T-Girl Spotlight – Natassia Crystal
Tassia is one of those girls who just makes your jaw drop. Not only does she have an amazing sense of style, she also has the most incredible shoe collection on the planet. I’ve been following her on Instagram for a while and I finally plucked up the courage to send her a message and I am so glad I did. I really loved getting to know her and I know you will too!
So… hi there Hannah and all of you lovely blog readers!
I’m Natassia Crystal, Tassia for short (but I also listen to Nat or Natas). Over the last few months, I’ve gotten to know Hannah a bit through the CD forum, Flickr and Instagram… and I want to thank her for giving me this opportunity to say something about myself. I’m sure there will be some similarities and differences with the other stories you’ve read in this section.
When I was young
For those of you who know me already, you know that above all other things… I love high heels! And my fascination for them started when I was 3-4 years old when I first consciously noticed my mom’s high heeled ankle-strap pumps in my parents’ bedroom. I know it was that early, because my sister wasn’t born yet and we were still living in the house where I lived from age 0-4. So yeah… really early!
Looking back at my youth, I can say I was a relatively naive kid, but even at that young age… I knew that as a boy, wanting to wear heels was not a ‘normal’ thing. So I kept really quiet about this. Up until the age of 11, I thought I was the only one in the world who wanted to do this. During this period, I vividly remember being both excited and jealous if I saw men dress as women. Whether it would be on TV (actors, comedians, etc.) or in real life (e.g. the boys at my school who had to dress up as girls for the annual play). I was secretly wishing I could be in their place.
Still, I believed I was the only one who really wanted to dress like a girl for no particular reason. For the others, I believed it was because they ‘had’ to… either because it was part of the actor’s/comedian’s job… or because the teacher gave the school boys those specific parts.
This all changed when one morning my elementary school teacher decided to give a small talk about gays and lesbians after one of my classmates used a gay slur (mind you, this was 1987, so this happened a lot). While my teacher was talking about how certain people could be gay or lesbian… she suddenly also started talking about transvestites and transsexuals.
As soon as those words came out of her mouth… my heart stopped! First of all, I realized I was not alone! Secondly, I now knew the word that described me! Ever since that moment, I regularly went to several public libraries in my city… searching for books on T-related topics: transvestitism/crossdressing, drag queens, make-up, whatever. There wasn’t much and sometimes I didn’t find anything new for months, but slowly I had a list of books that I would regularly get.
Now, as far as actually dressing up, I didn’t do much. I lived in a small house with my parents and siblings, and there was no way I could get my own clothes/shoes/make-up. During the brief period I had my mom’s shoe size, I’d wear her heels during the rare moments I was home alone.
While I had a great time during my high school years, I knew I had to wait until I graduated high school, apply to a university in another city and move out of the house before I could do something with my feelings and desires. Fortunately, we got connected to the Internet in 1993, so I did start looking for resources and shops.
The student years: the birth of Natassia and the break
During my first year at uni (1995), I started using the fact that I lived on the other side of the country and the anonymity that it provided. I looked for places where I could buy second-hand dresses and shoes. I ordered online books about make-up from JoAnn Roberts (Art & Illusion). My first time wearing that dress and heels, it made so much sense!
During my second year, I had a girlfriend and I confided in her that I was a crossdresser. Not only was she cool with it, she also encouraged me to experiment and learn more about dressing and make-up. February 6th, 1997 will always be etched in my memory as the day that I dressed up completely with proper make-up and accessories. That was when I also decided on the name Natassia Crystal. During the two years my girlfriend and I were together (we split up for totally non-crossdressing-related reasons), I evolved so much. My wardrobe increased, my make-up skills improved even though my make-up products were still of crappy quality and I took my first steps outside the door. And I started telling close friends about Tassia.
Unfortunately, studying Physics was hard and time-consuming. I didn’t have many opportunities to dress up. This didn’t improve after I graduated, because I was working a lot of part-time jobs while trying to find a real job. It wasn’t until I found PhD researcher position when things finally changed for the better. You see, doing a PhD in the Netherlands actually pays fairly well compared to other countries, comparable to what an engineer would make. Thus I had money!
In 2006, I told a very good female friend about Tassia. As she knew a lot about proper make-up products and application, I gave her a figurative blank check and she went out and bought quality stuff. It was then that I fully realized the look I could achieve! Tassia was brought out of the winter sleep and I knew she was here to stay forever!
