The Power of Pink

I was looking at my Flickr account the other day and I saw that this photo was one of my top pictures on my Showcase, which, I assume, is based of off view, likes, and comments.

Black bodysuit and skirt 3

I love this photo.  My makeup was done by friend Corrie Dubay and it was from a photo shoot in January 2019 with my friend and photographer Shannonlee.  My legs looks amazing and it’s a cute outfit.  More pictures of this outfit can be seen here.

I love this photo.  I hate this photo.

And this is all going to sound very shallow and I own that.  I also know that my feelings and thoughts are very hypocritical to my core belief: that beauty and femininity has no guidelines, no rules.  There is no such thing as passing, it is impossible to be too “male” to be a girl.

But I’m only human.  I have my insecurities and I get depressed sometimes when I am en femme or see a certain photo.  For every glamorous picture I post, there are five similar shots that are just… ugh and will never be posted.  And that is not Shannonlee’s fault.  I’m the model, it’s my body, my face, my everything.

If you look at anything long or hard enough, you’ll start to notice little things you missed before.  Furthermore, it’s not healthy or recommended to over-analyze or to be super critical of pictures, or of anything, of our femme selves.

But here I am.

So, what do I hate about this picture?  Glad you asked.

Untitled-1

Let’s look at my face.  No matter what direction I am looking or how my head is positioned, my face is my face.  Contouring can only do so much.  I have a pretty strong jawline and it’s not going to be different no matter which gender I am presenting as.  My face looks very male here.  Pointing my head down slightly can usually minimizes my jawline, but I clearly didn’t do that here.  Perhaps I should hire a modeling coach.  🙂

Same with my shoulders.  I look like a linebacker (which is a part of a football team but that’s literally all I know about linebackers).  The pose I am (trying to) rock here contributes to how my shoulders look of course as I am supporting my body with my arm, but my God, my frame is huge.  I am thankful black is a slimming color and de-emphasizes my shape but this picture makes me wish there was a darker color than black.

Next on my list of self-loathing (not really) is my shape itself.  I work hard to stay a size 12 but I have virtually no shape here.  No curves at all.  Thank God for my thigh pads from the Breast Form Store and for my Dita Corset from Glamorous Corset.  Pads, forms, and a corset does amazing things for my shape.  I wish I had these essential items for the shoot the above photo is from.

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Lastly, my hands.  There are many things one can do when it comes to changing the shape or appearance of our bodies.  We can contour our faces, we can wear black, we can wear hip/butt/thigh pads (and I do), we can avoid certain patterns on a dress… but I am very self-conscious about my hands.  I wear rings in an effort to lessen the manly appearance of them and I suppose I could paint my nails more often than I do, but I try not to draw attention to my hands in my shoots but this photo, due to my pose, make it hard to do that here.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I feel beautiful, I love how I look, I love this picture.  Everyday I get emails from girls like us who try so hard to be beautiful.  Their heart is aching so much as they yearn to be pretty.  I understand.   I relate.  I am very secure with how I look and who I am, but I have days just like anyone where the dysphoria is killing me and I just want to go back to presenting as male and hide under a rock forever.

As much as makeup, a pretty dress, and killer heels can make us feel feminine, they can also make us feel very… male.  As I move from one gender presentation to another, I can see signs of my male self peeking through the cracks of my femme self.  My eyeliner might look amazing, but I also see the bags under my eyes.  My lips might be the reddest shade in the world, but I also see my male jawline.

Makeup and clothes can only do so much.  It’s our attitude that must do the heavy lifting.  Our hearts must also work hand-in-hand with our clothes.  Yes, a pink dress makes me feel more femme than my suit, but if I am constantly nit-picking at every aspect of my face and body (and hands and…. everything else), the pinkest dress in the world is powerless.

And pink is NOT powerless.  And neither are you.  Block out the parts of your brain (and society) that tell you that you are not pretty.  That you are not beautiful.  That you are too male.  At the end of the day, there’s only so much we can do when it comes to our bodies.  Red nail polish is not going to suddenly give our hands the slim, tapered look we may wish for.  Accept it.  Own it.   Move on.  Focus on what you love about yourself.  I may have the manliest hands in the world, but my legs are to die for.

If t-girls had a team color, there’s no question it would be pink.  Pink is considered to be the most feminine hue of the spectrum.  Even “boy clothes” like a dress shirt is commonly looked at as femme.  I don’t support or agree with the genderization of anything, whether it is a color or something to wear, but pink is pretty aggressively feminine.  And thank God for that.

But pink is more than a color for me.  It’s a state of mind.  It’s an attitude.  I wish I knew how to eliminate dysphoria for good, but it’s not possible.  There’s always going to be days, photo shoots, makeovers, pictures… where I feel and look more masculine than I would like.  I acknowledge it, and fight it as best as I can.  It’s not always going to be a fight I win, but if I think pink, in attitude as well as what color I wear, I can hold my head high (even if my head has the squarest jawline in all of humanity) and love who I am.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “The Power of Pink

  1. “Love who I am” is perhaps the most important piece of advice. We are all born who we are, and cannot change that fundamental fact. Accepting who we are and working to maximize our personal goodness to ourselves and the world is the best we can do.

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  2. There are those times when we are our own worst critics about our appearance. And like Hannah says, we just have to own it and move on. Even though my body shape is somewhat slim (size 12 like her), my face is quite round and I have an unfortunately thick neck. I try to contour and hide it, but my chin(s) do show up in a lot of pictures. And finding necklaces that are the right length is torturous at best.

    But the reality is that most people don’t see those things when they look at us – they see the beautiful dress, the sexy legs and heels, the feminine makeup and hair, and they see a woman (or at least the appearance of a woman). So if we can just accept the woman we see in the mirror or the picture, that is a huge step forward for acceptance by everyone else we encounter.

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  3. So much criticism on the little details… isn’t that a very feminine thing to do?

    What helps me, is stop comparing only with fashion models or cute girls on the street, but with all women. Perhaps this doesn’t sound fair to them, but there are quite some women that did not get their fair share of beauty. There are quite some women with a higher BMI than I have, there are quite some women that look a lot older than me, there are quite some women that look more boyish than me (in femme mode of course)… So, in that spectrum of all the ways women may present themselves, we can position ourselves somewhere in the middle, and I’m happy over there.

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  4. We are always our own worst critic. We can brush off negative comments from others, but our own are always with us. Over the years my wife taught me how to accentuate the positive and minimize the negative (sounds like an old song title there). Not just my appearance, but more importantly my attitude and demeanor. And yes, pink definitely helps.

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  5. I just don’t see what you see in your pictures. I only see a stunningly beautiful woman. I get it though. Every so often the camera will seem to work against me and show my broad shoulders. I think I look good!… but the shoulders? I eventually get out of that funk and start focusing on my naturally big full lips and feminine eyes. Has always been a little weird having these feminine features in guy mode but I love it in woman mode. I’m just glad the dysphoria does evaporate. The first time I got it I was very scared not knowing if I would love my look again. Then, like annoying frost on a car windshield during a MN March morning, it disappeared and I could see the whole view again.

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  6. There are some days when no matter what outfit I wear or what I do with my makeup I look in the mirror and see a man in a dress. Thank God that the rest of the time I walk away from the mirror and down the street feeling like the most beautiful girl on top of the world. My therapist, a woman, told me not to feel bad. Every woman has those kid of days when they’re not as beautiful as they want to be. Do your best …. love yourself … and keep moving forward.

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