Author Topic: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty  (Read 1894 times)

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Offline sarahc

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I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« on: December 03, 2020, 08:31:30 pm »
So I had a good friend of mine tell me that I was acting like I was afraid to be pretty. This is a person who knows a lot of transgender people and thinks that I look good. But she doesn't understand why I don't embrace my feminine self and really try to be at least a little stylish.

I think my friend is getting it half-right...

On the one hand, I'm really casual by nature, and especially with the pandemic, I really haven't had an occasion to get all primped up and really show off...which is fine by me! Jeans / (nice) t-shirt / casual shoes day after day is okey-dokey. Moreover, one aspect of womanhood that I honestly wasn't looking forward to is the investment of time in making oneself pretty. Yes, I spend more time than I used to with grooming. But I really don't want it to take over my life. And finally...I actually like the way I look au naturel. I'll throw on CC cream some days, but I honestly cannot be bothered to spend a lot of time perfecting my appearance.

However, I think my friend did hit on something true...I am kinda scared.

I'm 5'11", and my honest perspective is that when you're a woman that tall, you don't need a fancy hairdo and tons of makeup to attract attention, and I don't want other woman to think that I'm particularly good looking or fashionable. I also don't want to look really bad! Ideally I would be be unremarkable (or as unremarkable as a 5'11" woman can be); I'd rather blend in. When I go to the grocery store, I'm dressed like everyone else; I'm not trying to stick out. And I pass fine.

But there will be a day when I have to put meaningful effort into looking good...a wedding, a board meeting, a fundraiser, a fancy dinner. All of those things are definitely going to happen in 2021, and I am a little scared that in trying to look good I won't know what I'm doing and will make a fool of myself. Ugh, even the thought of me being dressed and towering over most other women and everyone staring at me gives me dread. And the fact that most people at these events will know that I am trans and will have their eyes glued on to me will make it double nerve-wracking.

tl;dr Can anyone relate to this? I really don't like investing serious time into prettying myself up. And quite frankly, I'm a little scared to do so. How did you overcome that fear such that when you got to the event you felt confident? And in this pandemic environment how can one get more comfortable with the idea of trying to be pretty?
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48 years young.
Known that I am trans since...forever.
First therapy session / decided to transition / hair removal: October 2018
HRT: January 2019 (journal https://www.susans.org/forums/index.phpVF/topic,244009.0.html)
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Offline Allie Jayne

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2020, 09:27:44 pm »
Sarah, I can relate, but maybe for a whole lot of different reasons. I’m an unwilling transitioner, ie I’m only doing this to reduce my dysphoria which tries to kill me! I can never accept myself as a woman, so I will always be trans. Like you, I just want to do my thing and fly under everyones radar, so jeans and a nice top and usually sneakers, and some BB cream, allows me to go shopping etc without standing out. I don’t have fancy clothes, and I know there will be a time where I need to make the effort, but I’m not excited about it! At 5 ft 7” I do get by in casual situations, though not always, so I’m not confidant enough to get dolled up as I might not pass.

Casual is best!

Hugs,

Allie

Offline Megan.

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2020, 02:13:18 am »
Totally relate Sarah. I'm a casual girl, I basically haven't worn makeup since the pandemic started, and it was only really for work before that. I used to get my brows shaped and tinted at the salon every 4-6 weeks which helped smarten my presentation slightly without much daily effort on my part.

I'm 5'10", and live in jeans and tops. But I agree with you, most women do this too!

I'm not a girly girl. I have my days, and from time to time I enjoy presenting more feminine, but that's for me not others.

My advice, do what makes you happy and comfortable. Many of us go through transition to stop living as someone we're not, I'm determined that I don't end up living as another person I'm not. X

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Offline Megan.

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2020, 02:15:56 am »
One thing I have considered is semi-permanent makeup - nothing extreme, but it would give me a smarter more feminine presentation without the 'heavy lifting'. I may look into this next year. X

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Offline Angelaney

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2020, 02:55:14 am »
I don't think there's anything wrong, I think you're just not meeting their stereotypes, everyone including friends, whether they realise it or not, have little pigeon holes in their head where they subconsciously place people they know or people they meet. Whilst meeting those criteria may help that person, it's not going to help you x

Offline noleen111

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2020, 03:00:29 am »
. But she doesn't understand why I don't embrace my feminine self and really try to be at least a little stylish.


Something Trans women forget, not al cis-women are stylish or enjoy making themselves look all pretty. I work in a retail environment that sells womens clothes. I can say one thing I have learnt, you get lots of different type of women. There is no one style for women.

I know of cis-women, who dont wear dresses or wear makeup, that does not make them any less of the woman. My step sister's sister-in-law, we have never seen her wearing makeup or a dress.

So dont feel bad, you dont want to make youself pretty, you must be comfortable who you are and be confident, the world will follow.

