Tenue de jour / Outfit of the Day: Moonage Daydream

Domch Raymaker | - Tenue/Outfit, Automne-Hiver/Fall-Winter, Costume | Sunday, October 19th, 2008

t has become increasingly common for websites and computer media to provide computer generated visual images, called avatars, to represent users and bots during online interactions. In this study, participants (N=255) evaluated a series of avatars in a static context in terms of their androgyny,…attraction, and the likelihood they would choose them during an interaction. The responses to the images were consistent with what would be predicted by uncertainty reduction theory. The results show that the …lack of androgyny of an avatar…significantly influence(s) perceptions of avatars. - Kristine L. Nowak & Christian Ruth, “The Influence of the Avatar on Online Perceptions of Anthropomorphism, Androgyny, Credibility, Homophily, and Attraction”

People of ambiguous gender are attractive. If ambiguity persists after second, third, and more glances, the greater the attraction. If gender cannot be precisely determined at close range even after listening to the individual’s voice . . . there are no words to describe this level of appeal. I know my particular tastes and preferences very well. Rarely do they intersect with mainstream concepts of beauty and desire, leading to my ignoring most of the world and those who comprise it. - Satoruvash, ‘Androgynous Attraction’

I’ve been trying to understand why I’ve been so drawn to an androgynous look of late. Call it a kneejerk reaction, if you like, to the hypermasculinity that prevails on Second Life - the overbuff guys with bulging pectorals and biceps that look like they could eat the Incredible Hulk for lunch. You might say it’s an exercise in futility - bucking one trend only to jump onto another bandwagon. But I like to think of my attraction to androgyny as something brought on by the mystique of uncertainty - the beauty of Keatsian negative capability as applied to one’s virtual identity (”I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason”)

Okay, onwards with the post before Ben has my head lopped off for all this philosophizing on SL Men. (”It’s about the clothes, Domch” he chides. “Yes, boss,” I dutifully reply)

[Click on the picture to enlarge]

Today’s outfit is a tribute to that sharpest spearhead of glam rock, David Bowie. The ‘Information Overload’ outfit from Grim Brothers seemed a wonderful update on Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust persona from the early 1970s - Cutea Benelli, the designer, has used Matrix-like animated textures generously on the cape, visor and forearm bracer, as well as the belt and thigh attachments. (She describes ‘Information Overload’ as a ‘retrofuturistic cyberdroid outfit’; incidentally, Information Overload also comes in cyan - here I’m showing the neon green version).

The overall effect, especially when you set sun to midnight, is mesmerizing - your eye never quite knows where to rest, as it alternately darts from one animated item of clothing to another. The visual restlessness of the outfit is, in this sense, a perfect complement to the uncertainty that underlies the attractiveness of androgyny. (Oops, I’m waxing philosophical again, sorry Ben!). :P

Softening the outfit’s sea urchin spikes is a feather jacket, also from Grim Bros. (10 points to you if you spot the feather boa/drag queen reference, too).

Style, Photography: Domch Raymaker

Credits after the jump!

• Costume:
Information Overload (499 Lindens, Perms: M (some items are non-mod)/C/NT; also included are shiny versions of the black bodysuit (shirt and pants) which are not shown here),
@ Grim Bros [Designer, Address & SLURL]

• Blazer / Jacket:
Winter Crow Feather Jacket (222 Lindens, Perms: M/C/NT),
@ Grim Bros [Designer, Address & SLURL]

• Yeux / Eyes:
Creature Eyes - Burnish - Dusk (30 Lindens, Perms: M/C/NT),
@ Nemuri Kohime, http://www.xstreetsl.com/modules.php?name=Marketplace&file=item&ItemID=725534

• Skin:
Androgyne - Marble - Vario (1049 Lindens, Perms: NM/C/NT),
@ eXceSs [Designer, Address & SLURL]

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  1. I must say this is a very nice post again Domch. The outift reflects the futuristic and yet androgyne look that David Bowie wished to have, pretty well xD

    And I so much agree with your opinion about androgyny.. I also hate the overbuff guys with bulging pectorals and biceps haha


    Comment by Johansson — 19 October 2008 @ 8:05

  2. Fantastic post.

    I’m relatively new to SL, but I’ve noticed the “hyper-masculinity” at the dance clubs and while shopping. That there are vendors, such as eXceSs, who cater to an androgynous look is fantastic. I can’t wait to make some purchases.

    Be well.

    Comment by Sideon — 22 October 2008 @ 20:10

  3. Hiya Johan and Sideon! Many thanks for the kind comments. Heh - just to clarify, I don’t have anything personally against guys with large pecs, but I’d like to see more diversity in SL. The andro look adds to that diversity, and i say - more power to it! :)

    Comment by Domch Raymaker — 23 October 2008 @ 9:36

  4. I don’t have an issue with guys with large pecs, either. Heaven knows I wouldn’t be tossing them out of bed for eating crackers…

    For those of us who aren’t gym bunnies, I’m glad there are other alternatives.

    I’m excited to be doing some androgynous shopping, even though my current incarnation is quite buff.

    Comment by Sideon — 23 October 2008 @ 20:37

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