Thursday, September 26, 2013

Standing Up Against Discrimination - Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Against Discrimination 

Just last night I saw some photo on Facebook about a pear shaped girl avatar versus a "normal" looking girl avatar. The page went on to making fun of those girl whose avies have wide hips. On that same page you can find pictures that make fun of people who are Furry, women who decide to wear Lolas and other mesh parts that add to a female body, avatars frown faces, newer looking avies who have issues with aligning their clothes, hair, and other items to their body correctly and much more.

I will not link their page nor say their names as I will not support this in anyway. 

It is heart breaking that in Real Life so many people experience put downs, discrimination, taunts, bullying and abuse due to their race, religion, beliefs, and self expression of what they chose to wear and how they look. I don't know about you but we don't need that in second life as well. 

It doesn't matter if you chose to be pear shape, fat, skinny, black/white, tall/short, wear Lolas or not, be a furry, a male when you are a real life female or a female when you are a real life male or whatever else you decide you want to do with your second life. What matters is your character.

Beauty is not based on what you decide to wear or what you decide to look like. Beauty is based on character. You can dress your avatar up all you want and look like a real life version of Beyonce or Models from Victoria Secret but if your attitude is nasty and horrible, it doesn't matter how good you look. If you steal from others, scam others, grief others, and put down others, it also doesn't matter how good you look. 

We are all made to be unique individuals and we should embrace that instead of spreading hate.

People might say "oh but its a joke" or "it's nothing." but that is were discrimination and stigma starts, with a "joke". Take a look at the Supermarket chains Tesco and Asda who put for sale a Halloween costume called "mental health patient" as an example.

Some people thought it was a joke and people should lighten up. But in truth, this is one reason why people are scared to talk about mental health issues and about mental health in general. People who are uneducated on the matter start believing that ALL mental health patients are psychopaths and killers when in fact that is far from the truth. It is the small things like this where people start creating stigma.

The fact is that the majority of people with a mental health illness is NOT violent. Here are the facts based on research:

As Paul B said in his blog, this is not about not being able to take a joke but "It's a response to the belittling or stigmatizing of people who are ill through no fault of their own. It's an insult to one in four members of our population".

In the second life case, it is belittling what people chose to be and express in their life. 

Stand Up Against Discrimination, Don't support it. Don't partake in these cruel put downs and hurtful ways.

Beautiful comes in all shape, forms and sizes. Embrace it! =]

Take a look at what I am wearing from 49L For Dudes Here


  1. This is beautiful, powerful and AMAZING! My RL spouse lives with bipolar condition and receives excellent treatment. I have two other close family members with other mental health conditions who both still struggle to find what works for them. I'm new to Second Life and completely agree that it ought to be the best of who we are as human beings. I applaud what you're doing here and say THANK YOU!

  2. Thanks for the wonderful feedback =] and Welcome to Second Life.

  3. This is truly an amazing post. I am glad that their is still some people in this place we call second life that don't just see it as some "charcters " on a screen. I agree with you 100% that if you are hating on this game makes no different what type of person you are in RL . thank you for all you do to bring awareness here in SL. Amazing post.

  4. Wow Josh awesome post!!! It's really nice to know that you are so passionate about bringing awareness in SL. Like what was said before we just don't have many people around that speak up and try to raise eyebrows and perk some ears! I myself have been called the "N" word over 5 times on SL and it just makes me sick that there is so much hate around here, and alot sit back and watch it happen with no words...Even when you think you are "escaping" to a virtual world it still exists, and it's just really sad. I sometimes think to myself are we living in the 1600's when slavery and the name calling began. People can be so ignorant and not even have a clue the things they are saying, or even the meaning behind what they are saying. I speak my mind alot and I get alot of backlash for it, but it's who I am and you should never stop being who you are. You rock, Josh!! again thanks for the awesome post.

    1. Thank you! Bella for the wonderful feedback. I agree. We shouldn't be afraid to speak up just for fear of the backlashes we will face. As Albert Einstein said "The world would not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything".