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« Oppressive Rules | Main | For Lessig, Less Transparency is More: Gov 2.0 Buyer's Remorse »

October 17, 2009


Prokofy Neva

Some of them wear battle gear, but the overwhelming majority of the one's blog-flogged on Planet Sl and ihearts are in fru-fru kinda stuff meant to make them look more like victims.

The strange thing about all this is that I have never seen any avatar inworld wearing a skin like this. So I imagine they wear them in private dungeons.

Gattina Dumpling

Yeah, I am with you 100%, I purchased these skins on SL and then I made went and got involved in an abusive relationship and...

Gala's Skins Don't Beat People, People Beat People.

I think comparing a skin created by a very talented designer to pedophiles engaging in ageplay is not only a stretch, but amazingly insulting and totally off the mark.

I'm a zombie in SL, who wears a zombie skin and uses a zombie AO. Does this mean I wanna die and then eat people? No. It's just how I choose to depict myself on SL.

As Callie above said, it is up to the buyer.

For me personally, when I saw the skins my first thought was "Oh kickass, I feel bad for the other guy." I think a lot of women view these as STRONG skins, as opposed to the typical doe-eyed, angelic, perfectly glossed-fellatio mouth Barbie skins that a lot of people wear on SL. I'd rather look like I had a hell of a fight then a porno star.

And ya know, if you are so concerned about this issue, why not start a fundraiser for Take Back The Night instead of bitching about this on a blog?

<< loser

loool how lame this blog posting is.. first of all.. no one force u to buy this skins. second: i bet RP players like skins like this.. soo just lame....

Torley Linden

I'ma hit you on yo lip.

Desmond Shang

The thing that really clinches it for me is the expression.

This isn't a depiction of a tough, self confident female who can take it and dish it right back. The expression is that of a sad, beaten person.

Just callin' it like I see it.

cube inada

"Battle Royalle" is a great film, commentary. its a work fo art.

these images to me really dont show any relation to the films message or style, or imagery.

Its just fashion violence images..its context is so barren of battle royalle the film.. these are images sold for a buck, to those who need such images for whatever purposes.

enjoy the dollar made, maybe youll get mugged by a customer in realife for that dollar;) or theyll hit you in the eye just for the interactive yucks, just as they can in virtuality.

context... it always matters.

Kimberly Rufer-Bach

Sure, someone could use one of these skins to roleplay a warrior or a boxer or an earthquake survivor in a real-world emergency response simulation or with their Prom Night ouftit for virtual Halloween. And the artist who made the skin is very talented and does high-quality work. But the expression of the face of the avatar in the pictures Prok posted evokes a beaten woman with too much eye makeup (or perhaps she accidentally bashed herself in face with her makeup trowel?), not a proud warrior or a zombie or anything I'd ever want to be. Anyway, I think it's these screenshots that bother me, not the skin itself.

Prokofy Neva

callie, don't be *fucking ridiculous*. These skins aren't used for trick 'r treat. They are used for BDSM RP or various other brutal types of RP. Duh. They are sold for that purpose. They are also for lonely stupid women online to posture and look like they are in these fantasies for lack of anything else to do -- and that helps prop up the whole sick culture too.

Your constant pretense that this isn't what it is is only about one thing: you being a fashion plate with your business dependent on holding up the SL fashion world as such, and anything that makes this fashion world look bad is something you feel you have to come running like a house a-fire to quench.

Well, sorry, but it's a sick and sordid side of the industry and needs to be commented on just like the similar RL scandals of models who look heroin-addict-thin and have been airbrushed into looked like anexoria nervosa sufferers.

Prokofy Neva

The screenshots speek a 1,000 words, about the creators' intent, not to make "strong women" or "amazon warriors" but to make battered, sad, pathetic victims who are supposed to be therefore enticing to males -- and therefore sell more skins in that belief.

Gattina Dumpling

Gala uses the same pose for all of her skins.

Kimberly Rufer-Bach

Real warrior women probably don't stop to put on eyeliner before taking up their swords and AK-47s, but if they did I guarantee they'd be sharp enough to wear waterproof mascara.

Kimberly Rufer-Bach

"Gala uses the same pose for all of her skins."

I thought a blogger took these shots Prok posted, not the artist who made the skins. If this is the stock facial expression that is usually used for these shots, I think it was a mistake not to make an exception this time and use something less victim-looking.

Prok, you are right on the button with the reference to "Heroin Chic" models -- I was thinking the same thing.

Ciaran Laval

I know plenty about domestic violence, it's extremely ugly. These skins could play a role in some sort of campaign or production I guess but I don't see the allure of them being on general sale as a cool type of accessory.

