October 23rd, 2009 by Marianne McCann
Before folks think I’m going off into “zOMG Dramaz0rz,” let me start by saying I respect the opinions of the others involved in this discussion, and hold no ill will or any of that. The specific incident is irrelevant, but it points to what i want to talk about.
Recently on Plurk, an SL clothing designer was pointing out some cute real-world kids’ clothing. One person suggested making some clothes for kid avatars based on this. I also chimed in that I would love to see some clothing like that.
You see, while I love some of the kid designers out there, a lot of the clothing fits a specific “thing.” It’s babydoll tops and poofy skirts, 90% of the time. I don’t mind these, but I’d love to see a bit more variety. I want to see more of the Gap Kids or Justice look. Nice looking stuff I can still play in, you know? Never mind that all those babydolls and poofy skirts end up with my hands and arms interpenetrating them all the time.
And yes, most of the adult designers I simply can’t wear the clothing of. Either they’ve spent a bit too much time working on “boob shading,” (which I simply don’t want or need), or they have non-modifiable prim clothing bits that can’t be sized down, or the clothing is too sexy/revealing/etc.
Anyway, so this discussion went out on doing some more kid fashion stuff. It’s something I’ve wanted to see for some time: a top SL fashion designer actually take on the kid market, and turn their talents, if even for a one-off, to kid stuff.
But then the inevitable happened. Another posted made it clear that if kid avatars were to shop at that store, they would not. Even tossing in a comment about throwing up. Now they might have been being a bit over dramatic, or even joking — and see my note above again — but I believe that her comments were not out of line with how others might feel. This is somewhat sad to me.
There is such a stigma attached to kid avatars at times. I think it has changed a small bit, but it’s still very much out there. Some people are (and in some ways legitimately so) “creeped out” by kid avvies, while others assume that any and all child avatars they come across are perverts in pretty packaging. I could go onto pages about all this (and have before), but let’s simply say that its out there an we know it.
but as a result, it perpetuates the stigma. Without good people making good things and welcoming kid avatars to shop at their stores, people do not see kid avatars — and therefore they remain creepy if only because of their scarcity.
A friend of mine attended an event at Inner Child Camp at Burning Life, and was amazed at how many kids were there. From my point of view, there weren’t all that many compared to some of the circles I travel in. A lot of kid avatars really do not “mix” with the general population — too much hassling, mostly focused at kid safe locations, or spending time in their family units.
Anyway, I’d love to see some designers give it a shot some time. For one, I’ve long wanted to get some “retro” kid clothing from the 50s, 60s, and 70s from some of the places that specialize in that. I’ve love some modern cool stuff too. Mostly, I just want to have something nice and new to wear that looks good for my avatar. That’s all.