Escape Reality

I joined IMVU during quarantine and found the fever dream of the 2000s still very much alive

With the world under lockdown thanks to COVID-19, the 16-year-old avatar social network is having a bit of a moment again.

Welcome to the year 2004. Mean Girls just made its box office debut, Usher leads the Top 100, and every girl (except you) owns a pink velour sweatsuit with a rhinestone ‘Juicy’ stamped on the ass. We’re entering peak gauche as a culture and, individually, pushing the limits of our personalities to plug the coolest version of ourselves the accessories will allow.

Not in the real world, though, our mothers would never let us leave the house like that. No, instead the tweens are armed with the freedom of the internet — where the hoops are huge, the jeans are lowest-rise, and our boobs are as big as the pixels will allow.

Soon we’ll be testing out our most daring looks on DollzMania and marketing our personal brands on Myspace. But we’re not quite there yet.