Influence and Appropriation

Influence and Appropriation

A young woman came into a fashion group chat and asked for “authentic African” wear available in SL. It really made me shudder. That’s like asking for authentic American wear. It’s an entire continent. Additionally, what this person might consider being “authentic” might simply be an “authentic” representation of the same old (racist/imperialist/ignorant) memes. Let’s face it—nothing in SL is “authentic”—it’s a representation of something else. We are influenced by and appropriate images and ideas from the rest of our literate, privileged culture(s) and bring them into SL and make sense of them in THIS platform. That’s what makes SL so interesting.

Influence and Appropriation

That whole thought process (and by the way, she didn’t quite get why people were not helping her—because most were thinking the same as me.. “authentically African? WTF does THAT mean?”) made me wonder about the outfit I have on.. clearly “Indian” influenced—or is it? The texture on the top from Miffyhoi Rosca has a pattern that looks Indian and she calls the outfit “India.” But would an Indian woman wear this? (Well chances are one would because many Indian woman dress pretty fashionably.) Even zooming in on Zaara Kohime’s necklace made me think. Her textures seem more like Chinese cloisonné rather than anything specifically Indian. I know Zaara lives in India; I know cloisonné is pretty much an east Asian thing. What IS authentically “Indian” and then what is authentic virtual Indian?

Influence and Appropriation

I won’t run Hart Larsson’s skin through this analysis. He got a little cultural critique for one of his skins already from me (and I will say he came back and discussed it with me in a very friendly fashion, which I appreciated tons). This skin is simply beautiful and a testimony to Hart’s artistry. He makes all his skins from scratch, hand-drawn, by the way. I have seen some of his other art and he really truly is an artist (in his spare time, when he’s not being a code poet). And Truth Hawks is known for his “real” hair. Not sure what he does to make it so—is it the randomly placed flexis like hair escaping from a braid, the great textures with variable tints running through the strands, or is it something else..?

Influence and Appropriation

What is “authentic” when you’re talking about cultural representation?

Hair: >TRUTH< Cecilia – treacle by Truth Hawks for >TRUTH< *

Skin: [PXL] GAIA SK CE DEB C3 with [PXL] GAIA SK Passion Lips (Tattoo) by Hart Larsson for [PXL]*

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

Top: =Zenith=India2 outfit(TFG#8) by Miffyhoi Rosca for Zenith

Pants: [Miseria] Bitter Jeans – Dust by Miseria Daines for [Miseria]

Necklace: ZC : Karmuka necklace *colored silver* by Zaara Kohime for Zaara

Shoes: Zaara : Ilaida Mojri *turquoise* by Zaara Kohime for Zaara

Day Off

I’m having one of those days when I just want to run away and take the day off. I don’t want to do my hair, dress up, sort my notecards, talk to anyone—I just want to be left alone to torture prims or something.

Day Off

I want to wear something comfy, so I put on this really cute tank top from Babyhoney Bailey. The former model is now a fashion maker herself, and wow, she really does some great work. I LOVE this tank—the subtle shadows, the print with the vintage ladies, the flirty skirt.

Day Off

I paired it up with jeans from Miseria Daines. They are really well done with rips and wrinkles and that sort of relaxed grungy feel that is so important on a day like today.

Day Off

My hair’s a mess, thanks to Kavar Cleanslate. This style is my wavy hair, loosely tied, needing a wash probably. But still looking cute!

Finally, slip on clogs from sakka Flow. Easy, comfy, ideal when I am flopping around the sim, trying to force a prim to my will and ignoring the blue screens in the corner.

Day Off

Well after realizing how cute I look, the day is looking up:

Hair: Exile Monica/coffee by Kavar Cleanslate for Exile *

Skin: Pulse Skin-Life/Tone 4 Warm m1by Lorac Farella for Pulse *

Top: Djinn & Tonic – Vintage Tank (Femme Faces) by Babyhoney Bailey for Djinn & Tonic

Jeans: [Miseria] Bitter Jeans – Dust by Miseria Daines for [Miseria]

Clogs: Sakka’s Studio ** Clog Shoes/ Caramel buckskin by sakka Flow for Sakka’s Studio