Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pouty Avatar Selfies, Cliche and Metaphor

Wall 1
Enigmatic Pouty-Lipped Barbie Avatar Behind Walls of Her Own Creation
Wall 2
We hide behind walls for safety and peer out beyond. Sometimes we step outside.
The first idea that usually springs to mind from a Single Frame Stories prompt is a visual cliche like this image of a sad avatar Barbie hiding behind the walls of her low self-esteem.

Given the hundreds of thousands of enigmatic avatar selfies on Flickr, there's clearly a great psychological appeal to that kind of image. At least for those who post them. (If I had a nickel for every pouty-lipped avatar Barbie selfie I'd be a freaking millionaire.)

Maybe this phenomenon is a reflection of a yearning for an unrealized inner Muse buried mute and bound, deep in our subconscious. Perhaps it's a reflection of our unhealthy obsession with media's unrealistic idealized nubile female archetype, selling everything from face cream to Brazilian waxes to plastic surgery. Beats me.

Back to the intended topic of this post . . . what keeps me coming back each week to the Single Frame Stories Challenge is the process of working through an initial knee-jerk metaphor to aspects of the underlying concept that were not immediately evident. For instance, the second image extended the idea of walls we hide behind, to spaces of safety that we peer beyond, where others can see us from a safe distance. And as climbable barriers we can step outside of. Not earth shatteringly profound, but an interesting expansion of my original view.

Some people take issue with being directed by an external prompt rather than one's own inner calling. But the beauty of surrendering to an external prompt is the consistent opportunity to break out of our habitual framework and work on ideas we would not otherwise engage with. Works for me. I invite you to give the weekly challenge a try.

5 comments:

michelehyacinth said...

That's a really great image, all the walls and peep-holes. Really great take on the prompt. I agree...an external prompt causes me to think through something that I might not have considered or arrived at on my own.

Emilly Orr said...

Though I post a great deal of shots I take in SL, I would not call the majority "art" in any sense. But I am intrigued by the challenge. Whether or not I have the temerity to send my work in, I think I'll be checking in on the blog's theme, and seeing what creatively blossoms.

really? said...

Oh, lord, here's the pot calling the kettle black.

Botgirl Questi said...

Emily: That's great to hear. I think of this process more as "visual thinking" than art. Considering a topic through images is a very different process than through words.

really? "I'm totally a pot. That's why I appreciate the process.

Ally said...

"...the beauty of surrendering to an external prompt is the consistent opportunity to break out of our habitual framework and work on ideas we would not otherwise engage with."

Oh wow, what a wonderful affirmation, turn of phrase, ideal, idea, goal, life lesson and it is such a wonderful thing to put into my mental "ponder over time" stewpot. Thanks for it all.