As much as I’ve wanted to write over the last few days, I’ve had so many thoughts flying around inside my head about insecurities, worries or what I should be doing, that I can’t even think straight. It’s been so overwhelming and I’m not afraid to say that I’ve really struggled to stay focused or positive.
Even just changing my title has been crazy stressful, with a lot of people not realising that your title is a social thing and not a legal identifier. If I chose Ms instead of Mr on a website form, I’m not asked for proof am I? When a woman gets married and starts using Mrs, she doesn’t have to show a marriage certificate every time…so why is it any different for anyone else? Well, it isn’t. But some people confuse this change of title as a change of gender which, annoyingly, causes a lot of unnecessary stress for me. With so many companies or sites offering vague advice that’s open to interpretation over what they require, we’re pretty much at the mercy of whoever deals with our application. Thankfully, someone has been nice enough to help me out and send me info on how to make sure I don’t get fobbed off. Sadly it didn’t cure my stress as something else has been bugging me.
My image has been a major hang up for me recently. I won’t lie, I’ve always hated how I look before starting my transition (for obvious reasons) but now that I can be me, I still struggle. My face annoys me. I hate my face. When I look in the mirror, I can’t help but scrutinise the ugly mug that’s staring back at me as I make mental notes of what needs fixing. There’s only so much that makeup and contouring can do. Laser hair removal has meant my chin and jawline is now bald…but I still don’t like it. The only other step is to take further (more invasive) action: cosmetic surgery. My jawline has never been my best friend, so that’s the first thing I’ll be correcting. I know it’s all too easy to get carried away or to let social pressures influence how I should look but I can honestly say I’m doing this for myself. In my mind, I know what I don’t like about my face. It’s based on what I like or want. Yeh it could be argued that society plays a part in determining what I like but ultimately it’s about how I see myself. Lots of people have offered supportive or really kind comments about how I look but I still struggle to see it that way. Maybe I’m just so used to seeing the wrong person when I look in the mirror? I recently read something on Twitter that I found interesting: transition is becoming the person you were jealous of a few years earlier. Expanding on that, somebody else said that transition is you becoming the type of person you had a crush on. Deep down, you wanted to be them. That’s essentially your idea of beauty or ideal person. With cosmetic surgery, I’d be aiming for what I consider to be ideal for my own face.
Being so self-conscious has made me so insecure, especially when I’m out. Am I pretty enough? Am I doing this right? Should I wear this? Does wearing it make me look ugly?? These are questions a lot of people ask themselves on a daily basis. Being transgender makes it worse because you have to overcome people judging you for that, as well as for how you look or what you wear. Not that I’m taking anything away from those who have insecurities that aren’t transgender. Insecurities are insecurities, no matter what gender you are or have chosen. For me personally, it’s added stress when getting ready to go out etc as I just want to be left alone and blend in – not to be singled out, whether it’s for being transgender or ugly.
“I love how you wear dresses and make them look rockish! It takes a lot to pull that off without coming across unapproachable!”
The quote above means a lot to me for a couple of reasons. It’s somebody recognising me and that I do have a certain style or look (something which I fail to see within myself), so I must be doing something right?! That kind of reassurance is comforting as there’s no instruction manual on how to do this. More importantly, it’s from somebody who I have a lot of respect for and take influence from – especially as it feels like I have a lot of catching up to do!! But until she said that, I was convinced I was doing it all wrong. To some extent, I still worry. I worry about looking…erm, wrong? That I’m just making it obvious for people to pick me out in a crowd. At the same time, I don’t want people around me to feel awkward or have to suffer judging stares and comments from those that just don’t have what it takes to accept others. Yeh, I’m always so conscious of how friends must feel when they’re out with me. Having said that, I don’t go out of my way to dress extra girly or feminine. It’s not about pretending or hiding. I wear things that I like, it’s that simple. Style and appearance is such an integral part of our identity. It’s what the rest of the world sees. It’s also our way of telling the world who we are. When transitioning, nobody really thinks about who they’ll be or what style they will have. I’m still the same person. Yeh, I’ll think about what goes with what or how I’d wear something…but that comes from me and, again, my perception of what looks good. And yeh, sometimes I do get it very wrong. Luckily, I have Vicki’s site to rely on for fashion tips and ideas!!
After thinking about style and looks over the past few days, it’s helped me to pull myself through to the other side. I still have serious hang ups about my face, how I look and even whether I’m “female” enough but I’ve realised they are things I can work on, whether it’s by changing my attitude or through a physical procedure, but at least the crazy thoughts all seem more settled for now. That means I can focus on getting my title and various other documents changed…and take another step forward in the right direction.
Featured image: via Google