Invisible pony riders

Day 45 - Stop It

(picture courtesy of Ch’know? blog)

This poll is inspired by Alicia Chenaux’s post about invisible pony riders and tips for aspiring fashion bloggers. Everybody should read it cos 1) it’s hilarious and 2) it’s informative!

[poll id="43"]

I also found this hilarious illustration from a Flickr contact showing the difference between normal thighs and the more abnormal pony rider gap.

I know there are quite a few people with shapes like this reading my blog, so please leave some comments about why you prefer this exaggerated look? Does it offend you when people make negative comments about it?

73 comments

  1. OMG, me and my friends talk about this all the time. Also, they tend to be super short like a little kid with a HUGE ass and hips. It’s just like ermm ok, you think that is sexy? O.o And the face on the avi I’ve seen it before, looks like you got permanent bitchface. Not sure why they think a mouth should look like that.

  2. rage ! i can not stand horse shaped, fish faced avs! and they are everywhere.

    there’s a Flickr group dedicated to fug and 90% are this way.

    I’ll post the URL for al that are interested or bored… http://www.flickr.com/groups/fugs/

    there is even a store and event which i shall not mention for the sake they may get free advertising which is saturated with this look :).

  3. OMG! I hate that shapes! I like to be normal. But the most of latin girls have a biggest boot, boobies with the size of Brazil. With the lips looks angry. And I dont know how they feel are beautiful. But mens when look a women with a normal shape comming to say are so flat, or we are ugly, or do you need more boobies, more shape lool.

    • haha… my shape is anorexic, And I am always hearing some mens saying that I need a little more boobies and ass hahaha… I like normals sizes, anorexic or not… and realistic as possible to reality (RL) its just because I never saw any “Invisible Pony Riders” in Real Life… Ok I know that in second life we can be everything, but designers have rights to choose who will blog their items.

  4. Whether or not I like or dislike someone’s chosen avatar is irrelevant. Didn’t we just all go through the =not changing my shape for mesh= deal? Expecting handouts to blog and whether or not creators want their items stretched out or deformed (we’ll have to included plus sized avatars too if we follow that arguement) is a different topic. I think it’s a genre unto itself and deserves respect given that some of these bloggers present items better and more creatively than many other mainstream bloggers.

  5. hahahahaah, its just a great representation of the stereotypical SL single digit avies, and unfortunately its becoming pretty common. And while i do not think we should generalize based on ones avatar, again unfortunately when the majority of those types of avatars talk in public, it becomes pretty clear they are living in the single digit world, at least when i have been in chat range of one or more. (Derp faces is what i mean, the lower body shape, that i see a lot even without the Derp face, there’s a serious problem with the way the mesh works when you want to give yourself some hips)

  6. I burst out laughing when I first saw this on Alicia’s blog (which I adore), and it was very funny to see it again here. ;) Well, as of this moment at least *one* person likes that shape. And where in the world did that come from to begin with?

  7. I’d keep seeing this shape in blogs and think “Am I missing something? Is this the new hot look?” I can see people not wanting a cookie-cutter shape, but why go out of your way to look fugly? Maybe I’m just getting old…

  8. For months “invisible pony riders” (LOL!) have been a constant fixture on the fashion feeds and in-world – and it’s been driving me crazy!
    Bow legged, ultra wide hipped, miserable mouthed avies – usually with stunted bodies and large heads. They’re completely disproportionate and such a turn off I scroll to the next blog on the feed and hope for the best.
    To each their own and all that. I understand the desire to stand out from the crowd. But what may have been a quirky and unique look once has spawned an army of clones.
    *A word of warning: They often travel/blog in pairs. *shudder*

  9. Me personally i think this looks hideous! but people have there own fashion sense so let them experiment.

  10. I’m all for a girl with wide hips and a bit of junk in trunk .. my own avi is beautifully curvy.. but theres never a time when having a massive gap between your legs looks good. Ever.

  11. Whoo! I’m falling in love with the Ch’know blog and love that post!

    I have a Medium sized ‘Standard Mesh Size’ Av (Had a massive virtual-weight-loss when mesh got prevalent, sigh)
    The worst part about Mesh is it’s giving my av ‘Crossdresser thighs’ -where the thighs don’t come even close to touching (I think this is the easiest way to tell a male X-Dresser as mens legs tend to be further apart than womens, IMO)
    I hate the saddle look!

