I have this friend in SL… she has a huge heart, an infinite capacity for fun but also for working hard. She is RL beautiful—I saw her photo and she is an absolute knock-out. She lives in the Hollywood hills so I get a perspective of LA that is very exciting at times. She likes tall men, chocolate, her dog, and Burning Man. And she is fiercely devoted to her friends. Thankfully I am one of them.


I named this Alika on the suggestion of someone else, but it’s apropos. Alika means “most beautiful” in Nigerian, and this is how I see my friend. She is very casual but chic so this amazing mesh dress from coldLogic completely suits her. I love how coldLogic finally took advantage of what mesh provides—a way to make pieces that wrap around the avatar without looking like system pieces. You simply could not do this with sculpties.


My skin is a luscious rendering of a beautiful African-American woman from Meghindo Romano. It’s pretty difficult finding one like this that includes features specific to African-American women (like smooth highlighting across the face, deeper tones in the shadows, a wider nose and delectable lips). My hair is a tumble of waves from Queue Marlowe.

I scored with two fashion scoopts for this blog: first, my eyes from Ikon Innovia, who is rebranding his store as IKON. He is finally coming out with a new set of eyes, just in time for Spring (and Fashion for Life). They are completely new—not just recolors. They are coming out any day. I am so lucky to show them!

And AvaGardner Kungler sent me this set of jewelry that I went nuts about. I just love the simple shape and the absolutely gorgeous textures. Ava understands that sometimes it’s about a curve, a richness in the metal, a general feeling of heaviness. I love this set!


The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller

Hair: topaz brunette by Queue Marlowe for Analog Dog *

Skin: {Meghindo’s} ~ BLK ~ Natural ~ Dark Tone ~ by Meghindo Romano for {Meghindo’s} *

Eyes: IKON Utopia Eyes – Brown by Ikon Innovia for IKON (coming soon!!!!) *

Dress: coldLogic dress – chase.autumn by coldLogic for coldLogic

Jewelry: (Kunglers Extra) Divinae – Copper by AvaGardner Kungler for Kunglers *

Shoes: [WERTINA . Lina Shoe – Shine ] by Patina Edwardstone for WERTINA *

Poses by Rogan Diesel for Diesel Works Animations

Sweet Love

Sweet Love

Anita was born in 1987 and her mom named her after Anita Baker, who sang the song “Sweet Love,” which Anita’s mom and dad danced to the first night they met. Now Anita is all grown up (and blesses fate that her mom didn’t hear Whitney that first night).

Her mother didn’t only give her a beautiful name but also a gorgeous face and tremendous sense of style. Anita loves going out dancing, hoping she will meet a man like her daddy, who served in Iraq in 1992 and more recently 2003-2007, when he was killed in duty. He was a strong man, a disciplined man and a loving man, and Anita hopes she will find a man as good as he was.

Sweet Love

Anita makes sure she is dressed to the nines, showing off all her best assets. This dress from Nicky Ree shows Anita’s best curves with its low cut top and salsa skirt cut up the leg. The bright modern colors express her joy in life, and the ruffles look great when dancing. Anita loves quality and Nicky serves it up in loads. (And she got it on sale at Nicky Ree’s, where there is a sale going on right now through November 3, which makes it extra special!) Her shoes are the latest from Pixieplumb Flanagan with a color-changing top, soles and hardware and a sexy wrap-around look.

Sweet Love

Her natural makeup (and skin) are courtesy of Meghindo Romano. With its great coloring, sensual and sexy elements, and truly African-American facial features, it’s a gorgeous look for Anita. Her hair, piled high in beautiful waves, is courtesy of Queue Marlowe, who recently came out with another set of hair, all named after trigonometric functions. As always, Queue’s gorgeous curls frame the face and make this Anita as beautiful as her mother was 25 years ago when she met the man of her dreams.

Sweet Love

With all my heart I love you, baby
Stay with me and you will see
My arms will hold you, baby
Never leave, ’cause I believe
I’m in love, sweet love….

