Having commented on a friend’s recent post on this subject, and gotten a bit carried away in my response (with apologies to her), I figured the proper place for my long-winded thoughts should be on my own blog, and here it is.
Walk a Mile in Someone Else’s Shoes - It’s Uncomfortable
We t-girls, coming to femininity as men, are psychologically unprepared for the exponentially greater fuss we must make about our appearance. Oftentimes, it ends up feeling vain and overdone to us.
Can’t You Just Throw Something On?
Real women spend a great deal of time primping and preening – often to the chagrin of their endlessly waiting partners. By the time they are ready to go out, they have changed clothes several times, agonized over which earrings are best, hair up or down? oh, these hose just aren’t right… and left a holy mess in their wake in their “rush” to get ready.
It all never made sense to me as a guy, but I have clued in since then…
A Look Inside the Lady’s Dressing Room
It turns out that a black skirt is not a black skirt… they are narrow… or short… or too short… or heavy… or light… or high-waisted… or flared… and they just won’t go with those pair of black shoes that are either too high… or low… or funky… or make my legs look
dumpy or whatever with that skirt… Or maybe, it was just the wrong hose… too opaque… too sheer… pantyhose or stockings? stay-ups or garters? And that top… too much cleavage… or a bit frumpy? or too long, maybe… and we haven’t even started on the jewellery…
By the time I’m done, half my wardrobe is in a heap on the floor and I am climbing over it as I affix my heeled pumps to my feet on the way out the door. (Which purse am I taking?)
And, we haven’t even discussed makeup… smoky eyes, subtle eyes… oops, I made a mistake… damn! my hair just will not behave! and oh, that shade of lipstick makes me look like a hooker… or maybe, it’s just this top…
Harder For Us
Genetic girls have put up with this throughout their lives and so, for them, it has always been this way and it is what they need to do to be properly groomed. Guys throw on pants, shirt, jacket, socks and shoes and they’re done. It’s quite a change to now start fussing, I know.
And whatever women have to do, and however long it takes them with all their experience, here we are – novices – and our task is so much more difficult, having to disguise our masculinity on top of everything else.
When women fuss and worry about their looks, it is only whether they look a little better or worse – call it vanity if you wish. But for us – or at least me – I’m not so much worried that people won’t think I’m beautiful, as that they won’t think I’m a girl at all! The only bar I need to clear is the one where people think of me and refer to me as “she.”
Trouble is, when you’re a guy inside that makeup and dress, if you aren’t pretty, well, you’re busted!
So, what may look and feel like vanity is, for me, survival.
I suppose if you’re at an age where the sexes seem to converge in appearance (usually either teenage on one side or senior on the other), or can and do look like someone’s aunt, you can pass much more easily. But, none of those applies to me.
The Woman Inside
I will admit that internally, I need to feel beautiful, and to think that I make an attractive female. I will not be an ugly or mannish girl; I would sooner stop the whole thing. Unlike a genetic woman who has to accept any limitations she may have in terms of her appearance, I do not… at least not as a woman. I do this for my pleasure, so if it ends up weighing on my self-esteem when I look in the mirror, it is not productive for me to continue it.
Beyond the obsession with our looks, t-girls do tend to seek out and hope for external praise. But again, I’m going to give us all a pass on any negative connotation that may hold.
I believe that we seek out external praise largely because we don’t have confidence in our own perspective – and wisely so. In my case, I recognize that what a GG has learned over her lifetime about herself and her place in the world will not be assimilated by me in less time, if ever. So external praise is as much perspective as it is vanity.
The other part of perspective comes from seeing others in our community, and what they are doing and wearing and what was the reaction to them. Those among us who go out and test the waters and report back do the rest of us a great service in learning about ourselves and the world around us and our place in it.