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Hey there!  Just got the Catwa HDPro Queen head, and yup, it looks REALLY realistic.  As a rule, I've tried to make my SL self look like the RL me, with the exceptions of the, you know, whole succubus thing (as that's really more a metaphorical SL thing). 😛  ...But anyway, it got me to trying new skins.  I found one that makes me look creepy realistic.  It's like actually looking into a mirror when I'm in SL.  I'm not entirely a fan of how I look in RL, but OMG, wow, this hit it on the nose.

So now my question is... 

Should I go for a more realistic me in SL, or should I enjoy the "cartoon" fantasy of it?  What would you do?  Any thoughts?  Has anyone else ever been in this position?  Pros, cons?

Thanks in advance.

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2 minutes ago, MajikVixen Lorefield said:

Should I go for a more realistic me in SL, or should I enjoy the "cartoon" fantasy of it?  What would you do?  Any thoughts?  Has anyone else ever been in this position?  Pros, cons?

   It's really up to what you prefer, but .. Pics to compare the realistic vs. cartoony look to vote on? ^_^

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Me with an Akeruka head which I absolutely loved. I was very happy with this look.
image.png.71c8a71de452d7de43f2c2820b94463b.png

A few days after taking the above pic, I got the Queen head (plus new eyes by ARTE and hair by Mosso) and this is the result.

Friti_Mar_28_2021.thumb.png.e3eb37b03d89552c30d816d2b1cca85c.png

Suffice to say that I am now staying with this head.

Back to your question about what you should do...
What you should do is what feels the best to you. Which look do you enjoy the most, your relaisic avie, or the "cartoon" one? This is not a question that anyone else can answer for you.
If unsure, try the realistic for a while, then switch back to cartoon, and back to realistic etc. until you know which you prefer.

P.S. Click the pics for a larger version.

 

 

Edited by Fritigern Gothly
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23 minutes ago, Fritigern Gothly said:

Suffice to say that I am now staying staying with this head.

   That does look very nice! And your avi is still recognisable as you - my greatest concern when changing heads is whether I'll be able to recognise myself .. It's why Orwar hasn't had a change of heads for a while now. Not only must the head be compatible with the shape, it must also have a beard available!

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Hey, wow, thanks for replying...

...It's not the head I'm questioning, it's skin.  I'm sticking with the Queen head.  And the skin I've been using is nice, kinda has a make-up-y feel to it compared to this other skin.  The new skin in question makes my nose a bit flatter and takes away from whatever hint of blush I may have had on the original skin, plus the lips look more realistic.  It's hard to describe, but it's is truer to RL.  I tried taking pix before I gotta go to RL, but the pix aren't really showing what I'm talking about.  To me there's not much difference between these skins, but I can tell in different WLs.  There's no doubt about the head.  It's the skin.

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43 minutes ago, MajikVixen Lorefield said:

Hey, wow, thanks for replying...

...It's not the head I'm questioning, it's skin.  I'm sticking with the Queen head.  And the skin I've been using is nice, kinda has a make-up-y feel to it compared to this other skin.  The new skin in question makes my nose a bit flatter and takes away from whatever hint of blush I may have had on the original skin, plus the lips look more realistic.  It's hard to describe, but it's is truer to RL.  I tried taking pix before I gotta go to RL, but the pix aren't really showing what I'm talking about.  To me there's not much difference between these skins, but I can tell in different WLs.  There's no doubt about the head.  It's the skin.

In my pics, the skin, freckles, blush, makeup is all the same. Yes, I say blush, and the freckles, they are addon tattoo layers from Izzie's so that my head feels a bit more... Well, I feel it gives it more depth. So if the blush on one skin does not give you the effect you want/need, then by all means go and try and find a blush tattoo that will add what you need/want.

But... If i were to go with my personal opinion and what I personally want from my avie, then I would have to tell you to go with the realistic option. If anything is missing, you can add it later on... If after a while you still feel it's missing that is.

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1 hour ago, Orwar said:

   That does look very nice! And your avi is still recognisable as you - my greatest concern when changing heads is whether I'll be able to recognise myself .. It's why Orwar hasn't had a change of heads for a while now. Not only must the head be compatible with the shape, it must also have a beard available!

Well, one does adjust the shape for the head, not the other way around. But you know what they say: demo demo demo.

