I like names and I always wonder about the choice of avatar names in Second Life. For someone to call herself CodeBastard Redgrave, this person means serious business. This is no SweetLilyPinkishPrincess. And I’ve started from that.

Codebastard Redgrave first got my full attention, when she won the Newbie of The Year Avastar Award. Up till then, I was a very erratic reader of her blog, but then I started paying more attention, thanks to Ana Lutetia, who became friends with her.

Codebastard Redgrave (Codie for her friends) is a amazing person indeed. In a year of SL, she has done so many things it’s really awesome. She is a photographer and machinima expert, she devised her own machinima camera (along with the youtube tutorials, that I find really good to follow) she had (has?) a Club and, on top of all that, she has a very strong personality that one can see very clearly by reading her blog. As an example, altought she was recently named by Avastar as Second Life Top Sweetie and one of the Top 10 most influential girls in Second Life, she, gratefully thanking, did not stop herself from pointing that the article had some machist content.

What got me fascinated about Codie was her latest project, that sadly reached an end in the last few days: The Boudoir Rouge series. The Boudoir Rouge is a series of photos, taken by Codie, of women in their underwear. Nothing strange with that, you might think? Well, think again. Nothing could be more intriguing, in fact.

Let’s diverge a bit and talk about something which made me so amazed with this project, apart from the high quality of her photos. Let’s talk about something a bit weird that I’ve been promising to write about for a long time: women’s modesty in Second Life.

When I first came to Second life, I was really apart from my avatar. It was just a doll. I could go around naked or in my undies or dressed as a hooker, no problem whatsoever. I am a person and my avatar was a pixel thing, a proxy to communicate. Nothing else. My avatar was the impersonation of my keyboard, so to speak.

With time, these things change. Our avatars are not just a “it, the doll, the pixel thingy” anymore. They become us. They move from being a pixel doll to being a virtual person. My Cat is myself, cannot bother to be someone else, but still people who have very different personas than their selves in RL, feel the same. The avatar becomes more human and starts to feel and demonstrate human feelings. Ok, no one is bothered by scripted hugs or by saying that they are making friends with others avatars: no one will find that weird. Still…modesty is something else, but very much a real thing. Nowadays, nobody will find me running around half naked. All girls I know change their clothes in privacy (and that’s why my Pink House – for changing clothes – is so successful and why women come to me and say that I’ve contributed for a much better SL for them: girls need their privacy protected and their quiet places where their modesty is not threatened.)

For people who aren’t residents in SL and still do not understand this point, let me make a parallel with blogs: when we first start writing, we give a lot of ourselves. We write “nakedly”: we throw ourselves on those blogs, the most intimate things, thoughts, feelings, etc. At some point we start to be embarrassed with all that. We sort of “dress” our writing. We cover those bits of “flesh” that we do not want to share with everybody else. Why? Its just characters, as avatars are just pixels, isn’t it? Right. I think I made my point…

So, a normal person (lets forget about real or virtual) will have her modesty and, as in real life, to get someone dress in underwear for a sexy pose photography, is a big issue. The people that Codie got to undress for her, are not only normal SL resident women, but in vary ways, famous and known people: in Codie words the “great ladies of the metaverse, mostly those who influenced my Second Life. (…)The Boudoir Rouge series is, before anything, meant to honor and thank the women that supported, helped, influenced and inspired me throughout my evolution in this metaverse.” This is not a series of beautiful almost naked dolls. This is much, much more than that.

And I realized that when I saw the photos of my friends Ana Lutetia and Gwyneth Llewelyn. If someone could get those two to pose like that, this person had to be really amazing. Someone who can cut through the wall of modesty of women and show them in such a wonderfull way, is someone that goes further beyond being a very very good photographer. It’s Codie herself. Mind me, I don’t know her; we have twitted maybe half a dozen times, mostly concerning this post. I’m just guessing that there is a very rare warmth in Codebastard Redgrave. She has shown me that some very strong and inner women’s feelings can be surpassed with pride and happiness by someone who means to honour and celebrate them.

The Boudoir Rouge series can be seen at Flickr and, in-world at the Code Red Gallery.

portuguese version will follow, but this way Codie can read the post, that the least we can do 🙂