Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Free Altamura Estephania Mesh Full-Body Avatar for Women in the SL Frees and Offers Hunt!

*Checks his watch*

Damn it! This is all Altamura’s fault!! I was all set to take a vacation from the blog and then she issued yet another fabulous, free mesh female avatar as a hunt prize in the First Annual SL Frees and Offers Hunt, which runs from the 3rd to the 25th of November. You are looking for a beautiful golden autumn leaf in the store that looks like this:

HUNT item for SL F&O HUNT.png

When you find it, click on it, select Deliver from the blue pop-up menu that appears, and you get your hunt prize: the Estephania female mesh full-body avatar (head and body together in one package)! Estephania has a lovely darker skin tone, as you can see from these pictures:

Altamura New 1 3 Nov 2018.png

Altamura New 2 3 Nov 2018.png

In what now appears to be a trend for the company, this is another one of the Altamura freebies which does not allow you to remove the head (in order to replace it with another mesh head). This is rather disappointing, but it’s such a beautiful head that you can hardly complain (see picture above)!

Estephania is a fully-adjustable Bento body which comes with a HUD which allows you a complete set of alpha selections to make just about any clothing fit well. I have found that clothing designed for the Maitreya Lara mesh avatar body tends to fit the Altamura female bodies very well, with a minimum of fuss (and more and more designers are now creating clothing specifically designed for Altamura mesh bodies).

Please note that, like all the other free mesh bodies Altamura has put out, this body is not Omega-compatible (you have to buy a full-price version to get that feature). You get the one skin tone with this body, which is actually quite lovely. There are simply not enough free/inexpensive options for darker-skinned avatars in Second Life, and Estephania is a welcome addition!

Also, the Altamura female mesh bodies have Slink-compatible feet, so any shoe designed for Slink feet should work well (the female mesh body gift comes in three foot heights, selectable via the HUD: flat, medium, and high). The bodies have Bento hands, and (in a nice added touch) Altamura has included a hand AO which cycles through natural hand positions, which you can use with your regular (non-Bento) AO. There’s also a facial AO.

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head and Body: Estephania full-body mesh avatar (free hunt prize from Altamura in the SL Frees & Offers Hunt).

Hair: free Pulled Back Bun (brown) from the Library / Accessories / Hair Design Options / Pulled Back Bun folder in your SL inventory. Free, adjustable, tintable, uncomplicated.

Eyes: brown Dream eyes by YS&YS (free gift from a previous Second Life shopping event; no longer available).

Dress: Faith gold metallic minidress by Justice (free group gift if you join the SL Frees & Offers group for free); the Maitreya Lara version of this dress fits the Altamura Jenny body well. The dress comes in three colours—gold, copper, and rose gold.

Shoes: gold Olivia heels (free gift from Ello); the Altamura Estephania body has Slink-compatible feet.

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: FREE!

There are dozens of other wonderful hunt gifts available in the hunt, mostly for women but some for men also; here is a complete list of locations. Have fun!

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Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Baiastice Group Gifts

Hallowe’en is fast approaching, and I wanted to alert you all to a wonderful new group gift from Baiastice. The gift includes both the dress and the cape (which includes the hair under the hood). The outfit comes with a HUD with five different colour options (gold, red, purple, blue and black) and a choice of 35 different hair colours!

Fortune Telling 2 23 Oct 2018

Fortune Telling 23 Oct 2018

FOrtune Telling 3 23 Oct 2018

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head and Lipstick: Giselle Bento head by Altamura (no longer available for free; this was an Altamura gift from last Christmas at the eBENTO event, and you had to join the Altamura group for L$50 to get it).

Mesh Body: Jenny Bento body by Altamura (this was a free gift last Christmas from the Women Only Hunt, and on this version, you can remove the head and replace it with any other mesh head, as I did here. Note that this free mesh body is now available at the Freebie Megastore at London City (more information here), but you cannot remove the head on the newer free version.

Eyes: brown Dream eyes by YS&YS (free gift from a previous Second Life shopping event; no longer available)

Dress, Hooded Cape and Hair: Absinthe outfit in gold from Baiastice (free group gift; the group join fee is L$50).