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54 minutes ago, MajikVixen Lorefield said:

Hey, wow, thanks for replying...

...It's not the head I'm questioning, it's skin.  I'm sticking with the Queen head.  And the skin I've been using is nice, kinda has a make-up-y feel to it compared to this other skin.  The new skin in question makes my nose a bit flatter and takes away from whatever hint of blush I may have had on the original skin, plus the lips look more realistic.  It's hard to describe, but it's is truer to RL.  I tried taking pix before I gotta go to RL, but the pix aren't really showing what I'm talking about.  To me there's not much difference between these skins, but I can tell in different WLs.  There's no doubt about the head.  It's the skin.

I see you got derailed a bit there. But, you know. If you want to look like yourself in world then do it.. If you want to try new looks and so forth do it. If you want to be more cartoonish, then so be it. We are not here to tell you what you should or should not do as far as that goes. It is always personal preferences.

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Do you want to look like your rl self? 

Yes :go for it. 

No: stay for your fantasy look. 

This is so easy. 

For me why should I look like my rl self when I can look like this? 

chair.jpg.216c79f5a1a9075af4b390cb78351b

 

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3 hours ago, MajikVixen Lorefield said:

Hey there!  Just got the Catwa HDPro Queen head, and yup, it looks REALLY realistic.  As a rule, I've tried to make my SL self look like the RL me, with the exceptions of the, you know, whole succubus thing (as that's really more a metaphorical SL thing). 😛  ...But anyway, it got me to trying new skins.  I found one that makes me look creepy realistic.  It's like actually looking into a mirror when I'm in SL.  I'm not entirely a fan of how I look in RL, but OMG, wow, this hit it on the nose.

So now my question is... 

Should I go for a more realistic me in SL, or should I enjoy the "cartoon" fantasy of it?  What would you do?  Any thoughts?  Has anyone else ever been in this position?  Pros, cons?

Thanks in advance.

You should do what make you happiest.

My avatar is an idealized version of the RL me, a version that is not only idealized, younger, prettier, and more shapely, but is idealized for a different environment in which I don't need to be concerned about professional and social repercussions of appearing unabashedly sexy. Therefore, I don't want her to look exactly like me.

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10 hours ago, Fritigern Gothly said:

In my pics, the skin, freckles, blush, makeup is all the same. Yes, I say blush, and the freckles, they are addon tattoo layers from Izzie's so that my head feels a bit more... Well, I feel it gives it more depth. So if the blush on one skin does not give you the effect you want/need, then by all means go and try and find a blush tattoo that will add what you need/want.

But... If i were to go with my personal opinion and what I personally want from my avie, then I would have to tell you to go with the realistic option. If anything is missing, you can add it later on... If after a while you still feel it's missing that is.

/me nod nods

...I must say, I can certainly appreciate both versions of you in those pix.  I love the "gaussian blur" kinda makeup thing going on in your first pic, and I love the realistic version of you in the second pic (maybe even a bit more).

I'm just kinda thrown off a bit by how eerie it was to see RL me in SL, with that new skin I'm thinking of getting.  Fritigern, when you went to your newer skin that looks more realistic, did it creep you out a bit?  Like, do you ever worry that someone from RL would recognize you and hold everything you do in SL against you in RL?  And this might not fit the way you view the world, but to me, I find myself wondering if I really even like how much I look in RL to be that in SL...

I'm confused a bit because it seems the object of SL is to look as realistic as possible.  And of course I made my shape that way, from the old system (not mesh) avatar, absolutely never thinking it would ever be possible to come close to how I look in RL -in SL.  Now that it is completely possible, seems I'm at an impasse...  Like, do I want to look more realistic with all the things that could possibly go wrong?  On the other hand, if others were to like me, wouldn't it feel so much better if they were to like the truer version of me?  What if they don't and I really am as not pretty as I feel in RL at times?  And in that case, do I just want to start over from scratch and be somebody completely different in SL who looks realistic?  

It's like some sorta existential SL crisis, LOL

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10 hours ago, Tarina Sewell said:

I see you got derailed a bit there. But, you know. If you want to look like yourself in world then do it.. If you want to try new looks and so forth do it. If you want to be more cartoonish, then so be it. We are not here to tell you what you should or should not do as far as that goes. It is always personal preferences.

