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Dressin’ up ain’t always easy

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.

7 Responses to “Dressin’ up ain’t always easy”

  1. Kaysa Says:

    I so completely agree. You have made some very valid points. I have been to places and come across people that figure child avi’s are “sick” or “perveted” or “need mental help”, but then once they have seen this is not the case, have changed their tune about it, but it’s not usually that easy. It is true, we tend to stay in our safety circles so we don’t have to be belittled for wanting to relive a second childhood, and reclaim our innocence. Also, it would be nice to see a new spin on some clothes that fit child avas 😉

  2. Susana Says:

    Recently, as SL boredom had set in, I decided to create a child avatar and see how well I was accepted across the grid. (I’ve also thought I could make a way better child then most that I see so it was a bit of a challenge for me too). After spending several thousand lindens, I felt good and cute. Went to Truth for hair, went to the Gatcha Gatcha festival, etc. I’m *amazed* at the reception I received. I could have found parents and a family unit in a heartbeat. I finally added to my profile that I’m not looking for a family. I found it fun to walk up to random avatars and strike a conversation. In my small opinion, I think the blogosphere has perpetuated this bad image of child avatars. Inworld, where 70% of the population do not read blogs, I felt very comfortable. The Loft recently introduced a line of children’s furniture, with more coming, so I have a feeling the designers will follow suit.

  3. Stjarney Starsmith Says:

    Hi I love that pic :-) dressing up in too big shoes. I agree with your post. I haven´t really experienced people thinking I´m a perv LOL. I´m not a child in SL for very long time – maybe 60 days now.
    I´m a free lance blogging kid one could say.
    I did though experience a strange thing in the same sandbox twice.
    First a girl avi was acting very strange or bugging as i didn´t reply to her (since I was busy unpacking and taking picks for my blog in a photostudio). The second time a guy called Snake was talking to me – I mean the name Snake LOL his profile was wife and kid free. I told him I dont talk to strangers. Shortly after the girl from the other day logged on to that sandbox – it was this snake guy. His/her story about SL wife then RL wife and kids made no sence and was kinda creepy. So I packed my things and am never gonna go to that sandbox again. Guess I need Kids Only Sandbox and not just PG.
    I was really wonderd on how much kids stuff – clothes etc. is out there. But Like you say in your post – it would be great if designers would put in rezize scripts – not only for kids avi 😉 and retro clothes for kiddies would be so nice :-) Happy to find your blog.
    take care
    Stjarney babblemouth giggles

  4. Tepic Harlequin Says:

    I was really please with our acceptance at Burning Life this year (though this was only what i would expect from Burning Life, it’s always been great!). This year, at the events, there were always adult AVs arriving and joining it – wonderful! I’ve also noticed there are many more sims that accept and welcome kid AVs, recently i tped into an unknown one to use an slx terminal, and chatted with several adult AVs who instantly accepted me as, well, me! :-) My feeling is that inworld people now accept us as readily as any other “different” av, and for those who don’t, well, that’s their problem!

    When i first started sl, there were very few people doing anything for kid AVs that wasn’t, well, slightly dubious. I started making stuff i wanted to wear, as did quite a few other kid AVs, Lalelu in particular does a range of older style stuff that is very popular. It may be worth looking at the boys designers for wearable, retro and modern stuff, as there is now quite a bit out there.

    I think there are more designers who make adult AV stuff who are starting to make stuff for kid AVs, see a number of shops with mixed ranges, so things are changing. Some people will never accept anything that is outside their own heads though, and i’m afraid that for some, the only option is to feel sorry for them!

  5. Stjarney Starsmith Says:

    Ah hope you read this. I really would love to know where your pose and outfit is from :)
    One more thing Cupcakes has now a kids corner with skin´s for kids (only girls though) without cleavage shading and adult stuffie – its great you should check it out.
    And yes for kid boys there is still way to little out there

  6. Marianne McCann Says:

    Thankoo, Stjarney! I ctually wear Robin Sojourner’s kid skins. :-)

    The dress was by Chelsea Grigg (CCC), and the other stuff was just found n XStreet or in inventory (glasses by Redd Columbia, an the rest was totally random stuff). The pose was from LAP

  7. Stjarney Starsmith Says:

    OK great mix match then :) Love that picture

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