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Seicher Rae

Avatar appearance reflect or define mood or neither?

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Q. How much do you relate to your avatar's appearance?  
A. Clothing-wise, the color palette is very similar. Vivid patterns, colors, textures--I adore it all. My RL hair is far too short for any kind of fancy styling, so I tend to go wild with different hair styles and colors when it comes to my avi. 🙂
Q. Does your avatar change with your RL moods? 
A. Much like Skell, a lot of times I'll listen to a music track and get inspired to create a look based off of the feeling I get from it. In fact, many of my fantasy based avatars (below) are a direct result of that. 
Q. Have you ever experienced an avatar appearance that just felt uncomfortable or off? 
A. Not really, I've always just done what I've liked, experimenting with different androgynous looks.

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~Vael

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I just realised that I missed off one of the OP's original questions.

Have you ever experienced an avatar appearance that felt uncomfortable?

Not a whole avatar, but certain features, yes. I already mentioned how wrong it feels for me to have two hands. It also feels very uncomfortable and wrong for me to have breasts.

I have also dabbled with a variety of aninal avatars, not anthro furries but four-footed critters, and that doesn't really do anything for me at all. They look great sometimes, but I don't see or feel anything of me in them.

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 i was ok with my albino avatar,but he was too muscled,and i was to lazy to edit.))

after i got mesh,i feel like it s really me 

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   I've always had difficulty knowing how others see me. I feel it most acutely when I'm having trouble getting along with someone. But perhaps that's something everyone has. Sometimes I fantasize about having the ability to feel what someone else is feeling when relating to me. But then I worry that some of the many times I've felt accepted may simply have been a kindness and nothing more. Not all fantasies are meant to be realized.

  As an extension of myself into a virtual world, I relate pretty closely to my avatar's appearance. It always feels comfortably like me, if perhaps a little younger and prettier. In the beginning, I wore long gowns, long sleeves... modest clothing. I suppose this was influenced by my strong tendency to be a wallflower at parties, not wanting to attract a lot of attention to myself. Conversely, I rarely wore shoes, preferring to go about barefoot wherever I went. I just didn't like how shoes in SL worked, and sometimes looked. It seems an irony, now, that one of my least attractive features was also one of my least covered. So in these respects, my avatar appearance was influenced by my real frame of mind.

   I've changed over time. I've become more outgoing, more able to talk to and within larger groups of people, and to initiate conversations with strangers. I've talked about this in these forums before so I'll try to stay on topic here. Thinking about these changes, I recently realized that I don't really know if they're a direct result of my socializing in SL, or just the natural course of growing up. It's probably a combination of the two, in addition to other factors. People are complicated. I'm no exception.

   I don't make major changes to my avatar appearance based on daily or weekly variations in mood. Or, if I do, I haven't noticed. Perhaps others will see me differently, I don't know. If I've been feeling blue, I do have a few other shapes I've made, the only differences in which are subtle changes in the face, the turn of the mouth, the tilt of the brows, so as to have a slightly less cheerful look. But most of time, she looks happy, ready to smile at a friend.

   Other than strictly human, I'll also give my avatar the form of either a mermaid or a demon. The former is more common and involves some personal exploration and often a sort of solo, pretending roleplay. The demoness is more of an experiment. I use it for costumery, and just to see how different I can go. I guess I use it to push against my own boundaries. These two avatar forms will influence my mood and feelings, but not solely because of how I look, but also because of what I'm doing.
 

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I have never given much thought to how my RL mood might affect my SL appearance. But having thought about it now I suspect that if one were to do a study, they would fine that when I am feeling down and lacking confidence, I tend to dress in more revealing outfits that attract attention. I do this out of a desire to have social contact with others while thinking that no one really would want to. While the provocative outfits probably do increase my chance of getting someone to IM me, they also probably reduce the chance of my having the sort of intelegent conversation that would be affirming and actually help my current mood.

As for the overall evolution of my look. I started in SL with a relatively short avi, with a skin tone darker than the average white girl, short black hair, which I would occasionally switch to red, or purple. I gradually began to wear more and more tattoos, till just before going to mesh I had tattoos on top of tattoos. I continued this once I made the mesh jump, with fewer tats since I pretty much had to start over. I added a few alternative looks. A mermaid, a humanoid alien, and a skinny blonde girl. I had resisted going blonde until she came along. 

