With all the gossip, invective, blurb and discussion that we’ve seen accompanying mesh, liquid mesh, fitted mesh and squidgy-foldy-slinky-mesh clothing, mesh avatars, heads, hands and feet, butts and boobs, collision bones, rigging and goodness knows what else, it’s no wonder people get confused about what exactly they can and can’t wear, (leaving aside completely the issue of what people should, and really shouldn’t wear!). You know things are getting bad when the Lab feel the need to step in with a spot of guidance for hopelessly confuddled shopaholics. (Yes, i did make up ‘squidgy-foldy-slinky-mesh’ – well spotted!).
In many ways, sl is no different from rl – anyone who’s ever spent any time at all in changing rooms battling with clothes that really should fit, but don’t, will be well aware that a Primani size 14 is not only a completely different size, but also a wholly different shape, (and possibly designed for a completely different life-form), to a River Island size 14. This is the Law of the High Street – where the letters S, M and L might just as well stand for Strange, Mysterious and Laughable, rather than their designated meanings in relation to clothing.
You might be forgiven for thinking that such clothing woes are a fairly recent ‘feature’ of sl – an unfortunate evil offspring of the mesh monster – but you’d be very wrong. Before the days of meshes and alphas, tangos and lolas with all their attendant invisibits, mismatches and fails, we had good old-fashioned sculpted cuffs, sleeves and doodads – and they were every bit as problematic as the new-fangled versions. Unless you really enjoyed wearing clothes that appeared to have been marinaded in glue overnight, or particularly enjoyed standing stock-still for long periods of time, the failings of sculpts were only too obvious after the initial shininess had worn off. Even those old standbys – the good old prim skirt and their flexi relatives – had their downside: primarily the disconcerting way that their component parts had no qualms about fluttering their way through what was supposed to represent solid flesh and bone.
It doesn’t help that us sl types are terribly individualistic – no conforming to norms for us, unless the norm happens to be 7 feet tall, with enormous norks, (or normans, if you’re of the male persuasion). When it comes to customising our avatars, we just can’t resist tweaking those sliders and – if you’re anything like me – that can ultimately lead to our downfall.
The day i decided to make my own individual shape was a momentous one – in all the time i’ve been in sl, that’s the one and only occasion that i’ve changed my basic curves: i’ve stuck with it ever since. Certainly, i’ve had occasional forays into the worlds of shapeshifting and weirdness, but i’ve always returned to my basic base shape – it’s me, and i’d find it incredibly difficult to see myself in any other way.
That said, my shape is by no means perfect – far from it. Perhaps my graphics weren’t really up to revealing the true facts back in those halcyon days of newbieness, (my early forays into sl took place via a downtrodden netbook), or maybe i was just a little unaware of some of the limitations of my body-sculpting skills and sense of proportion, but the simple fact is that i have the most enormous, pokey-out butt! You may choose to be kind and describe it as pert, or use similar such descriptions, but in profile view the stark truth is painfully obvious… where a Victorian lady would sport a bustle, i have a booty! Not a terribly pressing problem, i admit, but there are the odd occasions when i find myself staring at the screen aghast and shamefacedly thinking, “Really?”
Of course, in these days of bolt-on bums and boobs, i probably don’t stand out that much in the crowd, but – to be absolutely honest – i couldn’t give a flying fig what other people’s opinions of my vital statistics might be, it’s more a case that i happen to be painfully aware that all is not quite in proportion downstairs in the back room, and that’s what matters to me.
Aesthetics aside, the other upshot of this slight technicality is that i struggle with certain items of clothing – belts rarely fit me, and even those that do require some artful chicanery with the build tool to get them into something that could even be remotely said to look reasonable. As for low rise jeans, they can be positively indecent when viewed from the rear and i struggle to find anything in the skirt department that has any hope of working. It’s this latter item of clothing that particularly irritates me – the only way i can avoid any sort of butt pokeage is to expand any skirt to monster proportions, at which point it looks like i’m wearing a fabric hula hoop – never a good look. i’d wear skirts far more frequently inworld, if only i could find any i liked, that also – more importantly – like me, but sadly they are few and far between.
You may smirk, and – quite sensibly – suggest i simply opt for a spot of virtual liposuction and hit those sliders, but somehow i just can’t bring myself to do it… big, bad and ugly it may be, but my butt is part of the sl me, and until i really have no alternative, i think it’s going to be staying.
At least, these days, i’m not going to be the only one struggling to make clothes fit!
I see you, baby, shakin’ that ass
Shakin’ that ass
Shakin’ that ass
Groove Armada – I See You Baby (Shaking That Ass)