Some of the most wonderful people I know in Second Life never change their avatar. Ever. And haven’t in over a decade. On purpose. Others adamantly stick with one general concept: Unicorn, pre-teen, mole, faun, etc. They all have identities. Then there’s a few, like me, changing their avatar more often than they change their Real Life underwear.
What I change most often is my skin. By “I” and “my” and “me” the character Uccello Poultry should be inferred. My alts hardly change other than upgrades (newer wings, other hair, etc). Uccello is heavily polychromatic. Here she’s grey. When she logged in she was chocolate. Often people see her in a blue skin. This is something I’d rather like to do in Real Life. Might it end racism? Probably not. I’m Irish-born and there are places I wouldn’t be welcome regardless of color.
This isn’t meant to be a diatribe on any politically sensitive issue, though. Elsewhere I’ve written about being tired of identifying as Caucasian and related topics. Instead, I’m just expressing myself through polychromatism and how my attitudes about Uccello are changing. Of late, I’m trying to gel her overall look much as my other characters have. Xandah is far more upscale than Uccello and definitely favors Indian fashion. Zyx (not the young pixy) is somber, almost always in black, leaning toward otherworldly clothes and never, ever speaking. An alt I share with my brother is always a robot. And so forth with other alts, as you can imagine. Each also follows a strict rule of being in character at all times, except in private conversations with close friends.
Uccello is far more organic (a polite euphemism). Over the years I haven’t tried to pin any standards to her and thus she has (and her Inventory has) become quite chaotic. Perhaps that’s because I am much the same in Real Life – rather directionless. My wardrobe is entirely bland, but I have never really developed me. I’ve gone from hiding in plain sight and avoiding people to being cooped up nearly 24/7 as a caregiver for a decade. Now that I’m 30 years old and really facing life more or less on my own, I need to start defining things. It is time I do so with Uccello, too.
Lately, she’s been wearing the same nose and lip stripe makeup at all times, tinting it as needed. Jewelry is far more common. Something blue is always worn even when her skin is not blue. And I’m trying to have her dress less like a trollop. Well, at least in public. All part of creating a more cohesive identity. Rather like growing up, I suppose.
Edit: After posting this I was reminded by someone of Robert A. Heinlein’s novel Friday, the story wherein an almost throwaway mention of a technology that allows one to change their skin made a devastating impact on a certain 10-year old girl, scarred from violence and wanting to be anyone but herself. Part of an identity, one might say.