  12. I am a big fan of the slender womanly shapes that are as close to realistic as we can expect in an animated world, but I have noticed these avatars wandering about for a little while now, as has been mentioned before, usually in pairs and spouting gibberish and giggle gestures.

    As to why they do it, I had thought that it began by trying to be different from all the tall shapely supermodel types. I think they thought all these avatars trying to portray themselves as beauty models was kinda superficial and fake so they began to do the opposite, you know, an attempt to be ‘rebellious’ and ‘non conformist’ or to just stand out from the crowd.

    Like many things though that try to be raw and alternative though, it seems to have become trendy and the new norm. I think it’s just a passing phase, hopefully, like the hideous face piercings and ear plugs, ugh.

  13. hi Juicy, I just thought you should know that someone is taking your photos and claiming that they made an avatar just like yours for the Sims 3 game at their website. (unless it’s you, and you play Sims 3!..lol) I don’t know if this concerns you, but I thought I’d let you know. I didn’t download the avatar so I don’t know what it really looks like – but I’ve never seen a Sim that looked like your avatar at all! Let me know if you want a link.

    • Hi Shatana! I dont play sims 3, and if someone has said they made an avatar that looks like mine, they are stealing from an SL skin creator, as I do not make skins.

  14. i don`t like it no…nonono… and NO!
    lol i liked the “invisible pony riders” Gogo lool!

  15. Hi ! i love your blog :)
    I wanna ask you something…how i can wear 2 meshes?i mean i need alpha for both?because if i have a hair mesh i cant wear my shoes for example ,because i have to wear only one alpha.Sorry for my english ,kisses.

    • hi Kim! To wear multiple attachments or even multiple layers, you need to select the item in your inventory, right click — and “ADD” instead of wear. Selecting ADD will add the layer over your existing one. Also, use the official SL viewer.

  16. OHHH NOES! :(( My avie is short (!) and derp-faced! (alright, at least the bitch-mouth)
    My avie looks like that because that’s how I am RL. People think I’m constantly surly, lol.

    But I certainly do understand why creators wouldn’t want to be blogged by invisible-pony-rider-bloggers. If their items looks bad when worn by such a shape.

    I don’t understand the hate going on against short avies in general though. WELL, still, most avatars are suuuuper tall, so it’s not difficult to be short.

    Also, why do people always assume that people make their avatars to look HOT/SEXY? And yes, who knows, perhaps people find their invisi pony rider shape looks sexy, then so what?

  17. LOL Pout Faced Dwarfs!!!!
    my partner and I are always asking eachother why, oh god why?. When ever we see one

  18. No one is hating short avis… unless they’re shorter than reasonable adult height and dressed like hookers. I’m sure you can figure the problem there. Mine personally is my rl height(5’6″ barefoot) and it does look short in a lot of environments. The problem that’s being addressed here is the combo of fishmouth and tunnel hips, usually “complimented” by t-rex length arms and creepy skinny legs.

    How do we know they want their avis to look “hot/sexy”? Because the great majority of them go out of their way to make sure we know that’s exactly what they think they are, at least where we’re talking about here in the fashion blogs. Pick a random one out of a crowd next time you see one… 90% of the time the profile is full of attitude about how sexy they think they are. So if we see these “invisible horse riders” dressed like cheap hookers, we’re pretty safe in figuring they think they look good.

    Finally, I don’t think anyone is speaking out against unique shapes… not that these are anything like unique at all anymore… only the complete and utter ignorance of proportion that these display. By all means, be short and pudgy… but do it right. Wide hips and ass don’t come with toothpick legs and hourglass-tiny waists. If your avi could not conceivably wipe their own ass, your freakin arms are too short. Just stand up and make note of how long your arms are! Shoulders are not narrower than hips! If the “hands on hips” pose in your ao is more like “hands under boobs”, you have a problem… and that problem is spreading faster than T-virus.

    Oh well, at least it gives me something to take pictures of and laugh.

  19. I think the “hate” that’s going on about peoples shapes are ridiculous.
    Isn’t it enough that we have this witch hunt in RL about looking a way because it’s “right”?
    Do we really need the same in SL?