Gattina Dumpling

Oops, sorry, I should have said Gogo. I am sure she could have used a smiling face for them but then people would have been "Oh she is glorifying domestic abuse by looking happy about it."

As I said above, a sl skin is not gonna turn anyone into a victim or abuser.

As I also said before, with all of the real life abuse and violence out there, wouldn't your energies be better spent doing something about it other than getting all irate and creating a story about a sl skin that is totally open to interpretation?

if you guys need links for volunteer opportunities to women's shelters in your communities I would be happy to supply them to you.

Brinda Allen

So sad. A mark of how this touches so many in so many ways is when you find Prok and Desmond on the same side.

Is this just play acting? yes. Is dressing and adult up as a prepubescent child play acting? Yes. Are *creators* allowed to do this? Yes.

So much in any society is "legal"...that's not the question...
I know before I post this line that there will be cries that what I'm about to say doesn't apply. Please hear me out. There are still countries that allow female circumcision, and find it socialy as well as legally acceptable. Is it right? If you're male in those societies...You would likely say yes. Ask the 12 year old as the older women are removing her clitoris without anesthesia.

In our world today there are *honor* killings. Your sister falls in love and has sex before you and your family pick her husband. You kill her to *protect* your familys honor. Is it right? In that society,yes.

From time immemorial men have abused women because they could...typically men are bigger...and men decided the law. Is it right? In certainly most enlightened societies today we have said no.

While this is about makeup...and virtual makeup at that. At some point we,as a society need to set a standard for what we will accept as appropriate behavior.

It's not been that long ago that the fashion industry came down hard on *Heroin Chic* looking makeup. {Looked something like some of the picts I saw}..major models just flat refused. The "look" died.

So many younger people today seem to find the "common courtesies" something out of date.
I find any depiction of violence unaccepable....Gorean...Dominant..any kind.

callie cline

thanks profky for your opinion.

however, you don't know what all of my business is in SL and your comment shows your ignorance of what my business is frankly.

yes i model, and yes i design clothing, but i do a whole lot more than that, i have NO need to defend SL fashion.

it's a bit sad that you are so bent on upholding your judgments you can't for one moment articulate a clear point. it is sad because you are a smart woman.

you have made so many leaps intellectually on your assumptions, it would take far too long to even address them.

but i'll address one. you start with criticizing songs which degrade women, (and btw to which many people DO publicly denounce) to then make a HUGE leap to tie that music and the culture you say endorses it to a skin review.

a VERY far leap. way too far for an educated discourse prof.

you also made huge assumptions in so many ways it's sad you can't see it.

i GET that you have (or claim to) have a passion to defend the innocent and for that I applaud you.

you just approached this one all wrong. if i were your coach, i'd have told you, "don't use the skins to make this point" IF that were your motive, to really defend the innocent.

now, after reading your blog and really frankly faulty leaps here and there... i scratch my head and ask "hrmmmm why?"

see i for one always assume the best, even for those who may love to jump on the mob mentality and go after you.

i wonder why someone as smart and as seemingly so passionate about battered women would use this blog to dribble such faulty accusations.

i've have some of my own thoughts about that. yet i won't even say what they are as they are my own.

i'd encourage you if you truly are so enraged by the abuse against women to "BE" the solution yourself. with your passion i'm sure you could start a battered women's shelter in SL and get tons of the hurting people you believe are in there.

i know from speaking to my customers there are indeed many who would love to find a resource like that.

do they wear those types of skins? not that i've never seen. but maybe they do.

at the end of the day it's MAKEUP, and in a world that makes films, art, movies, commercials, etc. it's GREAT to have them available.

i have a challenge for you. why not get with a machinmaographer, and do an public awareness annoucement on the abuse towards women.

i'm sure with your knowledge and passion it could be great and i'm guessing you may be able to get some people to help you. perhaps gala would even drop you the skin pack for your actresses.

think about how powerful THAT could be...

all the best.

caLLie cLine

p.s. expressions in sl are defaulted to look "expressionless" would it have helped this crazy attack if gogo used her mysti to put on an expression?

Prokofy Neva




My RL energies aren't better spent stopping domestic violence in RL.

There are plenty of people to do that already, and in fact I give to those organizations.

What I can do is stop it *right here where I'm working, in Second Life, where it is being glorified*.

That's part of stopping the entire culture of making women victims and men perpetrators to sell skins and games and online experiences.

I totally reject any idea that just because it is pixels it doesn't count. People are online 10 hours a day, often in these abusive relationships. It counts. It is soul-killing. It takes a toll. It's more than fine to take a position against it.

There isn't some massive bank account where God looks down and says, OMG you worked on pixels instead of real stuff, shame on you. You can do both. I chose to use this platform I have here to take a stand about this *in our world where we are*. I take it on the RL issues as well at my RL jobs and donating to groups that focus on this.

