Beauty and Ugly... sorry Uniqueness

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Back in 2003 I was in New York for a week. And as all tourists I visited a musical on Broadway. My choice was "Nine" with a guy (Antonio Banderas) and loads of females, which played all the women in his life. I really had problems to follow. Besides the confusing plot my main problem was hat I found the actresses so exchangeable and boring perfect They obviously all had the same plastic surgeries in same clinic ;)  How refreshing was Eartha Kitt playing her part. She was the only unique woman to me. After this evening I understood where beauty industries is going to.

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As I already mentioned in a previous post, sadly the female role models still are more or less reduced to beauty and glamour. In our media world we see permanently overly perfect models.You might be aware that all these fashion photos in real life are edited.  But do you know that only 0,01% of all women have model shapes? Do you know that only 4% of all women find themselves beautiful? And do you know who is their most merciless judge? They are themselves! These findings of "The Real Truth about Beauty:A Global Report" reveal the sad results of a world where body and beauty has been reduced to a trade ware. Pharmacy and fashion industries are making zillions with us by following unreachable goals.

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Beautiful people have an easier life and they do more money. Of course Second Life is a break through for us. Skin and shape is modifiable! Don't we all wish that in RL too? It has been always the men in my life who made me aware of my beauty but I hardly could believe. In SL I can be as I always wanted to. Here is the answer why female fashion in SL is so much more huge than male fashion. Men simply have more role models. Women stuck more than ever before in human history in a literally unhealthy addiction to their appearance.

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Everyone who knows me, is aware that I am far from independent from beauty delusion. I really like the beauty of my avatar and love to style it. No surprise for me that SL is full of fashion models. But we have a problem here. As much as a perfect beauty is unreachable in RL, in SL everyone can buy for a few Linden. Beauty is no longer unique.

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For many in the fashion scene obviously the answer is the most possible ugliness. I am again and again shocked seeing the images. The appearance of quite a few bloggers and models is extremly tasteless and disgusting.  I ask myself, what kind of personality is choosing to look so unlovely. Most likely they are not part of the 4%. Or do they really find these caricatures of a real women beautiful?  And I am asking myself how an ugly avatar changes the behavior. According the the findings I wrote about in this post, it should have an influence. Please don't answer now that beauty is a question of personal preferences and that love makes everyone beautiful. I know all that. But that is not the question here. All the avatars in this post are massively styled against all rules of taste, health and beauty as found by science research.

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The female avatar in the photo above is beautiful but suffers anorexia as all models in SL, which are all ridiculus large and thin. You can say they look all like Super-Barbie dolls. Do you know that Barbie with her shape as real women would not be able to survive?  I forgot which fashion brand once has been stopped to advertise with fashion shots of cripples. Who is stopping this trend in Second Life?

For a long time I was considering to write about it. I have already a large collection of photos of ugly fashion avatars I met while shopping somewhere, but I never dared to publish because of privacy. Of course everyone has the freedom to be in Sl as ever he wants. But a current dispute on this in the fashion scene (in case you are interested, here is the link) reminded me of my plan. All photos in this post are taken from fashion blogs. The link is always underneath.

And please all models which I expose in this post, have in mind that you have chosen to make your avatar a trading good and you published these photos. My critics are not personal. But since you advertise with your avatar, I have the damned right to express my opinion on this.

PS.: This is how these people try to get me quiet. Reporting because of image rights infringement! I was aware if it and explained why I have chosen this way. I am sure that this never would have happened if I applauded to their images. And looking at the hit count in my blog by considering that I cover a niche interest in Second Life, everyone should be aware that this blog is already successful. Presuming that I wrote this post to get attention is ridiculous and just  another try to yell down my arguments insteadt of having better ones. But from all the comments I got in IM I know now that I express the opinion of the large majority. Fashion creators should consider this.


Anonymous said...