    And as far as SL goes, people are trying to find new ways to look different from others, wich is pretty normal.
    And no, I am not a fan of the big gap between the thighs, but that doesn’t really matter, cuz if I don’t like it – I wont make my shape like that.
    But if someone likes it, they should have their shape like that. I don’t really see why this is even worth discussing.

    • There’s a HUGE difference between hating on someone’s body in RL and in SL. When was the last time you drastically deformed your RL body with sliders?

      • My point is, there is no need to have any opinions about others peoples look.
        Just as if someone wants to color their hair green in rl – They should do it. If someone in SL wants to have a big ass and wide hips – They should.
        We are too obsessed with the “perfection” and forget that perfection isn’t necessary the same for everyone.

        • When I joined SL, I joined under the impression that it’s a ‘land’ where you can be what you want to be, at any time. I see kitty cats running around at any given time. Pirates, unicorns, dragons… The list goes on and on. Yes, my avi has hips and thighs – so do I, in RL. Yes, my avi has some body fat – so do I, in RL. No, my avi doesn’t wear a permanent frown – neither do I, in RL. What’s the point of a Second Life if you have to conform to social norms, just the way that we’re taught that we should, in RL? I am who I am, in BOTH lives. Your approval isn’t necessary. Have a beautiful day, all. :)

  20. I don’t hate it but I think to use this shape and try and look fashionable/model like they have missed the boat some how. This shape is great if you want to potray an unrealistic toon like person living in a unreal virtual world – a caricature or some sort of virtual cartoon character. But to dress her up and style her in a serious manner as if she is the next best thing in fashion is just odd.

    If you want to be a – be a toon but don’t pretend you are in the running for the next gig of America’s top model LOL.

  21. “Does it offend you when people make negative comments about it?”

    No matter what I think about the pony-riders, I find it offensive that the fans/makers/wearers of it feel they should not be subject to critique and criticism. A flickr group I participate in has experienced these gals (or guys… who knows…) swarming in, throwing around empty threats to “report,” and hurling personal insults at groups members when someone in group posts about a particularly bad example of this look.

    All ‘looks’ are subject to critique. I’ve seen very well done “belle laide” (“ugly pretty”) avatars, and I give those a big thumbs up, but the “pony-riders” are frequently not well done and — as so many have noted — no longer “unique.” In fact, judging by the things the pony-riding swarmers say, they believe they are *the* standard of beauty, and everyone who has an avatar that does not have a derp face and hose-shoe pelvis (with distorted vulva exposed by hawt, sexy booty shorts) is “ugly.” That attitude is worse than the look.

  22. It is interesting to see trends in SL. Like jeans that just barely cover the labia…just barely. Yikes. The bitch-faced stumpy pony riders are pretty funny. But I suppose they add character to SL lol. My real pet peeve is that so many women in SL dress like like cheap hookers. Then they put pics of themselves in their profile flipping the bird and proclaiming how they’re a “crazy mean bitch”. Is that really something to be proud of? There’s nothing wrong with dressing sexy, but it gets old to see women walking around wearing nothing but nipple tape and a little band-aid over their cooter. Yuck.

  23. I was wondering where all those people on Flickr were coming from. Thanks for linking my drawing!

    I have no problem with curvy, wide-hipped shapes. Love ‘em when they’re done right.

    What I don’t like is when people try to follow THIS particular trend, and think they look like “real, curvy women” or something. They just don’t. Super-short and super-wide hips, a shelf butt and a huge gap in between the legs is a combination that just doesn’t happen in real life — and BECAUSE it doesn’t happen in RL, these avatars create that sort of uncanny valley effect where you know it’s SUPPOSED to look human, but something is just wrong about it, and it sets off that primal sense of disgust/repulsion/fear.

    But y’know, if these gals want to look like toads, they are welcome to. Nobody needs to go all shape-police on them inworld. There’s no real problem unless they’re BEHAVING obnoxiously.

  24. @BadKitteh: That one up there looks like she can actually wipe her own ass, but she’s definately the exception. XD

    • Yus, as she was made as a satire, I’m sure the usual shape has proportionate arms. o/

  25. That name – invisible pony riders – is hilarious! I hadn’t heard that before now, although I very often see those shapes around the grid and shake my head in wonder.

  26. I think they are a fad and rather amusing.Some really know how to rock the look and I appreciate the creativity exhibited.