Hair: .b – tangent black by Queue Marlowe for Analog Dog *

Skin: {Meghindo’s} ~ BLK ~  Au Naturelle ~ Dark ~ by Meghindo Romano for {Meghindo’s}

Shape: Made by me

Makeup: Miamai_LesMakeups_Eyeliner 02 by monica Outlander for Miamai *

Eyes: FASHISM ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Deep Brown (ML) by Ikon Innovia for FASHISM *

Dress: *DNR* Robin Dress Violet by Nicky Ree for Designing Nicky Ree *

Necklace: Mariposa: Simplicity: Purple (Necklace) by Felicity Winslet for Mariposa (no longer available)

Earrings: (PixelDolls) Earrings . Valois . Gold . Amethyst (MESH) by Dolce Blackflag for PixelDolls *

Bangles: Mariposa: Jewels: Aubade Purple Bangles by Felicity Winslet for Mariposa (no longer available)

Nails: [PM]Sculpted Nails V3. – Jori Edition by Tya Fallingbridge for Pixel Mode

Shoes: BM Ultimate Vanessa by Pixieplumb Flanagan for Baby Monkey *

Heart of Gold

Heart of Gold

Some ladies like to go out dancing looking like a million bucks—in this case, a million bucks worth of gold!

Heart of Gold

I donned this new dress from Agnes Finney, challenging myself to work with a color I would not always choose so I could see what I would come up with. The rich gold color of the dress belies Agnes’ skill at assembling dresses with panache for ladies who like to dress up. I include the hair piece that Agnes has made as well over a terrific beehive updo from Helyanwe Vindaloo.

Heart of Gold

This fantastic skin and accompanying shape are from Anzhela Karsin. I have shown them before but I am just in love with this look, which is not a black skin over a white shape or a darkened white skin, but a true black skin for a true African or African-American look. Skins like these are few and far between in SL, and I appreciate when I can find one.

My earrings and makeup are courtesy of two darlings from the Fashion Emergency group, who, when I asked about where to find gold shoes, proffered up gold accessories. So I wear some super fabulous gold accents on my lips from Mocksoup Graves and statement earrings in Citrine from Dita Tran. (And this is why I love me some Fashion Emergency.)

Heart of Gold

Don’t gain the world and lose your soul,
wisdom is better than silver or gold…
~ Bob Marley

Hair: .ploom. Dusty Beehive – Black Out by Helyanwe Vindaloo for ploom

Skin: ANZHELA-EBONY-M7 by Anzhelz Karsin for Angel Rock Skins *

Shape: African Nubian by Anzhelz Karsin for Angel Rock Skins (modified)*

Makeup: [mock] Lip Effect Prototype (Gold) Style 1 by Mocksoup Graves for MOCK Cosmetics (unreleased) *

Eyes: FASHISM ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Deep Bronze (ML) by Ikon Innovia for FASHISM *

Dress: Agnes Belle Gold by Agnes Finney for My Precious *

Headpiece: My Precious Belle Headpiece Gold by Agnes Finney for My Precious *

Earrings: Fulo Citrine  “Statement” earrings by Dita Tran for Fulo (not yet released) *

Shoes: ETD Starley Pumps (Gold) by Elikapeka Tiramisu for ETD (no longer available and modified)

Mollena, Redux

Mollena Redux

A few weeks ago I did a blog post called “Mollena,” based on a song by James Hunter, which I had heard while I was taking the photos for the post and rather liked, so I based the whole post on the imaginary Mollena of the song and a  bad girl I grew up with. Turns out there is a RL Mollena, and she left a comment on my blog making claim to her song and asking why I was not showing Mollena with her real race. (She could be full of it but really—how many Mollenas could there be out there?)

So this is for you, darlin’… Mollena Redux.

Mollena Redux

It turns out Mollena is a voice in the BDSM community, making her life from performances and speaking engagements about BDSM and leather. While I am fully cognizant that putting a corset or leather on her might make sense, I preferred to dress Mollena up in something that she might wear when she doesn’t need to wear leather. This chic little dress from Shinichi Mathy does the trick with its modern print and silhouette and soft fur hem. I can truly imagine Mollena putting this on with zebra-print boots like these from Bax Coen and feeling perfectly right, being the cosmopolitan jetsetter she is.

