A few years ago, I would classify as an abominable anomaly anyone –usually a hardcore oldie with very practical ends (just being a landlord and collecting rent, for instance)– sporting a naturally-rendered wig: the default system hair. Even in 2007, they looked like aliens from outer space next to an avatar wearing avant-garde prim hair. So cool, wasn’t it? Flexiprims were so in for their “natural-looking” waving when you walked around (me roll eyes today).
Now I think that, in a way, I’m facing the same dilemma, not because I’m too circa 2007, yet for a pretty similar reason: my looks are too 2014. The what? Yes, I transitioned to mesh clothes and mesh hair a long time ago, but I’m resisting going full mesh. For what I regularly do in SL, a mesh body is not a requisite… even less a mesh head. Yet, that’s the dominating trend, especially since 2015, and I’m starting to feel like the out-of-place guy when going to SL events because my hands are so splayed and rigid (yeah, because mesh hands are so flexible), and because my face is so passé.
I’ve seen lots of advantages in wearing mesh bodies and heads (and don’t forget mesh eyes as well) mostly in photography, but that’s not one of my main SL pastimes. Yet, despite criticizing the default –and bumpily ugly– SL body more than once before, I feel their mesh counterparts, while masterly curvy and smooth, are also turning SL into a Barbie-like world, where everybody has to be stylish and clean-cut 24-7. There’s never been so much diversity in SL –not that the old-time skins made you so unique– but it seems there’s only two or three well-built pre-approved mannequin templates walking around today, and you must be one of them to fit in. If you’re male and want to look a little bit different, your only choice is wearing a mesh beard (and me roll eyes again).
I’ve always thought that if you really appreciate SL you should embrace whatever new technology is introduced right away because that’s the way to properly show your support to the platform you freely adopted as your world. Yet, fear of homogenizing the scene too much and not finding a reason to be a mesh model myself are holding me back this time, to the point that I’m afraid I may end my SL1.x days like this oddball friends are trying to convince that a system body is that scary thing of the past you must conceal from view behind the transparent alpha mask your elegant mesh body needs anyway. (Uff, that was a long sentence, wasn’t it?)