Home > Project Endless Possibilities, Virtual Identity > Project Endless Possibilities (25): Jinnywitha Cleanslate

Project Endless Possibilities (25): Jinnywitha Cleanslate

(So we have reached participant no 25 in the project. Please welcome Ginny. You can read more about the project as well as find the previous entries here.)

  • Does your avatar look like or represent your real life self?

Yes.  I wanted to be me in SL – so I spent about 4 hours on my first day trying to get myself to look like myself, by staring in the mirror and tweaking away at the sliders.  It was weird how I perceived myself to look, then when I looked in the mirror to compare, I was actually quite different to what I had created, and had a much rounder SL face.  I soon corrected that by using the mirror.  If I could have added the extra wobbly bits that I have around my midriff in RL – I would have done.  Thats how much I just wanted to be me in here.  lol.

  • Do you make significant changes to your avatar often?

No – I am me in here.  I have a horse and dog and dolphin avatar too but I hardly use them.  The horse  – a Water Horse Avatar, I use as a touring vehicle for newbies, as I found it easier to have them sit on the horse rather than just follow – that way we can stay together and don’t waste time gettign seperated.  And as both people can control the AV – it was a good way to get about, as they can explore and still ask question with me present.  As soon as the tour is over – I go back to being me.

  • Why have you chosen to have your avatar look like he/she/it does?

I have a lot of gaps in my RL, that SL fills.  I couldn’t be anyone else but me, and so it was important to me to put in the initial effort to create a virtual me.

  • Do you have a signature look?

I look like me.  I don’t have a particular style.  I have more fashion sense in SL – largely because in RL I can’t get clothes like that.  But in RL I wouldn’t walk about in short tops that show a section of my belly area, because society objects to stretchmarks and wobbly bits, and also I feel cold a lot of the time in RL.  lol.

  • Is it important to you how your avatar looks?

Yes!  Very!

  • Do you have some basics that you always wear (certain color of hair, eyes or …)?

My hair colour and eye colour, skin, all stay the same.  I usually also always wear this heart necklace.  I go through phases in RL of wearing necklaces when I go out – and most of them are hearts. :o)

  • What does it mean to you how other avatars look? Do you avoid talking to some avatars because of their appearance?

I think it’s only natural to pass judgement on how people look.  However, that judgement does not always have to be negative. Saying that – those SL jeans that girls wear that are on their hips and the zipper or flies are open…. they make me think of someone who might be easy.  I just personally find those jeans very cheap and trashy looking, along with overly low hipsters that show the bum cleavage and buttock curve.  I must say, that I find it funny how in RL young boys will walk about with jeans hung annoyingly low on their hips, with the crotch at mid thigh level – you know – the kind that make you want to get behind and haul them up to the proper hip level, yet in SL – you can’t find jeans like that…. thank God!  Lol

  • How has your perspective on your avatar and your thoughts about your appearance changed since you first joined Second Life?

They haven’t – always been me.  Boring huh!  lol.

  • Has Second Life influenced your Real Life in any way?

Very much so.  I have seen the 2 sides of SL – the good and the bad – and on balance – overall it has been a very positive thing for me – however I have seen it destroy many people.   I have chronic OCD and Multiple Allergy Syndrome, and that with an ill elderly, co-dependent mother, that I also have to care for in RL, means I have very little freedom in RL.  SL gives me freedom.  It taught me how to control my OCD via an SL support group – and I now mentor people with OCD in this specialist group, inworld.   It gave me something to do, when I was bedridden for 2 years awaiting surgery.  It gave me self confidence.  It gave me the chance to see bits of the RL world, that I might never have seen, albeit representations of them.  It gave me new friends, and support in some very terrrible times in my life in ways that I found my RL friends didn’t.  And because of my mother’s restrictions and controlling tendencies in RL I was denied a very valuable RL experience, but with SL – I could bypass her, and so it gave me the chance to actually have my first ever ‘boyfriend’ and ‘relationship’ in a way that she couldn’t stop.  I’ve had 2 long relationships both lasting over 2 years in SL.  Neither worked out – but that whole chapter made me grow up a lot in RL.  SL is my escape from the general chaos of my RL.  Some people turn to drink and drugs – I turn to SL to de-stress and get away from it all.  I still ensure that I have my feet firmly in RL though, and try not to let it control my life.  But I do truely love SL!  heheheh

  • How do you view your avatar? Is it just a tool to be able to navigate SL, is it an aspect of your persona, a virtual representation of you or maybe your best friend?

My AV is a virtual representation of me.  In RL my nickname is Jinny and I am known as someone who is always nice and good (not a do-gooder as such, just someone who won’t deliberately start trouble or gets in trouble) – and in SL my name is Jinny (or Jinnywitha Cleanslate = Jinny with a clean slate).  I would be heartbroken if I found my AV been deleted by accident one day, and I could never get her back.  I think my therapy bills would go through the roof if that ever happened!  LOL – I’d probably need grief counselling too.  LOL.   My AV is such a strong part of me that when my health was in critical condition, and I was making my own memorial booklet for my RL funeral if I didn’t survive – I had a picture of my SL self and my SL name, and D.O.B. on the back cover – and my RL self and name etc, on the front.  I even have an SL Last Will And Testament, to distribute any Lindens and transferables amongst people.  All my RL and SL friends have said that SL has been a positive thing for me, and I felt it important to acknowlege that, in the event of my passing.

(Photos by Jinnywitha Cleanslate.)

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