It was also the time when I started posting my stuff online on a regular basis. I had been posting some pics to Dutch forums in the previous years, but by then I found Flickr and YouTube. For me, it was a way to show myself to the world and get feedback on how I looked. It also enabled me to get in touch with like-minded girls… some of whom are still good friends today!
In the mean-time, I was still in the process of telling my friends and select family members about Tassia, which had a couple of advantages. First of all, it gave me a lot of mental rest. I finally could stop hiding my feminine stuff in my apartment, I didn’t have to keep my computer/browser clean and I didn’t have to lie about going to social T-gatherings.
Secondly, by telling my female friends, I suddenly had a lot of shopping friends. And having the honest (sometimes brutally) opinions of my friends also helped me a lot in developing and fine-tuning my style and fashion sense.
And thirdly, a couple of my friends have been so supportive, they are part of the group of people who regularly help me with my photos and videos!
It’s 2015 now and since 2006, a lot has happened! I got my PhD in Physics/Electrical Engineering, I’m working in both academia and industry. Besides that, I’m doing creative stuff like working on my photography and music. And because my jobs pay quite decently, I’m also able to travel around the world.
With respect to Tassia, she is now an almost 40 year old woman with her own sense of fashion and style. I’d like to think that this style is characterized by sexy chic, but always tasteful… well most of the time, LOL! I love figure-hugging dresses, short skirts, skinny jeans and high heels! I get my inspiration from other girls from both the t-community and the ‘regular’ fashion blog scene.
In the last few years, I’m both blessed and humbled by the fact that apparently a lot of people are following my on-line shenanigans. My Flickr-stream and YouTube channel both have over 6K subscribers and my fashion blog gets over 10K views a month. Perhaps not much compared to others out there, but a couple of years ago… I would never have dreamed of this kind of reach.
Because of this, I have been able to build up a trust with a lot of fellow t-girls and I’ve been so lucky to meet many of them in various countries!
What a lot of people always seem to want to know: what do you consider yourself? The answers is that after all these years, I’ve concluded that I’m a 50/50 boy/girl person. It’s easier to say crossdresser under the transgender umbrella. I feel comfortable in my own body, I like doing certain typical boy things, I like doing certain typical girl things. I don’t feel the need to start hormones nor do I want to transition.
The follow-up question usually is: are you straight/gay/bi? And here the answer is that I’ve never felt attracted to masculinity. I’m attracted to a combination of femininity, humor, intelligence, musicality and being sporty… and as far as I’m concerned those are the only things that matter.
So what’s in store? What are my plans? Well, apart from world domination, I’d like to make serious progress on the following things (though they are not set in stone… it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind whenever she sees fit):
- Getting fully out of the closet. I still have to tell my parents and after that, there are no barriers as far as I’m concerned. I can start coming out at work and, in general, do more public stuff.
- I’m in the process of getting my facial and body hair permanently removed. I still have to get a couple of more treatments for my upper lip and chin hair area. And probably one more treatment for my legs. No more shaving will be so awesome!
- Getting braces for my teeth. Actually, my jawbone is too small to hold all my teeth, so my teeth are already overlapping each other.
- Getting a nose job. Yep, there is a reason there are not that many profile shots of me. I’m happy with a lot of aspects of my body, but the side view of my nose is just not that pretty/feminine and as soon as I’m fully out, I will be getting one. Vanity!!
- I want to make my fashion blog look a bit more professional with lots of cool photos.
- I want to make a couple of mini movies with crossdressing related themes. I’m sure a couple of you are familiar with the “Female Bank Robber” movies produced by Alena Mnsk (I think she retired completely).
- Another thing I want to do as soon as I’m fully out is start doing vlogs and transformation videos. I love seeing the transformation magic when others do it!
- Traveling all over the Netherlands, Europe and the world and meeting like-minded girls.
- Find an accepting partner who loves me for who I am and what I do, not despite those things.
- Buy Christian Louboutins!
As you can tell, I never had any issues with being a t-girl. As soon as I knew I wasn’t the only one in the world, I was quite down-to-earth about it. For me, that is one of the main things I like to project to everyone around me: I’m having fun with this!
Are there sometimes struggles? Sure! Do I sometimes think that my life would have been less complicated if I weren’t a t-girl? I’m not gonna lie, I have had those thoughts. Would I have saved a lot of money if I hadn’t bought over 100 pairs of shoes? Definitely!
But a certain famous philosopher/sailor has said: “I am what I am.” and that I happily accept that.
Thank you for reading all the way to end! Lots of hugs and kisses,