  27. I do think it’s not the most attractive trend, but at the same time, it’s really not anyone’s business. Let people look like a ‘pony rider’ or a fish faced blah blah blah. It’s their shape, and if they like it, they like it.

  28. I ran into a pair of these at Lelutka along time ago… not only where they fugly but they had nasty attitudes as well. Not to mention they were majorly over accessorized and stuffed full of scripts causing a bunch of lagg. So not being able to move much, I stood outside the hair section and cammed in to look at some hair and accidentally got caught on one of them. To which she said all snooty “uhem! excuse me please stop camming me!” so I said “sorry I didnt meant to.” to which her friend then replied “yeah right! youre totally trying to jack our style get your own!” to which I replied “I wasn’t im trying to look at hair”, then one of them said “There is no point in lying to us our viewer tells us who’s spying on us”. Then they used some dumb laugh gesture and poofed away- I was so annoyed by the whole situation I avoided Lelutka for the longest time. But now Im over it and in my profile i clearly state “YES! I AM CAMMING YOU!” hahaha

    • in those cases i usually keep my cross-hair right in their faces (glasses and lip piercing works best), as i know they have the option activated and makes it difficult to ‘adore/see’ themselves.

  29. everyone has their own style. i mean people dress up like spiders and tinies and other things. i guess they just like the expression of these bodies. they are obviously not human shapes so i think there is a bit of fantasy put in.

    one thing that does weird me out. i try to make my character as CLOSE as possible to my own human body. i go into stores and look totally weird next to what other people look like. really short and kinda boring. it’s kinda giving me a complex (in second life not real life) that maybe my normal body is the one that’s a freak of nature, not the other ones. lol.

  30. obviously an engaging topic, gotta hand it to Gogo you hit the nail on the head with this one :) However I agree totally with Yesternoon, I am sad to see how judgemental people are about other avatars looks – before you cast the next stone just remember, Second Life means a second life – second – an alternate excistence and not first life. And a lot of people go there to have something different than what they for different reasons cannot have in real life. All this moaning about not looking natural – maybe they aren’t after “natural” or “real” whatever that may be? I’d dread to think how you guys would treat someone who is physically different in any worlds. And no – im not short and wide hipped.

  31. The T-rexinvisiponyriders are the new gigantorprimboobs. Most don’t understand the appeal, and the ones wearing the look all cry about being hated :D

  32. I first joined SL to do research on sex and gender in mmo’s (massively multiplayer online games). However, it didn’t fit my working definition of a game so I rejected its use at first. In the end, though, it became an interesting contrast to mmo’s. As mmo’s are developer created and SL is mostly user created. It was interesting to see that the standards we use for beauty weren’t merely inculcated by a male-dominated game developing staff but were also inculcated by a diverse array of genders in a world where they had complete control over their appearance. It in strange to me that in such a world where we can be anything we want, we still judge the furries and the tinies, and anyone who may take an alternate look of beauty (imagine if Picasso viewed beauty in the same manner that Gogo does, think of what the world would be missing).

    I think we forget sometimes that SL as much as it is a social platform can also be an artistic one. Maybe you don’t understand Picasso or most modern art, maybe you think art should reflect reality. I’m not necessarily saying these avatars are great forms of art, but they are definitely an alternative understanding of beauty.

    What I find even more intriguing than the dislike for a particular understanding of beauty (we all harbor these thoughts) is how many stereotypes and generalizations in the comments that have been posted about people who choose to style their avatars in a particular way. Even in a user-created world we fall back on bad habits.

    • You’re better with words than me, for sure.
      This is exactly what I think aswell.

      • Myself as well.
        Furries, tinies, child avis (leaving the paedophilia hysteria out of it), it’s something different every year.
        What makes me laugh most are the stereotypical personality traits and behaviours that people feel they have to make note of to prove that people using these avatars deserve whatever criticisms are aimed at them.
        There’s not a single one mentioned in this thread that people with ‘normal, in proportion’ humanoid avatars aren’t doing everyday somewhere on the grid.

    • It’s an interesting thought, but I don’t think people abandon their human nature in virtual worlds. All the negative aspects carry over, jealousy, pettiness, hate, etc. Some people even regress to behaviors they had when they were younger and say and do things in SL that they would walk up and say to a person in real life. I’m guilty of this too!

