As I continue to write bits and pieces in my book, the topic of body image keeps coming up. As referenced in yesterdays Cyrsti's Condo post, cis women often have the same problems with feeling secure in their own skins as we transgender women.
Through the years we have to struggle through the dazzling yet scary arrays of makeup and fashion to desperately try to find our spot on the world. The ancient stereotype of the cross dresser squeezed into a mini skirt and heels waltzing through a mall somewhere is my scariest vision and one I am afraid I tried too. Fortunately, there are no pictures :).
Then there is/was makeup to contend with. In the looking like a clown department, I was lucky I had quite a few chances to experiment when I was younger with makeup...even to the point of convincing my first fiance to apply it for me. As far as my body image was concerned though, I didn't really have one, except an unrealistic view of how I thought I should look. Again and again, the wrong use of mini skirts did me no favors. I was over reacting to the rare occasions people saw me in a short skirt and saying I had good legs. The problem was I had no idea of how to properly showcase a feminine asset. In fact, I went the opposite direction.
In the 1970's I became enamored with the hippie boho look, complete with bell bottom jeans etc. So, I began to try to dress myself in those fashion directions (which I still like to this day). In fact, I used to get asked at the transvestite mixers I went to how I could not possibly wear a dress. During that time I was slowly beginning to discover my inner woman's body image I have today.
I still rarely wear dresses or skirts. Relying instead on leggings and sweaters during the cold seasons and lightweight culottes with tank tops in the summer. I do have a couple maxi dresses for the hottest days.
The fun part is, women can be different and that is OK...to a point. The hard part still is getting to a point where your inner woman tells you what she wants to be.
These days though, there are getting to be numerous places one can go to for help with your body image. Take Ginger Burr's Total Image Consultants for example. Leann wrote in and said Ginger runs a very trans woman friendly business. Plus around here (Cincinnati) there are a couple of the big specialty makeup stores which are more than happy to help a novice with her makeup needs.
Look, I know the vast majority of us will always struggle with the testosterone poisoning we went through or still going through. On the other hand, options are becoming more accessible to help with your body image problems as you attempt to sync up your internal and external selves.