This is what a lot of ppl end up saying to me, and why I came to the forums to see what everyone else is kinda doing with their avatar. 

But I guess it's kinda like the whole thing I went thru with wearing makeup (because nobody ever really taught me how to wear makeup in RL, so I did a lot of research)... "Does this look right?  Do these colors work?  Is this pretty?"  And at the end of that, I found that it really is just a personal preference too.  Generally, "normal" is below brow being same color as eyelid, & darker/similar color surrounds eyelid (to make it kinda "pop")... But then again, you can be black, black, black monochrome Goth... or you can be vivid, vivid, vivid wonderfully gay peacock.  I don't know.  It does rely on feelings, personal preference, and all that.  And I realize that.  Guess I'm just trying to figure out where the "normal" lies with avatars and realism, and decide my personal spectrum from there.

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I try to go for a younger, thinner, more idealized version of my RL self for my primary avatar. For my alts, I've created different personalities and looks, so they can represent sides of myself, but not just be clones of my main avatar. It's been interesting with my favorite alt, going from a standard avatar who was a little creepy-looking to a mesh avatar who's beautiful, but with a touch of sadness and survivor strength. You really can get alot of personality from tweaking your shape and getting just the right skin. I love avatars that look like real people. How much you want to recreate your RL look is up to you, but I think you should go for it. If you like how you look in SL and feel it looks like you, it may even help you like your RL self more.

I've found 7 Deadly s[K]ins work well with mesh heads and have alot of free skins for group members, so you can experiment with different skins easily. I think Wow skins tend to look too "perfect" and doll-like. Other skin-makers have their own specialties, such as better ethnic skins, mature skins, or realistic-looking male skins.

I don't have many pictures of me or my avatar, but these seem to show an avatar resemblance to my younger self.

Me and Mom - Mother Card (2).jpg

Me as Persephone Nude.jpg

 

Edited by Persephone Emerald
to add pictures
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21 minutes ago, MajikVixen Lorefield said:

 Guess I'm just trying to figure out where the "normal" lies with avatars and realism, and decide my personal spectrum from there.

That depends on where you go. There are avatars of all kinds, shapes, and sizes, so maybe have a look at the avis around you when you are inworld to get a sense of your "normal".

But I wouldn't advise you to aim for what everyone else is doing. Try your avi in both versions for a bit to see what feels better for you. Also, many people change their looks every now and then. You can do that too.

41 minutes ago, MajikVixen Lorefield said:

Like, do you ever worry that someone from RL would recognize you and hold everything you do in SL against you in RL?

If I saw an avatar that looked a lot like my mom, I wouldn't assume the person behind that av was actually my mom! So no, you don't have to worry about that. No one's going to be like "Hey I know you!" based on what your avatar looks like.

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Your visual self communicates not just to others but also to yourself.

Is SL a place where you carry yourself in and present your RL self to everyone, or is it a place where you explore an idealize set of things about yourself and others?

My own avatar is radically different from me so that I can be freer to explore myself. 

Especially in the early years of SL - it let me figure out things that I would not have gone to had I been carrying the baggage of how I present in RL.

Putting 'cat ears and a tail' onto my avatar, for example, made it a more 'real me' than the me I see in the mirror.

 

For me, SL was at times a journey of self exploration - which requires the avatar NOT look like RL me.

 

Edited by Pussycat Catnap
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1 hour ago, MajikVixen Lorefield said:

Fritigern, when you went to your newer skin that looks more realistic, did it creep you out a bit?

Actually, the skin is the same one. In both cases was it a 1L$ group gift from WOW Skins. It's just that the results differ on the different heads. 
Perhaps I should take another pic of the first head using the same lighting as I did for the second so that it's a better comparison. :D 

  

1 hour ago, MajikVixen Lorefield said:

Like, do you ever worry that someone from RL would recognize you and hold everything you do in SL against you in RL?  And this might not fit the way you view the world, but to me, I find myself wondering if I really even like how much I look in RL to be that in SL...

I do not at all look like my avatar in RL and frankly, I don't think anyone would like to see an avatar that looks like the RL me. My avatar looks the way I feel I look inside, if that makes sense.

