I totally heart Natassia Crystal. Her wardrobe, especially her heels (OMG her heels), are always glamorous, she is super sweet and kind. She posts a lot of videos of her simply walking around and showing off her beautiful outfits. She is so graceful and feminine and if she wasn’t as lovely and as she is I would totes hate her, lol. Regardless of how tall her stilettos are she walks, struts, and almost floats as if she was born with high-heeled shape feet. Like a Barbie doll, I suppose.
From time to time I get questions about how to talk and walk en femme. I don’t do much with my voice. I suppose I speak a little lighter and I choose my words differently depending on what gender I am presenting. If my wife asks her husband if he wants pizza for dinner he’d respond with “yeah, that sounds good”. If you ask Hannah if she would like room for cream in her coffee she’d reply “oh yes please, thank you!”.
When it comes to walking I suppose I don’t think that much about it. When you move from tennis shoes to stilettos your whole body moves differently. I mean, it HAS to. You’re supporting your entire fabulous body on two tall, tiny stems as you strut your way around the mall or your house. I drop my hips, I stand tall, and go go go.
At the last photo shoot I did I was asked to provide a few videos of me walking in the dresses I was reviewing. I had never done video before so this would be a new adventure. The first outfit I wore for the shoot was to feature a cute pencil skirt. Shannonlee took a few pictures to test the lighting and then shot the first video. It was nothing remarkable, just ten seconds or so of me walking from one end of a path to another. I watched what she shot and I was almost horrified. I didn’t look graceful, I didn’t move how I thought I moved, I looked like Frankenstein’s monster clomping around. It was super cringy.
Have you ever come home after a day out en femme and looked in the mirror and saw your lipstick was smudged or your foundation was smeared and you realized that all day long you walked around looking like that? This moment was like that. I wondered if this is what people see when Hannah is out and about. I know I sometimes look like a man in a dress, but my god, now I realized I walked like a man in a dress.
Needless to say this was a humbling and crushing experience. I always felt like I glided when I was in en femme. At least it felt that way.
I was super self-conscience the rest of the day. Whether we were shooting a video or just walking from one location to another I couldn’t help thinking about how I looked when I moved. As the day and videos progressed I slowed my walk down a little, I stood a little taller, shoulders back, head higher. The videos looked a little better but soon I got to the point where I didn’t watch them at all.
As devastating (I know I am being dramatic here) as the videos were, I got over it and moved (see what I did there?) on. Walking was just another thing to learn. Of course this is not to say that there is a certain way girls should move or walk, mind you. The shock and cringe came from me realizing that how Hannah moved was sooooo different than how I felt when I moved.
There really isn’t a point to this post except to say that I think we have a lot of expectations and hope as to how we look, move, sound, and feel as we present as a gender that is different than a gender we normally present as. We hope our eyeliner looks as amazing as it makes us feel, we hope a dress makes us look like a supermodel because that’s how it makes us feel. We hope we move like angels because we feel like we are cloud 9. I love mirrors but sometimes they reflect something we hope we don’t see or expecting. Reality can be a bitch.
So, what do we do? It depends on what it is. If I look in a mirror and see my lipstick looks smudgy and I hate how it looks, then it’s time to practice my lip liner and technique. But it’s important to know what can be changed and what we need to accept. I can always get better with my makeup so I can practice, take lessons, and watch videos. But there are things I can’t change. I can’t change my height, my facial structure, the size of my hands. These are things I need to live with. It’s not easy because this requires a change in our attitude and thinking. What helps me is remembering that girls can be tall and they are tall. My wife and sisters and many of my friends and coworkers are girls and guess what! They all look different. My wife is petite and barely five feet tall, and one of my colleagues is taller than I am. No one ever thinks that these two women aren’t women. I don’t think my wife looks at her friends and think of them as whether or not they “pass as females”. There’s no standards that a girl, cis or trans, needs to meet.
Some girls glide like Natassia, some girls stomp around like me, but we are both beautiful, and we are both girls (when we want to be).
Of course this is all easier said than done, but that’s how I want to think. It’s how I need to think. If I continue to hold myself to standards that simply cannot be achieved then I will spiral into a pit of despair and never leave my house. Or my bed.
I promise you that no matter what the mirror says, what the camera shows, or what the rest of the world thinks, you are a beautiful girl.