(Featuring designs by AdN, Alterego, Breach, Ploom, and more…)
(Haven’t quite figured out how to make my face look fierce yet. Haha. I still see the “Aww how cute!” quality that makes me cringe.)
Sorry it’s been a few days since I’ve been over here. For those of you that don’t know, I have a dance blog that I post to as well… and it seems that there are far more idiots in the dance community that inspire random rants. So I style an outfit, mean to go photograph it, and then some douchenozzle turns around and does something stupid… and thus a dance blog is born and my fashion post gets slid onto the backburner. Again.
But not this time.
Though, admittedly, this look WAS inspired by the heavily irritated mood I was put in after this past dance blog entry. If you look on my blog roll over —> on the right hand side, you’ll see Confessions of a Dancing Slave. That’s me as well. Those of you that know me, or those who actually pay attention to the text I put in these blogs, have probably come to the conclusion that people who take advantage of other people make me sick. Unfortunately, that happens all too often here in SL. And someone taking advantage of the good nature of one of my closest friends is what inspired my last dance blog last night… and the terribly fierce, “I really want to kick your ass,” look that I styled to blog tonight.
(No, I have no idea what I’m looking at…)
Now, another thing you might notice is that I’m pale again. This comes back to the idea of being taken advantage of. As much as I’d like to tell myself that I’m down to earth and pretty jaded… and that I’m cautious of who I trust… and that I carefully analyze situations to see who is trying to take advantage of my skill and work ethic and who GENUINELY needs my help… but unfortunately, given that I’m a helper and a do’er, I am far too trusting with people who request my help and supposedly believe in me.
I walked this past Saturday for a change at the Top 15 for Colour of Couture. For those who read my past blog post, you know that a few conversations I managed to have with Sequoia before the semi-finalist list went out were very inspirational to me, and encouraged me to embrace what I FEEL and identify with, rather than trying to portray a more “inside the box” image of my RL self. What I mean, as a quick review for those of you who didn’t read or have forgotten, I am as white as white can be in RL. My ancestory is Irish, German, and English. I don’t really have an ounce of colour in me. However, when I was in my preteens, I began heavily studying the culture of Zimbabwe, and other tribal African cultures… and I just fell in love. I roleplayed as a Gorean Mamba in SL for the better part of 4 years and just had fun with it. When I came into modeling, I let a few wannabe instructors convince me that pale was the only “right” way to be in order to model. Sequoia debunked this myth and encouraged me to embrace what I feel I want to represent of myself. And thus, I went back to my darker skins.
However, with my experience in the Colour of Couture walk on Saturday… I definitely had to do some soul searching and determine if THAT kind of operation is something that I want to be associated with. First of all, I knew two of the judges in particular, and I knew I was screwed the moment that these two entered the sim. I will always be the first person to admit that I am not a certified model… yet. Yes, I have a certificate from Steele’s old school, because he HAS been privately training me (which people LOVE to treat like it’s nothing… “You’re not certified by an academy so your experience and private training doesn’t mean anything to me.”). However, I am also enrolled at Amici. So I might not be certified YET, but I am in the process. But, before I enrolled at Amici, I interviewed for an agency with these same two judges. I was told to prepare poses and a walk, have all this stuff prepared. I came in in my modeling shape, which was just over 7 feet tall… which is within in the window. But because I was still a head shorter than the woman, it was determined that I was “too short” and the woman proceeded to stretch my shape to nearly 8 feet tall. Then it was determined that the skin I’d bought from Skin Fair made my face look too much like everyone else, and made me lose the unique quality of my face. I was not even allowed to walk for this agency interview… after having spent the 24 hours prior finding the poses, editing the prims to be sure the poses worked, and piecing everything together… I was not allowed to walk for the agency interview and was told to come back when I was certified. So, as soon as I saw these two people on the judging panel, I knew they were not going to take me seriously. And because I know how they operate, I knew they would not bother to take a moment to look into my profile and see if I had taken steps TOWARD taking their advice and trying to BECOME certified. So yes, I was screwed before I even started.
