Participants in IMVU have hundreds of options for their physical attributes including skin color, hair color and style, eyes, brows, hands, etc.
They then have hundreds of options for clothing: tops, bottoms, sleepwear, shoes, gloves and accessories.
For the first, participants were instructed to design an avatar that looked like themselves.
For the second, participants were given no design restrictions and could design any avatar they wanted to.
Our research used a less explicit measure to test for the expression of ideal body image during avatar creation.
Female participants created two avatars in the virtual world of Second Life.
However, avatar creation research often directly asks participants about their creation motivations or primes a specific social context.
Avatar creation order was counterbalanced across participants.
In the interactive IMVU environment participants create a profile as in other chat rooms, but they also create how they look, act and interact with others.
A quick look at the list of profiles in Colorado alone shows kids aged 11 through their teens, and adults in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.
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