The Perfect Body In SL (Part 2): Don’t Be Dis-Armed


By Cindy Melgund and Whimsy Warrhol

Now that you’ve proportionally balanced your torso and legs using the principles of the Golden Ratio (See Pt. 1 of this series in the September 2012 Busted, or here at our blog), we move on to the next common problem with the typical female body in SL. But a warning: do NOT attempt to make these fixes without reading the first article and making sure your torso and legs are in proportion.

While overlong legs are by far the worst female and male body shaping mistakes we see, overly short arms are a very close second for women.

And what’s the worst issue for men? No laughing now ladies…it’s their head size…you know, the one perched on their necks. It’s often far too small.

In this red carpet photo of the singer, Shakira, you can clearly see that her hand extends well below the widest part of her hips. That’s where your hands should be also.

Uncorrected arms that are too short make your entire body look constricted

In this photo of Whimsy (click to enlarge), you can see that she looks pretty good in the left image (but then she always looks good), yet she looks far more natural on the right because her arms, like Shakira’s, are the correct length for her height.

I will leave it to others to ponder why women have short arms and men have small heads in SL, but the cause of this, and many other appearance issues go right to the heart of the SL appearance system: the sliders

Blame it on the Sliders

It’s not clear to us what the philosophy was when Second Life’s developers created the slider system in Appearance, but we know for certain that it is rife with inconsistencies…and this is why so many people have bodies that aren’t quite proportionally correct.

For example, one would think that on a scale of 0 to 100 that 50 would be the average size or position of a particular body part. But anyone who has spent any time at all working on their body and face knows that this is far from the case. Professional shape makers know this well.

Nonetheless, it’s very obvious to us that many people use what they think is the “average” when designing or customizing their shape because they aren’t quite sure what the best numbers are.

Sorry to say there is no “best” number that works for everyone on every body part. Again, as we emphasized in the first article, overall body height determines ALL critical proportions in your shape. And, because overall height is very individual, you simply can’t depend on a magic number to fix things.

So Fix Me!

We said we wouldn’t philosophize, but we’re going to anyway. It’s pretty plain that the reason so many SL women have overly short arms is fear that they’ll look like chimpanzees. Interestingly, of all the proportion fixes we do, fixing arms seems to generate the most fear in our clients. Be brave.

And PLEASE before you take these next steps, it’s very important that you’ve already balanced your torso and leg lengths…again, read the prior story on how to do that!

Arms with the correct length follow the principles of the Golden Ratio. I’m not going to review those principles again, those are in the prior story. Now, in our consulting business we use a proprietary tool to make shape corrections, but here is a way you can get your arms in proportion on you own:

1. Put on a Gridded shirt and Pants, if you don’t have these, use the textures at the end of this article to make a shirt and pants outfit.

  2. Notice in this picture (click it to see full size) where Whimsy’s fingertips fall. She loves the big nails, but as you see the tips of her fingers fall inside the big color band, the “Finger Tip Zone” at mid thigh in the left image. Her arms are the correct length.

Her fingertips, even with the big claws, are above that band in the right image. Her arms are way too short.

3. Go to appearance, wearing the grids and lengthen your arms. Make sure you’re working with a copy/mod shape.

This may take several tries to get them correct, but it will be worth it…And make sure you SAVE AS the best version.

You may be surprised at how high your arm length number ultimately is, but don’t worry. As long as your wrist is on line with your crotch, you’ve got it right.

Take a Walk

Assuming you’ve corrected both your torso-leg length and now your arm length, try walking first with your “old” shape and then with your new one. The change may be subtle, but if you were short-armed to begin with we guarantee that if you’ve followed these suggestions you’ll walk with more flow and grace. Your old body will look constricted by comparison.

And the compliments will flow!

GRID Clothing, download and make a shirt and pants from these textures.

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