Following my previous post about the dark skinned avatar, Celebrity Trollop, Second Style fashion magazine editor, modelled one of her favourite dark skins for me, and pointed me to these divine Raspberry and Cow Skins, which just goes to show that I haven’t been getting out much in SL! A gorgeous array of multiple toned skins representing a range of ethnicities. Isn’t Celebrity just fabulous - I love her “I am woman see me roar” poses!
I bought several packs because the skins are just so beautiful. I wore the “Rachel” skin for hours and felt very Dreamgirls-like, but right now I just can’t take off the “Susan” skin, because she looks like she comes from a Botticelli painting!
I am wondering, when the body is purely art, what we can make of a culture in which body modification allows us to freely become another gender, another race, another species. “Real life” physical body modification practices such as asians having their eyelids modified to resemble non-Asian eyes are considered controversial at best. When I walked around with a dark skin I thought I looked beautiful, but I also considered the fact that there is a sense of “taboo” about appropriating another person’s race for the sake of art, or experimentation, or comedy. Remember when Ted Danson (dating Whoopie Goldberg at the time) wore a “blackened” face to a party and was slammed by the media for it?
Are there no taboos in Second Life?
It seems to me that in a world where we can be anything, if I wear an Asian skin, an Indian skin, or a Mediterranean skin, its just me saying “your look is beautiful to me”. I can’t imagine anybody would seriously equate manipulating skin colour of the avatar with any form of racial discrimination. Or would they?