Note: While the images used are of products from 2017 when the post was originally written, the content has been reviewed to ensure it is relevant for 2020.
Shapes and Skins are a core part of your Second Life avatar. They determine your proportions and how your body looks to you and others. The skin compliments the shape and vice versa. Nowadays many skins come with shapes, but not all of them do! You can also buy shapes on their own. Keep reading to learn just how your shape and skin choices can make you look unique.
Your shape controls the base shape of your avatar. When using a system avatar every single slider will alter a different part of your head, body, hands, or feet. With mesh avatars these can be altered as well, however some sliders may or may not have much of an impact on what you see. You can purchase shapes, create your own, or edit some that you’ve already obtained (as long as they have modify permissions).
I think of the shape as the foundation of my avatar. Every skin, every piece of clothing, and every accessory is used in conjunction with the shape. As shapes vary greatly it’s not uncommon for some clothing and accessories to require a little alteration to fit perfectly on a custom shape.