Recently however I merged the original look (Talitha) with the blonde (Alice), by wearing blonde hair with the curvier shape and darker skin. The tattoos have been greatly reduced, for the first time in a long time my arms have no tats. I won't say I have titled on my look for all time. But for now I have no plans to change.

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15 hours ago, Talligurl said:

I have never given much thought to how my RL mood might affect my SL appearance. But having thought about it now I suspect that if one were to do a study, they would fine that when I am feeling down and lacking confidence, I tend to dress in more revealing outfits that attract attention. I do this out of a desire to have social contact with others while thinking that no one really would want to. While the provocative outfits probably do increase my chance of getting someone to IM me, they also probably reduce the chance of my having the sort of intelegent conversation that would be affirming and actually help my current mood.

Interesting! Would you say you are an introvert or an extrovert in RL?

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On 11/4/2019 at 5:51 PM, Lewis Luminos said:

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. 

 

I do like the 2017 version you mentioned, and not that you asked, but... 2018 is hawt. :) (eh hem, back to the OP...)

You mention that each of your alts have their own personalities. I so get that. It was mentioned elsewhere about alter egos, and am not sure that quite does it. To me an alter ego is like Jekyll/Hyde... pretty dramatic difference. Whereas for me and how I'm reading you, it is more of an emphasis on a certain aspect of yourself? You with, say, hyped up moody/broody Frost, but still you?

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On 11/4/2019 at 7:00 PM, Skell Dagger said:

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.

First of all, you are an artist with the avatar creation. ♥ Also, it is just amazing that those are all the same heads/bodys with "just" different skins and styling. Fabulous.

I totally get how listening to music can inspire a look. For me music often inspires photographs. I had never considered applying that same inspiration to an avatar.

I'm learning (both through my current avatar's experience and reading everyone's views/thoughts on this thread) that I can't be the chameleon like you. I kinda envy that.

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On 11/4/2019 at 9:20 PM, RaeLeeH said:

:::lots of interesting things::: (edited SR)

🤔

I finally had time today and read through some of the longer posts. I (and I'm sure others) really appreciate the time you took to answer this OP. I found it all intriguing, and especially liked your description of how your avatars evolved.

I have to admit that reading through this, I had a bit of wistful pang on behalf of S! (Which is even weirder since I never met him OR Rae!) I get weirdly anthropomorphic about these avatars.

I envy you that Rae can be *that much* RL you but not be you. Boy, could I use the additional patience, in either life.

I'm loving these glimpses into other people's SL's and avatars.

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I think more than anything else, this ^^^^ is why SL is way more than a game.

It's a creative platform which allows individual creativity, alongside multiple interactions with like minded people.

We all log in first time on the same page. That's why to me it doesn't matter who you are in RL. Here, we all start the same way. 

Just maybe the more creative you are, the longer you stay, because with creativity and imagination,  there really is no end to what SL can give.

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2 hours ago, BelindaN said:

We all log in first time on the same page. That's why to me it doesn't matter who you are in RL. Here, we all start the same way. 

Just maybe the more creative you are, the longer you stay, because with creativity and imagination,  there really is no end to what SL can give.

That's what has been eye-opening for me. I mean, I know we all have different lenses we see through, I know we all process things differently, but still! We all start at that same noob page, but we come at things differently, at least many of us do. It isn't right/wrong/weird/normal or whatever label; it is just different. And kind of cool.

I know how I relate to my avatar, well... I thought I did but some of these post comments have made me think about some things, but I couldn't really know how other people related to their own avatars, not without them saying how.  I think the general tendency, whether in SL or RL and about many things, we tend to think everyone thinks the way we do, until we are proven wrong. I think it is a normal tendency, and an easy trap to fall into, but it is a trap and is so often limits "us."

 

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5 hours ago, Seicher Rae said:

I finally had time today and read through some of the longer posts. I (and I'm sure others) really appreciate the time you took to answer this OP. I found it all intriguing, and especially liked your description of how your avatars evolved.

I have to admit that reading through this, I had a bit of wistful pang on behalf of S! (Which is even weirder since I never met him OR Rae!) I get weirdly anthropomorphic about these avatars.