Ok I can understand your relating our real life outlook on beauty and how it is relative to Second Life... Some of that makes sense... However yes as bloggers and models we post our photos for people to view and ofcourse not all will find them appealing... However as you said it is up to us on how we present ourselves... I blog and you know what? I take photos I like looking how I like because I enjoy the photography aspect of blogging... I have seen many many blogs I would say are more beautiful than my own but would never criticize anothers work as you have so brutally here... Republishing their photos as an example of what you feel is ugly... I took a few minutes to look at some of the photos that you have taken... It would be harsh for me to judge them atm because your post here as me more than a little biased in a negative way toward your work... Maybe I should pull a few of yours and get some of the general populations responses to how your avatar looks... You really need to consider that before you post on the appearance of others... EVERY photo above is lovely pieces that the artist took there time creating.. and that to me is beautiful... They brought themselves into their work and to me that is what is important... If you dislike someones looks well sugar look someplace else... Simple as that... You my dear disgust me with your high and mighty, overly judgmental attitude.

I highly doubt this comment will be published so I think I will drop it on Facebook with your link. You might get a lot of views now but surely that wont last forever...

Sincerely disgusted,

Bella Beauclerc

Unknown said...

I couldn't agree more, for me SL has always been about the freedom to express different styles and a freedom of art. When i blog, sometimes i tend to stick to a certain hair or skin just because i am fond of them - but recently competing with "these" as pictured above has me wondering if i am doing something wrong because i refuse to wear 3 foot long fingernails, a constipated look, or hipes so wide you could drive an average dumptruck through? Then i remember - i can just scroll past those and be who i was to begin with - I wish more "fashion" or "style" bloggers looked different than each other, but as in life - "hipsters" come in all one size, shape, & color - to fit in. I say be different! Move your body fat bar in your appearance OFF of 0 and see how much more life-like you can see your avatar, try new fashion (beyond just a half boob shirt) & stop shoving these awful and fake avatar ideals down the rest of our throats & calling it "style".

Anonymous said...

Surely Second life is about freedom of expression, it's about fantasy. I agree there are some pretty distasteful ideas on what fashion is within SL but that is purely my opinion and what I personally class as "Fashionable" is not what everyone else would. Overall SL is a chance for people to become what they want to be, whenever they want to be. My avatar is my doll and I will dress how I choose. G

Bodza Blackadder (bodza.mubble) said...

Great and yes you have the right to express your opinion, and you think you were so brave to do so. Did you also have the guts to ask the creators of those pictures: Hey, can I use your photo as an example of uglyness on my blog? Because it doesn't matter that you gave a link, you can only use them with permission! Called copyright.

Unknown said...

@ Bodza: Of course you can use my photos as an example of uglyness if you feel the need. I dared to publish and I cannot expect that all world just applauds on them. If someone cannot deal with critics he should avoid the public.

Bodza Blackadder (bodza.mubble) said...

Nothing wrong with expressing opinion, but what you did is called stealing. Do you own those pictures? Did they give permission to use them like this? Open up Google and search copyright. What I asked was if you had asked them if you can use their pic, not if I can use yours. So. Did you have the guts to ask them?

BellaUnbound said...

I think bodza was asking if YOU asked the people who took these pictures if you could use them....you taking pictures from other people's blogs and online zines (even sl one's) without permission is Copy Write infringement.

Unknown said...

I just linked to public resources. Don't these people stand to what they published? If that is the case they should tell me and I will remove.

I Love SL Fashion said...

What do you think about my avatar, is your problem not mine, tbh you seems a kinda frustrated with something... i just didnt figure out what. Anyway i wont waste my time with your issues.
You are using photos without ask for a permission to it, i prolly would accept it if you asked but you didnt... I am reporting you for that.

Bárbara said...

I completely agree with you Quan, but don't you dare to publish an ugly picture of me! :-D

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with Quan Lavander and all the comments about her asking permission are just because Quan did not use the pictures in a flattering way. If she would have done that no one would have asked Quan if she would have had the balls to ask for permission. This is all to distract from the real issue here and that is the bad taste and confirming/ limiting a women's role to that of a cheap whore or as we call them here: dangerously and ugly thin gratenpakhuis. The best translation for that would be : bone warehouse. Freedom is an often misused expression where many in fact are slaves of expectations and low self esteem, afraid to be not seen as a lust object when not in line with completely ridiculous fashion ans=d sex standards that try to brainwash people in RL and SL both. Escape from reality, fine. Escape from your chains would be better is what I would like to say to all the women as presented in the pictures. Denial will be the first and maybe only and final response off course, standard procedure when feeling humiliated. But we all know that these kind of avatars are highly sensitive about their looks and image, it is their proud and honor, where the real proud and honor deserves much much more than what is showed. Dare to be different gets a whole new taste here . .
Feeling offended and being offended is a different thing by the way . .

