I'm not sure if being original/unique has ever been a concern to me, or something I did brag about. (Asking to people that know me for long, they say they don't remember this.) I know I wanted to be special to some people when I was a little girl (my parents; who doesn't want to be special to their own parents?), but after my failure, even being special was something I was no longer interested into.
If you think about it just for a moment, the genetic variability alone implies that each one of us is, by definition, unique. Then why do we worry so much? You may tell me that's not true, we don't worry or, at least, you don't worry. Well, it's possible. But my observations make me think differently about it.
For example, as soon as someone says anything about what normal people do, many others around will start saying things like but who wants to be normal?, normal is overrated, normal is boring, I embrace my crazy, normal is for losers, what is normal, anyway?... You get the idea. I would be surprised if you've never heard/read anything like this.
It's my impression that some (many?) people fear to be labeled, as if that would make them lose their uniqueness. The problem I see is that by rushing yourself into screaming loud you're unique, you're original, normal is overrated, and so on... You're labeling yourself as someone who belongs to the set of people that say they're unique, original and normal is overrated. Which is quite of a huge set with so many people in it, and if you know that normal refers to average... Yes, the irony is that by screaming how unique, original, etc. you are, you're actually being quite normal.
Personally, I want to be what we understand as a normal person with a normal life. Family, dog(s), cats, weekends... all that. I don't fear normality. I'm not interested in being special nor in proving how original and unique I am. I don't fear not being recognized in a crowd. That can be an advantage more often than not.
I have no problem at all if you (generic you), on the other hand, want to be unique, special, original... However you call it. I would ask only for one tiny detail. If you claim to be original, unique... then, for kitties' sake, do not fall into contradictions and stereotypes. Do not be that predictable.
Yes, it's really facepalming reading one, several, or all of the following statements, when someone claims to be original, unique:
- Quotes from famous people. Particularly when the attribution is incorrect. (I'm sure that Albert Einstein would be surprised of all the things that people say, he said.) But this always makes me raise an eyebrow because if you're so original and unique, why don't you create your own quotes? Why do you have to use (or copy/paste, when on Internet) what others say?
- Speaking of quotes: Spreading motivational quotes is quite non-original, if you're concerned about being original. Also, have you ever thought about the implications of those, apparently, motivating quotes? I promise that some day, I have to dissect some of my favorite ones.
- I'm not your typical woman/man (My typical woman/man say that they're not typical.)
- Laugh about normality and say that crazy is all the rage and how you roll. Until someone suggests that you could be crazy. For real. Then you quickly claim you're normal, not sick. (Since we're talking averages, would you like to know how normal is to be sick?)
- No copy/no modify/no transfer (Like all the other people that also write that)
- I'm not your typical bitch (Extra points at the use of the word bitch; rant material for another moment)
It's a short list because I didn't want to spend a long time compiling all the things I've seen, but you get the idea. I admit that I may fall into one or several of the categories above, but I don't claim that I'm unique/original/special, nor that I'm over being normal, so I can indulge in the pleasures of normality and falling into stereotypes without contradicting myself :-)
I couldn't help thinking of all this as Lelutka's mesh heads were announced, and released. Many people said "yes, they're pretty, but what about my uniqueness? I don't want to look like a clone."
I have some thoughts about this. ("Is there anything you have no thoughts about?" Good point.)
I like my SL-face. I've mixed aspects of my RL face with aspects of one fantasy character from my childhood until I got my current face, which now stands for almost two years. I would love if there was a mesh head exactly like that: The time I would save smoothing edges when I take a close-up! (Or just so I don't feel bad for not smoothing them when I have no time.)
But I don't put my uniqueness, my identity, into my SL-face. In fact, I'm not afraid of looking like a clone. I like these mesh heads, and I use them. Not daily, but I use them. The ones I use nowadays are Lelutka's heads and the new Lilith from Genesis Lab, which shows in the ads for my new releases at World Goth Fair. Because I'm not attached to my SL-face when using a mesh head, I can play more with different skin tones, tones that at times do not sit well in my SL-face.
When I think about it, I really don't understand why that fear about looking like clones with mesh heads. Back in 2009, some Redgrave skins were all the rage, and all girls using those skins looked all the same. It was like that too, with some LAQ skins that were pretty common in 2009, 2010 and even 2011. And what about Curio skins? They were beautiful, but I was unable to distinguish the girls using them. Things are even worse with male skins. Those BadAzz ones? Yep, don't ask me to tell you what makes guys using them different one from the other.
My point with this is that many of our faces have been looking quite like others all the time. Why does the concern show now, with mesh heads?
Some mesh heads allow for appliers, and they can look quite different depending on the skin applier used. Makeup adds another layer of variety, and then there's your own style. The head is not the whole you. It should not be.
And now finally... On to Berry's Challenge (Told you I would eventually get here.)
Meme Instructions: Share your avatar's digits and/or answer the following questions about mesh bodies.
- Do you currently own a mesh body? If so, do you wear it all the time or just once in a while? If not, skip to the fourth question.
Currently, I own several mesh bodies, but the only one I use since it came out is Maitreya. I use it for photos and when I'm at home alone/with Ansel. I try not to use it when I go to places, because it causes extra stress on the graphics cards of everybody around me. If the place is lonely and I want to take pictures, then I wear it.
- What is your preferred mesh body available on the market right now?
No doubts here: Maitreya Lara
- Have you changed your shape since you started wearing the body?
No. In fact, that's been what made me decide for Maitreya.
I wanted the mesh body fitting to my sliders, so whether I'm wearing the mesh body or not, my shape is basically the same (particularly, the hip curve; the rest, I don't mind that much if it's a little different). Wowmeh was quite close to this, but it wasn't optimal and it was retired from the market anyway. Maitreya was the next one achieving this, fitting to my shape, and so I'm sticking to it.
- How do you feel about mesh bodies in general?
I like them: They save time editing pictures and, of course, look better than the default SL avatar. I wish I could wear mine all the time, but I'm aware of the stress they cause on slow connections and machines, so I try not punishing others just because I want to look pretty no matter the cost, 24x7.
- What is one thing you would request from designers when it comes to mesh bodies?
Stick to the UVs of the SL avatar so creators can use their textures without having to work special versions that will fit only one body. That's a mistake Belleza did with Venus, with their hands and feet having different UVs than the SL avatar has. The Omega system cannot convert textures, and creators are already too busy making appliers, as to having to also take on the work of creating a different set of textures for one particular body.
We know that the UVs of the SL avatar are far from perfect, but mesh bodies could be designed to have different textures applied on left and right arms/feet, using the UVs of the SL avatar. There's no need to use your own and forcing creators to make work specifically for them. Knowing how quickly things happen in the fashion scene, there's no way that creators will seriously consider on all this extra work, for an item that won't be used anymore even before they've had time to complete that extra version.
Mesh body: Lara, from Maitreya
Mesh head: Stella, from Lelutka
Skin: Stella Applier, Jamaica, from Glam Affair
Lipstick: Included in Stella Applier
Hair: booN AAN330, red, from booN hair (boo Nakamura)
Dress: Gloriosa, white gold, from -just a girl- (Clarrellae Resident)
Tiara: Eldar Tiara Gold, from Le Forme (Louise Marsault)
Necklace: Aeranae's Embrace Necklace, from Empyrean Forge (EmpyreanForge Resident)
Head adornment: Aeranae's Embrace Adornment, from Empyrean Forge (EmpyreanForge Resident)
(Thanks, Kinn, for telling me about those!)
Pose: Dark Fairy #13, Black Tulip (mine)
Windlight: Phototools- No Light