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Over the past couple of days I’ve noticed two places – a blog and a virtual world – where the avatar figure question is very much alive.

The creepy one is Lively. In Lively, you can either look like an extra from a Tim Burton computer animated feature about the suburbs or you can look like a somewhat-normal person with assembly-line features and arms like a starvation victim (although I have to admit, at least the waistline isn’t ridiculously skinny).

I admit it, I went into Lively just because there had been so much talk about it. Here’s my Lively avatar. In case you’re having trouble picking me out, I’m the one without wings. Oh hold it: nobody has wings in Lively! (Who came up with that? That’s a *terrible* idea!) Not that anyone could fly if they *did* have wings. But then, I haven’t even figured out how to walk in Lively, or even if it’s possible.

Anyway, apart from the beautiful top they let me choose (Lively does get one gold star for that…and how did they know I wanted green? Did they purposely match my eyes?), Lively is not on my must-try-again list, and that’s partly (Kate said, finally getting back on the subject) because of those freakish limbs. Oh, and you don’t get to choose not to have the exaggerated body shapes they use, either. Boy oh boy, have sliders spoiled me.

The other avatar figure-related discovery was a much brighter one. I came across the blog of a resi whose picture I had seen, but whose name I didn’t know: Rosie Barthelmess. Her avatar is beautiful! And very full-figured.

After seeing her blog and pictures, I had to ask myself why I never made another shape for myself that was much more full-figured. It wouldn’t convey what I look like in First Life, but it would definitely help contribute to making larger avatars a little more present (and maybe accepted) in Second Life, which in turn might help people think about weight in a happier way.

So why wasn’t I trying it? Oh, I could excuse myself from considering it and say it was too much of a change to the avatar whose shape I barely modify (although I do change my shape a little for a better fit with both my Japanese and black avatars, and my faerie avatar is more faerie-shaped than I am). That’s a reason I don’t spend any time as a furry, for instance. But really I think it’s much simpler, and more embarrassing: I want people to admire me. I don’t mean that I want people to write me love letters and give me prizes and shower me with compliments, but I like to feel that I’m impressing people with my grace and elegance and beauty (this is why I’ve always felt like turning and running the other way from events where people wear their worst hair, or their newbie clothes), and apparently I don’t have the chutzpah to try to do that with a heavier shape. I’m definitely not interested in an underweight or starved avatar, so that’s good, but apparently I won’t go the other way, either.

Well, fortunately I have other issues that I work with in other ways, and I don’t feel like it’s important to me to have a heavier avatar. But who else besides Rosie is up to that challenge? Anyone want to dare themselves? And let me know what you find out?

^^^\ Kate /^^^

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