Me personally I am a girly girl (there is even a term for it, if all women were like that, there would be no term, it would be just girl) so love to express my femininity through dresses, heels, makeup etc. But there is no rule saying, you must be like that to be considered a woman,
Enjoying ride the hormones are giving me... finally becoming the woman I always knew I was

Offline big kim

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2020, 03:41:37 am »
Casual in jeans or walking pants Doc Martin boots t shirt ponytail no makeup. Somehow I blend in despite being 6'!1& 1/2";and over 250 pound.

Offline Jessica_Rose

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2020, 05:54:12 am »
I'm 6ft 1in and weigh 168 lbs. I've always had hips, my measurements are 41-29-41. I'm trying to make up for missing out on five decades of playing 'dress-up'! As tall as I am, people are going to notice me, so I may as well give them something to look at. My makeup is basic, some CC cream, translucent powder, blush, lipstick, and mascara -- it rarely takes more than 10 minutes. I also usually straighten my hair, which takes 10 - 15 minutes if I just washed it. With most places requiring masks now, I don't bother with makeup, but I always try to dress nice when in public. I love leggings, snug-fitting tops, skirts, and form-fitting dresses. In cool weather I usually wear knee-hi boots, in warm weather I wear sandals. I do wear jeans, t-shirts or tank tops, and sneakers occasionally. Dressing up and looking nice give me confidence.

We are all different and find our happiness in different ways. We transition to be at peace with ourselves. Don't let anyone pressure you into changing. Wear whatever makes you happy, whatever you are comfortable with. Be yourself.

Love always -- Jessica Rose
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Offline SarahEL

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2020, 06:16:42 am »
Day to day, I mainly wear T-shirt and jeans.. I use very little makeup, mainly eyeliner and that is it...
I think it is just normal... In my life, the only time I have seen females with a full face of makeup, hair done and a nice dress with heels is on special occasions.. Just as Males do not walk around everyday in their best suit and tie, hair slicked down etc...
Fitting in, being just another person.. is something I really want to do.. Yes, I know my history, but I do not want to wear it on my arm every time I go and get a loaf of bread...
I fixed my gender presentation to give me back my life.. not to make my gender the dominant part of that life.
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Offline sarahc

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2020, 06:18:48 am »
So I agree with everyone here on the “be yourself” advice. Don’t worry about that! If you knew me in real life, you would know that isn’t a problem!

However, I am kind of dreading the return to normalcy, because that will mean the return of formal events, which will mean that I will need to dress up. How did you all get to a place where you felt comfortable going to events like this where people are closely watching how you dress?

Sarah
----
48 years young.
Known that I am trans since...forever.
First therapy session / decided to transition / hair removal: October 2018
HRT: January 2019 (journal https://www.susans.org/forums/index.phpVF/topic,244009.0.html)
VFS: September 2019; three-month report here
Full-time: April 2020
FFS: August 2020
SRS: January 2021

Offline Misato

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2020, 06:21:21 am »
There was that meme going round about how bras aren’t a necessity in the pandemic. This is cause a lot of women prefer to be in a more casual state.

I’m 6’ and it hasn’t been a problem. I’ll still wear heels, and own my height. I’m totally comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt, but I’ve made significant investments in dresses, skirts, and nice blouses to pretty myself up too. In that collection I made some really bad investments I didn’t realize until after the fact, and wearing them several times. What helped me was going to a store and getting help from the stylists there to define a fashion sense. That’s something not totally compatible with the pandemic, but I think they liked having such a blank slate to work with.

Anyway. You do you. If you don’t like wearing all that pretty stuff that is 100% valid. If you want to dabble in pretty things finding someone knowledgeable to help is a good idea cause dressing your body well is a skill that needs to be developed. I’ve also done t-shirt, jeans, and a blazer and looked totally professional in the office. It’s a nice thing about being a woman, we’ve got options!

Offline Jessica_Rose

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2020, 07:47:23 am »
However, I am kind of dreading the return to normalcy, because that will mean the return of formal events, which will mean that I will need to dress up. How did you all get to a place where you felt comfortable going to events like this where people are closely watching how you dress?

As you mentioned earlier, confidence is the key. The company I work for has awesome policies supporting LGBTQ+ employees. On my first day at work, I was nervous as hell. However, I kept the company policies in mind. I figured I would really have to screw up to get in trouble, so I decided to act as though I owned the company! I didn't try to boss people around or anything like that, but it gave me confidence knowing that my company supported me and wanted me to live an authentic life.

There are not that many transgender people in the world, and not all of them feel the need to transition. Those who do have done something tremendous, it's like climbing a social 'Mount Everest'. We have done something few people will ever do, and that gives me confidence.

Love always -- Jessica Rose
Journal - Jessica's Rose Garden
National Coming Out Day video - Coming Out
GCS - GCS and BA with Dr. Ley on 21 Feb 2019
GCS II and FFS - GCS II and FFS with Dr. Ley on 26 July 2019
FFS II - FFS II with Dr. Ley on 13 Oct 2020
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Don't let others tell you who you are. Be yourself, the world will adjust.

Offline Oldandcreaky

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2020, 10:49:51 am »
Sarah, you sound like me. I don't want attention, so I don't work to attract it. Like you, my height alone turns heads, but their gaze doesn't linger because I don't decorate myself.