Gold Leaf Choker: Another free group gift from Baiastice, it comes in three metals: gold, silver, and copper

Boots: Tessa thigh-high boots, a lucky chair prize from MODA; the HUD gives you 34 colour choices for the boots; enter the main store in front of you at the spawn point, and go around into the back room where the four lucky chairs are located, or just use your map and follow the red arrow from the provided SLURL.

Animated Staff: Staff of Stars by Talevin’s Magic Sky Village (L$100), simply the best place to get your magical staves and wands! They have dozens of models to choose from, and you can even pick up a free staff walking animation to add to your AO! You have a choice of ten different coloured particle effects with this particular staff, or you can turn the particle effect off completely.

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: L$200 (L$50 for the Altamura group join fee, L$50 for the Baiastice group join fee, and L$100 for the staff)


Note: Beginning with this blogpost, and going forward, I will tag fashion posts with the prefix of the social VR platform or virtual world that it comes from, e.g. “Second Life Fashion”, “Second Life Dresses”, “Second Life Jewelry”, etc. I have not been doing this up until now, and since I now cover avatar fashion from so many different worlds, the tagging I have used until now has become kind of useless if you are only interested in one world (e.g. Sansar). Unfortunately, this is such a big change that I cannot go back and apply the new tags retroactively. I hope you understand, thanks!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Free Kim Female Full-Body Avatar by Altamura!

Once again, Altamura has come out with a great deal on a full-body mesh avatar (both head and body in one package). This is a female mesh avatar called Kim, and you can pick one up for absolutely free at the UniHispana Crea Gateway Community sim (here’s the SLURL):

Altamura Kim freebie 2 21 Oct2018

Simply pay the vendor a Linden dollar and the Kim body is yours (your Linden dollar will be automatically refunded; you do not need to be a member of the Altamura group to take advantage of this deal).

Here’s what Kim looks like:

Kim Altamura 2 21 Oct 2018

Unfortunately, this is another one of the Altamura freebies which does not allow you to remove the head (in order to replace it with another mesh head). However, the included head really is quite lovely, don’t you think?

Kim Altamura 21 Oct 2018

Kim is a fully-adjustable Bento body which comes with a HUD which allows you a complete set of alpha selections to make just about any clothing fit well. I have found that clothing designed for the Maitreya Lara mesh avatar body tends to fit the Altamura female bodies very well, with a minimum of fuss (and more and more designers are now creating clothing specifically designed for Altamura mesh bodies).

Also, the Altamura female mesh bodies have Slink-compatible feet, so any shoe designed for Slink feet should work well (the female mesh body gift comes in three foot heights, selectable via the HUD: flat, medium, and high). The bodies have Bento hands, and (in a nice added touch) Altamura has included a hand AO which cycles through natural hand positions, which you can use with your regular (non-Bento) AO. There’s also a facial AO.

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head and Body: Kim by Altamura

Hair: The hairstyle is actually a freebie from your inventory, located in the folder Accessories/Hair Design Options (Colors & Styles)/Tapered Bob)

Eyes: Dream eyes in brown (a freebie from YS&YS at a recent shopping event)

Top and Skirt: Eleni tee and Caitlyn skirt, from the freebie capsule wardrobe by Baby Monkey available at The Free*Style store (for more information, please see this blogpost)

Flats: White flats by Garbaggio (part of the free sample pack for Slink feet; available on the SL Marketplace). The package includes flats, mid-height pumps, and full-height pumps, each with a HUD that lets you pick one of four different colours.

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: FREE!

The Altamura Kim vendor is part of a special fund-raising event to fight cancer, which runs until November 1st, so you have until at least then to pick up this freebie. There are dozens of other vendors, some selling exclusive items. You can also make a donation (perhaps the Linden dollars you would have spent on a full-price mesh avatar head and body?) to the AECC: Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer.

AECC_logotipo

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: A Fifteen-Minute Elf Angel Makeover for FREE!

OK, here’s another one of my fifteen-minute avatar makeovers. I started off with one of my old alts, named Peace Dove, who is essentially the avatar embodiment of peace. Here’s the “before” shot, taken back in 2012:

Peace Dove 27 Sept 2018

And here are the “after” shots, all taken in the gorgeous fantasy sim called Lost Unicorn. Everything I am wearing I picked up for FREE!