Mollena Redux

I am able to do Mollena right because of the work of Anzhela Karsin. She has opened a skin store called Angel Rock Skins, stocked with skins for African-American women, and in this she has done a great favor. No more do we see the skins of unlikely women of color but the honest, beautiful look of a woman like the RL Mollena. This skin has the right complexion for an African-American woman and terrific lips. It’s amazing work!

This presented a great opportunity to wear one of Mina Nakamura’s creations for Hair Fair 2011. I love these braids so close to the head and the matching hair base. It replicates Mollena’s look to an extent—she has blonder hair. I love this striking look on some women. I paired with sexy eyes from Ikon Innovia, and here is Mollena, complete.

Mollena Redux

“It ain’t just the hair that’s kinky….” ~ Mollena Williams on her blog, The Perverted Negress

Hair: MINA Hair – Kezia – Black & Grey with TanglesWeave_BG01by Mina Nakamura for MINA, available at Hair Fair 2011 *

Skin: Nubian M0-12 no oil by Anzhela Karsin for Angel Rock Skins *

Eyes: FASHISM ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Silver&Rust 3 (ML) by Ikon Innovia for FASHISM *

Dress: SHIKI-dress METROPOLIS by Shinichi Mathy for SHIKI *

Earrings: [ glow ] studio designs – round me by Jocelyn Anatine for [ glow ]

Nails and ring: [MANDALA]MILKY WAY NAILs&Rings/polly white by Kikunosuke Eel for MANDALA

Boots: BAX Prestige Boots Zebra by Bax Coen for Bax Coen Boots *



Cassandra is the evening hostess at the Cosmopolitan Club. She has a winning personality and easy style that welcomes patrons to the mostly African-American jazz club in her town. She loves jazz—its sound, its history, its resonance deep in her bones—so this job is just perfect for her. The women visiting the club love Cassandra for her sweet but non-committal friendliness (she doesn’t flirt with their men); the men call her “Baby” with affection and tip her well, knowing she is the club’s “little intellectual,” or so her boss says.

Her momma raised her to go to college, and so Cassandra did, choosing a most unmarketable degree–Literature. Cassandra focused specifically on women’s literature, loving the books of Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and even Angela Davis. She would have liked to continue her schooling, filling her head with literature and history, writing herself, but she couldn’t afford it.

The job market, being what it was when she got out of college, led her from being a phone customer service rep for a multinational to filing and secretarial in an insurance office to this job. She works at “the Cosmo,” as they call it, to support her baby girl, Gwendolyn, during the hours when her boyfriend, Diante, is not working as a mechanic at Briggs’ Ford. (“We’ll get married when we can afford to have a reception with a live DJ and a sit-down dinner with everyone,” she tells her mother.) She also works to collect her favorite books. Her prized possession is a first edition of Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.”


That being said, Cassandra realizes the importance of dressing for success, but success in her line means treading the fine line between underdressed and outshining her patrons. Therefore she tends to wear something sedate (for club wear), not revealing too much but not looking prudish. This outfit from Sascha Frangilli was perfect for a night of jazz standards and blues. With the velvet top and bolero and imprinted velvet skinny pants, it is dressy but not ostentatious.


Her skin is a gift offered by Agony Helse at her new store, Akeruka. The skin is sensuous and the makeup glittering. I am not sure Agony intended this to look African-American, but it seemed to fit with its full and beautiful lips and blue shadow, which sets so nicely against brown eyes (these from Ikon Innovia). Cassandra’s hair is one of Elikapeka Tiramisu’s offerings at the Hair Fair this year, a lovely long bob with bangs pushed to the side. This is what I like about Elika’s hair: it’s never outrageous, always fashionable and wearable. Her textures are, of course, amazing.

Shoes are from Oct Oakleaf’s new line of PLATFORMAs. With their beautiful sheen and ingenious blending, they are an ideal end point to this glamorous club hostess outfit.


