There have been many perceptions of what a “great black model” should be on this game. Some say that a black model should have a certain skin, certain shape, hair, and dress a certain way. Depending on what type of model you strive to be, this “box” may apply to you. Instead of going into what a black model is on Second Life, let me tell you what a black model is NOT:
We are not limited to just one size. Please get out of the mindset that if you can’t fit into standard sized mesh clothes, that you are not model material. Some of the best print models I have seen inworld are not what you call in “model shape”. Some of the most successful black bloggers are not confined into this “under 50 waist” shape. Also, being a “black model” in the black SL community does not mean that we have to always fit the stereotypical “thick girl” shape either. We all come in different shape and sizes in RL, so please don’t limit us in our Second Life’s. Just because a plus size avatar doesn’t fit your “fashion world”, does not mean she doesn’t fit anywhere else.
We are not available in just one flavor. We come in different shades of browns, some darker than others. Get out of your “Shadeism” mindset and see the spectrum of colors around you, and how each shade is beautiful in its own way.
We do not just look good in “African Styling” or “Urban Styling. Even in RL modeling and print ads, it seems as if black models are always used for more traditional African looks, over anything else. Don’t put us in this box!
We are not lazy, late, and not dependable. I can’t tell you how many times I have been reminded more than others about rehearsal because they felt as if my avatar’s skin color translated into me being “late” or “lazy”. Those traits are not just based on one’s skin color. I’m sure that “late” and “lazy” has no racial preference.
We don’t have to live up to the many stereotypes of our race. Often times as black models, we feel as if we have to have certain features to fit in – and others may expect us to look and act the way stereotypical black women act. This is not true. Be You and do what makes you happy!
We are not to be overlooked! Regardless of how you feel about the African American person in RL and SL, one thing is for certain – we are not going anywhere, we are beautiful, and our money/lindens spend just the same as any other avatar!
There are so many things that black models; heck even black women on SL are not, which could take all day to list. The bottom line is this:
We all come to Second Life to do something, or be something. One of the wonders of this virtual world we live in is the freedom that it gives us to simply just BE. Don’t taint the beauty of our individuality by being so small minded and putting people of different races or beliefs in a different box. As for me, I choose, and will continue to live outside of the box. Will you?
Miss Virtual World Ethiopia 2014