  

1 hour ago, MajikVixen Lorefield said:

Like, do I want to look more realistic with all the things that could possibly go wrong? 

If you are referring to being recognised by someone from your RL, you could always go "Huh, there is someone in RL that looks like my avie? That is so weird!" and pretend it's all coincidence.
But look at it like this, your avatar represents you, but it is up to you if that "you" is your inner you, your outer you, or both. 

Edited by Fritigern Gothly
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6 minutes ago, Fritigern Gothly said:

Actually, the skin is the same one. In both cases was it a 1L$ group gift from WOW Skins. It's just that the results differ on the different heads. 
Perhaps I should take another pic of the first head using the same lighting as I did for the second so that it's a better comparison. :D 

Ohhh.  Well, wow.  Now I understand.  Gee, that is quite a dramatic difference between different heads!  I had no idea that "older" skin and such could work great with newer heads.  I thought you had to upgrade everything.

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2 minutes ago, MajikVixen Lorefield said:

Ohhh.  Well, wow.  Now I understand.  Gee, that is quite a dramatic difference between different heads!  I had no idea that "older" skin and such could work great with newer heads.  I thought you had to upgrade everything.

Nope, never change a winning team 🙂
I took this pic last night, using more neutral lighting (midday) and this may be a better source of comparison.
 head.png.50b3be221071d95f4a7508e4defd3111.png

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Okay, now that I've been in RL a bit and stepped away from SL, I guess I can see some differences better in the pix I took last night.  And some of you already having shared, I guess I feel okay to share too now...  Even tho it is a bit embarrassing, and oh, gawd, it's here for forever, LOL!  xD

 

...No super artsy background or anything, just on the posing stand...

 

c8421c2b3286fc5a5a0aa1d089dc0658.jpg

So this is the current skin I have and have had for a very long time now.  The only thing I don't necessarily like about it, is how un-crisp the eyelids are.  That's it.  But it is rather a "cartoony"/"guassian blur" version of RL me.  I'm not wearing any makeup except for the eyeliner and lashes, this is my "starter" avatar for making outfits, I will keep things like that in all pix.

 

20ba079a19ff5a96ede7b7dbc935a19d.jpg

This is a demo version of the skin that "creeps me out" because it's more "realistic" me.  You might be able to see the demo watermarks on it because it's a demo, ignore that, LOL.  Of course I would have to fix my hairbase to re-add my widow's peak, and the eyebrows should be fixed back to red.  But this is my true brow shape.  The eyelids are *SO* crisp.  The nose looks more like my RL nose.  Except for the weird "cat" thing happening with my nostrils, that I just noticed.  You might be able to see the difference from the previous pic, how that nose is more "supermodel" and this one is more flat.  The (I don't know what you exactly call it) "dent" above the cupid's bow in my lips is definitely more truer to life.  And there are no "blushy dimple things" going on in my cheeks here, like in the previous pic.  Blush is there, but it's much more subtle.  The lips have more realistic depth.  And I think the only thing "supermodel" about this is the shading under the brow, but that's also realistic, and will likely not matter when makeup is added.

 

f4eaff3686768f3f7b7d1952e7a12c12.png

Here's a side-view of the skin I currently have.  Pretty, soft.

 

e2cb9c0235c44054c7b3125812abaf8b.jpg

Here's the side-view with the newer/demo skin.  Not exactly "pleasant" or "supermodel," but very realistic.

 

e847a26258048661b7fa4fc5736464ae.png

a722ff53207bfd51684eb8d7545feca4.png

This is my current skin, and what happens at a distance (for the face, anyway).  ...Yus, my cheekbones kinda disappear behind my haircut, I'm ok with that.

 

e88114abefdd2e1cdb03072e91cdc479.png

c182cf9cd34c7fbacb525abd8958a286.png

This is the demo skin, and what happens at a distance (for the face, anyway).  ...Yus, my cheekbones kinda disappear behind my haircut, I'm ok with that.

 

Anyway...

...Is my original skin too "cartoony" or does it work just fine?

But then I'd also like additional thoughts on this new twist I'd like to throw in... Let's say I want to be a dancer or an escort or something.  Realism is of course ideal, but so is what would possibly be more attractive.  How does one skin pair to the other?  I'm actually too stuck inside this to be able to tell what others may or may not see, so please help, LOL.