Peace Dove 9 Oct 2018

Peace Dove 4 9 Oct 2018.png

Peace Dove 2 9 Oct 2018.png

Peace Dove 5 9 Oct 2018

Here are all the details on what I am wearing and where/when I got it:

Bento mesh head with animated elf ears and mesh eyes: Jessy 3 head by Safybelle, who you can get for free by earning 30,000 points on her in-store roulette wheel game or piggie sploder (scroll down to the very end of this blogpost to get more information). Seriously, this beautiful head is one of best-kept freebie secrets in Second Life!

Bento mesh body and hands AO: the Jenny Altamura mesh avatar head and body from the Freebie Megastore at London City (free; one skin tone; has Bento hands and head; more information here); you can remove the head and replace it with any other head, only if you got the freebie Jenny body from last year’s Women Only Hunt; however, you cannot remove the head on the version you can pick up now at the London City Freebie Megastore!

Body AO: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm, free AO with no crazy movements. Perfect for an angel wearing a ballgown!

Bento animated wings: angel wings by Blueberry (I picked these up for free using the discount vendor and the generous L$500 gift card offered by Blueberry at the Second Life 15th Anniversary Shopping Event)

Gown: Nadia ballgown in white from Hilly Haalan (free group gift; group is free to join)

Shoes (not shown): White flats by Garbaggio (part of the free sample pack for Slink feet; available on the SL Marketplace). Altamura mesh avatar bodies have Slink-compatible feet.

Jewelry: Daphne collar and bracelet by Beloved Jewelry (two free hunt items from the September Free Dove mini-hunt at the Beloved Jewelry mainstore). The included HUD gives a choice of 12 different metals and 33 different gemstones, so you can match any outfit!

Hair (the only thing I kept from the original avatar): Say 2 hair in white by elikatira (this was a freebie I picked up years ago, way back in the pre-mesh hair days, and I’m not sure it’s still available; I checked and it’s not on the SL Marketplace)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: FREE!

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: Free and Inexpensive Mesh Heads and Bodies for Male Second Life Avatars

Not too long ago, I wrote up a popular blogpost outlining all the options for free and inexpensive mesh avatar heads and bodies for female avatars. So I thought it was time I did the same thing for male avatars.

First, let’s just recap all the free/inexpensive mesh avatar bodies for men:

  • The two versions of the free Altamura Max avatars at the freebie stores at UniHispana Crea and Ajuda SL Brasil (see here for more details). Note that you cannot remove the head to replace it with another mesh head.
  • The free Altamura Robert avatar from the Freebie Megastore at London City (see here for more details). One advantage of this body is that you can remove the head to use another mesh head with it (like the recent freebie mesh head from Akeruka).
  • The free Altamura Tommy avatar at the Altamura mainstore (you do need to join the Altamura group for L$50 to get this freebie; see here for more details). Again, you cannot remove the head to replace it with another mesh head.
  • If you were lucky, you picked up a free Altamura avatar called Aaron, which was a limited-time TeleportHub.com gift late last year at their mainstore (you had to join the TeleportHub.com group for L$10 to pick up this freebie). You can remove the head to use another mesh head with it.
  • Finally, there is the freebie version of the EXMACHINA avatar (which you can “tan” to any skin tone you wish; more information is available here). Note that this avatar does not come with a HUD so you cannot remove the head or set any alpha sections. You basically have to buy all your clothing from EXMACHINA (although the free body does come in a version with a built-in bathing suit, so it’s the perfect freebie mesh avatar for the beach!).
  • UPDATE Oct. 5th: Rick Bijkerk of the Secondlife Facebook group alerted me to two inexpensive male mesh avatar head and body packages from Alantori. More details on this option can be found at the very end of this blogpost!

So, let’s take a look at free or inexpensive mesh heads.

