Friday, February 12, 2010

Harper’s Response to Rules of Being a Classy Avatar

I read Piers’ blog about the 20 Rules of Being a Classy Avatar last month with a mix of amusement.I have some response and some additional remarks, all of them regarding Second Life. (I am hoping users from other platforms will chime in with their responses.. I need some help!)


Keep away from Orientation Islands (Pier)

I used to hang out at Help Island at times because I was a Mentor in SL. There is nothing wrong with this. Certainly a certain kind of group hangs at the Orientation areas, but many can be very nice. And helping newbies is a laudable venture, especially when they are putty in your classy, elegant hands. Think of it this way: you are propagating good taste to the rest of the grid by capturing them when they are young and teaching them the right way to dress. Clearly this.. uh person.. needs help.


Why I Mentor

Don't wear always the same outfits (Pier)

I agree wholeheartedly with this one. When you log into SL, at least, you get a full library of clothing you can at least try on and mix and match, though it’s a pretty scattered mix and match. Try them on, get a feel for them. And if you are NOT new, come on! At least read the freebie blogs and get something different! With all the great freebies out there, why are you still looking so 2005?


blond avi with beard

Don't wear the first stuffs you found in the inventory (Pier)

Content makers want you to wear what they make. LL wants you to wear what the content makers make. They made an environment for people to bring content in and sell it. Keep the economy going or at least the asset servers. Customize your avatar. Make it a life worth living. SPEND A LITTLE.

No bling (HoneyBear
No clicky shoes (

HoneyBear, dear, you hit it on the head. Bling is SO passe. I am not sure why anyone ever thought it was a good idea. Particles are laggy and make my graphics card cry. Particles are meant to be in fireworks and that’s it. The same with the clicks. They were cool the first time. Now they are annoying. Hint to content makers: make them default OFF!



At least one or two top quality skins as these make more difference to your appearance than anything else. (LoquaciaLoon)

Loquacia has a great point here and nowadays, there is no reason you can’t grab a free skin from many of the great skin makers. Tuli Asturias offers them frequently to her group members; Tricky Boucher Belleza sends out a sample to his group whenever he puts out a new line. Lorac Farella of Pulse frequently has hunts for her group. And Eloh Eliot has given them out for free! (It’s a very tongue-in-cheek listing—you can snag the textures for free to upload to SL right off the listing.) Of course you may look like several other people wearing their free skins but you don’t look like a newbie. Check out this group gift skin from Tuli…


The Beauty of the Flamenco

Wear an AO (Baroque)

I agree. Waddling like a newbie is not necessary. Have an AO and have one that doesn’t put you in ridiculously sexy poses. Or makes you walk like a runway model when you are walking through a store (“Catwalk” doesn’t mean people walk like that the rest of the time.)


The odd piercing is sexy, too many and you look like water will pour out of you when you drink (Trixibelle)

Hurrah hurrah! I totally agree. If this is about class, consider how classy it is looking like you got hit with shrapnel and it’s emerging from your face. I get the whole counterculture thing about piercings, but really, there is nothing so beautiful or sexy to me as one piercing in the right place—be it through an eyebrow or a nostril or an upper ear. Have you ever seen the girl in the coffee shop with that eesny little diamond glittering on her nose? Killer.


ali tavoularis


However, a whole bunch of them—septum, lip, nose.. it’s overkill. Think of what you will look like when you’re 65 and go from there….

Try to stay proportional with your shape. And please no Spotlights use to light up your body or face (lillyane_inshan) 

Lillyane has a great point here. Shape makes more difference than you can imagine. It is what defines how you define body image. I have seen shapes with ridiculously large breasts, shapes with very wide hips, shapes with humongously large shoulders and no waist or butt, and shapes with bitterly thin lips. Additionally, an oddly proportioned avatar makes it difficult for you to wear prims correctly in SL.  Moderation is everything. That doesn’t mean a woman can’t be plus-sized…


Pure Class


But her waist can’t be 24” with 46GG chest and 44” hips and no rear end (I see a lot of that). That makes no sense.


As for facelamps, I wear one at a very dim setting. I take a lot of photos and I find that I need to have something on to battle the shadows in windlight. No one has noticed yet that I have one on. Bodylights and very brightly lit lights are another whole story and should be banned—not only because they are an annoyance but because they wash a person out (and everyone around them) horribly. They do very little to enhance and much to detract. I really hate hair, eyelashes, any worn prim that includes lights. Note to designers: NO MORE FACELIGHTS attached to things.

Don't wear anything that talks (ShelbyZ)

I think Shelby is specifically talking about fetuses here, though it could also mean animals.. like that bear branded with an unspecified name of cola that makes weird wookie sounds.

Just be in love with own avatar. Simple (ZERO-to-ZERO
Never be a mimic. Meaning keep own originality (
I will say that JohnLe Fukai takes this to heart with his very unique avatar… (spotted on Help Island, no less).


Seen on Help Island


Here are a few more from me:


Make sure your prim feet match the rest of your body (and for goodness sake, don’t wear them with stockings!)


Big hair isn’t the answer for everything.

The question is… whose big hair are we talking about?


help island


Go scriptless.

Use the resize scripts and then rip them out.When you are in a high-avatar area, every script adds to that lag. Be considerate of your fellow avatars by considering the scripts you are wearing.

Sparkly eyes are NOT cool.

They are particles. They render in as gray flashy things and they really don’t add that much. And they are another script!


Reconsider the smiling animations.

I know lots of people like smiling animations. I don’t. The smile they make on the avatar is unnatural to me and the whole thing seems insincere. Are you really smiling in rhythmic rotation like that or are you perhaps having some other bodily function?


Use your cleavage strategically—ie. not all the time!



Use tattoos carefully.

If you are going to wear tattoos with an evening dress, wear them in a way that is kind of edgy but not trashy. A heart on a shoulder blade, a little bit around the arm.. not something that extends across your entire torso like a circus freak. Unless you want to be a circus freak.


Peruse your profile.

Look at your profile closely. It’s your avatar’s resume or calling card. Put something in there that is spelled right and reflects who you are. Try to avoid cliches and bold, ridiculous statements.


Leave your “attachments” off.

This includes nipples with rings, genitalia (even transparent), and spankers.


nipple rings


Have fun!

Do not EVER be afraid to laugh at yourself. This is supposed to be fun, right?


My new profile photo


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