Thursday, March 14, 2013

Another post about Image...with Feeling!

I do one of these every now and then a post about "image".  Meaning how we see ourselves in SL and how others see us, which might not be the same way.  So this post isn't really about fashion so I'm not going to put SLURL's in today, I'm being a bit lazy, but I'll try to give enough info for you to find things.

For example, how do you see me, the avatar CC Creeggan.  Well some of you might not know me from Torley, but those who do might see me like this:

There she is, "Classic CC", retro-CC with her 50's black full skirted dress, dainty little pumps, snug perfect little updo, perfect little pearls and her red lips.  Oh so lovely, but not necessarily appealing to most people even with the decolletage.  Dress is Kianna from Ivalde (still on marketplace) Insolence hosiery, Baby Monkey  Lola shoes, ETD (aka Elikatira) Rhythm updo, Belleza Betty skin (I'm wearing Belleza Betty in all pictures)

Or you might think of this:

"Contessa CC", with her long black formal hollywood style gown, perfect little gloves, oh so dainty clutch, yet another piled up updo and tiara.  Hollywood Glam gown From Vita's Boudoir, it's hybrid mesh/prim/system.  Native Visions jewelry that i've mentioned before, Truth January hair.

I am using the above image as my profile picture, i think it's lovely, but does the avatar look approachable or does she look like she's watched Breakfast at Tiffany's a few too many times for her own good.

That is what I am wondering and I'm wondering why I dress the way I do in SL since so few others do.  You can probably guess the words often used to describe my avatar:  elegant, aristocratic, classy, sophisticated, lovely, etc etc.

I've been thinking about this lately because I've been "lonely" in SL.  Yeah I know, a bajillion people in my friends list and I am "lonely".  I want someone I can spend time with, to hang out with... I want that thing I can't have in RL...I want Romance.  Silly, right.  Talking about "feelings" on a blog that is mostly about the virtual, but SL makes me "feel" and it keeps me from crying my eyes out.  It keeps the RL "darkness" at bay.

Well, some days ago I was bored and looking at the destination guide and saw a location called France3D.  Well being a fashionista I have an "ideal image" of france:  Lovely well dressed young women carrying home baguettes, couples holding hands by the SEine, heck even La Vie en Rose being played on a concertina/accordion.   Well I wasn't going to step one foot in virtualized france without being VERY well dressed.  I wanted to come across the the French SL residents as someone with style, class and respect.  So I, googled Carine Roitfeld, the former editor of French Vogue, and tried to see what she wore in her street looks.

I decided to pull out a stable of  my wardrobe, the Maitreya Nolita, I paired it with my GOS Equestrian boots, a Miel scarf, Dela Amanda hair, a faux birkin bag from VG on marketplace, Jewelry from Sax Shepherd and the old "Heiress" sunglasses from Paper Couture.   I think I looked "nice"..."daytime elegant"

Well I click the link, and I did not find the France/Paris of my imagination.  There were no perfectly dressed women sitting at virtual cafe's, there were no women holding hands with their paramour in flirty little dresses and heels.  It looked like the rest of SL.

I was actually disappointed, I don't really know why, I should have expected it.  Then I started thinking, I dressed up for something and the "dressing up" meant something to me, and I was reminded of something I have done in RL:

I don't feel comfortable shopping in nicer department stores/boutiques like MAC/Sephora unless I match or exceed the SA/MA's dressyness level.  meaning a skirt or dress, heels, makeup.   And if you were to take me to some place like Sak's or Neiman Marcus, I would want to shop beforehand for a proper outfit to shop there.  I'd want my outfit to look like I "belong" and "deserve" to shop there before I stepped one foot in there.

I'm blue collar you see, and well I've felt the disdain of SA's in department stores.  I once was at Bergners (that's a midwest chain) looking at the Clinique and Estee Lauder displays and saw this oh so perfect looking SA giving me one of the worst looks I have ever received... it felt like a "Get out of here, you don't beling here you horrible little goblin of a man, this isn't for you, what a laugh that you think you deserve to use our glorious beautifying products."

What's worse, is that I wanted to look like her.  She was beautiful in a severe sort of way, perfect little updo, perfect little white MA jacket over a simple black dress.  Everything I wanted to be.  I just wanted to say to her "Please don't look at me like that, I know I'm ugly, but I'm one of you, really.  Please, I want to be pretty like you...just once.  I've wanted that my whole life.  Just please please don't look at me like that any more."

There was an old TV movie back in the late 70's early 80's a scene in the movie struck a chord with young me, the little boy that wanted to be a was the makeover scene that drives the plot.  The makeup artist said this:

"Makeup, it takes believing in. Like a magic carpet, it's belief that makes it fly. Otherwise, it's just a rug.  If you believe in it, makeup has a magic all it's own. Of course, makeup is only dime-store magic. But it works well enough, when it's used properly.",

I've used that (and parts of it) as my femme nick e-mail signature for years.  Makeup is magic for me, though it's magic doesn't work very well for me anymore not even as well as it used to.

I am a person who doesn't like mirrors.... I hate them..I avoid looking in them even when I clean them, I want to smash them all.  They make me want to cry.  Yes, I know what that sounds like.. and it is, it's Body Dymorphic Disorder.  I am very shy, I takes every bit of will I have to look at other people in the face when I talk to them.