Akeruka

If you haven’t yet joined the Akrueka group (called [AK] Heads News & Support) for L$150, you should really consider it. If you had joined the Akeruka mesh heads group a year and a half ago, you would have picked up no less than six fully-adjustable Bento mesh heads (three female and three male), all for a single group join fee of L$150. That works out to only L$25 per Bento mesh head, a truly outstanding deal! So join the Akeruka group and keep your eyes peeled for announcements of free Bento mesh heads every six months or so 😉

LV Designs

If you missed out on the Akeruka freebies, you can pick up a very handsome Bento mesh head from LV Designs for only L$500. The Matt head (SL Marketplace link) may not come with all the bells and whistles of the pricier Bento mesh heads from Catwa and other vendors, but it certainly does the job at one-tenth the cost, as you can see:

Tommy Mesh Head 4 Oct 2018.png

Curves

Now, let’s look at the free and cheap (non-Bento) mesh heads which are available. Unfortunately, there are very few options available for freebie male mesh heads.  First up are two free male mesh heads from Curves (here’s the SLURL):

Curves Male Mesh Heads 4 Oct 2018_001.png

If you join the Curves group for free, you can pick up the following bearded head called Sam:

Sam 4 Oct 2018.png

And if you join the SL Frees & Offers group for free, you can pick up the cleanshaven Kent mesh head for free:

Kent 4 Oct 2018.png

I’m not crazy about the dark eyeshadow on the Kent head, but it might be more to your taste.

(Note that you cannot adjust the Curves mesh heads, remove the eyeshadow, or change the skintone. They are static mesh heads.)

Cheerno

There’s a free (non-adjustable) mesh head available from the men’s section of the freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil, the Andrey head from Cheerno (here’s the exact SLURL to find it):

Andrey 4 Oct 2018.png

300mg

There is a vendor on the SL Marketplace called 300mg, who is selling 6 free mesh heads, of which 5 are for males.

I found that these five heads wouldn’t work with the default system avatar eyes. So you will have to use these heads with a complete body alpha which removes the system eyes, and use mesh eyes instead (such as the ones which are part of the Genesis Lab mesh head packages, or you can pick up this free set of adjustable mesh eyes from eyden & yves, which comes with a 9-colour HUD). Make sure you take a copy of the mesh eyes first and use the copy, as you will have to adjust them to fit each of these heads separately.

The Marcus head comes with an expression HUD with six different facial expressions but, strangely, no ears, so you’ll have to find those elsewhere. I had a great deal of difficulty getting the mesh eyes to fit properly, this is the best I could do:

Marcus 4 Oct 2018

Honestly, I’d probably give the Marcus head a pass. It’s just too much of a hassle.

However, I did have much better results with the Travis mesh head, which comes with ears and an expression HUD with 6 different facial expressions:

Travis head on SL Marketplace 4 Oct 2018

This picture of the Travis head includes the HUD for the freebie mesh eyes from eyden & yves, showing you the nine different colour options which are available:

Travis 4 Oct 2018.png

Looking good!

Here are pictures of the other three free mesh heads from 300mg, which have darker skin tones. Here’s model S1 (again, no ears are included, and there’s no expression HUD either):

S1 4 Oct 2018.png

Here’s model S2 (which again has no ears, but it does have an expression HUD with 6 different facial expressions). Again, I had a great deal of difficulty getting the mesh eyes to fit properly on this particular head:

S2 4 Oct 2018.png

And finally, here is model S3 from 300mg (again, there’s no ears, but it does have an expression HUD with 6 different facial expressions):

S3 4 Oct 2018.png

Media Company Brzeg

Finally, there are some cheap mesh heads for sale on the SL Marketplace by a company called Media Company Brzeg. Here’s one example, a mesh head (called simply model 6) for only L$50:

Mesh Head 6 4 Oct 2018.png

Now this is a great-looking mesh head, BUT… there’s a big catch. This is a static mesh attachment to the avatar Mouth, and it is not rigged to the body. You will need to wear it with a turtleneck (like in this picture) for it to look any good at all. You will also have to use these heads with a complete body alpha which removes the system eyes, as the eyes are part of the head and cannot be changed. It’s basically a static mask you wear. And there’s also a patch on the back of these mesh heads which you will have to cover with hair of some kind.

