Posted by: Sisoula | April 1, 2009

The Color of the matter: SL skin color

  • eyez_003** Another title to this post: You don’t even know what Black is***

Ipenda ( paraphrasing), ”  I’ve been noticing that Black women are lighter than I thought”…

I’ve been pushing off this topic because to be blunt when I talk about color/race I prefer to rant without having to listen to any comments.

After all, matters of color discussed in a mixed group can a be yucky muddy territory ( and my eyes can’t take  all the eye rolling).

With that said, No one learns or grows if you aren’t blunt about what bugs you.

When it comes to color in Second life there isn’t much to get under my skin. No weird looks, No discrimination and not much drama.

This could be because no one has a clue that my avatar is suppose to be black.  Usually when I have informed people of this fact, they suggest that I should get a darker skin. Here falls my first issue.

As I told a friend who teleported me to a skin store  to point out the ugliest pitch black * African* skins to me… ” My avatar looks like me. And since I am black then my avatar looks like a *real* black person.”

What so many of my helpful friends fail to understand was that my goal in creating Sicily was to make her look as much like me as possible. It was not to make her so dark that an avie across the sim could tell her fake ethnicity.

Now let me make it clear that it does not bother me if people don’t guess my intended *color*. One, that’s just a dumb thing to care bout. Two, I can hardly tell the color of people’s hair  in SL sometimes.

What bugs me is this idea that blacks are suppose to be darker than dark. As I have said time after time,  It is like people don’t look at us. They just got an image of us stuck in their heads.

Allow me to burst this image for you. Blacks aren’t really Black!! From African-American to African we come in all shades. Yes, Africans come in light too.

Here’s another bubble that needs to be orbited into an Sl vortex. Skin makers don’t make a variety of dark skins because there is less of a demand.

Maybe this is true. But… If it is a demand issue why are the majority of *ebony* skins   super dark brown.

This makes no sense if you are worried about demand. If you can only make one dark skin a medium ( average) brown tone would cater to more people ( From people looking for a African tone to even Latino).

So why do skin makers go to the extreme end when making dark skins?

It’s this image of what people think we look like versus what we *really* look like.

So I challenge you to actually look at and see a real black person before you make your next skin.

None of this is to hate on people who are or just want the dark skinned African look. I wish skin makers would offer at least two shades of * brown*.

I wish regardless of darkness the shading was better. Where are the golden browns, orangey browns and yellow browns? I am sick of blah mud looking brown.

And my final wish is that the ones who do make ebony skins stop using the same shapes with them that they do with the white skins!!

I can’t tell you the number of time I haven’t brought a skin because the picture looked like a Caucasian in black face.

If you want to sell more dark skins to people who want a realistic look… Having a pointed nose on an African skin is a bad idea.

Even if it’s a well-done skin, you are going to get my laughter instead of my money.

Some will say I am being too picky. I bet they will be the same ones who will zoom in on their skins to make sure shading under the arm pit is just right.


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