Would I be okay sticking with what I have, or should I try the adventure of the new skin? 

Thanks!

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33 minutes ago, MajikVixen Lorefield said:

Okay, now that I've been in RL a bit and stepped away from SL, I guess I can see some differences better in the pix I took last night.  And some of you already having shared, I guess I feel okay to share too now...  Even tho it is a bit embarrassing, and oh, gawd, it's here for forever, LOL!  xD

 

...No super artsy background or anything, just on the posing stand...

 

c8421c2b3286fc5a5a0aa1d089dc0658.jpg

So this is the current skin I have and have had for a very long time now.  The only thing I don't necessarily like about it, is how un-crisp the eyelids are.  That's it.  But it is rather a "cartoony"/"guassian blur" version of RL me.  I'm not wearing any makeup except for the eyeliner and lashes, this is my "starter" avatar for making outfits, I will keep things like that in all pix.

 

20ba079a19ff5a96ede7b7dbc935a19d.jpg

This is a demo version of the skin that "creeps me out" because it's more "realistic" me.  You might be able to see the demo watermarks on it because it's a demo, ignore that, LOL.  Of course I would have to fix my hairbase to re-add my widow's peak, and the eyebrows should be fixed back to red.  But this is my true brow shape.  The eyelids are *SO* crisp.  The nose looks more like my RL nose.  Except for the weird "cat" thing happening with my nostrils, that I just noticed.  You might be able to see the difference from the previous pic, how that nose is more "supermodel" and this one is more flat.  The (I don't know what you exactly call it) "dent" above the cupid's bow in my lips is definitely more truer to life.  And there are no "blushy dimple things" going on in my cheeks here, like in the previous pic.  Blush is there, but it's much more subtle.  The lips have more realistic depth.  And I think the only thing "supermodel" about this is the shading under the brow, but that's also realistic, and will likely not matter when makeup is added.

 

f4eaff3686768f3f7b7d1952e7a12c12.png

Here's a side-view of the skin I currently have.  Pretty, soft.

 

e2cb9c0235c44054c7b3125812abaf8b.jpg

Here's the side-view with the newer/demo skin.  Not exactly "pleasant" or "supermodel," but very realistic.

 

e847a26258048661b7fa4fc5736464ae.png

a722ff53207bfd51684eb8d7545feca4.png

This is my current skin, and what happens at a distance (for the face, anyway).  ...Yus, my cheekbones kinda disappear behind my haircut, I'm ok with that.

 

e88114abefdd2e1cdb03072e91cdc479.png

c182cf9cd34c7fbacb525abd8958a286.png

This is the demo skin, and what happens at a distance (for the face, anyway).  ...Yus, my cheekbones kinda disappear behind my haircut, I'm ok with that.

 

Anyway...

...Is my original skin too "cartoony" or does it work just fine?

But then I'd also like additional thoughts on this new twist I'd like to throw in... Let's say I want to be a dancer or an escort or something.  Realism is of course ideal, but so is what would possibly be more attractive.  How does one skin pair to the other?  I'm actually too stuck inside this to be able to tell what others may or may not see, so please help, LOL.

Would I be okay sticking with what I have, or should I try the adventure of the new skin? 

Thanks!

Okay, I really like the demo skin. The eyebrows look great, the shape of the lips is finer. There is a "but" though... 
There seems to be too much shadow around the nose which is more obvious when you view the face from the front and that bothers me a bit.
It is possible that the skin is not a perfect match to your head. Make sure to use a HDPro skin (my old head would work well with HDPro skins, so I already used that)
However, if that shadow around the nose does not bother you, then I would say go with the new one because it looks really good IMO

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7 hours ago, Fritigern Gothly said:

Okay, I really like the demo skin. The eyebrows look great, the shape of the lips is finer. There is a "but" though... 
There seems to be too much shadow around the nose which is more obvious when you view the face from the front and that bothers me a bit.
It is possible that the skin is not a perfect match to your head. Make sure to use a HDPro skin (my old head would work well with HDPro skins, so I already used that)
However, if that shadow around the nose does not bother you, then I would say go with the new one because it looks really good IMO

Cool, helpful, thank you!