I Love SL Fashion said...

@ rezarea oh WOW! Do you know any of these ppl in this post? how can you call someone a ''cheap whore'' or even say that they have no self respect watching to a picture?
I do not feel humiliated or even offended by this post, even if i think, that she's just frustrated with something and feel the need to post other peoples work and comment on... I would call it lack of things to do or even ''envy'' but is also none of my business until the moment she use my work.
You are just showing that you are closed minded if you really think like that... I feel sorry for you.

Xandrah said...

Quan, I'm really disappointed that you've used a dispute (in which you have no involvement) between others as an excuse to write such ugly things about others. Wow.

Unknown said...

To all those who are critizising me: Please read my blog post before carefully you write. This post was not about people, they all are for sure nice persons. The post is about an unhealthy trend in the fashion szene that I see as oustsider for a long while getting worse and worse. I tried to write in a constructive way and I would appreciate if you would discuss my arguments instead of offending me. I really would love to understand why ugly and sick looking avatars are good in fashion. Thank you!

I Love SL Fashion said...

I could see how constructive you wrote, if we start by Reading the title... But anyway ''The post is about an unhealthy trend in the fashion szene that I see as oustsider for a long while getting worse and worse.'' when you say that is it mean that everyone else that doesnt look like you or style their avatars in a different way than yours is sick or ugly? Isn't SL a place that allows you to be or even look like you want? you can even be an animal does that makes you sick or ugly? I have seen some ugly things on this game, and i am talking about acts or even some kind of behavior not avatars! Anyway next time you think about using other ppl's work on your polemic posts you should start by asking them.

Anonymous said...

This is somewhat strange to me Quan. Talking about looks and how they represent a kind of disapproved deforming of what we could call general accepted as decent or at least respectful towards body image, labeling as a non personal thing, where in less controversial views and opinions on avatars most people like to proudly state that their avatar represents them as the human behind it, because we cannot deny our identity in how we mold that avatar to our own standards. We often want to hide behind that 'sorry, it's nothing personal' statement, where it off course is very personal indeed, because the avatars all represent a human that controls the avatar. I think being personal is good at times and not only the nice I like you aspects of it. We cannot and need not be friends with everyone for the sake of decency or for the sake of not wanting to be offended ourselves where others feel like that. I can understand that offending was and is not the goal in this particular blog, but it was to be expected that people would take it that way, and that that would take over the discussion in stead of the real issue of why avatars have that urge to look like walking corpses, whores, ugly sex dolls, (yes they do and yes I mean it and no I do not know anyone and do not need to know anyone to have that opinion on some certain looks I personally find disgusting). The freedom of looks is the defense of those feeling offended. The mind your own business as well and the stay away from my pictures is being heard over and over again. All weak to me, because freedom is not similar to doing what one likes. Freedom is care for the bigger thing than ego. The effect of your looks at others for instance and in this case particular the downgrading of women into corpses and bimbo's that will strengthen the position of women into that of a men pleasing pet or fashion pleasing marionet.
And yes sometimes it is needed someone stands up to that and be not so nice and friendly, no matter how Quan tries to look like it now and I'm sure really means to be as well, but is also being a bit naïve by thinking, hoping and expecting ppl to act on that when they feel or maybe even actually are attacked on their choice of identity in SL. And sure, everyone may condemn my choices and words as well. NP at all. A good battle is not that bad or bad only, when it serves a case.

Holli Thespian said...

"All the avatars in this post are massively styled against all rules of taste, health and beauty as found by science research."

You must have really done your research and clearly that's all that matters right? If it's been written/published it MUST be deemed as being the ONLY way to be and you live your SL by those standards *laughs*. I will say you had some manly balls to justify or think that YOU should have the right to repost other "horrid" images. Makes me wonder who has time or the energy to go around saving such pictures. Whatever happened to scrolling past these so called "eye sore" photos if they don't suit your fancy?..That's right, they are being advertised so therefore it's totally OK and your prerogative to express your two cents even though you are most definitely breaking copyright. Guess you don't always go by the books, huh?

