Posts tagged beauty
“Trannies” aren’t “real women”, can’t ever be “real women”. Yet bizarrely, those quickest to make fun seem, often, to be the most eager to demand trans women conform to a feminine ideal: to subject trans women to the same externally imposed fantasy that cis women have suffered from throughout history.
Is this just the same old, same old, only with trans now in its sights? And does this make the latest crop of attractive and downright beautiful trans women in the news something that needs to be treated with caution?
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This could get very boring, very quickly for those who drop casually by if they find this blog silting up with ripostes to THAT blog.
So rather than protest the insinuation that i have overnight developed such fey tendencies that i could not possibly bear to chip a nail – huh! – there is a sort of real point behind the story that my partner tells today.
It goes to the heart of why i am where i am…or at least, it throws into sharp relief one part of my journey.
i am 52. i cannot remember a day, as a “male”, looking at myself in a mirror and being impressed. i have never liked my body all that much: in part, i put the dislike down to being a bit overweight…a bit awkward.
But maybe i was looking at things the wrong way round. Maybe the oddness, awkwardness was not cause, but result. For there is nothing whatsoever about me, the man, that is interesting enough to work on or have incite me to try and change.
Then there was the coming out, followed almost at once by a blitz on all that hated body hair. New features slowly emerged: wrists that, if not dainty, are at least slim and – omg! – feminine. Fingers now capped with varnish: cared for nails.
It is not fetish because, try as i might, there is not the least twinge of desire as i react to this new me: just a blissful feeling of rightness.
Now, too, there is hair. Coloured. Conditioned. A visit to a hair salon at the weekend to discuss what i am going to do with it. i outed myself to a lovely stylist, who suggested a bob – and then asked if i minded it being too feminine.
Mind? It is dream and coming home in one and the same act.
i have been out – properly out – for two weeks now. Since that day, it feels as though i have permission to look at myself through new eyes. i am allowed, at last, to see myself as a person with a real physical body.
More…i am allowed to take stock: to pick and choose. For the first time in my life, i have looked at me and begun to say: “this i like: this i don’t”.
After 50 years, my body feels like it is beginning to belong to me at last.
So if i do occasionally fuss a little over chipped nails, please indulge me. i have a lot of catching up to do.
Such a trivial, vain obsession.
Yet, at the same time, so much about what i am now…what i am becoming…hope to become.
i wear it because it is beautiful: because i love the way it looks; the way it lengthens my fingers; gives an unwaranted gracefulness to my hands. For the first time in my life, i can look at a part of my body and think: yes! i like what i see.
But what do YOU see, the casual passer-by, shop assistant, school-gate gawker? Someone who ought not to be wearing make-up at all with brightly painted nails. Blue today, in case you wondered. Pinke yesterday. Green the day before.
And if i ought not to be wearing such stuff, what does that make me? An object of derision? A freak? A threat?
In Boots, a young shop assistant, glanced briefly at my hands, then up at my face. A moment of confusion flickered across her eyes. Does not compute, perhaps flashing on her inner LCD.
i can handle that.
But then there’s the beefy guy stood outside tesco, who glances first at my hands, then scowls at me. Or the smartly dressed young male, sat in a coffee shop today, who kept looking over. Not smiling. Not smiling at all.
my world is not the safe place it used to be.
i do not have to paint my nails. Of course not. i could hide, as i always have: i could pretend to be boringly, safely normal.
But i am not: not any more. So i wear it because it looks beautiful. Because it makes me feel good. Because, at the end of the day, it marks me out as who and what i am… and the world can take me or leave me.
A full ten fingers up at their convention and bigotry. i will try not to think about consequences.