“I found God in myself
and I loved her
I loved her fiercely.”
~ Ntozake Shange

Hair: [e] Pretend – Brown 08 by Elikapeka Tiramisu for [elikatira], available at Hair Fair 2011

Skin: Akeruka Opening Group Gift Meg Skin by Agony Helse for Akeruka

Eyes: FASHISM ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Dark Hazel (ML) by Ikon Innovia for FASHISM *

Outfit: SAS – Chocolate Blue by Sascha Frangillia for Sascha’s Designs *

Earrings: fulo silver stud earring by Dita Tran for fulo *

Bracelets: fri. – Loop Bangles (Silver) by Viva Monday for

Shoes: + ADDiCTIA + PLATFORMA Wedge Sandals – Platinum Silver by Oct Oakleaf for + ADDiCTIA + *

The Golden Hour

You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by; but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.  ~James Matthew Barrie

The Golden Hour

One of the best parts of SL is that we can dress to the nines in the most elaborate gowns, embroidered with the most opulent materials and sewn by the most skilled couturiers and dance til dawn (especially if we mess with the Environment Settings). Nicky Ree is one of the designers in SL who make this dream more real with her beautiful gowns. I am wearing her newest, which includes exquisite textures with a decidedly Asian influence. As always, we see Nicky’s inventive and beautiful prim work and close attention to the smallest details.

The Golden Hour

My skin is a beautiful African-American skin from Azlyn Vaher. She has a number of skins for alternative looks, including one that is a very muscular woman (presumably for her clientele, which is mostly Gorean, including Panther). Nevertheless these skins are a great alternative for those looking for a darker tone. I especially like the freckles, which some African-American women do have.

My hair is boy hair, and that’s quite all right. Chiaki Xue makes hair that boys can wear but girls will love too, and I loved making a sort of Halle Berry look for my avatar. My delicate earrings are from the incredibly patient jewelry-maker yoona Mayo.

The Golden Hour

Dance ‘til dawn:

Hair: Dura-Boy15(Black resize) by chiaki Xue for Dura *

Skin: Elfenground*Carol* lachs *smoked* by Azlyn Vaher for Yasum Designs

Dress: *DNR* Peony Flower Gown Gold by Nicky Ree for Designing Nicky Ree *

Earrings: ::Cocoon::Earring(IndianSummerBL) by yoona Mayo for ::Cocoon:: *

Christmas Guilt

I am sitting here writing this blog and dressing up and feeling very anxious that I should be doing something else. Is everything set, wrapped, hidden or not, decorated? Could I be doing more? Is Christmas supposed to feel this anxious? This is what comes of working ahead and not leaving it til the last minute. You think you should be doing more….

Seasonal Beauty

I went shopping.. for myself for once. I felt guilty. I should be cleaning, decorating, cooking. Gah, the guilt. But this dress from Cerberus Noel was calling me, and I felt NO guilt at all as she is offering it for a mere 100L til Christmas Eve so get it NOW. It comes with two skirt options and the absolutely amazingly textured top and skirt plus these incredible prims. On the shoulder is a wonderful rose grouping that curves over to the back and is echoed in a hair piece. Look at the texturing on the roses! The guilt I feel about this is having paid so little for this dress!

Seasonal Beauty

My skin was one of a set that Ryker Beck generously offered as part of her and her partner’s 12 days of Christmas on their sim a couple days ago. What a wonderful gift! I have put it on a modified Harper shape to show a different facial structure which would be more appropriate to a woman of color. I am glad that Ryker has offered a darker skin in this most recent set. I would challenge her to modify the nose details to make it work with a wider nose. The skin tone is gorgeous.

Seasonal Beauty

Will anyone notice I didn’t make another batch of cookies or dust behind the buffet? Nope.

Hair: Tukinowaguma Deborah A ebony by KateForster Akina for Tukinowaguma

Skin: :: Exodi :: Isolde Corneille – 23 (Dk) by Ryker Beck for :: Exodi ::

Dress: *GF* Mermaid Dress “Layla” -Limited ed./white&red- by Cerberus Noel for G Field

Earrings: **PISA**Pink Moonstone Red Coral earrings by Emi Woller for **PISA** (No longer available)

Shoes:  *GF* Ribbon Slingback Shoes[V2] -red- by Cerberus Noel for G Field


Is it wrong for a woman to confess that once in a while she likes a man with a little muscle?