Domestic violence has to be tackled at the cultural level. This is culture.

Prokofy Neva

BTW, the spectacle of these manginas and prim diva fashionistas flogging these battered skins, and then telling those that object to the culture they represent, and who condem the brutalizing of women -- period, pixel or RL -- then telling them to go volunteer in a RL shelter -- but just leave them alone to sell their battered women skins -- well, it self-discredits.

Kimberly Rufer-Bach

Sorry, Gattina, but the debate tactic you are trying to use isn't going to work here. If someone says, "I am put off by these images because they look like an abused woman," or "I'm concerned about the effect of the fashion industry's imagery and/or the mindset it fosters," the appropriate response is not, "Shut up and volunteer at a women's shelter."

I'm not posting here to decry violence against women (because, gee, it'd be awfully surprising if I held any other view) but to comment on the fashion industry and its sometimes-negative influence, as well as to express my personal dislike of heavy eye makeup (an important factor to me when I purchase a skin for my avatar).

Sure, we could be volunteering at a women's sheleter right now. So could you, but you're here posting, too. We could all quit SL and give up posting on the net and put that time into stopping domestic violence, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and curing cancer. We could donate our money to these causes instead of buying avatar skins. So unless you want to see me post here to try to lay a guilt trip on you for spending any money on your hobbies, or for commenting on anything other than domestic violence and how awful it is, how about if you focus on what we're actually talking about here like a stand-up person who can debate straight-on and without the condescension.

(I sure hope I spelled that right. heh)


Art is art, whether you agree with it or not. Art that speaks of abuse is not condoning it. Yes, the music and the skins may be portraying terrible acts, but the bottom line is that it's art and it's not going to hurt anyone.

Porcupine Tree's album "In Absentia" (Where "Blackest Eyes" comes from) is all inspired from serial killers, rape, abuse, and mental psychosis. In fact, most of their music is like that. This does not mean the music is urging listeners to do the same. Anyone who believes they can do those kinds of things are not right to begin with. You shouldn't protest art just because it doesn't fit into your moral compass.

Besides, "Blackest Eyes" isn't new and Porcupine Tree has been around way longer than Matchbox 20. Dumbass.

Ciaran Laval

The blog Prok links to clearly glamourises these skins:

"Normally I steer clear of specialty skins like this, but I have a feeling that these will be very popular. It's still pretty, but dirty and totally bad ass!"

Domestic violence is not "bad ass" nor is it "pretty dirty".

Kimberly Rufer-Bach

"p.s. expressions in sl are defaulted to look "expressionless" would it have helped this crazy attack if gogo used her mysti to put on an expression?"

I'm sure you're aware that, without a scripted tool, by using the sliders you can do wild and crazy things like tweak the eyebrow shape or the corners of the mouth and all that in order to get a different expression. A lot of avatars do have a facial expression (mine's got a sort of Mona Lisa smile thing going). The avatar in the pictures Prok posted has a facial expression, too, intentional or not.

I'm not here to kick the tar out of the artist who made the skin, or the blogger who took those pictures. I'm just here to comment on the pictures.

Gattina Dumpling


I know for a fact Gala is not condoning domestic violence. The leap being made that she is glamourizing it floors me. All skins are open to interpretation. You may feel a skin looks "angelic" and I could feel it looks "pornstar." Or vice versa.

I'm concerned about how the fashion industry depicts women (rl and sl) but I think if someone is going to point fingers at this skin release from Gala, they may as well point fingers at ALL SL skin releases, because as I said before, they are all open to interpretation and can all be "read" in different ways, and almost everything can be seen in a negative light. I see the skins as strong and powerful, someone else sees them as being weak and battered.

When I said people should focus more on RL issues, it is because this is something I am passionate about, and I think that as Callie said above, if people find this upsetting they can harness that emotion into a positive, by either volunteering RL or SL or donating money.

As far as debating is concerned, my view is that I do not find the skins offensive, I do not feel they glamourize domestic abuse, and I personally would rather wear a style like this than that of a beauty queen.

Prokofy Neva

Sorry, but I simply don't buy all this lurky Plurky QQing going on here about "hard working skin makers who shouldn't be attacked" and "you just don't know my girlfrien'" and "you don't know me" and all the other sobby silly mess.

These gals/guys have to take responsibility for what they do as a public act.

They are creating a culture of impunity for battering women.

That is wrong.

That is ok to say.

I don't care if they lose a skin sale over it. It's ok. People need to think about why they are glorifying violence in this sick way on line.

Gattina Dumpling

"They are creating a culture of impunity for battering women."

No, because the woman wearing the skin got a black eye after kicking the asses of some pedophiles and she won and saved all the kids!

It is whatever story you write for it.

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