Monday, May 25, 2015

Mea Culpa

Okay, so I clearly shouldn't be allowed to blog after midnight.
If you read my previous post, you'll know I completely bumbled my words. If you know me, you'll know that's a pretty frequent thing.

I'm not going to go back and edit my last post and change my words, as they seem to have evoked some pretty strong emotions in some people and I don't want to alter anything that doesn't show the whole picture.

I do want to clarify some of my thoughts and words, though.

I don't like mesh heads. I think they are very generic looking.

This, in no way, shape or form, means that I don't like the people who wear mesh heads, or that I find those people to be generic.

Quite the contrary, actually.

I have a quite small circle of friends in SL, and as such, my sample size is quite small. There is nothing evidence-based or scientific about my opinion on the mesh heads. There are a lot of things in the world that I am analytical about - mesh heads is not one of those things.

I just don't like them. Big whoop. I also don't like mushrooms, bananas, the word "puce", or American football.

I'm not going to tell you that you shouldn't like those things, though.

When I said things like I found mesh head wearing disingenuous or that wearing one says to me that a person is more concerned about beauty over substance, I really should have expounded more on those thoughts. I was referring to first impressions only. When I see a person without knowing another single thing about them.

And in all likelihood, my first impression would be incredibly wrong. There are some very vapid people in this world that are mainly concerned only with how they look, but those people are fortunately extremely rare and certainly not any of the people I know who wear mesh heads. Anyone who has lived on this planet for more than two minutes knows human beings are complex and that what goes into making them who they are is based in far more than simply what they look like.

I don't like mesh heads.

I guess I should have just stopped there but I didn't. C'est la vie. 

My opinion shouldn't matter one bit to anyone who loves the mesh heads, is happy wearing their mesh head or is comfortable in their mesh head.

But we all know better than that, don't we? Opinions do matter. They certainly matter to me, or I wouldn't be writing this post. I spoke off the cuff and hurt some feelings. I don't take that lightly, especially when I care about those people. I don't take any joy in causing others pain.

Not only am I sorry that I hurt anyone with my careless words, but I'm also sorry that in doing so, I possibly changed other people's opinions of me. We're fluid, and thoughts and opinions and perceptions can change in an instant, for good and for bad.

Beyond first glance, I do not think that anyone wearing a mesh head is some kind of indicator as to the person they are on the inside. It's Second Life, for Christ's sake, and we can be anything we want, look anyway we want, and change that with a click of a button. We can have three heads, eleven boobs, purple skin and nine ears if we choose to. We can have a head growing out our butt, an ear on our elbow and a nose on the back of our heads. It's goofy, fun and ridiculous.

And doesn't say a lot about who a person really is.

Because again, we have the ability to change whatever form we take with a click of a button and it is superficial.

What someone looks like simply doesn't matter, in RL or in SL. Perhaps if we looked at the reasons why a person looks like they do and the choices they make (be it plastic surgery, piercings, makeup, etc.) that would tell us more about who a person is on the inside because we'd be delving into their psyche.

I don't think we have the insight by simply looking at an avatar to make those opinions, though, because it is so easy to change and we do experiment so much. First impressions aside, of course, because as humans we can't help but make first impressions when we see others. It's just human nature.

I would hope, though, that we don't stubbornly cling to those first impressions because they can so very frequently be completely wrong.

So maybe my dislike of mesh heads comes from a very human flaw of my own. Maybe my brain is confounded because it can't form a first impression based on a facial expression, since there is none and that leaves me with a negative feeling because I am introverted and rarely (never) approach people and learn more about them unless they approach me first.

Thus I'm left with a mystery.

And it's entirely my own fault. It's my brain that is unable to process.

I'm drawn to pleasant looking people. And I mean that to say I'm drawn to people who have a pleasant expression on their face. I don't find the expression on the mesh heads pleasant. And I mean that to say that the expression on the mesh heads doesn't make people look like they're very happy.

And that is purely aesthetic... it doesn't say a word as to what the person wearing the head is truly feeling because the face doesn't change... can't change. With my default head, I can at least turn the corners of my lips up a little bit to reflect that SL Beth and RL Beth are pretty much pleased with life.

Therefore, yes, I am somewhat put off by people who look like they're a bit annoyed about something all the time. Or are just blankly expressionless. It feels cold and discomfitting... to me.

I can't stress enough that I'm only speaking for me. I might be the only person in the world that feels this way. I'm not going to say my feelings are right or wrong... they just are.

In the real world, if I were in a room with twenty people with the exact same face, the exact same expression, I'd be weirded the fuck out. I guess I am in SL, too. Maybe that makes me a freak who takes Second Life way too seriously and everyone reading this is pointing and thinking "My god, what is wrong with her?!"

We have so many opportunities to make our avatar a reflection of who we are. I steadfastly cling to being a human. Second Life is something different for each of us... and none of us has any business trying to define what that should be for anyone else. I don't want to be a vampire, or an elf, or a wolf. That's just me, though, and I understand that others use SL very differently than I do. That's part of the awesomeness of Second Life. It isn't any one thing... it's a billion different things, just like the real world. Or even more so than the real world because we aren't confined by reality.

It'll never be a place where everyone looks just alike or behaves the same way or does the same things. It's indefinable.

I'm going off in a million different directions here... sorry.

Anyway, I'm sorry for the poor word choices I made last night. Things flowing through my head to my fingers and the words I was typing definitely did NOT come out the way I wanted them to.

I'll let this be a lesson to myself to always sleep on anything I write after midnight before posting it.

Mea culpa.

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