Sunday, October 11, 2009

An Experiment

If you frequent SL Fashion Police or What the Fug?, then you know that a frequent subject of their cheerful vitriol are those who use prim breasts. What I'm wondering is this: do they consider them inherently bad?

I've done something as an experiment; we'll see what happens.


Susyn Stenvaag said...

Ooooh! An experiment! I like experiments! Is is something you can share or will I have to track you down in SL to see it?

Hi Melissa! (waves)

I don't think prim breasts are considered bad, I do believe they are not well understood. Much like real life breasts are an outward sign of female sexuality. SL does give one a tremendous range to express fantasies, both sexual and not. So prim breasts figure into a number of fetish environments and assorted fantasies. We have to separate the fetish from the fashion. And here could begin a long debate on why various folks have created their avatar to have a certain form and what deep psychological issues drove them to do it.

Rather not address that one. Let us focus instead on the fashion issue. I have a number of T-shirts in my SL clothing inventory. Most are unwearable by any avatar with more than a moderate bosom, or, for that matter, any male avatar with moderate muscle development.

The shirt material is unrealistically painted on the avatar torso following every curve so that the catchy phrase on the T-shirt disappears into a woman's cleavage or is distorted by the man's pecs.

And this is why we need prim breasts: to create a realistic cloth contour across the bustline. In RL bigger means more stretch and even women with small to medium sized breasts will draw the T-shirt (or other smooth fabric) away from the chest wall and into a relatively flat plane.

Many SL clothiers have not passed beyond the RL stigma of the thin fashion model. And yes, I am seeing more "plus size" models. I suppose compared to a size 2, size 14 is "plus size" but in my opinion RL still has a long way to go. And so does SL. This is a world of imagination yet most of the really beautiful clothes I see are aimed at the Barbie & Ken clones in the dance clubs.

My solution, much like RL, has been to learn to "sew" in SL so I can modify the clothing to fit my avatar. I do not believe that one should alter the avatar to fit the clothing. It's your shape, be proud of it.

I would be quite happy to chat with anyone on the basics of prim breast design or modifying clothing in SL.

And Melissa, if you want T-shirts, I'll help with that too.


Tymmerie Thorne said...

I am very interested in this, Melissa. I do read your blog with some fascination. I really am trying to understand. For me - the slider bars on avatars are more than adequate. Prim breasts stray from reality significantly and, unlike features of a furry or a tiny for example, are worn by avatars who are in human form (usually). This exaggerates the difference.

I know that part of my fascination is that I have large breasts in RL. I had a breast reduction, so my view might be tainted. I thought of my even larger breasts as an annoyance.

I do want to understand - I hope I am expressing myself properly and being respectful.

I am very curious about your experiment and look forward to reading about it.

Susyn Stenvaag said...

Thank you for those comments Tymmerie. You have brought up an excellent point when you mention that the sliders are adequate for sizing and shaping the breasts on the avatar. Please allow me to continue that thought....

Having prim breasts isn't necessarily about size. Yes, as I mentioned in my earlier post for some it is all about fetish interests. So for those folks bigger is better and I have seen it get pretty extreme. And I'll admit I'm one of them. I am very tall and well endowed in RL so when I created my avatar I decided to "raise the bar" so to speak and developed an avatar that was even taller and more well endowed. Of course much like in RL I do have quite a time getting clothing to fit properly. To change the avatar I feel I would be compromising myself by using SL to downplay my RL appearance. But that's me. Back to the topic....

Most folks see prim breasts as exaggerated and as you have mentioned, they stray from reality. Quite true as most of the users tend to frequent the clubs and have interests as previously mentioned. What is NOT considered is the appearance of prim breasts for "normal" sizes, those within the limits of the avatar sliders. The avatar sliders do leave something to be desired when rendering a realistic bustline. Wearing properly configured prims provides a significantly more natural shape to the female torso in SL. And that's what this is all about.

And I think you are being very respectful :-)

Melissa Yeuxdoux said...

You're being very respectful indeed, Tymmerie, and I thank you very much for it.

People tend to want what they don't or can't have, and that's part of it for me. Here I can satisfy that wish without the RL problems that you know all too well.

Also, as Susyn (hi!) says, it's not just about size. The female SL avatar breasts are low resolution; you don't have to run the sliders up very far before you find yourself having breasts with corners. Also, cleavage is the most obvious and unavoidable concavity that shows the failure of painted-on textures to correctly mimic the behavior of RL clothing. (That and straps--straps in SL clothing are just plain pitiful.)

Miyo Darcy said...

Haha prim breasts how funny is this?



Greetings Miyo