I envy you that Rae can be *that much* RL you but not be you. Boy, could I use the additional patience, in either life.

I'm loving these glimpses into other people's SL's and avatars.

Thanks! I wonder sometimes if long posts are glazed over (which I'm sure the majority are) but I usually only rant when I have something to say. Hommage paid to a thought-provoking question if nothing else.

Referring to the bold part: I've been thinking about this thread/topic since wring that response and I honestly think it has a lot to do with the writer/reader mentality. I wouldn't really stray too far into psychology or the ability to compartmentalize (though also a possibility) - I really think it's because I spend so much time writing stories and hearing dialog all day that (for the most part) I can differentiate between "my" thoughts, subconscious thoughts that just spring out of nowhere, and consciously created thoughts to drive the made-up constructs forward to a point I can put proverbial pen to paper. Since I was a child I was writing stories. I grew up in libraries (though probably should have veered away from the horror section admittedly). I have always lived inside my own head. So in a way Rae (and S before her) were nothing more than extensions to those voices. Since they were initially created for the sole purpose of RP in SL anyway it makes the most sense. It's only since I've walked away from RP that Rae has come into her own and to whatever degree taken on more familiar traits, with the whole mother-thing being the most poignant.

Here's an interesting footnote to my long-winded rant of earlier;

Out of the blue the other day (almost about the same time I posted that long post actually) I bought some hair for my avatar from a reputable hair store. Rae's hairstyle has often resembled mine in terms of RL; long, brunette, almost always over one shoulder, no fringe/bangs; refer to the picture in that post. That's been my RL norm for almost 20-some years. Fast forward to that purchase it's a style with a fringe/bangs. I added it to my avatar and thought... "I wonder how this would look on the RL me...?" So I asked my housemate what she thought of my proposed new look of getting a hairstyle to "match" (without telling her where the idea came from). She seemed to think it a good idea and a much needed change.

Guess who has an appointment with the hairdresser this afternoon?

So my avatar might not reflect my RL mood but it will DEFINITELY reflect my RL appearance in a few hours (and probably mood as a result; a change of style always makes one feel better/worse directly afterward). Thank god I didn't opt for an outlandish style for her at least... ;) 

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10 hours ago, Seicher Rae said:

Interesting! Would you say you are an introvert or an extrovert in RL?

Very much an introvert in RL, SL allows me to hide behind the avatar so it is much easier for me to approach people, and the fact that I know I can TP out or even log out should a situation become to socially awkward. Plus I find it much easier to express myself with text rather than actually speaking, a big reason I prefer not to voice. Being able to see what I said before I actually send it out in public is a huge confidence booster.

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14 hours ago, Seicher Rae said:

I do like the 2017 version you mentioned, and not that you asked, but... 2018 is hawt. :) (eh hem, back to the OP...)

You mention that each of your alts have their own personalities. I so get that. It was mentioned elsewhere about alter egos, and am not sure that quite does it. To me an alter ego is like Jekyll/Hyde... pretty dramatic difference. Whereas for me and how I'm reading you, it is more of an emphasis on a certain aspect of yourself? You with, say, hyped up moody/broody Frost, but still you?

Hehe thank you. I did like that 2018 skin for the quality and for looking more mature, but it didn't really look that much like "me" (actually I think it looks more like Sting). It was hard enough finding the 2017 skin; I'd worn the previous one for... (counts the pics) ...7 years, so there is definitely a set "look" that defines me. Part of the reason for that is the difficulty of finding skins for men with ginger brows and facial hair. Even now, there are hardly any. Aside from the ones I already own, there's one more - which is very nice but too young and pretty for me - Cas uses that one now.

As for my alts - yes, still me but also at the same time, not me. I am a writer and I often find that my characters will become somewhat independent; taking the story in directions I hadn't imagined, revealing secrets about themselves that I didn't know, or just hanging round in my head for no reason at all. If they are capable of surprising me, it kind of suggests that there is at least some part of them that is not me.  But my main avatar doesn't fit into that category. That one is 100% me, just as I am in RL (except younger and better looking like just about everyone else in SL).

