Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Renaming an eye color.

It's possible no one cares about this except me, or that folks might feel this issue is too trifling to comment on, but I feel it's important to acknowledge it anyway.

"Don't be a jerk" has been a longtime motto of mine. I consider it a rule for life. Unfortunately, sometimes it's possible to be a jerk without knowing it, or without intending it. And when that happens, the best way to not continue to be a jerk is to own up to what you've done and make amends.

I've named at least one eye color that I've made "Gypsy" (it's in the Tonic, Tonic XXX, and Pluto lines, at least). I always thought the word simply referred to a person (of any race or creed) that chose a nomadic life. I was peripherally aware of a connection to the Romani, but didn't think much of it. And I was very wrong. The word is typically used two ways - one, as a racial slur for the Romani, typically tied to an egregiously racist stereotype that they are all thieves and lowlifes (more common in Europe); and two, as a cliche for a lifestyle choice (more common in America, and the one that I am guilty of). Both are really terrible ways to treat a people, and I'm very sorry for contributing to it in any way.

I will be renaming the colors in question to "wanderlust" (since that really was my basic idea to begin with), and I'd ask anyone who bought them from me to do the same if they can (I think they were all modify ok, but I'm not sure). And while you're at it, read this blog about the problem with the word gypsy.

And thanks for taking the time to not be a jerk.

<3 Ruina


  1. While there are those designers who just don't care, I've also noticed a trend to rename such things as 'Bohemian' or simply bohéme. While there are Rom connections with Bohemian as well, it actually translates closer to 'socially unconventional artist', both because many Romani were performers, as well as in France, many Romani were thought to have come to France via Bohemia (currently, the Czech Republic).

    Still, "Wanderlust" seems perfectly appropriate. I'll check through my eyes and see if I have any of the problematically-named ones.

  2. Oh Ruina! This is why you're one of my favorite SL designers. <3 I nearly exclusively wear your eyes and will be changing the names once I log back in.


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