I walked around in this guy at the Shoe Fair and goodness, there are a few ladies who like muscle (you know who I am talking about, Delora, Solange, and Phoenix). Well it didn’t hurt that I had this tank from Dick Wiesel and leather pants from Avrele Guisse. Crocodile boots from swaffette Firefly made the look complete.


Part of the sexiness and a lot of the muscle comes from this outstanding skin from Emilia Redgrave. Not sure how she shows the veins in the arms so well or got the sheen on his skin so well, but goodness, he’s hot. And it’s all supported by a fine shape from Sophia Rossen (which I modified in the face to make it a little more structurally right).


Finally, the hair.. goodness, the hair. This hair is made by Mirja Mills, the queen of wild fantasy hair. I realize this is panther hair, but dang it looks so fine on this man with the feathers and the beads. Then he gets the sunglasses from Guu Nishi, set on opaque, the toothpick from Aletta Milena and the obligatory gold chain, this one from my pal, SC Tracy.


Men should be like coffee, hot sweet and strong” ~ Dutch Proverb quotes

Hair: SCHATTENREITER hair by Mirja Mills for Emo-tions *

Skin: 04   Dark-Tan Skin -Tyson-/goatee+base+chesthair  *REDGRAVE* by Emilia Redgrave for Redgrave

Shape: Sophistishapes – LLOYD bodyshape by Sophia Rossen for Sophistishapes (modified from original)

Top: :. WoE .: Dragon Tank (Grey) by Dick Wiesel for :. WoE .: *

Pants: Avrele Reble Mens Low Waist Leather Pants 121809 by Avrele Guisse for Avrele*

Sunglasses: HOC – Aviator style glasses #003 Male by Guu Nishi for HOC Industries

Tattoo: Dragon Wing by Ctarr Huszar for Beyond Tattoo

Chain: !Rfyre Roman Eagle Amulet Necklace by SC Tracy for RFyre *

Earring: Made by me :)

Toothpick: toothpick by Aletta Milena for Somethin’ in Your Mouth

Boots: sf design crocodile boots black – mens by swaffette Firefly for SF Design

New Yorker Passerby

There is an artist I have enjoyed following over the past few years since I found out about him. Jorge Colombo, who has since become famous for his iPhone New Yorker covers, was doing daily sketches of the people he saw out on the sidewalks of New York City every day that he called “The Dailies.” I was absolutely entranced because he seemed to capture their character so vividly in each sketch, from the tone of their skin to their expression, stance and details. You can see a few of them here but he has been doing them for 10 years. (He used to date stamp each one before it got put on his website.)

I realize that my foray into avatars that look substantially different me is a sort of Jorge Colombo deal where I want to honor the people who would inhabit these bodies, perhaps spark a bit of imagination about their lives, perhaps lend empathy. They are “character sketches” in a very virtual sense. And many of them are my fellow residents in SL.

New York Passersby

In this character sketch we see this gentleman, waiting to cross the street. His name could be Jorge.. or Dwayne.. or Hussein, depending on who his mother is and how she felt when she first saw his face. His sweater, made by potato beanster, shows a certain hipness. His drawstring cargo pants from swaffette firefly show practicality. His hi tops from Coke Dreadlow show a certain quirkiness (since they are orange) and his messenger bag from onakagoo Waco shows an artistic bent. He’s definitely a native New Yorker.

New York Passersby

You have to wonder what’s in the bag.. art supplies? School books? Graphic novels? As he gazes out from behind his sunglasses at the traffic, you can see he’s quite a handsome man. Perhaps it’s his modeling portfolio in that bag. Certainly the skin Emilia Redgrave has provided shows off his best attributes. He is a delicious man of color.

Kavar Cleanslate completes the look for our handsome city man with dreadlocks perfect for this man about town.