Here’s a few more static mesh heads from the same company:

Here’s a head called Chuck for only L$10 (he looks a little blurry, if you ask me):

Chuck 4 Oct 2018

Wanna look like Vin Diesel? You can for only L$50:

Vin DIesel 4 Oct 2018.png

And hey, you wanna look like Vladimir Putin? For L$20 you can!

Putin 4 Oct 2018.png

There’s quite a few other mesh heads available on the SL Marketplace by Media Company Brzeg (both male and female), but these will give you an idea. They’re not rigged to the body, and they’re really not meant to be used as anything but props for photos, if you ask me. Most of the people who bought them have left very poor reviews, so caveat emptor!


Do you know of any other free or inexpensive men’s mesh heads? If you do, please leave me a comment on this blogpost, thank you!

UPDATE Oct. 5th: 

Alantori

Rick Bijkerk of the Secondlife Facegroup group alerted me to an inexpensive male mesh avatar head and body package from a store called Alantori (here’s the exact SLURL):

Alantori Mesh Bodies 5 Oct 2018

These mesh bodies are only L$99 (or L$90, a 10% discount, if you join the Alantori group for free). So I bought the clean-shaven Mark body (the sign on the right in the picture above) and tried it on. The body comes with a fully-adjustable Bento head and Bento hands, he’s got a basic HUD with a decent set of alpha selections, and it would appear that you can tint his fingernails and toenails, which are separate attachments:

Mark 5 Oct 2018.png

The body comes with underwear, but you might have some trouble finding clothing to fit this body properly. The sign in the store said that the body “fits all Adin and Onupup clothes”, but I had never heard of those clothing brands before. (I assume that most standard-size male clothing can also be made to fit, with all the alpha selections on the included HUD.)

There is also a tutorial video:

The Alantori body comes with menu-driven facial expressions and hand poses, which is rather different from how most other bodies are animated using an AO. (I tested the Alantori body with a Bento male AO from Tuty’s and it worked just fine.)

Here’s a close-up of the Alantori Mark body’s head, which actually looks pretty good (the mesh eyes are included, or you can just use your system eyes):

Mark 2 5 Oct 2018.png

In addition to the clean-shaven Mark body, there is also bearded, hairier Paul body for the same price (L$99 without the group, or L$90 with the free group join). It’s definitely an inexpensive option for those of you with limited Lindens to spend on a male mesh body, but you still might want to try out the freebie Altamura bodies first.

Thanks for the great tip, Rick!

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: A Fifteen-Minute Vampire Makeover for Only L$150!

UPDATE Sept. 28th: For a current, up-to-date list of free or inexpensive options for mesh avatar heads and bodies for female Second Life avatars, please see this blogpost. For a current, up-to-date list of free options for free and inexpensive male mesh avatar heads and bodies, please see this blogpost

Vampire roleplay is a very popular pastime in Second Life, so today I decided to do a 15-minute makeover on a vampire avatar. Here’s the “Before” look, the now-familiar Iliana vampire avatar from SL’s Fantasy starter avatar collection:

Vampire Makeover Before Iliana 22 Sept 2018

And here’s the “After” look (please click on each picture to see it in a larger size):

This avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head, Vampire Teeth, and Facial AO: Maia Bento mesh head from Akeruka (this was a time-limited free group gift which is no longer available for free; the group join fee was L$150). More details here.

Mesh Body and Hands AO: Jenny Bento mesh body by Altamura (available for free at the Freebie Megastore at London City). I removed the included head to replace it with the Maia head. More details here.

Gown: Well of Souls gown by Silvan Moon Designs (free gift from the recent SL15B shopping event).

Shoes (Not Shown): Black flats by Garbaggio (part of the free sample pack for Slink feet; available on the SL Marketplace). Altamura mesh avatar bodies have Slink-compatible feet.

Jewelry: Daphne collar, earrings, and Bento ring by Beloved Jewelry (three free hunt items from the September Free Dove mini-hunt at the Beloved Jewelry mainstore). The included HUD gives a choice of 12 different metals and 33 different gemstones!

Body AO: Chubby Girl AO by [ImpEle] (free from the SL Marketplace). This is a nice, simple, calm AO with no crazy movements.