I won't go to your bottom dweller level and make comments about this blog or your avatar but definitely will have good laughs with my friends. I mean that's what the NORMAL person does, not a public fuss board where you are projecting YOUR personal insecurities.

Do yourself a favor and stop dead in your tracks because if we're talking about "rules of taste, health and beauty as found by science research"...Is this about Science, Fashion or Art? Because these are all things you CLEARLY have no idea about. IF you can sit there and critique someone's personal creative style or fashion, you don't grasp one of the MOST important things about "Art" it, like Fashion is subjective. THERE IS NO "science research" regarding "taste" or "preference" that would agree that anyone here is "dressing wrong" but you should know that because you have a degree in "fashion science". While fashion and art are not the same entirely they share somethings in common. One being the right to express one's self through art or fashion. Also remember that this is NOT real life, no one here is suffering from anorexia or obesity.

Lets see your RL measurements and weight/height chart and see how perfect YOU are so we can all critique your health and beauty...because after all, this all about healthy body image and well being. Personally, I would have to see what YOU look like before I even considered listening to a hypocrite. The only reason I say hypocrite because, someone who can't even take a compliment from a person in RL about how she looks clearly has body image problems. Since you are SO offended by how everyone else looks, how about start with yourself.

Since you are talking about REAL life issues and statistics lets see YOU submit a picture of yourself assuming you know the difference between RL and SL-as I get the impression you don't. That way other people can critique you like you have done to so many. Furthermore, you're not even doing a good job critiquing because when someone critiques, it's supposed to be constructive criticism. What you ARE doing is nothing short of bullying and insulting people directly and as well as indirectly. If you are so worried about everyone in the REAL WORLD and real diseases like anorexia, bulimia, or obesity then maybe you should get offline and improve yourself cause clearly someone who can't even take compliments from men who claim shes beautiful, needs to improve her self esteem and THAT isn't based on scientific research those are basic psychological facts.

Anonymous said...

When everyone can look beautiful, it is character and personality that makes the avatar come alive and gives them a real sense of beauty.

And no matter how physically beautiful an avatar may be, if the person behind that avatar lacks character and personality, then the avatar becomes unattractive no matter what shape, skin, hair, or anything else they choose.

Unknown said...

@ rezarea: Of course you are right. I write often about the relation between the real person and her avatar and why and how our brain is not able to make a difference. That is also my answer to all people who are saying that Second Life is a game. It is not!

And because of that I find the current trend even more dangerous. In the previous post I wrote about perception. The science is on the way to prove that the avatar itself changes our behavior.

In my blog I almost always use my own photos while being aware that I am not a photographer, just a snapshotter. But in this case I found it the faint-hearted way to use snapshots of anonymus avatar to critisise their apearance. Plus I found it nessesary to point out those who are leading this unhealthy progression and are doing money with it. This is the brave way to me and I was prepared to negative reactions. I can take it guys. I think you don't mind that anonymus shitstorming in the comments is wandering directly into the spam file. I had the balls to expose my opinion open, so you should have too!

And as well as you with "looking like a cheap whore" did not say that the persons behind are cheap whores, of course I was not saying that behind the ugly models are ugly persons. I have no reason and no right right to say this.

But I think it was high time to say those "trendsetters" what a fashion consumer like me is thinking about it. Fashion is close to art but it is no art. Just a very few of the bestest are creating art in fashion and a weird shape is definitely not art!

Models are role models for real women which are having a sicker and sicker relationship to their own body nowadays. And besides you, nobody was arguing on this. How sad!

Anonymous said...

@ Quan: Yes, get your point and agree on it ;-)
Indeed, looking like a cheap whore and being one is a difference, but the reason why someone chooses to look like that (or whatever tasteless look) is interesting and probably the most disturbing one in many cases. Free will to look cheap and tasteless feels like being totally indifferent to dignity and womanhood in the way so many other women before us have been fighting for to establish. I am not a feminist, not some religious conservative person, not afraid of sexual behaviour either, but some elegance and style in how women represent their female identity is needed to deserve and keep respect and to be taken seriously in general.
Enough said from here. Time for some wine ;-)

Crystal said...

