You live, you learn
You love, you learn
You cry, you learn
You lose, you learn
You bleed, you learn
You scream, you learn…
Ireland has always been a dream. In both RL and SL.
In RL, my father’s side is mostly Irish. It’s where the natural red pigment in my blonde hair comes from… where my temper (natural, non-bipolar induced) temper comes from… and the reason that no one believes me when I tell them I’m a lightweight and can’t hold my liquor. My last name is an Irish one, even if it doesn’t appear to be at first… and that’s only because my family changed it when they came over here.
Apparently there was a time when Americans were prejudicial against Irish immigrating. (Americans prejudicial against immigrants? Never! … Sorry…)
I remember back in high school, a girl I was in band with would go to Ireland once a year, every summer, to visit family that still lives there. She’d come back and for a good few weeks afterwards, her accent was incredibly thick. I remember being incredibly jealous that she got to over EVERY YEAR to the country I wanted to see just ONCE.
The difference being, I don’t know the first thing about how to find any of my family members there, if any of them are even still there somewhere.
In SL, my Irish dreams are more superficial in nature.
Saleena (Miss Virtual Ireland 2012) and more specifically Sessie (Miss Virtual Ireland 2013) are two women in fashion that I have looked up to considerably since I started. Sessie and I got to be friends through the nightmare clusterfuck that was Miss Metaverse 2013, and ever since seeing the amazing women that have always seemed to be representing Ireland, it’s been my dream as well.
In 2014, I tried that… I tried my damnedest for MVW, and I fell short. I no longer consider it a ‘failure’, as I did all I could do and tried the best that I could at the time. It just wasn’t good enough, and that wasn’t my fault. Shanty went on to be Ireland that year and became yet another name in my list of “Ireland reps” that I looked up to. For MVW 2015, I wasn’t into the idea of auditioning… for reasons that you can read about in the last post I made. With MVW dissolving into what it has under new ownership, I had pretty much resolved that my Ireland dreams had to dissolve with it.
And then, as melodramatic as this sounds, some hope was found somewhere. Lol. Marcus announced Miss SL and I was super excited about it.
Not just about the possibility of my Ireland dreams being rekindled, but about the possibility of a modeling competition that just may have the fairness that is sought all over the grid and found NOWHERE. (Well, except one place, but I’d rather not mention that particular pageant in such a negative post alongside names like MVW and Miss SL.) Of course, I was warned. Many times over. By many different people. Publicly and privately. By people I knew and people I didn’t know. People who were close to me and acquaintances. Like… people came out of the WOODWORK to warn me about getting involved in this project in ANY way.
My IMs and notices cap regularly… but this was capping not only daily, but any time I would log out.
I took their opinions and filed them away, but I continued on anyway. I have made the mistake in the past of judging people based solely on the opinions of others, believing that these people were trying to “save me the agony” of dealing with them, and have found that, in most cases, they are wrong, and I’d missed out on some pretty awesome people. From then on, I vowed that I would only base my opinions on my personal experiences with individuals.
Of course, I should’ve remembered that Marcus is the same person who reclaimed sims in the middle of an event, autoreturning everyone’s items that were not in his group, and this ruining and dismantling my 300+ prim runway that had taken WEEKS to build, while I was putting it into a rez box. (Granted, I can see the justification in his reasoning… HOWEVER, that is a runway that I STILL have not managed to piece back together from my lost and found folder. And I likely never will.)
And I probably should’ve remembered that the people running this alongside Marcus are the same people that used to run MVW, with which I have had equally negative experiences.
But I was giving everyone a clean-slate, in my mind. I was being a better person than I used to be. And I was being a professional model, seeking out the opportunity to be pushed and challenged to grow in this new venue. And I was totally selfishly pursuing my Ireland dream.
I submitted my picture for the first round and wasn’t chosen to walk. Then again, I had taken a bit of a ‘risk’, I guess, as far as pageantry is concerned and had left my piercings in. So, the second round, I submitted the amazing picture that Pam Astonia had done for me and was chosen to walk. Now, I know me. And I overthink every styling challenge given to me. Especially ones that are incredibly vague and have ZERO theme whatsoever.
“Dress to impress the judges, don’t underestimate the value of a first impression. Be elegant, be fabulous, be you.”
That is what we had to go on.
So, rather than overthinking and overstyling like I do 90% of the time, I challenged myself to stay simple, clean, and elegant. There were few prims, but what there were, were perfectly edited, including the 4 1/2 hours it took to edit that back necklace to sit underneath the halter collar of the dress. (Please note, I’m blogging my original version of this styling, because I like the lighter red hair. For the audition walk, I had a darker red messy bun at the base of my neck,, above the collar, and a black couture umbrella hat from Pure Poison.) I had even finally given in and requested Ponchi’s aid in helping me with the proportions of my face (mostly my cheekbones) to get the ‘youthful’ look out of my face while still keeping my Glam Affair skin.
