL me wouldn't. By that I mean more reacting how Rae would, or adopting her motherly persona that's really just some facet of the RL me blown up and inflated from my RL ego to appear as a separate identity. I'm sure Freud would have a field day with that; conscious Dissociative Identity Disorder. But perhaps more telling is how I relate to S. He may be offline for the most part but he lives on through stories in my head. So he went from being a concept, to a character, to an avatar for years, to a voice that still lives on in my head - almost like the devil whispering in my RL ear as the Yang to Rae's Yin. I may be looking at this too deeply but you could almost say that S was an off-shoot of some "dark" side of my RL personality, and Rae was a "light" off-shoot of his that has brought us back closer to full-circle (or triangle as the case may be). If their voices in my RL head influence how I make them appear on the screen that in turn influences my mood then I have to wonder who really is in control of this proverbial ship; them or me, or both of us, or something else entirely.

The best way I can answer all this is to repeat what I have said for a while now; I see Rae (and S) as characters in a story - the way author Stephen King would no doubt address Carrie, or Pennywise the clown. My avatars originated from my head and grew into their own personalities that I relate to, at times, or try and inject myself into, and sometimes they feel so independent from me it's like dealing with someone else entirely. That's how I address Second Life; I see every avatar as a character, regardless how invested others may see themselves in their avatar. As an audience we all know these fictional character's aren't real but when you read the book or see the movie the characters certainly feel real, and live on on some sense long afterwards whether as a fear of clowns or appreciation for fashion that wasn't there before the character (or avatar) was born. This is why I will be sad the day that SL does eventually end (and let's face it, nothing lasts forever); I've made friends here both figuratively and literally. It will be sad to see them go - from this format at least.

🤔

Edited by RaeLeeH
To edit. As if the post wasn't long enough already... -.-
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On 11/3/2019 at 10:25 AM, Seicher Rae said:

This Seicher is me but she has her own personality too.

I feel the same about my avi! Her appearance reflects my own tastes and style, but I kinda feel like Goose has her own character too, so to speak. Even when I want to experiment with styles and bodies, I end up tweaking things with a result that I feel reflects "her" as well as "me". Though perhaps that means nothing to anyone but myself in the end. 😛

On 11/3/2019 at 7:54 PM, FairreLilette said:

I like to be Albino for some reason of which I do not really know.  I even had the white eyelashes at one time and put those white eyelashes on my human avatar one by one.  

Same here. I don't know, I just like the aesthetic I guess. If not white hair I usually go for blond or pastel colors.

It feels like there's been a lot written and discussed in regards to the relationship between Second Life users and there avatars, and this thread shows why- it's such a fascinating topic! I'm really enjoying reading the different perspectives here.

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12 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

This is so very cool; I am actually envious. I don't think I'm really capable of the journey that you describe here. It shows immense strength that you are.

I wanted to come back to this one specifically to thank you for your kind words, though I am not sure that "strength" is the right one. "Creativity" perhaps? When I put together an avatar, it's no less a work of creativity than it would be if I were combining paper, textiles and other things into a collage.  That it's digital makes no difference; digital art has been considered a valid art form for decades.

Doing it with an androgynous avatar is to some extent doing SL in "hard mode". Mesh bodies and clothes made it harder than it was with Classic avatars, Bakes on Mesh has made it easier again. I look to @Skell Dagger's Syd as my inspiration and I wish I could achieve even a quarter of that artistic standard. 

 

12 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

This is so very cool; I am actually envious. I don't think I'm really capable of the journey that you describe here. It shows immense strength that you are.

I think that the process you've led yourself through is one of the really valuable things that SL can contribute to our sense of self, and even (maybe especially) our RL self-identity. Not merely in that it allows us to experiment and explore different sides of ourselves, although that's obviously vital, but even more because it underlines the degree to which identity is always complex, multifaceted, and, to use your word, fluid.

And therein lies the key to real freedom, in the liberation of our identities from the tyranny of what others think we are, and what we have come, by force of habit, to think of as ourselves.

And that's the real beauty of SL, isn't it? Freedom. It gives freedom to us to express ourselves in whatever way we wish; that's why I think an avatar's appearance says so much about the person behind it. I don't mean whether a person has all the latest mesh or whatever, but how much thought and imagination they put into how they look. I couldn't achieve this fluidity in RL, because human bodies just aren't that changeable. Even the "best" I could do would (a) not be terribly different from the way I look now and (b) be prohibitively expensive and long-winded, and not actually that fluid at all. I cannot decide to shave off my beard today, and put it all back tomorrow, for example. 

SL gives freedom to trans and non-binary people to explore their true selves in a safe place where they won't get thrown out of their homes, lose their jobs or get actually murdered for daring to be different. That's the real tyranny right there. Sometimes it's not just force of habit, it's fear of actual loss of livelihood, or loss of life. Being trans or non-binary is doing RL in "hard mode".  

I have no plans, or even desire, to be feminine or non-binary in RL. The itch just isn't powerful enough to make it worthwhile. But sometimes I look at Steampunk or Victorian costumes for women, with corsets and so on, and I think it would be awesome to wear something like that in RL.

il_570xN.1016703998_8xd8.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

Maybe I do have a little of that itch, in RL, to present as rather than identify as

I would still be just a guy in a dress.

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I can't do a time portfolio because I'm less than two years in, but in respect of my first paid for, non mesh avi...which was L$222 from memory, it was as if I slowly slipped into her body at the start. I worked on the sliders and once I got the hair right,  we became one. That was my SL genesis.

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