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  1. Aloha to other newbies. After some frustrating trial and error I was able to replace my system avatar with one that looks more like me. Yay! But the search for upgraded body, head, shape, and hair were super frustrating, and I hope this post will help you to avoid some of the irritation I went through. To be fair, I got annoyed at this whole process because I was searching for stuff on the Second Life Marketplace website, which feels like some Angelfire or Tripod site from the 1990s. Ugghh. No Boolean search terms are allowed, so every search gives thousands of useless results. I gave up on Marketplace and started doing searches via DuckDuckGo, StartPage, Google, YouTube, etc and found a bunch of relevant blogs and videos outside the official SL universe. Those sites allowed me to identify some items to try inworld. This SL Forum was a great resource too! There are plenty of bodies and hairs, but I'm mixed race so my search has been for modifiable stuff appropriate to East Asian, Southeast Asian, Polynesian, and African American looks. For me that means slimmer body, no hips, no butt, practically nothing on top, flatter face, etc. Not much to hold onto except a heart :-) Sort of a difficult match for most North American or European creators, so I don't hold toooo big grudge against Marketplace. Even after wading through all the huge anime eyes, botoxed lips, and overly sexualized stuff there was little to choose from though. Sorry boys, not all of us are voluptuous pole dancers! So, here are some inworld sites I found useful. Bear in mind that tech and life are always evolving, so I should point out that these places have interesting items now, in February, 2021. Blink and they may be gone. Bodies Maitreya Lara http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Maitreya%20Isle/128/133/23 Slink Physique http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Slink/36/123/25 Heads Genesis Lab http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Genesis%20Lab/229/170/25 GENUS Project http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Genus%20Project%20Mainstore/100/130/34 LAQ http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LAQ/135/122/76 Lelutka http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LeLutka/128/128/39 Skins and Shapes 7 Deadly Skins http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Shadow%20Crest/81/59/43 Genesis Lab http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Genesis%20Lab/229/170/25 Glam Affair http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Beauty%20Avatar%20couture/153/72/32 ItGirls http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Cedar%20Springs/49/43/2003 Jael http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Cedar/101/144/2002 Monso / Mudskin http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sweet%20Isle/205/52/28 Not Found http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Mountains%20of%20Spirit/186/67/27 Pepe http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Pepe%20Skins/68/58/20 Sublime http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Official%20Munkin%20Island/89/202/3001 Hair AD (Analog Dog) http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Analog%20Dog%20Hair/174/133/22 Dr. Life http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Fashion%20Boulevard/84/131/1949 Homage http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/XODOHTRONU/127/131/3152 Stealthic http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Rapture/106/142/106 Truth http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Truth/107/129/28 I've seen a some really beautiful avatars with Slink Physique bodies and Genesis Lab heads, but in the end I decided on a Maitreya Lara body (because of clothing options) and Lelutka Ryn head (it looks a little more like me). With BOM, maybe clothing options won't be so big a draw for Maitreya in future. I added an ItGirls Ryn shape/skin, but have to admit that all the shades are pale for me. Maybe after another year of COVID quarantine I WILL be that pale though :-)
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