|"In a world of microcephalic thalidomide victims who also suffer gigantism..."
If I seem harsh, it's only because I care and the mistakes made with these avatars just would not fly in a professional design environment. If Linden Lab wants SL to be taken seriously they need to put a better face forward in presenting it, yet that is precisely what they refuse to do time and again.
Please keep in mind that I am only addressing the shapes of these avatars. The scale and, more specifically, the proportions. The mistakes made with these shapes are prevalent throughout SL, the reason I single out the starters is because the starter avatars are the face of SL to the public at large and a vital part of the new user experience.
I took a close look at the female pirate avatar.
A petite 6'3 / 191cm barefoot, this poor girl has arms that are each more than 5 inches too short for her body. Simple tasks you and I take for granted, like tying our shoes, would be exceptionally difficult for her.
Her legs are more than half a foot too long for her body, nearly 7 inches longer than her upper body. Forget difficulty tying her shoes, she's going to need a caretaker to do that for her.
In addition, the poor girl's head is far too small for her body. She is nearly 9 heads tall.
Linden Lab has been making a lot of improvements lately, but this is a giant leap backwards and just doesn't cut it for a product currently being marketed as a "creativity tool" by Linden Lab's CEO. It's exceptionally depressing to write this so soon after my article on creating good body shapes in SL.