    • If everyone painted like Picasso, we would begin to wonder what is wrong with everybody.

  33. I think there is a thin line between being delibaretly absurd and simply put horribly wrong. I hardly point a finger… but latley I do this cause the Bratz dolls… the barley coochie covering… the super minisized female avatar wearing hooker clothes hugging a guy twice her height just give me signals… about the fact that they are all imitating one another pretty much making it clear they are not artistic but copying one another in a narrow minded vision of what beauty is in general not self thought.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but bad taste… that should not be subjective.

  34. Pingback: Getting away from the noise in Kowloon. | sletoile

  35. Finally someone making a point !! I just can’t stand those shapes, and I always wondered what drove so many sl players to wear these shapes. It might be rude to call it awfull, ugly or whatever, but as far as I am concerned they are nowhere near beauty or even acceptable.

  36. It’s such a shame seeing some individuals judging on Second Life.
    Its all fake, so why bother even wasting time judging other pixels that came here to escape Real Life?
    It all doesn’t make sense to me.
    And as for invisible pony riders, they don’t actually bother me at all. I have friends with that shape and they’re normal to me, not alternate beings. I judge the person, not the superficial shape.

  37. It’s Second Life. Who cares what people do to their shapes? Most of us are adults, and this isn’t highschool. One of SL’s facets is and always has been an arena for self-expression.

    Waif-thin, airbrushed runway females IRL are neither a true representation of a typical woman either. Clearly it’s a bigger issue as far as how women are represented on any platform.

  38. I love how people always try to drag this discussion out to rl body styles/beauty(irrelevantly), while missing the point- we have limited control over what we look like rl. Of course it’s messed up to judge people for things beyond their control. It’s as ignorant as racism. However, judging someone based on how they choose, in every detail, to represent themselves is entirely different. Every detail in someone’s avatar is something they either deliberately chose or missed due to lack of observation- but it’s entirely our choice. This is also why people get so angry- we’re criticizing what for most is their idealized image of themselves. So I get it, but I’m not going to stop doing it, mostly because it’s funny. I don’t have any illusions about helping any ponyriders to see the light, I just like to laugh. I suggest anyone who was taking this “too srs” get a sense of humor asap- it’s a lot easier to laugh than to get mad every time someone makes fun of you, and better for you all around.

  39. Yes, this is quite a disturbing trend ATM. I like to call it the Invisible horse riding, grumpy dwarf look. These avis look like they have just drunk a quart of vinegar or something… not really all that sexy but hey, a trend is a trend I guess.

  40. The big butt thing never used to bother me before. Sure, it wasn’t to my taste, but I always thought “this is SL, they’re free to explore their ideals, even if they are extreme.”

    Then I saw this article: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2011/11/18/man-arrested-for-boosting-butts-with-cement-fix-a-flat/

    That shape in the mug shot certainly looks familiar. I still do think people have absolute right to make their avies the way they want, but I have to admit it feels darker than it used to. And I think to myself, “are they just trying to be different, or is that really what they see as the ideal shape?” Followed by wondering just how far they’d go in RL to look like this unobtainable ideal.

  41. I don’t get the super frowny face look, but that’s probably because IRL my mouth naturally turns down and I have to deal with “why are you mad?” or “smile!” from random people. It’s not turned down as much as these avatars, but I still get comments.

    What I don’t understand is why people get in such an uproar because someone’s else avatar doesn’t conform to their standard of beauty/ideal. It’s a virtual world where people can go around as a book or a building or a piece of cheese! This whole “ponyrider” thing is the exactly the same deal as “omigod! Why is everyone so tall!” complaints that went around the fashion blogs.

    Why do you care so freaking much about what strangers look like?

    Also this is Second life where people can be anything – a boat, a snake, a piece of cheese, a rock -that’s not “realistic” either! Does everyone who gets upset about the “ponyrider” look also get so upset about other non realistic avatars?

    • i noticed it’s super hard in second life to look ‘smiley’ without looking like a lunatic. even my own home made shape looks a bit bitchy and i don’t even have the sliders on my mouth turned down. maybe it’s just ‘pouty’. but people who make their avatars look like they are smiling creep me right out!

