As everybody already knows, mesh is out. Say hi to mesh. Hi, mesh. Mesh is both great and terribly frustrating: if it fits you, it’s the best damn thing ever. If it doesn’t fit you, it’s awkward and strange. For those of us who’ve spent years fine-tuning our shapes, and who feel like our shapes are really part of our online selves, it’s very hard to suddenly wear clothes that force us into another shape, another body. That body may be extremely curvy, or it may be not curvy enough, or it may have all the curves in the wrong places.
Additionally, and more troublingly, mesh opens up a very significant can of worms that Second Life had never really opened before: that of body image. SL always allowed us to create, within certain limitations, the body that we wanted. We could be slender, youthful, and girlish. We could be stacked, sexy, sensual. We could be wiry, androgynous, angular. We could be voluptuous, curvy, womanly. Men, too: from skinny youths to muscular manly-men to pot-bellied bears, SL allows an amazing range of shapes…and that’s just the humans.
Yeah, this is not news…but here’s the mesh problem: so many of us have struggled for years in real life with our body images, for whatever reason. So many of us dread the chore of going shopping for clothes and wading through options that don’t fit, or hang funny, or gap in places they shouldn’t gap. We hate it because society makes clothes for an ideal shape which is not our own. We hate it because it reminds us that our bodies are not easily mutable, and we cannot change the things about us that feel, for whatever reason, alien.
Second Life gave us bodies that we can make our own: that we can make the way we want. Second Life gave us clothes that, more or less, would just fit those bodies. Eventually, it gave us sculpts, and sculpts took a whole lot of pushing and prodding before they’d just fit, but hey, eventually most of those are more or less one size fits all. Now it has given us mesh, and without some extensive upgrading, mesh simply is not one size fits all. Mesh yanks us back into that real-world body-image morass of sizes that don’t fit, that hang funny, and that gap in places they shouldn’t gap. Mesh forces us to fit into ideal shapes which are not our own; shapes that are alien.
Mesh has a long way to go before it’s really going to be mainstream, I think. For now…try demos, and see if you like the shape the garment creates on you.
I really did mean to mention, in amongst the ranting, that Wicked Closet has just put out a v. awesome mesh set for men and butch women. YEAH I SAID THAT. That tie is mesh, you guys (as are the jeans). I purposefully did not edit the tie in my photos, so you can see that my belly still clips into it a little — a downfall of mesh. Also, you cannot adjust where the tie sits on your neck, which looks pretty awkward on me. BUT LET ME TELL YOU: a tie that actually bends when I bend rather than getting swallowed by my torso? Awesome. Worth it.
Hair: Shag — Dogs of Lust by Sebastian Aries
Shirt: pivaaca — Border Tank by Trish Blanco
Shirt (around waist): Coco — Shirt tied around waist by cocoro Lemon
Jeans: Wicked Closet — Dark Slim jeans by Wicked Resistance
Tie: Wicked Closet — Alton tie by Wicked Resistance
Hat: Wicked Closet — SkaterBoi Flat Cap by Wicked Resistance
Shoes: FIR & MNA — The Solas Shoes by Rob1977 Moonites
Socks: Pig by Apatia Hammerer
Cuff: Kari — Key Cuff by Menno Ophelia
Tattoo: Garden of Ku by danel Kurosawa
Poses: momomuller by momomura Zehetbauer