Monday, March 06, 2006

Virtual Bodies

Please Note: If I appear to be obsessed with breasts in back-to-back posts yesterday and today, it's pure coincidence, I assure you. (Hmm. I wonder, is there a sweeps week for blogs?)

"We all live every day in virtual environments, defined by our ideas." Michael Crichton

It's amazing what companies will do to promote online sales.

Virtual Model
Take for example the image of me up there. Well, not the actual me, the Virtual Me. More specifically, it's my Virtual Model. And it helps me shop online with greater predictability of success.

I created my Land's End Virtual Model digitally by inputting my own height, weight, measurements, dress size, body type, age and a few other details into the Create tool. If you're honest--which I was, really!--it turns out a fairly accurate representation. (Not counting the missing knee surgery scar and a few freckles.)

As you can see, my model is garbed in the bare essentials, allowing me to try on clothes, bathing suits and lingerie in the privacy of my Virtual Dressing Room. I can even turn my model 360. And believe me, the back view is a lot better on my computer screen than under the harsh lighting of a department store dressing room.

I've bought quite a few things based on my virtual model, including two bathing suits. Everything fit as well on the real me as it did on my virtual self.

Virtual Try-On
So when I found, I wasn't hesitant about clicking to try on eyeglasses. You can upload your own picture, but beware, it has to be a full face close up 5 x 7 or you get some hilariously out of whack results.

The site's software helps you center your face and eyes, determine the size and shape of your face and then suggests the most flattering frames. You can try a wide variety of styles, shapes and colors on your own picture, then order your choice(s) online.

I've worn contacts forever but glasses are in, and with my lousy vision much more comfortable. I view glasses as 'face jewelry.' They can enhance, conceal, even change your look. I have a lot of glasses and am always on the lookout for a new, unique pair.

Virtual Bounce-Ometer
Speaking of a unique pair ... the last site on my list takes the virtual body to the very edge of good taste. Actually, it drop-kicks taste right over the line. The Shock Absorber web site from the UK aims to sell you a state of the art exercise bra -- by showing you naked bouncing breasts.

First they scare the hell out of you with claims that exercising unsupported can badly damage your breasts. Then they show you how on the Bounce-Ometer -- by projecting a pair of naked virtual breasts bouncing in a variety of exercise speeds, customized to your very own cup size. And they give you a side view too.

Now that the men have left to go see all those virtual bouncing boobs, I gotta tell you, Ladies, it's painful to watch. They show you three views: No Bra, Normal Bra and Shock Absorber Bra. Tell me if you notice one odd thing ... the breasts seem to bounce even more wildly within the normal bra than they do nude.

It's legitimate commerce of course, just European-style, with its customary edginess and flair we so lack in hypocritically puritanical America. On the other hand, I'm not sure how effective it is. I'd personally be more convinced by video of a real woman running bounce-free in the Shock Absorber -- most of us already know the uncomfortable alternatives.

But this is the Internet, where the Virtual is prized more highly than the Real.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your virtual model. You have a great figure!

9:38 PM  

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