Hair: Que Bella in abyss black from Hairoin (a store which is unfortunately no longer in Second Life; I bought this many years ago and I forget what I paid for this)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS MAKEOVER (not including the hair): L$150 (the Akeruka group join fee)

Pictures taken in front of the blood fountain at the Necropolis Vamp Club.

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Free EXMACHINA Male Full-Body Avatar

PLEASE NOTE: For a current, up-to-date list of free and inexpensive options for male mesh avatar heads and bodies, please see this blogpost

There are three options for male avatars who are looking for a free/inexpensive mesh head and body, all from Altamura:

  • The two versions of the free Altamura Max avatars at the freebie stores at UniHispana Crea and Ajuda SL Brasil (see here for more details). Note that you cannot remove the head to replace it with another mesh head.
  • The free Altamura Robert avatar from the Freebie Megastore at London City (see here for more details). One advantage of this body is that you can remove the head to use another mesh head with it (like the recent freebie mesh head from Akeruka).
  • The free Altamura Tommy avatar at the Altamura mainstore (you do need to join the Altamura group for L$50 to get this freebie; see here for more details). Again, you cannot remove the head to replace it with another mesh head.

Well, EXMACHINA has just released version 4 of their full-body Davide male mesh avatar, and you can pick up a free demo version at their store. You do have to join the EXMACHINA group for free to use the vendor.

One drawback is that the included shape that comes with it is NO modify, which is a real pain in the ass. However, there are a couple of ways around this limitation. You can click on the Giorgio and Andrew skin and shape panels located on the wall to the right of the demo version vendor, and buy those for L$0 (you must be in the EXMACHINA group). While you cannot use the skin appliers with the free demo version of the EXMACHINA mesh body, you can use the modifiable shapes. Also, there is a L$10 Diego shape available on the SL Marketplace which you can use with this body, and you can modify it as you like. I bought the Diego shape and used it for the pictures below.

Here’s what my avatar looks like with the slightly adjusted Diego shape (I had to play around with the eyes, mouth, nose, torso muscles and arm length a bit):

Exmachina 1 16 Sept 2018Exmachina 2 16 Sept 2018

The avatar comes with the mesh eyes you see here. It also comes in two versions: nude, or with the blue bathing suit you see here. It’s actually quite a nice-looking avatar! Please note that you cannot change the skin colour (remember, this is a demo, not the full version).

The hair is Minato by Argrace, a free group gift (the group is free to join). The AO I used is the Daily sLife free Bento male AO (available free from Tuty’s). The total cost of this avatar is FREE! You can’t beat that!

Another serious limitation with the free EXMACHINA body is that it does not come with alpha sections on the HUD (in fact, there’s no HUD at all!). So, basically, you’re going to have problems getting clothing and shoes to fit, unless they are designed for this body. Note that there are a few clothes for sale, designed to fit the EXMACHINA mesh body without the need for alphas, so you can try those. I did spend another L$250 on a muscle shirt and a pair of jeans, both of which fit this mesh body perfectly!

UPDATE Oct. 19th: I paid a second visit to the EXMACHINA store and discovered a few changes. The panel to get the freebie version of the Davide body is now at this SLURL, located in the Freebies section.

And the default skin tone is quite pale, as you can see (this is the slightly modified free Giorgio shape):

Pale Exmachina 19 Oct 2018.png

BUT, there are now two tanning chairs just outside the store, where you can “tan” your freebie avatar to any shade you desire! (Here’s the SLURL.) The longer you sit, the deeper the tan!

Tanning Chairs 19 Oct 2018.png

Here’s the same avatar, after using the tanning chair for about 15 minutes:

Tanned Exmachina 19 Oct 2018.png

I tested it out, and it appears that the tan you get is permanent on the freebie Davide avatar, even if you sign out and sign in again. In other words, you can’t “untan” him. However, if you make a mistake and get too dark a tan for your liking, you can always pick up another freebie version of the avatar and start over.

The ability to pick your own skin tone sets the Davide mesh avatar body by EXMACHINA apart from the other freebie male mesh avatar bodies. It’s a great option if you just want a good-looking avatar for the beach, or you can dress him up in clothing sold at the same sim, designed for the Davide body.