Okay look at this photo.
I mean, if you want, don’t let me tell you what to do.
This is from my most recent photo shoot.
And goodness, that is… that is a lot of skin, isn’t it?
I’ve done a lot of photo shoots over the years but in February 2021, on one of the coldest days in the history of the world, I had my first shoot that included lingerie.
I think part of my fear of modeling lingerie was the absence of, well, armor. I have a very cylinder body. I am built like a rectangle. I have pretty broad shoulders. Essentially I feel that I have a very MALE body.
But when I am en femme, I can hide and minimize certain features. Thigh pads and breast forms give me a more feminine shape, my corset gives me hips. Sexy stilettos distract you from my big man feet.
On a side note, isn’t it… well, odd to see your reflection when you are getting dressed or undressed? When I am going from HIM to HER I am putting on my shapewear and pads and forms and clothes and after a little time my reflection shows a very MALE face (before I do my makeup) on a very FEMME body. The transition from HER to HIM is pretty similar. When I come home from a day out en femme I undress and remove my wig and soon my mirror shows a masculine body and but with a very expensive and very glam makeover.
Because of those observations I was terrified that modeling lingerie would look like HIM wearing a pretty bra and panty but with a femme face.
And maybe that’s exactly what I look like.
But I don’t see that in my lingerie photos. I could be naïve or kidding myself but honestly? I think I look pretty okay. I mean, I will never be mistaken for a Victoria’s Secret model but you know? For someone with the body I have I think I do all right.
(Of course my photographer is doing all the hard work. Shannonlee is always looking for the right angle, the right perspective, and choosing the photos that present femininity as much as possible.)
The lingerie is also doing the heavy lifting. A pretty corset and stockings is hopefully drawing the attention from my feminine flaws.
The photo above is me wearing very, very little. It’s not much different (in terms of attire) than other pictures of me wearing a only bra and panty, but I think this shows me at my most confident.
Courage comes from doing something that terrifies you. It’s not the absence of fear. It’s being scared and doing it anyway.
Confidence comes from shutting out the voices and intrusive thoughts that came from others, that come from others, and that could come from others.
It’s intimidating posting pictures of ourselves en femme, or at the very least wearing something that most of the world thinks is designed for a gender that isn’t the same as the one they THINK we are.
Being who we are requires a level of vulnerability that we probably will never experience in our male-presenting lives. Posting a photo, introducing ourselves as a t-girl, as crossdresser, as non-binary person leaves us open to… a lot.
A photo like the one above is revealing not only in terms of skin but also a reveal of how I feel about myself. I think it represents that femininity (to me, anyway) is really about how I FEEL and not exclusively how I look. (Of course how I LOOK does usually influence how I FEEL.) When I am en femme I… hm, RELY on a lot when it comes to my presentation. I wear a corset for my figure, breast forms and thigh pads for my shape. I wear sleeves to minimize my shoulders. Heels to distract from my man feet.
In this photo I have none of that. I am not even wearing my forms.
I am instead relying on body language which is almost always a reflection of how someone is feeling. I felt calm, confident, beautiful, feminine, vulnerable, brave, terrified when this was taken.
(But I kinda feel that way all the time when I am en femme.)
I am thankful for my body. I am thankful that I can walk in stilettos as well as barefoot. That I can see, listen, and speak. That I can hold my wife’s hand, a coffee cup, an eyeliner pen, a book.
I am blessed to have what I have. To be who I am. To feel how I feel.
I hope I never lose sight of this. I hope I never take anything for granted. There will be a time when I just can’t do heels anymore. That my hands tremble when I drink coffee. That my body aches. That I exercise for the last time. That I am too weak to do much.
I can do so much now. I am nearing fifty but I feel stronger, braver, and more powerful than ever. I am also feeling more grateful and blessed than I deserve.