Or why Second Life Designers shouldn’t have contests for “Faces of.” My mouth has become unzipped and I hope I don’t ever regret this blog post, but with a heavy heart I feel I must speak. It’s tough for me because I am friends with pretty much everyone involved. So with light foot steps I decided to glance over the “event” itself and just tell of something similar. Over the weekend I did something very rare and un-Cao-like, I went to observe a contest. It’s rare for me to venture out into the world a’tall unless shopping, so to actually sit on a bench and watch for a few hours, that’s maybe a sometimes never thing for me, but that just tells you how much I cared for several of the participants in the contest. It was an odd assortment of contestants, some misses, some mid-season trained models and some newcomers in the mix. You’d think the judges would lean to the misses but as it turned out, in the end, it wasn’t so. That said, not being a part of the process, I have nothing further to say about this particular event, but it does call to mind one of my own experiences. And I do want to paraphrase, not all contests are bad, I happen to have been the Essence of Purple Moon and judged for the succeeding contest. I also believe Miss Virtual World, due to its broad scope, multiple judge changes and no monetary prizes is above board as well. It’s difficult to get multiple judges to collude with you over multiple venues and dates.
But to what I saw over the weekend. When I was a new model, heck I reckon before I even went to my first modeling class, I was in a contest for a store I just absolutely adore. Sure like any model the lure of Lindens is nice, but I have to love the inventory to spend money on the outfit and a photographer to win a contest. That year, I was a finalist and happy actually to have made it that far. But I wanted to win. I immediately enrolled in MBMA, participated in the monthly portion of the stores contest, actually completed MVW Academy and later Miss Virtual World as a top twelve finalist. If I wasn’t ready this time, then I shouldn’t have been modeling a’tall. By the time the contest came around, I was in first place, about 20 points ahead of the person in second place. The odds looked good, but honestly, they should have. I worked hard, entering every single month, proud of the designer’s product and I was not some fly by night enter one month to be eligible, then win the Lindens and wander off kind of model. A terrible thing happened at the final, one judge gave me 1’s and 2’s (out of 10) on all categories, and yes it was an anomaly, the other judges averaged between 8’s and 10’s. How do I know this? Someone close to the contest (and to me) gave me the final compiled judges score card and told me who this model/designer/judge was so I would know to not get too close to the person since she so obviously disliked me but chose to hide it well. (yes, I have known all this time what you did, and I didn’t say a word to you about it even though I have worked with you several times since..) The result of her action? After all of my work, I ended up 4th and received nothing. Two years of effort for nil.
The point? No, it wasn’t to wallow in self-pity. The point is these contests are so easily manipulated and there really is no way to keep them honest. If they are going to head south, there is no way to control them. My opinion why designer’s shouldn’t have them? Other than the third sentence in this paragraph, I think this designer did himself a grave injustice. Designer’s need to stop looking at these “Face’s of” as a face. If I were a designer, I’d pick the candidate that will not only take my Lindens, but will turn around and help me. Because this designer, in choosing the judges he did, completely lost out on a blogger, a steady customer, a model, but most of all, a friend because it took me a long time to get over it. I have. Gotten over it that is, I mean it could barely pass my “will you still be angry in a year” measure, it is a Second Life afterall, but I realized then, I am a blogger and a model, I am most certainly not a contestant and I never looked back. I hope the models who weren’t top three in this contest realize the same. In real life, if a design house has a face of their house they give it to the model who works hard for them, who truly represents their brand, not because they show up “that” day but due to the scope of their past work. Period. But, yanno? That’s just my two cents worth on the topic, take it for what it’s worth to you. Probably not too much. Have a low gravity Tuesday!