Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Morning in the Sithen / Self-Objectification

In Depth Conversation

I mentioned a few different homes on my home post earlier, including a couple on my roleplaying sim. The Public one is in a place called the Sithen, where the fae can come to rest and rejuvenate themselves. One half of the upper rooms are Deoridhe's, on her right as the Seelie Queen and representative for the fae, and she has them decked out in an opulent style which hints at the immense resources she has, as well as her sometimes whimsical sense of style. The Sithen itself is not mine so to speak but it does feel familiar and welcoming to me, and I love going there just to hang out and wait to see if anyone wants to play with me.

Sitting Room

I recently read about Amalia Ulman's art piece mimicking the social media feed of women seeking external validation through materialism recently. The Telegraph did an interview with her, but I found  Emilie Friedlander's piece, Social Anxiety: Why Artist Amalia Ulman's Fake "Middlebrow" Instagram Is No Different From Yours particularly interesting in terms of thinking about our social media presences in terms of classism and the longstanding tendency of people to judge other people's power based on what we have access too. Friedlander positions this as a modern phenomena, but remembering the many and varied types of sumptuary or class-dress laws which cross cultures and I'm not so convinced - what we own and how we look is central to how we are perceived as people, and thus is of incredible importance.


A lot of Second Life blogging is a similar display of access or money. The blogging of materials before and event is a statement about access and trust - Look, the early access says, I was given this and am showing it to you before you can get it. Gacha rares and ultra rares can mark a similar thing - look, they say, I have the money to spend/the creator gave these to me. The drive to be the first, on the cutting edge, to respond before anyone else can - all of these are driven by the same forces which drive the endless round of carefully perfect nuggets on various forms of social media. It's a modern Keeping Up with the Joneses, but don't mistake it for something new in the human psyche. Nor is the self-objectification Ulman explores changed by the fact she is doing it to herself, instead of others doing it to her. The reinforcement is external and based on the surface, a difficult to maintain facade of femininity. A recent post by Laurie Penny, Maybe you should just be single, on the cost of being in a relationship for many women seems particularly poignant in relationship to Ulman's carefully crafted surface. When we make ourselves into a reflection, into a surface, into a muse - what do we end up losing?

Summer Queen

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Hair: Damselfly, Dixon (On9)
Eyes: .:Soul:., Oculos Eyes
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Eyeshadow: AlaskaMetro, "Muse" Eyeshadow (On9 - Free Demo)
Ears: .:Soul:., High Elf
Lipstick: Adore & Abhor, Shreveport Lips
Wings: Flugeln Brise, Panzerwespe (On9)
Body: SLink, Body, Hands & High Feet
Nails: La Boheme, Taema Silver
Outfit: Valentina E. Couture, Cherry Dress and Ruffles Sleeves (On9)
Shoes: Glamistry, Statice Heels

Poses: Exposeur

Windlight Settings: Phototools, Cloud Light 01
Water Settings: Mirror Water

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping

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