I learned long ago that I’m never going to be 5’6” and 120 pounds and fit into a size 6 (or smaller sized) dress. My hair isn’t going to glow and be long, my complexion to die for, or my bust the envy of women and men alike. I’m never going to be able to wear all the beautiful styles of high heels, being a size 13, that I so envy. I’m also never going to be 30 again. I have to settle for being 6 foot, and (ahem…a girl never says her weight) with baggy eyes, a paunch that’s gotten significantly bigger the past couple of years, hair (a full head I might add) all grey and cut short, and me turning 60. I still dream the illusion but have learned to temper my expectations.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the fantasy that we all live to exemplify—the embodiment of femininity. To this, I speak more to our crossdressers and not those who already know they are transgender. For me, and I don’t ever want others to think that I speak for them, I believe the average crossdresser is excited by the illusion and less worried about expectations. The CD in me when I’m fully dressed sees less of the imperfections and lives in the moment—in the illusion of whom I wish to portray. And at times, that part of me that lives on the line of being transgendered sees those same imperfections and wants badly to fix them.
My situation and health hasn’t allowed me to dive fully-in for nearly a year and a half. Most every morning, I dress completely (currently with warmer weather I don’t shave my legs—though I wish that I could) except for the makeup. I settle for lip gloss as I drink my coffee and manage my time on the computer. This happens most days at 5 am until 7 am and then Brina is put back into hiding. Those two hours help me through the rest of my day. Sometimes it’s shorter or slightly longer. I get to live in my illusion of who I am. I don’t look in the mirror after I put on the wig and lip gloss or worry about all the maleness that I can’t eradicate, instead I am me (minus the beautiful painted fingernails.) For now, it has to do, and it does. When dressed, I’m less stressed out and more content. I can also manage better my patience with others and myself. Brina does that for me…actually…I do that for me because she is just as much me.
I can’t ever become my fantasy illusion—it’s not physically possible no matter how many surgeries I contemplate having or the years of hormone treatments. That significant part of me that is more has no choice but to temper the expectations and see the best of possible outcomes, not the illusion that can either be tweaked or altered to satisfy hopefulness through digital manipulation or filters. Throughout the years, I’ve utilized almost every beauty program available to test hair styles and makeup, and I’ve doctored my share of photos in my pursuit of the dream of the “What could/should have beens.” I have no issues with this at all (as it is part of the illusion.) My only concerns stem from a deeper realization that sometimes the illusion becomes a false reality and unhealthy to realistic expectations.
In those situations where one can’t shave their beard, or if their spouse will know they’ve used their makeup, or so on, I get the use of programs such as FaceApp to complete the illusion. I also like to showcase my new dress, and though I personally dislike having to keep my face turned away from the camera or only show myself from the neck down, I’m with you…I get it. I like seeing the whole package as well. We are, as every other female generally is, concerned about our appearance and how others perceive us. We want others to see us as we see ourselves—sometimes to the point of less truthful distortions.
There is a substantial difference between the acknowledgement of illusion enhancement and passing one’s self off as the illusion. I understand that as well. Being something more and having to live with the male attributes that I dislike is depressing; I want to be that woman that I currently can’t and most likely never will.
Who doesn’t want to portray the best that they could be? Erase those parts of us that speak of maleness. Seeing some of the beautiful girls on this site can easily strike chords of jealousy. I’m blessed by nice legs and a generally decent face…when properly made up. The right clothes and angles can help me close the gap on my illusion to fit more in line with my expectations. Some on this site are pros at makeup, some at fashion, some at photography. I learn from all of them, applaud them with my likes, and compliment them on their presentation. In my envy of their slim waist and youthful appearance I am also happy for them, for me, as they represent possibilities, a hope that I can become a better version of myself. Not my illusion, but in raising my expectations…
If you are wondering whether I am for or against FaceApp or digital enhancement. The simple answer is, “I’m not against it.” We have so much to deal with in our lives as it is, being us and all. What does it hurt to display what we dream of in our illusion of ourselves? Nothing at all if it is labelled as such or clearly evident when we can’t go “all in.” When our illusion becomes a false reality, then there is concern. I’m talking about when we use our digital avatar to escape from the pressures we aren’t sure how to handle and use it to try and convince ourselves and others that this is who we are. Even if we attempt to use it as an illustration of who we are on the inside and how we feel, it still resonates of the deeper issues that are building within us. A pure crossdresser is all about the illusion, role playing the best female image of their particular taste that they can become, not all that different from those who do Drag. When the makeup comes off they return to their maleness and do so comfortably…not all of us do.
Many of us, myself very much included, have lived a lie of who we are. All the guilt, shame, pain, and ruined relationships are but broken trails that follow behind. “To live our Truth” is the mantra that we all wish we could follow. It’s not always possible, but it doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Like anything that is suppressed, it eventually bubbles over. Women and men all suffer from body image, we additionally suffer in two realms. We are no less a victim to the images of perfection than are women. Being happy and content within our own bodies… Come back when you quit laughing…
Know that you are not alone in your feelings or your struggles. That’s what this sisterhood we call CDH is all about. There isn’t a path that someone hasn’t walked before you or others are walking right alongside of you. There are no perfect answers, but always hope and someone to reach out their hand to help you back up. This is the one place where you can feel genuine, and both be inspired by and be an inspiration to others. Don’t be afraid to show your best side, share your skills, or even write your own article. I can see the woman inside of you looking out because she is me as well.
Be safe, be hopeful, and be kind…
Until next time…
oh…that is my face in the picture and a special someone, who also recently turned 60, providing the body…I might have been able to get by using my own legs…just saying…
More Articles by Sabrina (Brina) MacTavish
- The Sound of Footsteps
- A Matter of Perspective
- A Place to call Home
- Bits and Pieces
- That Ship has Sailed