My digits

NOTICE: This post discusses, among other topics, matters of an erotic, fetishistic, and romantic nature. If you are not legally allowed to read such material, and / or if such readings and images offend you, I suggest you leave right now.

Breaking from the tradition of the previous instalments in the “My Digits” series, I’m making this post relatively early in the year. If I were to strictly follow the meme / blogging challenge by Strawberry Linden (née Singh) that I first encountered way back in 2013, I’d have to publish it sometime in late June / early July. However, it’s a very old meme, and even Berry herself doesn’t seem to be continuing it, so it’s pretty much disappeared from every Second Life blogger’s radar.

The trusty Avatar Ruler from [OO] gets pulled out once again, for another “My Digits” post…
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I have to admit that, as a blogger, I’m effectively in semi-retirement. RL obligations keep me distracted from doing things in-world and from blogging. Also, I lack the motivation and drive I used to have. I guess you could say that all these years in Second Life have caused a fair bit of fatigue. However, I still care enough about SL and similar free-style virtual worlds in general to try and promote policies that don’t ruin their potential. Last time around, I participated in the protests against the destructive EU Copyright Directive, whose articles 15 (formerly 11) and 17 (formerly 13) pose a grave existential threat to virtual worlds like SL and (unsuccessfully) lobbied my country’s MEPs to vote against it. Only two did – the others chose to become accomplices to Axel Voss’ and Emmanuel Macron’s machinations.

Anyway, here I am, blogging again, but not one of my usual long-form opinion pieces. Instead, I chose to blog about my shape, necro-posting one of Strawberry Linden’s (née Singh) old memes. If you’re wondering why… Well, the truth is, I simply felt like it, and I had a few reasons to do it. You see, I’d been tinkering with my shape a wee bit, so I thought I’d give you an opportunity to compare this version of me to the previous ones. Finally, I have a bunch of things to say about it all.

My digits, 2019 edition
As always, clicking on the image takes you to the full-size version, which opens in a new tab.
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I missed Strawberry Singh’s 2015 round of the “What’s Your Digits?” meme, and I do admit it was semi-deliberate, as I had all sorts of personal RL situations (some of them stemming from in-world events) to handle: from eurocrisis-induced financial woes to health issues and everything in between. Then (this year) came childbirth, with all that comes with it. As you can guess, I made putting my RL in order my #1 priority and distanced myself from the whole SL scene for a while; I must say that the way I view SL and everything concerning it has changed drastically, and I don’t regret it at all.

Last time I responded (back in 2013), the meme focused on the issue of avatar proportions. This time, the tagline is “the mesh body revolution” and, predictably, attention is turned to our transition to third-party mesh bodies, our preferred mesh bodies, and whether we’ve changed our avatars’ shapes accordingly. I also missed the 2014 round, which was concerned with the introduction of fitted mesh for clothing and avatars. I had actually started writing a draft, which I never got around to finishing, but other things got in the way. So, now, I’ll respond to both rounds, albeit with a significant delay.

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It’s been quite a while since I last followed a blogging meme or challenge; actually, this is the second time I’m doing this and again it’s something instigated by Strawberry Singh. I’ve gone on record for saying that memes aren’t really my thing and I’m not going to bother reiterating the reasons for this policy of mine. If I’m to blog about something, I have to find it interesting – and this one is interesting, at least to me and many others: it’s about avatar proportions.

It’s a fact that most of the default “starter” avatars (at least when I started with SL, first in 2006 and again in 2008) have cringe-inducing proportions and are ridiculously (or, I should say, comically) tall: a typical barefoot female avatar is around 2m tall (6ft 7in), and a typical male avatar is even taller than that. When was the last time you encountered a woman that’s as tall as an NBA player? Exactly.

These oversized avatars, combined with the idiotic and obsolete default camera offsets, do nothing to enhance our enjoyment of Second Life. Quite the contrary, as it is nigh on impossible to build to scale.

Thankfully, several people have begun to understand how seriously things are broken and have started improving their avatars and even trying to influence others to do the same. One of the most notable (and noisy, in some people’s minds) is Penny Patton, who has written about the importance of proper avatar proportions, scale and camera positioning (much to the ire of several people who tried to present her as some sort of “avatar cop”) and has even put out on the marketplace a set of free, full-perm “Vitruvian shapes“, with realistic proportions, that people can use as a base for their own shapes; and, as an added bonus, she has included an accurate height detector, which I personally find to be an extremely useful tool.

<i>Average body proportions for Adult males, females and children, <a href="">link here</a>.</i>

Average body proportions for Adult males, females and children, link here.

As is the case with all of Strawberry’s memes, there are some questions to be answered. So, without further ado, I’m going to cut to the chase:

  1. Do you try and keep your avatar’s body proportionate and similar to the “average” proportions pictured above? – Initially, I didn’t have this chart at my disposal; however, after a relatively short period of putting up with the default proportions, I started fiddling around. My main criterion back then was to make my avatar compatible with as many animations and poses as possible. Later on, I decided to make my avatar as proportionate as possible, especially w.r.t. my human looks, which I eventually decided, after a long period of trying various different looks, to model after my real-life appearance.
  2. What do you dislike the most about the SL avatar mesh? – The hands and feet. Especially the feet, which are an atrocity. Thankfully, we now have rigged mesh feet and hands (although I’ve yet to start using mesh hands). Also, the weighting and articulation is crap. Try putting your avatar in a bog-standard yoga meditation pose and your leg will appear like it was cut off from the rest of the body.
  3. Does it bother you when you see other avatars that are not proportionate at all? – Depends. I usually don’t pay much attention to this. There are people who don’t know better. There are others who have a very specific, non-realistic look in their minds and deliberately break the “rules” to achieve it. These don’t bother me at all. But there is a certain über-pretentious, self-important and arrogant category of people who should know better, because of the role they seek to play in SL. These do bother me, and not only because of their insistence on poorly-proportioned avatars that they flaunt as “glamorous” and “fabulous”.  However, I prefer to not tell them anything, avoiding their idiotic drama.
  4. Even though this is a virtual world and people can be anything they want to be, do you feel when they are in human form, they should try to keep their proportions close to average? – Meh. I do appreciate a realistically-proportioned avatar; it just looks more familiar. For more on that, see the previous answer.

The numbers

OK, so now’s the time to give you the “digits”… So, here they are:

Height: 40 – That’s 1.77m (5 ft 9in), measured with Penny Patton’s height detector, or 1.79m (5ft 10in) with the Avatar Ruler.

Body Fat: 4

Head Size: 39

Torso Muscles: 35

Breast Size: 57

Arm Lenth: 62

Hand Size: 20

Torso Length: 50

Love Handles: 26

Belly Size: 0

Leg Muscles: 44

Leg Length: 50

Hip Width: 38

Butt Size: 41

Saddle Bags: 29

However, I usually differ somewhat from these proportions, not least because I use a modified version of Utilizator Mode’s excellent <UTILIZATOR> Avatar 2.0 mesh body for my latex-encased look, which is my “standard” appearance on the vast majority of occasions.

My usual look...

My usual look…




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