Seems you got a lot of attention with this blog post, but you can imagine that by pointing out your opinions on how ugly some avatars stirred up a hornets nest of defensive comments. I am happy to see they all didn't just sit there and allow your words to bully them and question there secondlife identity. The positive aspect is actually brings a lot of views to your site.. controversy is good advertisement. What I do not agree with.. in my own humble opinion is your diagnosing people with insecurities and or distorted body images. I am sure there are people out there that are all the things you say but from my own experiences of observing people and taking notes on them: those that point a finger at anyone if they take a moment to look at their own hand they have three fingers pointing back at them. I truly believe that this post reflects more on your own distorted images of art and beauty. I do feel that because you were pointing out negative aspects of the photos no one will be to happy that your using there pics without permissions.. a straight point to the URL would have served you better. Nice to see everyone passionate and worked up.. and may I critique your own idea of a beautiful Avis... In my opinion you have an out of the box newb face with no sense of the latest SL style.. your eyes glazed and staring and your hair looks like a badly fitted wig.. your poses even seem awkward and unappealing.. but then that's my opinion and my idea of what I find visually pleasing. I find them a lot more attractive than your newb looking av.. and would prefer to look like Holli the Barbie or the anorexic looking avi being held in the arms of her man.. or the androgynous and interesting models face, because they at least have some artful design and thoughtfulness to their creation..Although
I applaud you for feeling beautiful despite my opinion . After all this is just your opinion and its not all based on fact. Being offensive has become an art it seems.. I can accept that it caught my attention and it was provocative. there has been a long standing controversy of * Is Fashion Art* Because of the motivation of Fashion is often Money not just for the art itself. I would beg to differ. I know a a real life designer of fashion in SL and out of SL and they are artist expressing them self through the media of fashion design.. In Sl the design of form and choice of fashion is an expression of self and I find the inner motivation of people the real deciding factor of true beauty, pretty is as pretty does.. When it all comes to light its just your opinion.. and this is mine.. in the fashion world if I had to buy your look ... apposed to any of the so called ugly distorted avatars you featured in your post.. I would choose your look last... or not at all.. The limitation of Second life will allow for further customization in the future with many new ways to express peoples idea of beauty .. For that I am happy.. It is one of the better things about SL.. that individual choice of personalized beauty. Long live the beautiful ugly.. I applaud them...

Whisper Stella

Anonymous said...

Obviously these people don't want to look like humans anymore, they are now transhumans evolved into something... i don't know what it is, but it must be something good for them. It's like Furries, they chose another species because they are tired of their reallife one. Now if that is a mental condition or just lifestyle is beyond my expertise.
I just find it shockingly interesting how defensive they become when you just let the keyword "anatomy" or something similar slip. It's like they're offended by the fact that they have been compared with a natural standard. And they are quick to jump the gun and throw "close minded", "shallow" and other accusations at others at the first sight of criticism of their - pretty extreme - form of self-visualization... calling us out on "being a droneheaded conformist" while they blindly follow any trend that currently is coming up.
As for me, i just don't get why Ralph Pootawn avatars seem to be attractive to them.

I Love SL Fashion said...

I think this is getting out of the point! Yes she have the right to express her opinion, and she can do it, on each person page, or if she want to make a post on her blog she can link to the main pages of each person that she want to show up as an exemple (not using pictures that she doesnt own), but what she did is called STEALING! She's just getting some traffic to her blog with other people work, would be called advertising (even if bad one) if she would just link to the main page of each person on this post.
I don't feel offended by this post at all, as i said before, i even feel a kinda honored to be included on a post with such a talented people, doesn't even matter what the post is about (Who is Quan? and who cares about what Quan think?). To be really honest i do not expect everyone to like my work and i do accept criticizes when they are constructive, I do not accept having people making up some traffic using my work.
Now to you Quan! I dare you to take off the STOLEN pictures and leave the links, make up some traffic to your blog, but not using others work, advertising is not a bad thing at all, even if noone here asked you for it, STEALING is crime.

Rose said...