Still, I had hope. As I cammed on a lot of the models that walked… a vast majority (admittedly more than I expected) had poses that were all kinds of a hot mess… they had prims that were cutting into each other and into the avatar… some had a gorgeous dress and then decided to pair it with cheap, horribly made jewelry. So I still had confidence. I will admit that I looked good, I had quadruple checked my prims, and my poses, and my walk. I had everything perfect and ready to go.
Then the Finalist list came out. I was not on it. Was I shocked that I wasn’t on it? Not particularly. However… a few things did shock me.
First of all, the thing that was really easy to notice is that it was not a Top 15, but a Top 16. That was actually a little encouraging. Sequoia had mentioned judge’s cards, so I assumed actual scoring NUMBERS were being assigned to each model (which, to make sure that it’s fair and not political based on some completely unethical system like, oh, say, voting) and perhaps there was a tie and they didn’t want to break it, so they let both through. It was encouraging… at first.
Then, as I looked down the list, I saw two people… TWO PEOPLE that deserved to be there. Other than those two particular people, it was a list of all those models who were a hot mess in their poses, who had prims cutting into their bodies, who missed the mark… one of which was so far forward on the runway I was afraid she’d fall off… lord, it was like other than those two people, I felt more like it was a list of who DIDN’T make it.
And then I saw it.
I saw one name that I didn’t recognize from backstage. And then I realized that this particular Finalist never walked with us. She sat out in the audience with the judges and watched all of us walk. Now things started to make sense. It wasn’t Top 16 because they didn’t want to break a tie. It was Top 16 because they let this woman have a free ride into the Finals.
Now, some of you who are like I used to be are instantly trying to justify reasons why she could’ve made finals without walking. “Maybe she had an RL commitment so she did her walk early.” Well #1: she was there the whole time, and #2: it was made very clear to us that there would be ONE day to walk, and that was April 6th. So if she couldn’t make the scheduled walk, she should not have applied… and if something had come up last minute, then that’s the way the cookie crumbles and she should have been withdrawn.
Basically, what it all comes down to, once more, is personal politics and cliques. And unfortunately, this seems to be the largest community of women of color in SL. So I had a moral dilemma on my hands… do I continue to attempt to express the culture that I love in the only medium I can express it in, and risk being seen in association with an organization that allows personal politics, rather than ethics, dictate the results of everything that occurs? Or do I disassociate myself with that community and stifle that piece of myself again until such a time as I can find a more honest community? Unfortunately, due to the fact that I do have morals… and a conscience… I had to go with the latter… and so now, I am back to being pale. Which, don’t get me wrong, I love my pale skins, I love the makeup options that I have this way that may look ‘awkward’ on darker skins… and I *do* still enjoy styling my pale skins. It just sucks that it took less than a month for my dream of finally being able to express pieces of myself around women who not only understood and related to it but EMBRACED it… to be destroyed in the puff of smoke that used to be referred to as ethics and honor.
I have to wonder if everything in the SL fashion industry isn’t going to come down to a moral conflict. Are there any ethical and honorable people left? Well… I do know the answer to that, and it’s YES… they are just few and far between. I happen to be lucky enough to have found a gathering of them at Amici. And I’m sure I’ll devote an entire blog to the mushy emotional stuff I feel about my Amici family, and dedicate myself to the mission of making Cara and CJ cry… but I think I’ve rambled enough for the night… or morning. And I need some sleep.
*~* Just Your Stereotypical Femme Fatale *~*
My Personal Shape
Alys Wonderland blonde brow Fairy (Group Gift): Al Vulo
JABU Eyes – Light Blue: -DAMNED-
Mily – Candy (adjusted via color HUD): ploom *~* mesh *~*
Death of Baroque: Hebenon Vial
Kiss Me To Death – EyesMakeup: -DAMNED-
Voluptuous Lip Junkie – Lipstick 2: [the Skinnery]
I’m Not Feeling Well – Tears Tattoo: Izzie’s
My Perfect Eyelashes: -DAMNED-
Long Metallic Nails (Past Collabor88
Beast [Ink]: Hebenon Vial
Outfit Top (Collar/Sweater/Shirt/Armwarmers/Armbands):
Outfit Bottom (Shorts/Stockings/Boots):
Mystic – Midnight: AlterEgo
MAC10 – Both holsters with straps: Breach