Hart Larsson from PXL Creations has made a lovely skin for black avatars. One of my real-life friends that I brought into Second Life is African-American and has lamented the state of black skins in Second Life many, many times. It’s not that black skins don’t exist or that no effort was made to create beautiful skin. She described it as the skin having the wrong undertone so that it looks flat. She also said it was often too light or too gray. When Hart sent me a bundle of promotional copies of this new Efe skin I tried them out and think they are what she was looking for. If she weren’t pregnant and a few days overdue I bet she would be camping outside his store waiting for their release.
Normally I would not wear a black skin because putting on a skin does not bring with it the experience and culture that it projects. A white person role-playing a black person could easily transgress with inappropriate stereotypes, cultural appropriation and even blatantly racist role-playing. I think nearly all of us have seen this happening in SL with some of the “gangsta” avatars. However, I did want to highlight this fabulous skin and shot it in a few outfits inside my photosphere.
Here you can get a nice look at the skin on one of Vogel’s beautiful swimsuits. I think in this picture you can see how beautifully the musculature has been done and the lovely shading of the skin. I know I have shown you other swimsuits by Vogel in the past. My excuse is that he’s my ex-boyfriend and a sweetie…so I like to show off his stuff. Forgive me for my biases. The sandals, teeshirt and totebag are all a small part of a huge bundle of sunflower accessories from GField. It includes a yellow and a green tee, a straw and white tote, hair ornaments, a choker and more. A fun little bundle of sunshine. In the end, though, I wore Cynthetic’s earrings and necklace as I am not terribly fond of chokers.
The skin comes with a short hair option so you can wear it without hair – however I elected to wear the super short Rabi from Little Heaven. It’s brown, but a little dark grey tinting made it black without losing the lovely shading of the hair.
I will be honest and confess that I am conflicted by whites wearing black skins since so many take it as a green light to start role-playing the worst stereotypes. On the other hand, perhaps some whites would learn that we are not a post-racial society as did one white woman who was called a racist epithet while shopping in a black skin. For her, it was an eye-opening experience since she assumed that sort of thing didn’t happen anymore. I am sure that the racial dynamic is different, too, in European and Latin American countries where racism exists but without the toxicity of Jim Crow. It’s a difficult question and not one with a single right answer. However, there is one simple thing that is very clear. If you are white and put on black skin and alter your speech patterns, change your vocabulary and clothing style to be a “gangsta” or a “ho”, that is racism.
Promotional Copies are denoted by a Bold R
- Poses: Torridwear
- Skin: PXL efe RedLips Glossy Eyes R
- Eyes: Poetic Color Night Forest
- Lashes: CyberNetic
- Nails: Symphony Skins Nails
- Hair: Little Heaven Rabi
- Swimsuit: Vogel – Flowers Yellow R
- Tee, handbag and shoes: GField Sunflower All-in-One Pack
- Jewelry: Cynthetic Sunflower Freebie