Great article Quan!!
And you never need permission to be critical or express your opinion!

I Love SL Fashion said...

lol Surprized? i told you about the reprot :D bitching about other ye, thats fine, and is not against law, stealing is crime girl! Maybe you should start reading more often than you write ;)

P.S. Did you ever try a mesh head? maybe you should... js :p

Dividni Shostakovich said...

Teresa Lectar is apparently unaware of "fair use" (in some countries, "fair dealing"), a provision in all copyright laws allowing people to use work created by others without permission if it's for certain purposes, including criticism and commentary. (Look up "fair use" and "Berne Convention" in Wikipedia.) Fair use has some limitations – much depends on why and how the "quotation" is used – but basically copyright holders do not have an absolute right to control the use of their work. Fair use is vital for freedom of speech. In the case of visual works, there are circumstances in which one can "quote" the entire image. Since Quan is (or was) using images from fashion blogs and advertisements in order to comment on them, I don't think there's a court in the world that would not consider her usage fair. Go ahead and show those images, Quan!

It always amuses me when people in the Second Life fashion world scream "foul" about perceived copyright violations that affect themselves or the designer community, yet see no problem when designers use images like the Cookie Monster or the lips from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" on their clothing (or imitate the work of RL designers) without thinking they need a license. Since the goal of using those images is to sell clothing and involve nothing like commentary, parody, or some other transformation, it is not fair use.

I Love SL Fashion said...

@ Dividni Oh well Blogger DMCA doesnt think the same way... yall have a great day ^^

Anonymous said...

Agree with Dividni Shostakovich
And: Teresa thinks she has won this. But the fact that she needs removals of 'her' pictures to feel free says enough. She is chained in all the bad ways you can imagine and does not even realize it, even deny it. How blind can someone be . . . It's a lack of spine, insight and modesty when someone is not able to respond on criticism except with threats and distractions about picture rights. Well, what else to expect from walking tits is all I can conclude. Change will not and never come from persons that benefit from and even choose for a bad taste as a way of life.
Quan: as far as I am concerned you win this on all fronts, with and without pictures. The comments of the offended fill in the gaps: we all still see and remember the images of slut fashion and slut bodies as an example of how not to be proud to be a woman.

Unknown said...

...and funny, fashion bloggers never care about the copyright of the desigers!

Dividni Shostakovich said...

Sorry, Teresa: try reading the law and researching its use. ALL copyright laws allow for fair use. That includes DMCA. Teachers can even break copy protection.

Unknown said...

I've been actually thinking of making an uglycute avatar (uglycute is one of the ways to describe the heavily accessorized, frowny faced, body un-normal avatars) on and alt to see if I can do it well. I believe the basic idea behind this style of avatar in its infancy was to eschew the perfect and poised and thin avatar by making one which was ugly, but with cute accessories and poses - hence uglycute.

Urban Dictionary refers to it's use relative to animals: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ugly+cute

TV Tropes expands on this: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ugly+cute

I mostly know these fashion trends through Japanese Street Fashion, because I'm into the Lolita style which is part of that community. A lot of these fashion trends both in Japan and in Europe and the US (I know less about fashion in South America, Africa, and most of Asia) are about interrogating the expectations of the community through self-expression, which is where the overly-frowny style can come from - a lot of women have the experience of being angrily told to smile; being in a context where they don't have to, and where further not smiling is associated with high fashion and art, can be attractive.

Thinness is a near universal in every world, though - even my avatar is significantly thinner than I am, and I run into endless problems with fitting things because my shape has a belly, and that's usually not reflected in clothing (I also have a significantly smaller rear, which in the past balanced out, but with rigged mesh does not).

I think that an open examination of what we look like and why and what it means to us can be a lot of fun - I can go for ages about my attraction to fetish and Lolita styles - but calling something against taste is both clearly false (it must be to their taste or they wouldn't look like that) and disinclined to actually talk about it. Wanting to be ugly can and has been a reasonable response to a society which values smiling symmetry depending on the person.

Unknown said...

I think the article in NWN adds some interesting thoughts to the topic of this post. But it feeds my suspicion that behind most "whore" avatars are men: http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2013/08/sexist-games-observe-women-become-men.html#more