Peachy Keen

Peachy Keen

“The ripest peach is highest on the tree.” ~ James Whitcomb Riley

Peachy Keen

Nothing like a sweet peach in the summer. In a short little ruffle-tiered skirt from Su Scarmon in the prettiest shade of rose, our peach is ready for a summer soiree. I like how Su has used highlights and lowlights to make the fabric really satiny and the ruffles flouncy. The summer’s sexiest shoes, from Siddean Munro, turn the look from sweet to sumptuous.

Peachy Keen

The peachy part of the blog is really this new skin from Heather Beebe. With its peachy skin tone, languid eyes, and full and juicy lips, it’s a sexy and fresh look from Heather. (A friend who had not been in SL for a couple months saw me in this and said he couldn’t stop looking at me. That should tell you how good the skin is ;)) I show with a sexy loose updo from Truth Hawks.

Peachy Keen

“Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring and because it has fresh peaches in it.” ~ Thomas Walker.

Hair: >TRUTH< Alison – sandlewood by Truth Hawks for >TRUTH< *

Skin: [ROCKBERRY] Apple A/Natural/BLK by Heather Beebe for [ROCKBERRY] *

Eyes: FASHISM ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Light Absinthe (ML) by Ikon Innovia for FASHISM *

Dress: *Lalei*Nadine dress-dark rose by Su Scarmon for *Lalei* *

Necklace and bracelets: *League* Wanderer Jewellery Set -Golden Oak by Nena Janus for League

Shoes: Slink Lulu Stilettos Beige by Siddean Munro for SLink *

Bloom

Let me gush about the new Radiohead album, which has nothing whatsoever to do with fashion but has everything entirely to do with my happy mien. (Came out while I was busy with other things….)

Bloom

I am listening to it while I show this entirely elegant gown from Su Scarmon. Su uses some photosourced textures but she uses them skillfully to created gowns that are lean and elegant. She has excelled with this one showing an asymmetrical neckline and back tied with a bow and a thin little belt. The contrast of the top to the bottom adds to its elegance and sets it apart from more standard monochromatic gowns.

Bloom

I show it with a glowing skin from Nena Janus. The skin suits my shape and has beautiful makeup and details. My eyes, it is now finally revealed, are another masterpiece by Ikon Innovia. And my earrings are a lovely color texture changing set from Squinternet Larnia, who provides gorgeously crafted costume jewelry to women around the grid.

Bloom

“I dive into those eyes.” ~ Radiohead, Bloom

Hair: “LoQ Hairs” Pure Beauty – Black by Gia Pawpad for LoQ

Skin: *League* Amber Br Sunkiss -Aqua- Hair by Nena Janus for *League* *

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

Dress: *Lalei*Katrine dress-light sky by Su Scarmon for *Lalei*

Earrings: Donna Flora MARTINA earrings + HUD by Squinternet Larnia for Donna Flora

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.