I was searching YouTube for something when I found an ad at the top of the search list for Dove's newest ad. Here it is, then I'll talk about it:
Did you see the question at 0:43? ... Yeah, ... that simple question ... it brought tears to my eyes. ... When, indeed.
I am reluctant to post my RL picture anywhere; I am reluctant to have my RL picture taken. When I travel and someone offers to take my picture with the scenery, I decline and say, "It would just ruin the picture." When I look back at old pictures, I think that, in the ones where I looked great, I didn't look like me.
I justify my avatar's beauty by saying that I compensate for my RL with my SL avatar. How many of us compensate for our RL with our SL avatars? Maybe it's easier to count how many do NOT.
Of course, I realize that having a pretty avatar makes it even harder for us to accept ourselves. I doubt lovers who say that they think I am attractive irl, because it was my avatar that attracted them and my avatar looks nothing like my RL. I worry what a lover would think of me when I use the webcam on Skype with him. Would he lose interest? Is he looking at the RL me in Skype, or is he looking at my avatar in SL?
If a lover asks to see me in Skype for the first time, I am incredibly nervous. If he asks again after he had previously seen me in all my un-glory, I am ecstatic.
Do I think that people should make their SL avatars look like their real selves? I still think it's a personal choice. It's more than just a matter of confidence. It's more than just a matter of beauty. It's also a matter of experiencing something we cannot irl. What does it feel like to be beautiful? To be fought for? To be flattered? To have more confidence? To be desired like that?
Now, I know.
Would I want to be as beautiful as my avatar irl? Not really. I've seen the shadow side of beauty too.