A neighbor once told me that I look like a homeless person. If I'm working, I wear dirty, stained clothing and a brush rarely touches my hair, so I can see what she saw.

However, looking like a hobo can help. One day, I had a railing that needed a welding repair. I was warned that the neighborhood welder was a gruff fellow. That morning, I had dug a pit to excavate silver maple roots with a sawzall, so I was exceptionally filthy. I walked into the gruff guy's shop and he gave me the biggest smile and nodded. Just as game recognizes game, grit recognizes grit.

Offline CaelaNotKayla

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2020, 01:10:57 pm »
So I agree with everyone here on the “be yourself” advice. Don’t worry about that! If you knew me in real life, you would know that isn’t a problem!

However, I am kind of dreading the return to normalcy, because that will mean the return of formal events, which will mean that I will need to dress up. How did you all get to a place where you felt comfortable going to events like this where people are closely watching how you dress?

Sarah

Sarah-

I think for me its being confident in myself.  People in my neck of the woods are fairly passive aggressive, so there won't be much open staring- so I would pick out my most flattering dress, do all the little things to minimize my own concerns (take time with makeup, new sheers, accessorize, etc) so that I'm less likely to call myself out.

But in the end I know that I can't make it perfect, so I just have to decide to either be out and be myself and know that I've done my best- or stay in and not have the anxiety of fitting in, but also potentially miss out on those moments.

So I've been practicing during lockdown.  I wore a nice formal dress last night for a zoom call.  I wore another nice dress for our family holiday meal.  Full makeup for both.  Do I do that all the time?  No, but I want to build that confidence level up for the day when there are more people around.

Hugs!

Caela
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Offline ChrissyRyan

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2020, 01:17:33 pm »
Sarah-

I think for me its being confident in myself.  People in my neck of the woods are fairly passive aggressive, so there won't be much open staring- so I would pick out my most flattering dress, do all the little things to minimize my own concerns (take time with makeup, new sheers, accessorize, etc) so that I'm less likely to call myself out.

But in the end I know that I can't make it perfect, so I just have to decide to either be out and be myself and know that I've done my best- or stay in and not have the anxiety of fitting in, but also potentially miss out on those moments.

So I've been practicing during lockdown.  I wore a nice formal dress last night for a zoom call.  I wore another nice dress for our family holiday meal.  Full makeup for both.  Do I do that all the time?  No, but I want to build that confidence level up for the day when there are more people around.

Hugs!

Caela


Caela,

That seems to be a practical approach!  Good for you.  Makes sense.

Chrissy
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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2020, 01:55:32 pm »
I agree with all the posters who say “you do you”. Im 6’2” so don’t often wear heels but I always care and take care about my appearance. Im very much a girly girl, love pretty things and my boyfriend loves my femininity!
I worry about passing far too much but I am me and that’s the way I am.
Just do what’s right for you. Xx


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Offline Laura1951

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2020, 03:57:25 pm »
It looks like lots of us are casual dressers. The majority of clothes I purchased my first year were casual, mostly jeans in a variety of colors and many more tops than <deadname> ever had. It's only been recently that I've desired to purchase more dressy clothes. Thank goodness for sales.

As far as makeup, I've not the nerve to present outside without it. Every day I do my makeup before getting dressed. I'm not afraid to be pretty. I know I'm not. It's just that I feel that I'm a little more passable if I go through the effort.

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Offline HappyMoni

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2020, 06:45:32 pm »
Hi Sarah,
   Reading what you wrote, I still wonder if the problem is that you don't want to dress up, or is the problem fear of failure? Fear of failure can be powerful. Also consider that dressing up nicely does not necessarily mean flashy. You can dress attractively without being a neon sign for femininity. Life is short, experiment, maybe you will like it. What's the worst that can happen, you get complimented?
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Offline sarahc

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2020, 07:52:21 pm »
Hi Sarah,
   Reading what you wrote, I still wonder if the problem is that you don't want to dress up, or is the problem fear of failure? Fear of failure can be powerful. Also consider that dressing up nicely does not necessarily mean flashy. You can dress attractively without being a neon sign for femininity. Life is short, experiment, maybe you will like it. What's the worst that can happen, you get complimented?

Both - I prefer to be casual. But I've had it easy not having to dress up because of the pandemic. Next year, there will be times when I will have to dress up. And yes - there is the fear of failure for when I will need to do that. And I am worried that if I don't look good, people will yap about it.

Sarah
----
48 years young.
Known that I am trans since...forever.
First therapy session / decided to transition / hair removal: October 2018
HRT: January 2019 (journal https://www.susans.org/forums/index.phpVF/topic,244009.0.html)
VFS: September 2019; three-month report here
Full-time: April 2020
FFS: August 2020
SRS: January 2021

Offline Maid Marion

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Re: I'm Afraid to Be Pretty
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2020, 08:07:17 pm »
I spent a lot of time learning to walk confidently in high heels but haven't worn them outside during the pandemic as I want get in and out of stores as quickly as possible.

Marion

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