Thursday, September 30, 2010

Role models

not me.  flickr JMRosenfeld
I've noticed a change in the women I watch (no, not that way, I mean as role models or sometimes wish fulfillment :-).  From my teens to my early thirties, I think I mostly observed women in their mid-20s.  They had youth, energy, excitement, exuded femininity from their very pores, and all without even really trying.  Plus, so many fashions in magazines I read (e.g. Vogue, Elle) are really aimed at the mid-to-late 20s.  As transsexuals, I think we all want to be accepted, but as a transsexual who was still in hiding, any such acceptance was purely fantasy, and as long as it's fantasy, I might as well picture myself as one of those beautiful lithe young women.  When I dressed, I bought almost unwearably short skirts, wore large cup bras, stupidly high heels.  I was a caricature of a "sexy woman".  But then, at 36, I finally saw a gender counselor and for the first time realistically considered the possibility of living as a woman. Suddenly, I was no longer checking out the fashions of younger women.  I started to look hard at women closer to my age, and then refined that further to women my age with a similar shape (slightly on the tall side - I'm a little over 5'9" - with broad shoulders and small bust).  I also began to realize that lots of women have one or two "manly" features, but because of their overall presentation, no one remotely thinks they might be male.  That realization gave me hope.  Maybe if I can carry myself in a feminine manner and do so with confidence, then peoples' eyes may just pass right over me as well, just another middle-aged woman doing the shopping or whatever.  Having been on hormones for a while now, I'm realizing I'm a small-breasted woman unless I get top surgery, which I'm not too keen on, so instead of 38Cs, I'm getting 38As, and when I feel the need to go shop for my girl self, it's not lingerie and crazy short let's-go-clubbing dresses, it's the kind of casual or business clothes a reasonably fashionable woman my age might actually wear.  Things I see on the moms of my daughter's friends, my colleagues, etc.  Now I probably still dress a tiny bit younger and maybe slightly more dressy than the average woman my age, but that also reflects my personality, so I feel comfortable with it.  I don't see a pretend-woman in the mirror now.  When I'm in my femme mode, however I am dressed, I see a woman in the mirror, and that's definitely a good thing.

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