Gracie and the Real Girl

I met Gracie Kendal when I first went to Tiphares. We have known each other for some time, and I would be lying if I said we were besties, but we certainly do like each other tons. I asked Gracie to provide a guest blog because she has done very specific work centered around her avatar. She wants me to mention that she is an artist—and she is—but her work is so much more than mere art. It’s an incredibly personal statement about her identity

Gracie Kendal is a woman who has been seeking her way in her first life using her second life as a mirror, a vessel for her identity, a means of growing both personally and artistically. Gracie, who is now an instructor in art, did her entire masters thesis using SL. She explored the embodiment of Gracie, her avatar self, to understand the embodiment of Kris, her human self. You can read more about Gracie.. and Kris.. at www.kristineschomaker.net and see pieces of her thesis at The Gracie Kendal Project.

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To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

How can I be myself when I’m immersed in thousands of advertisements, TV shows and movies every day persuading, influencing, telling me who to be? How can I be myself when I am constantly being judged and criticized by family and friends for not living up to their expectations? How can I be myself when I don’t have control? Ralph Waldo Emerson was right, It will be my greatest accomplishment to be able to find myself amongst the constant barrage of “something else” out there. I wonder what Emerson would have thought about avatars. It is funny, creating this virtual representation of myself, this ideal figure, this avatar I control, I can be myself. Is she my doll? When I was a kid, I played with Barbies. I wanted to be a Barbie. Who didn’t? Now, I have become my own “doll” which I project my hopes, fears, passions and imagination on while I explore this amazing path of self exploration.

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This is Gracie. Gracie is me. I am Gracie. Her clothes help define us. Her signature paint pants were given to her by a great friend who said, “OMG you have to have these.” As he said, “they’ll look much better on you, than me.” I laughed. The black t-shirt from Coco, is amazing. The detail in the wrinkling and seams help make it seem real and natural. Gracie’s shoes are the fabulous UBU PornStar Hi-Tops. I especially love the detail of the writing on the toes and the ability to change color and pattern. This outfit, that Gracie wears all the time, is also what I (Kris) wears in the real world most of the time; Jeans, a black V-neck tshirt and Converse. Gracie is me.

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In her 4 years of existence Gracie has had the same shape from Alady, and only one other skin. Her current skin from Redgrave helps show off her blue eyes and bright smile. Another signature to Gracie’s look is her Artilleri Rhinestone retro glasses. While I wear glasses in real life, I felt it was important for Gracie to also have some stylish artsy specs. Her nose ring and Kaj <3 bracelet were created by my great friend Jordan, owner of Jordans Jewelry. These are both representations of two amazing long time friends in SL. The only thing that Gracie changes a little more often is hair. I mean come on, with so many amazing hair stylists out there, you just have to. Right? Her current hair, is Truth Linda champagne. The one constant as far as hair goes, is that Gracie always stays blond. That is who Gracie is.

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Radiohead sang, “I don’t care if it hurts- I want to have control- I want a perfect body- I want a perfect soul.” With Gracie’s help, I am trying to find “my” control through “my” perfect body and “my” perfect soul. Whatever that is.

Hair: >TRUTH< Linda – champagne by Truth Hawks for >TRUTH<

Skin: O4B Moon Pale Skin / blue (light-brows) *REDGRAVE* by Emilia Redgrave for REDGRAVE

Shape: AladyShapes68SlaveGirlCcup by Tracey Sassoon for ALady

Top: *COCO*_V-neckTee (black) by Cocoru Lemon for Coco

Pants: Painter Jeans created by Forseti Svarog (unknown where they came from)

Glasses: /artilleri/ Rhinestone Retro! BLACK by Antonia Marat for Artilleri

Nose Piercing: Jordan*s Diamond Nose Piercing by Jordan Morgenrote for Jordan’s Jewelry

Bracelet: Kaj <3 bracelet, blk cord (rs) by Jordan Morgenrote for Jordan’s Jewelry

Key: CFF- Heartwork Wind Up Key by Canolli Capalini for Capalini Fine Furnishings

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