I’ll tell my truth, I’ll speak from my heart, I’ll share my feelings to countless people online.But I am coy and vague in real life. If someone in real life brings up something I wrote about online, more than likely I will try to subtly change the subject.
It’s easier for me to say what I am thinking, especially if it’s a sensitive topic, when I am simply typing words into and hitting “post article” on my website than it is to look at someone and have the same conversation. I am not sure why I am wired this way but I think this is more common for others than I realize.
What I mean is that I will show my vulnerability to strangers but I need to work up the courage to tell someone in real life. Chatting about your feelings, your thoughts, is a very intimate, potentially exposing act. To further illustrate this, a few weeks ago when I did my lingerie shoot I had very little hesitation when I posted the pictures online, but goodness it wasn’t easy to allow my friend, my photographer, to see me in my undies.
And that example is the point of this writing. Even though it is easier for me to post thoughts than it is to verbalize them, it’s not still not always easy to do so. I’m always honest in my website writings, though sometimes intentionally vague. I have thoughts about my feelings, and feelings about my thoughts, and that circle is endless. Where do my feelings begin and thoughts end? What about the opposite? What comes first?
When I decided to do my lingerie shoot I felt that my life was at a crossroads, in a way. Oh, let’s call it a mid-life reflection. I had a feeling I was crossing over from “I have all the time in the world to do whatever I wish” to “If only I had done what I wanted to when I could have”. I was prepared emotionally to show you all my corset and stockings, but physically? It wasn’t the right time. Sort of. To be honest I haven’t felt cute in a while. About a year or so ago I started seeing a doctor on a regular basis to treat my anxiety and was given a prescription to treat my bi-polar…uh, bi-polarality. And it works great! Love it. But as things progressed and I started to think more about life and what I wanted, I was tired of how my anxiety and my tendency to feel extreme lows impacted me. My medication helps with certain aspects of my bi-polarness but there’s a component it doesn’t treat that I was getting really tired of.
So my doctor felt that treating me for depression was worth exploring. And so I am on a second medication and although it’s a small dose it’s having a significant impact on my life. Again, it’s been a very positive step and I am grateful for my meds.
The drawback is weight gain. Despite keeping up on my cardio and watching what I eat, the scale is creeping up. I have been noticing the difference and I hate it. I knew this was a stupid time to take pictures in my bra and panties but I did it anyway. Some of the photos made me cringe, but again, I posted them anyway. Some of them. 🙂 The photos are very exposing, and I mean, they are obviously exposing but for girls like us they are exposing in a different way. When I am wearing a cute dress I have the benefit of my thigh pads, my breast forms, my corset, and just being able to cover up my less than perfect body and shape. But these photos, despite the bra and stockings, are some of the most mannish pictures of me ever. I mean, look at the rectangular shape, look at the love handles, look at the man shape.
So! Why did I post these photos? I suppose these pictures represent my core belief that clothes and lingerie are wearing cute things are for anyone regardless of what your body looks like or your anatomy or what’s in your panties. I’ll never have a natural curvy figure, I’ll never have a “femme” body. I have a MAN body, despite what my heart and brain says when it comes to being bi-gender. My body is stubbornly aging me as a man. There’s more gray and white in my facial hair than there used to be. I’m getting older. And yes I know this destroys the illusion some of my readers have of me, but the reality (in case someone needs reminding) is that biologically and physically I am a man (if you look at gender in a binary way and you subscribe to the antiquated thinking that genitalia=gender). And those chromosomes are in the driver’s seat when it comes to my shape and aging.
Some of my readers tell me how envious they are of how I look. Please don’t be. Envy, jealousy… they just hold you back. I know because I feel that way towards a lot of other t-girls. But these photos hopefully show you that there’s nothing special about my body. I was not born with a small frame, a naturally femme body. I have to remove my chest hair, shave my arms, exercise, skip the sweets and just work for what I have. There’s nothing magical about me. I struggle with a lot of aspects of my life. I have a wonderful life but it’s a life I work for. I have a nice home but I work a lot to keep it. I have a wonderful marriage and it’s this way because my wife and I make it a priority. These lingerie photos show that there’s nothing unique about me. Cover up my head and the photos may as well be a picture of a boy wearing a bra. And on some level there’s some truth to that.
It’s a little frustrating that the medication that is used to treat my depression is having a negative impact on me physically. It’s not uncommon for our self-esteem to be tied to how we feel about how we look and how I look depresses me sometimes, especially lately. I know it’s worth it to be on these meds but I feel more MAN than ever lately and these pictures don’t necessarily help. On the plus side these pictures represent wanting to do something and having reservations about it but doing it anyway. Being brave is not about not being afraid. Being brave is doing something that scares you. And I think these photos are brave. Don’t get me wrong, some of these pictures look amazing, but some… well, not so much. And to be clear, that’s on me, not the shortcomings of the lingerie or of my photographer or of my makeup artist.
I know these photos (I suppose all my photos) come off as egotistical and vain. I get that. But I hope these pictures also remind others of the extreme hesitation, the conflicted feelings, and the crippling blow to my self-esteem some of these photos cause. The reminder that I am getting older and my body is changing. On the opposite extreme, I hope these photos inspire you. I hope they show I am not different from other t-girls that sometimes feel that they look like a boy wearing a bra. I look that way, I feel that way. I am no more femme than anyone else, I just have a wardrobe, a makeup artist that really knows how to contour, and a photographer that creates that illusion.
9 thoughts on “Baring More Than My Soul”
I really love how real you are here Hannah. There is no question that for most girls like us who begin to age and even as we try to stay in shape our bodies just are not what they were and the change comes.
I think most of us hate those who body shame others it’s so sad when that happens.
Thank you for being real and not being afraid to open up on here
It makes us all appreciate what we have an realize just be who we are and do it as best we can
this made me think about your belief re: never “passing”. A word of encouragement
to all of your readers who fear going out the door enfemme- the older you get the more invisible you become so can be more and more confident that here is no one reading you.for us-even aging has some advantages
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Never be afraid or ashamed of the real you, both the physical and emotional parts of the real you. My parents long ago taught me, “Do what you can with what you have and let the good Lord handle the rest.” I’m older now than when I first started and my tummy no longer fits into size 6 jeans. Now they are size 12, but they are skinny jeans and with the red stilettos, we still rock.
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People come in all shapes and sizes, IMO. There may well be a few “assigned female at birth” readers who feel they have few curves, or conversely, too many. We just have to do the best we can with where we are now.
Good luck with the medication. I hope it helps you get where you need to be.
Thank you Hannah. Just as there is no shame (shouldn’t be, but I know we struggle with it) in being trans, or being a BBW, there is no shame is seeking and using help for our mental and/or physical health. We are human beings first, transwoman second. Nancy
Your openness and honesty, Hannah, are so refreshing. I think that, physically, you look fab. Most of us are too critical of our own looks. As for mental health, I do hope you are being treated suitably for what ails you – I hear stories of how Americam doctors love prescribing pills as it makes the patient feel they’ve gained something from the interaction with them. Wishing you good health. Sue x