When I see the term passing, I wonder does this mean in public everyone thinks I am actually a biological woman or that they accept who I am without questioning “why is that man dressed like a woman?” Certainly we do have the desire to pass some sort of mythical test to blend in and to have everyone identify us as female. Not only is it about our mannerisms being feminine, dressing appropriately, and our perception of ourselves; makeup is a key factor in helping us achieve our confidence as well.
Something I picked up from my daughter-in-law that really made me think. She passes time – you know those bored moments when there’s nothing going on and nothing to do –by watching makeup YouTube videos and trying out the techniques and looks that she likes. Sometimes she will do 2 or 3 different looks in one sitting.
So that got me to thinking, how do biological girls get to their signature look, or say their everyday look? I’ve discovered that it is all in practice and peer reviews. Most girls start at around 12 or 13 (some earlier), parent approved or not. They learn from one another, and critique one another. By the time they hit their 20s they’ve pretty much nailed down the signature look and by the time they hit their 30s their makeup style and technique are pretty much second nature. This phenomenon is not limited to the internet YouTube generation. This has been going on since the advent of the modern teenage girl. I remember my mother talking about when she was a teen in the 40s. So my guess? Since the popularity of girls wearing makeup.
The difference for many of us in the transgender/CD world, is we don’t know where to start, we don’t know what might look good, and many of us start much later in life without that female influence. What we need is trial and error time, critiques from our peers and women who’ve been at it a while, with lots of practice to get to the point where it becomes second nature. It’s much like dressing, we find what fits, what styles look good, and discover that while heels make us look very sexy, they’re not practical for everyday use. Makeup is really no different; there’s the day look (you’re everyday look), out clubbing look, the sexy sultry look, the possibilities are endless. But like all girls we need to figure out what look is appropriate for the occasion, so you’re not sticking out like a sore thumb by looking sexy and sultry at the grocery store.
I’ve been trying my daughter-in-law’s technique for about a year now, granted not diligently. However, more recently I’ve been experimenting with eye shadow almost every night. The look I have on my profile picture took a lot of doing, but now I’m much faster and getting better at it. Still can’t do eye liner worth a dam, but it’s best to tackle one thing at a time.
My daughter in-law came over to hang out the other day, so I decided I’d do some makeup and see what she thought. Before she got here I put on foundation, a little blush, and did a simple day makeup look I got from a Lancôme video. I had no wig, and was dressed in my male attire. Much to my joy she was very impressed with my look and said I look very nice.
So there it is ladies, if you can impress the girls, you’ve got it down. The key to success like any art is practice, practice, practice.