I was totally ready. Despite being sick as hell, I was ready for this walk and, for once, completely confident in my chosen poses. They were me, but they were appropriate to the outfit, and I’d even tossed in a couple 360 sequences to show the back detailing of the necklace which I LOVED.
I did my walk. And I rubberbanded when I first went out, but I didn’t let it shake me. I owned that damn runway for the time I was on it, and I did exactly what I was supposed to do. Exactly what I’d come to do. I killed it. And I was incredibly satisfied with everything I did. There wasn’t one thing I could’ve done differently (well, nothing that wouldn’t have made it less ‘me’). And there wasn’t one thing I did that I could’ve done better, for the styling, for the ‘me’ that I needed to keep in the styling, and for the motivation of proving I could do it even though half of them likely thought I couldn’t. It was as perfect as I could have made it.
And so when I woke up from a nap and looked at the list of girls who had gone through and didn’t see my name, I was totally a little bit sad. My sadness quickly morphed to irritation, though, when I saw a few names that most definitely did not deserve to be there, and some other names absent that DID deserve it.
I’m sorry, but there were some stylings that just… weren’t done well. And there were some that weren’t chosen that were amazing.
And of course, when I IMed Ponchi about it (admittedly in defensive Tivi mode), she and the organization took absolutely zero responsibility for the decisions they made, and the blatant lies they told. She encouraged me to ask for feedback, which I had been considering, though when I had asked several of the girls that walked in the first round if they had gotten feedback, they said they’d asked, and received nothing. So all the b.s. they fed us about getting feedback was quite obviously a lie. I wasn’t about to waste my time only to be ignored by so many others before me had. And like we always had been by the people who think they’re the best thing since sliced bread.
Though the line from my conversation with Ponchi that really set me off was this one, “The judges don’t give feedback. The organization does.” That SCREAMED ‘drink the koolaid’ to me… and for those who don’t understand the phrase, google it or something. Like… the judges were the ones making the decision, not the organization, right? And so if the JUDGES are the only ones making the decision, and not the organization, then the judges are the ones that should be able to say, “You know, on my viewer, your ears didn’t match your skintone.” Or, “I saw your earring sticking into the collar of your dress.” It makes me wonder, if the ORGANIZATION is the only one offering the feedback, and not the JUDGES who supposedly made the decision, then who is really making the decisions here? And what criterion is actually being used?
We’ll never know, because we know they’ll NEVER be transparent about any of it. Hell, they won’t even take responsibility for the decisions they make.
In essence, all of this just goes to show me – hopefully more than just me – that nothing has changed with this particular group of people. It will still be just as messed up as it has always been. It will still be just as low-ball, just as conniving, just as self-serving, and just as ‘under the table’ as it has always been. It will still be that dirty little secret that they think they’re keeping, when everyone already knows.
Because, at the end of the day, a tiger doesn’t change its stripes – and neither does a weasel.
*~* I Recommend Sticking Your Foot In Your Mouth At Any Time… *~*
Skin: Artemis (Asia Tone; Makeup Option 04) – Glam Affair
Eyes: Promise Eyes (Apex) – IKON
Hair: Nicole (light reds) – enVOGUE
Hands: Avatar Enhancement Hands (Elegant) – Slink
Nailcolor Applier: French Manicure (Pastels) – Nailed It
Freckle/Blush: Lillith Fair (Freckle Blush Only) – Madrid Solo
Lipstick: Pearlina (Lips Only) – Madrid Solo
Gown: Evita Formal (White) – Kelini Haute Couture
Earrings/Necklace: Tiffany Back Necklace & Earrings (Silver) – Maxi Gossamer
Hand Bracelets/Rings: Opalis (Silver; For Slink Elegant) – Formanails @ Designer Circle
* Sold in versions compatible with Standard Avatar, Slink Elegant, Elegant 1, and Casual.
Poses: various from PosESioN‘s newest Gold collection
Location: Salt Water
* P.S. I totally got to talk to the Sim Owner today while I was sitting around writing this blog. Tre is a super awesome person, and incredibly chill. His easygoing demeanor definitely calmed the ragey Tivi that was writing this post, so Tre if you’re seeing this, thank you for being awesome, and for the lovely work of art you and Sunshine have brought to this sim. I look forward to seeing the others.
Blogging Tune: “You Learn” – Alanis Morissette