Edited by Lewis Luminos
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Over time I have become pretty much the mesh snob that buys a ton of heads and all the pretty sparkly shiny or macabre new releases. lol  

I don't create my avis after RL me, I just put together random looks that feel aesthetically pleasing to me. I don't follow any fashion trends, but casual is not my thing either. So I kinda just buy things and mesh them together and then snap cutesy or dark pics while listening to my own soundtrack all along. I'm still me in each one of my avis.

I don't do the whole alt thing beeeecause I'd go Broque real fast at the rate I'm spending on one avi alone. lol So I only use one main avi and always have. 

Sooo some elements are and will be always present: long nails, long hair, pale skins but not snow white pale, a lot LOT of ancient mythological symbols (anhks, triquetras, fancy goddess headdress, you name it) and I mix and match them into urban modern looks orr at least I try to manage to do that somehow. ^^

Until recently I was always creating avis in the 30-40 age range because that's what I feel like on the inside even tho I'm barely 23 lol I personally never got along with people in my age range nor felt like I was that young. dunno. Might be my waay tooo extensive knowledge of past lives and such. That is also one aspect that I always incorporate in my outfits. There's always gonna be corsets or priestess kinda looks or something to do with the past. 

So, for the longest time I've been vehemently fighting any sort of fashion advice or suggestion or any sort of modifications coming from others. Nopes, that was me, inside out, as I felt on that day, at that time  - not changing oneee tiny thing, nopes. However, this very loving and kind but hella dominant man of mine gradually determined me to let down my guard and be completely open to a transformation according to his tastes and how he envisions me. So I basically allowed him to take over completely and I was just the happy wallet building him his perfect doll. lol 

What followed after that was a period of frustration and also dedication to accepting the new avi, that ironically does look a lot like RL me; so for a while I kinda switched back and forth until I identified so deeply and so completely with the new avi he's made me to the point it had a sort of cathartic effect on me in both worlds. He's awesomesauce like that. lol Buuut without further ado, here's the old and new me. *purrr* 

 

OLD

back in cyber businessand gold - everywhere the glint of gold.

AAND NEW

.the sacrilege.love this new hair <33i gotta dragon

 

Edited by ErukaVonD
teensy tiny edit :3
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That's a great look Eruka. I really like the second close up. He must be quite a guy to have that effect on you, but its lovely to see a successful relationship like yours.

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5 minutes ago, BelindaN said:

That's a great look Eruka. I really like the second close up. He must be quite a guy to have that effect on you, but its lovely to see a successful relationship like yours.

Thank youuu *blushies* he is. He's the one I mentioned in a few other RL/SL posts too. He just came into my worlds at a time I was extra down for various reason (and I was often told it was visible on my avi and the way I carried myself around) and made it all better. He's a monumental mesh snob too tho he's very camera shy for some reason. lol 

"whispers cutely: althoooough if you scroll down a bit on my flickr you will find a bald bearded beauty hiding in there somewhere and rocking my world. mew" 

 

Bottom line is avatars can do have a healing effect if the context is right. 

 

Edited by ErukaVonD
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1 hour ago, ErukaVonD said:

Thank youuu *blushies* he is. He's the one I mentioned in a few other RL/SL posts too. He just came into my worlds at a time I was extra down for various reason (and I was often told it was visible on my avi and the way I carried myself around) and made it all better. He's a monumental mesh snob too tho he's very camera shy for some reason. lol 

"whispers cutely: althoooough if you scroll down a bit on my flickr you will find a bald bearded beauty hiding in there somewhere and rocking my world. mew" 

 

Bottom line is avatars can do have a healing effect if the context is right. 

 

I'll check out your flickr..... ;)

Linky would be nice....on my phone so can't see signatures etc etc......

My experience of monumental mesh snob guys in world isn't good, so you scored well!!!

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9 hours ago, ErukaVonD said:

I don't do the whole alt thing beeeecause I'd go Broque real fast at the rate I'm spending on one avi alone. lol So I only use one main avi and always have. 

Same here. I keep everything on my one account because it's so much cheaper that way. I do have an alt, who is also premium and I use him to contribute to my land tier so I can have 2048m instead of 1024. I log him in once a week or so to collect his stipend and that's it. He is still in the same old furry avatar that hasn't been changed since about 2010. But having a second premium alt is really a no-brainer as far as land ownership goes. I'm not convinced that it's worth adding more than one though.

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