  42. I think calling this an “uproar” is an exaggeration. Nobody is telling anybody that they can’t look any way they please in Second Life. We all have that freedom! The thing is, though, these virtual representations of ourselves are art. They might be complete works, or collages of different creators’ works, or our own original works, but they are digital, three-dimensional works of art. And some are better than others. As they are all works of art, no avatar is immune to critique. Not one. Those who are critiqued may take it personally, learn from it, or let it slide off like water from a duck’s back. Why should this particular shape style, and those who wear it, be immune to criticism?

    Hey, Picasso had his critics. So did Van Gogh. (To keep things in perspective, so does Thomas Kinkade.) It happens. It’s part of the creative process. There’s no need to wig out and (apologies to poor Vincent) cut your pixel ears off over it. Who knows? You might even learn something.

  43. I’m not saying you shouldn’t criticism but I just find it weird that in Second Life people get so bent out of shape over avatars with unrealistic proportions. I saw the same complaints/criticism over tall avatars – how their height was unrealistic and no one is that tall in real life and whatever. It just seems weird to me that in Second Life there’s such an emphasis on avatars being “realistic”.

    • Speaking purely for myself here, the issue here is not “realism” or lack thereof. There are some very excellently done “unrealistic” or “fantasy” avatars, some of which are purposely funny. I have a great appreciation for those. A well done avatar is a well done avatar, whether it be a human, an animal, a robot, or anything else. A poorly done avatar is just that, and I suspect it’s easier to ‘fug’ out an avatar when one is going for realism, than when one is going for fantasy

      I interpret the pony-rider shapes (IPRs, I’ve lately seen them referred to) as a representation of what is ‘supposed’ to be sexy and hot — I don’t get the sense from the makers and fans of that look that they are intentionally creating an “unrealistic” avatar. Rather, they have taken what quite possibly started out as an iconoclastic thumb-nosing at conventional notions of beauty (a good thing to do), and turned it into what they think of as a conventional representation of beauty. They’ve further inundated SL — or at least the fashion feeds — with that look, and as Cicadette points out, have demanded that they not be critiqued. They’ve iconized themselves, and the iconoclasts are now anyone one who would dare to say anything less than positive about the look. It sometimes seems, too, as if they have gone so far as to internalize their avatars to the point of body dysmorphia – that they actually see themselves as looking like that in real life, and a criticism of the look in cartoon form is the same as trash talking their real bodies. The whole thing is problematic.

      • I haven’t dealt with any of the avatars who have “ponyrider” shapes very much so I don’t know about them swarming about and causing negative attitude. I’ve seen plenty of profiles of “proper” avatars who are bitchy and mean and have had to deal with some bitchy mean “proper” avatars before.

        Why do people who use human avatars have to go with realistic proportions? It’s Second Life and if someone wants exaggerated proportions then so what? The same thing happened against tall avatars and if someone wants to be human, but 7′ tall with huge breasts, a tiny waist, and knocked kneed – why shouldn’t they?

        Why should human avatars have to be proportionate?

        • You’re still missing the point… “should” is not relevant. No one is saying anyone “has” to do anything at all with their avatar. The simple fact is that when humanoid avatars are disproportionate it’s fugly, and people have just as much right to point and laugh if they choose as the person displaying the poor taste is to display it. People can cry about it or they can take it for what it is- some random person’s(or in this case, roughly 750 random people) opinion that only matters as much as they let it. The idea that people should shoosh and not state said opinions because of the people who cry about it is ridiculous. Sounds like their personal problem =P

          • I don’t think every disproportionate shape is “fugly”, except for the extreme frowny face I don’t think that most of the “pony rider” shapes are that ugly.

            Anyway, why do you feel the need to point and laugh because you think someone is ugly? That’s just mean spirited.

  44. It’s all about personal taste. I don’t like the “Invisble Pony riders” shapes at all. But a lot of people hate the perfect rounded doll faces and super extra thick upper lip of Juicy shapes IE, I don’t think they look realistic, to have a childish face over a womanly body wouldn’t be right for some people…. it’s all about personal taste. It’s like, you like Lady Gaga, but I like Christina Aguilera and she’s better and she can sang circles around Gaga, and Lady Gaga’s looks and attitudes are weird , that’s my taste, my opinion, I won’t judge you because you like Lady Gaga…. got it??

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