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These online attractiveness conventions may have important implications for interpersonal relationship formation, a primary motivation for virtual world residents (Lo, 2008). SL is a virtual environment that emphasizes interaction and creation, rather than conquest. Attractiveness of blonde women in evolutionary perspective: studies with two Polish samples. These characteristics can also be altered at any point throughout the avatar’s lifetime and residents report spending a lot of their time and money in-world to accumulate or purchase add-ons, such as skins and accessories (Boellstorff, 2008; Linares et al., 2011).

They were also preferred as social partners (Principe & Langlois, 2013). (2009) found that when users were assigned to taller avatars, they behaved more aggressively in a negotiation task.

While height is often linked to competence offline, this aggressiveness in the online context is notable given that height is modifiable in virtual environments.

The researchers also found that participants expected avatars that were rated as attractive, especially tall ones, to perform better in an online game.

Avatars are not unique to SL and are found in a variety of online contexts, and we draw on research from these different contexts to describe two possible connections between residents and their avatars.

On the one hand, it has been suggested that, because avatars are physically separate from the body, users may create online representations that do not mirror their offline selves; instead, they choose socially idealized or alternate versions of the self (Gilbert et al., 2014; Huh & Williams, 2010; Kendall, 1998; Smahel, Blinka, & Ledabyl, 2008). Universal allure of the hourglass figure: an evolutionary theory of female physical attractiveness.

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