It's one reason I like working overnights... I don't have to talk to people much.  It's safer that way... and I don't have to worry about the thing I hate that I shouldn't hate:  the leaking.

The leaking is the leaking of gender.  It's the thing that makes your family tell you that you're doing it and that they're worried.  It's the thing that makes you stop doing the things you like to do, because you don't want to cause problems and are scared.  It's the thing that made my sister crush my heart when I was young when she said:  "You clap like a girl, stop doing that and stop talking with your hands like a girl"  It's the thing that made people beat me up for being sensitive, a crybaby or a sissy.   And then I repressed it, so it doesn't feel natural anymore.  I feel so disconnected from my body.  I can't dance I walk so stiffly,   I feel so "ogrish" now, so ugly and alone.  Well not exactly an ogre... a tasloi...(which is a gollum-ish creature)

So, I think I dress the way I do in SL to try to be "perfect" and "inoffensive".  I KNOW how some people feel about the born male people who have female avatars...even those of us who are transgendered in RL.   So I became prim and proper ladylike CC, perfect...the one that no one would ever suspect had a born male operator because her skirts reached her knees, her shoes were classic her boob sliders weren't at 100, and she behaved like a "lady".....unless I talked too much about nerd things, or admit to running Linux or mention being transgendered in my Profile.

I think I've been playing it "safe" with SL fashion.  Not dressing too sexy most of the time (though I finally did start buying pretty lingerie that no one sees).  Not dressing "too young" (which are both accusations often leveled at RL male to female transfolk).

But in some ways I do want to be the hot club girl, the sexiest mom in the cul-de-sac, the sexy desirable femme in the Lesbian lounge.  And in SL, I can do that, but I haven't....I think in some ways I've been afraid to.  Well, I shouldn't be afraid... and I'm going to try to mix things up a bit more than I am.  It's not that I'm going to stop being Audrey Hepburn worshiping CC in a pretty little suit or daytime dress, but I am going to try to experiment a little more.

This outfit is LaDonna Upshaw inspired.

When I saw this outfit on LDO, I described it as "The hot mom in the cul-de-sac"  She paired it with a NICER jacket pack from Ricielli that I can't acquire because it was TDR only!  I dislike event only items.  Those Mesh leather leggins are from Maitreya, and those are the Celoe Zoe shoes I've worn before.  The bodysuit underneath the jacket is a staple from Epoque.  Jewelry is from Sax Shepherd, the hair is DeLa Evita

I saw this on Izzie Button at Skin Fair preview and I just had to have it.  I don't know why, I usually don't like dresses this short which is why I don't buy much from Coldlogic even if I like the basic styles.  But for some reason I knew I would look pretty good in this, and I think I do.  As an aside, I tried her skin demos and they qualify as "CC approves +10" ...they're just a little too young looking for me, so I'm not going to purchase I think, but they are VERY nice...and have redhead options.

Coldlogic dress, Izzie's closet tights, G Field Alex shoes (Izzie was wearing a gorgeous sequined pump instead), Dela Amanda hair, bag is the Girl Briefcase from the secret Store.

The following outfit is similar.  It and the above were described to me as "What the hot mom of SL wears after she drops the kids off at SL daycare and heads to work.  She can wear it in SL because unlike RL, she's always young and gorgeous."  It is also from Coldlogic the Carries Ash dress/cardiagn combo, Ankle boots from GOS (don't have the fatpack ety)  And yes you CAN wear the Cardigan without the dress.

The following is a sort of cocktails or dinner out look (with a nod to Harper Beresford).  Cleavage-y hybrid mesh dress from Milk Motion I got at TDR. (I don't have the other colors)   That clutch is from SF Designs Mimi suit, Truth Devina hair, those classic Icing Princess Pearls, No. 9 stockings, and G Field Eve pumps.  The dress does come with "appliers" for those....shudder... Mesh boobs.   I do not ever intend on wearing mesh boobs.

And here's a club appropriate look (with Props to Harper Beresford again).  I even put on the cleavage enhancer for my skin.

Ensemble is from Sassy, separates I purchased at the Whore Couture event, Hair is Wasabi Pills Giselle, Side gartered stockings are from League.  I'm wearing my GOS boots. 

So if anyone sees me in something I wouldn't usually wear, it's still me, I haven't gone any more crazy than I already am.


LaDonna Upshaw said...

you are simply gorgeous. Inside - and out.

LaDonna Upshaw said...

You are beautiful.

Inside and out.

LaDonna Upshaw said...

arm h

SoulTrain said...

very thought provoking article! And yes, SL is the space where we can attempt (sometimes wih success, sometimes not) to express our self-image. Based on the pictures, I love yours.

As far as french sims are concerned, yes, most are just SL with scenery. However... one in particular stands out, because it's been around for so long. Moulin Rouge. Check it out... and stay for their show, it's actually rather classy.

Anonymous said...

Your post moved me to write ;) You have such a beautiful and sensitive soul (as opposed to those makeup counter women who are dying from the inside out ;) Trust me, I am a woman who dresses smartly, looks "the part", but I still get the looks of disdain!) Be yourself, because the world needs more people like you x