New York Passersby

“Every day I am a spy for two minutes – and every day I am after a different person.” ~ Jorge Colombo

Hair: Exile Andre cheyanne by Kavar Cleanslate for Exile

Skin: 04   Dark-Tan Skin -Tyson-/goatee+base+chesthair  *REDGRAVE* by Emilia Redgrave for Redgrave

Shape: Sophistishapes – LLOYD bodyshape by Sophia Rossen for Sophistishapes (modified from original)

Sweater: Ducknipple Tom Sweater by beanster Potato for Ducknipple

Pants: sf design cargo cutoffs stone mens by swaffette Firefly for SF Designs

Sunglasses: ROLE OPTIC SG-77 Escuda (male) by Rohal Schnyder for Role Optic *

Messenger Bag: ::: ArtMeter ::: bag S Orange by onakagoo Waco for ArtMeter(no longer available)

Earring: Made by me :)

Shoes: PornStar Hi-Tops MultiColor v2 by Coke Dreadlow for Urban Bomb Unit

Poses by Diesel Rogan of Diesel Works Animations *

Exoticizing the Avatar

In previous posts I have dabbled with creating avatars are other than myself—either male or of another race. In fact, when I show Harper, I am typically showing one other than myself—I am not a redhead and I am definitely not tall and thin. However, when I dabble in such representations, I try very hard to represent the avatars positively or thoughtfully, and sometimes I still have misgivings about what I am doing.

So when I heard about the new Maasai avatar created by Hart Larsson, Clio Cardiff and Bronco Graves, I was really interested in what they came up with. Hart gave us a beautifully rendered dark skin placed over a body that had a thin nose and green exotic eyes with colored markings as makeup. Bronco gave us beautifully made necklaces with pretty colored beads. Clio gave us a shift that would be lovely as a summer dress. All of them are very well made by great SL artisans. However, none of it has any connection to real life Maasai people or for that matter, any people in Africa except the ones in their imaginations. And old Tarzan movies.

And that’s what really brought me short. The exoticization of the “Other’ (if we want to get all postcolonial on this or even worse, the ‘subaltern’) has been going on for years. It’s our means of not connecting with people who live lives different than ours but distancing them. By making them Others, by making them exotic, they become pretty THINGS, not people.

(To straighten this out, by the way, Maasai women typically have wider flatter noses, thicker lips. They wear substantial piercings in their ears as well as necklets that are large round constructions with colored beads but no kewpie shells or feathers. They wear woven cloths wrapped around their bodies (shuka) and sandals. This is when they ARE dressed in traditional clothing—which is not always.  And they never EVER wear colorful markings on their faces. Incidentally, the Maasai happen also to be one of the few groups that still practice female circumcision, which is deeply entrenched in their culture, even though it is illegal in some countries like Kenya. How exotic is that? Screw cultural relativism–it shouldn’t be happening.)

Bottom line? Maasai people are not exotic or fantasy like drows or fairies. They are living existing people with specific political and social concerns, just LIKE WE ARE. Exoticizing a drow or fae is excusable–they aren’t real life people in this world. They are made-up creatures. Maasai people aren’t fantasy creatures–they REALLY exist.

Exoticizing the Avatar

I appreciate the attempt that the creators made to bring a different sort of person into this overwhelmingly white (or rather, deep tan) world. I really dig that. And Hart’s skin, as you see here, is beautifully rendered and would be perfect for say, an African American woman. (However, I have changed the shape he used to show it to one with a more realistic facial structure and I have given her beautiful deep dark brown eyes.) Why did she have to become a Maasai woman? Wouldn’t it be enough to make her African-American?

Exoticizing the Avatar

I have also dressed our beautiful woman in an outfit of pure class. Think Kathleen Battle here or Rita Dove or.. ha, Michele Obama! Our beauty wears a gorgeous dress from Su Scarmon. What catches my eye the most about this dress is the silvery-gold texture. Giving off this kind of luster is not easy in SL, especially for a fabric. Su really captured the richness of a champagne-colored satin.

Exoticizing the Avatar

Be careful what you swallow. Chew!” ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

Hair: ETD Anisa – Black by Elikapeka Tiramisu for ETD (No longer available)

Skin: [PXL] Efe DeepTan NoMakeup by Hart Larsson for [PXL]

Dress: *LaLei*Josephine-silver by Su Scarmon for *LaLei*

Necklace and earrings: Donna Flora ASIA black set by Squinternet Larnia for Donna Flora

Want to read more about “native appropriations”? Click here to Mimi Thi Nyugen’s article on threadbared.