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On 4/5/2021 at 6:29 PM, MajikVixen Lorefield said:

Ohhh.  Well, wow.  Now I understand.  Gee, that is quite a dramatic difference between different heads!  I had no idea that "older" skin and such could work great with newer heads.  I thought you had to upgrade everything.

Surprisingly, they do.  One of the reasons I was reluctant to get a mesh head at all was because I particularly liked the skin I already had, which is VERY old (I've worn it since 2015 but it dates back to about 2013 I think) and has no appliers. Finding men's skins with ginger brows is like finding hens' teeth. 

This is the skin on my classic non-mesh head:33071621856_754d92870b_b.jpg

I switched to mesh and after putting up with a different applier skin for a year or so, and not really liking it, BOM came in and I could wear the old skin again, and it actually looked better on my Catwa (Shaheen) head than it did on my classic one...

49852666897_88768bb6de_o.jpg

Now, I tried a few different heads, including the free gift from Lelutka (Alain) which I didn't have much hope for because I'd tried all their other male heads and didn't like any of them, but this new one looked even better.

50811826881_4a9bcff74d_z.jpg

And that's all with the same 8-year-old skin. The one thing to watch with old classic skins is the fingernails and toenails, which you need to cover up on the mesh body because they don't line up with the mesh nails. There are "fixers" on the MP, including free ones, that you wear as a tattoo layer or system gloves/socks. I made my own because I also wanted a semi-transparent overlay over the rest of my body too, to tone down the rather-exaggerated muscles, so I put all of that together with the finger/toe fixes in the same tattoo layer. 

I do look different from one head to another, because each head has its own different characteristics, but at the same time I'm still recognisably the same person that I was with the classic head.

And honestly, what real human doesn't look different as they get older? Everyone changes, but we still recognise each other even after decades.  

On 4/5/2021 at 5:19 PM, Pussycat Catnap said:

Your visual self communicates not just to others but also to yourself.

Is SL a place where you carry yourself in and present your RL self to everyone, or is it a place where you explore an idealize set of things about yourself and others?

My own avatar is radically different from me so that I can be freer to explore myself. 

Especially in the early years of SL - it let me figure out things that I would not have gone to had I been carrying the baggage of how I present in RL.

Putting 'cat ears and a tail' onto my avatar, for example, made it a more 'real me' than the me I see in the mirror.

For me, SL was at times a journey of self exploration - which requires the avatar NOT look like RL me.

This is similar for me. Except in my case it wasn't cat features, it was ginger hair, and that makes my avatar more "me" than my RL appearance does. In The Matrix, Morpheus referred to "residual self-image" -  and that's what my avatar is to me. I often look this way in my dreams, years before SL or even before the internet itself, and it's because of those dreams that I made my avatar look the way it does. 

I did once try on purpose to make an alt that looked the way I look in RL. Even though it wasn't all that accurate, it made me quite uncomfortable and after a couple of months I scrapped the idea. I get more than enough time looking like my RL self in RL. Which brings me back to @MajikVixen Lorefield's original question, of whether to make your avatar resemble your RL self or not. As most people have said, it's an entirely subjective thing. Some people, like myself, get uncomfortable with it, others love it and wouldn't dream of doing anything else. The best suggestion I can come up with is try it for a while and see how it makes you feel.  

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I didn't read every post, but someone told me last night that the new heads are great, BUT if you use an older skin (Danika in my case) the difference is  large. With so many heads now being BoM you need an updated BoM skin.

So last night I bought a 50L Catwa BoM shape and skin to go with my Slink head.   I am quite pleased with the result.

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1 hour ago, Doris Johnsky said:

I didn't read every post, but someone told me last night that the new heads are great, BUT if you use an older skin (Danika in my case) the difference is  large. With so many heads now being BoM you need an updated BoM skin.

Yes this is a vital point.

BOM uses the old system skin system, but an old system skin won't really look good with it. Obvious point on the body being the painted on nails. But another thing that was pointed out to me is that BOM can bake on a skin at 1024x1024 image size, whereas old system bodies bake on at 512x512... so many old skins were uploaded at 512 as there was no point back then uploading a higher resolution.

Applier skins can work on a BOM body, though one might end up losing some of BOMs other advantages when doing so. Ability to use Alpha masks for example, and the ability to bake many layers onto the skin which can help avoid 'transparency glitches'.

 

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