Today I was reading Julya Lykin's blog. Julya tours around Second Life by taking more or less random walks and describing the places she visits...including a lot of stores, of course. SL is, after all, "a nation of shopkeepers."
But I was struck by one of Julya's comments. She said "guys get royally screwed in SL." She was referring, I hasten to add, to the fact that fashions, skins, hair, and accessories for guys are a lot thinner on the ground than those for us gals.
She's right, of course. There is at least five times as much Stuff for women in Second Life as there is for men. On the other hand, one might say the same for Real Life as well. Take a look at any major department store, and see how much square footage is devoted to women's items vs. men's items.
Why do you suppose this is? After all, we women supposedly make (on average) 76% of what men do. Doesn't that mean that we should be buying LESS stuff? Maybe we are...my Resident Geek sure seems to spend a lot of money, anyway. But it sure isn't on fashion...one look at him would tell you that. No, he buys Toys. Computers, video games, tools. Model airplanes. He drools over (but does not often buy, thank goodness!) sports cars, guns, boats, and high end stereos.
I think it is a cultural thing. Our whole culture teaches us that women must be beautiful to be a success...and that beauty requires clothes, makeup, shoes, and accessories. And you have to buy new ones every season! Not to mention time at the spa, skin treatments, plastic surgery, etc. etc. A guy, on the other hand, can slouch through life with maybe one suit, a couple of pairs of briefs, a few mismatched socks, an old pair of jeans, and a few moth eaten T-shirts...as long as he is driving a Corvette.
Second Life imitates Life 1.0 in this regard. I believe that our cultural biases influence our shopping habits in SL...and that, therefore, girls buy fashions, guys buy Toys. In turn, our shopping habits influence what the creators put out there for us to buy. They create what sells!
So, maybe the guys are royally screwing themselves by not buying more hot bodies and hot clothes! Stop drooling over that chromed Harley Davidson, fellows...make yourselves into Eye Candy instead. We, your virtual girlfriends, deserve no less!