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.

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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.

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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

 

 

 

Stealthing

Fifteen years ago I identified as a crossdresser.  I still do, I suppose, but I prefer t-girl.  I think bi-gender might be a more fitting label, however all these titles fall under identifying as transgender, in my opinion.

Regardless, I went from strictly underdressing to, well, who I am today.  I still underdress, but as I started to add makeup and clothes that weren’t panties and lingerie, I wanted to look as good as I could in dresses and pencil skirts.  I never thought I would want to wear padding or shape enhancers, but I have been completely won over with my Jolie Thigh Pads from the Breast Form Store.  The look is amazing, and feeling my curvier shape is incredible.  I look more natural when I wear them, as seen in the photo below.

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I have worn corsets in the past and I have always loved how sexy they looked, but I wasn’t wearing them for the practical purpose of obtaining a more hourglass look or a trimmer waist.  That changed when I received my Dita Corset from Glamorous Corset a few months ago.  Pairing the corset with my thigh pads and breast forms achieves a shapelier look beyond anything I could have hoped for.

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Seasoning a corset takes time and dedication.  I got used to wearing it in male mode, but like underdressing, I was always conscious of it being visible under my clothes.  The lacy edging of my panties or my bra strap is one thing, but a corset is a little different.

Glamorous Corset is here to help with some tips for ‘stealthing’, basically how to wear a corset in public.  I thought this would be helpful for those of us who underdress in male mode.  It certainly was helpful to me.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

Hannah vs VS

Last November a CEO from Victoria’s Secret made some hurtful and ignorant comments about the transgender community.

Hearing these comments stung, especially in the year 2018, but it was disappointing because this was a brand I loved and a place where I felt welcomed when I shopped en femme.

I decided to take my lingerie shopping elsewhere and I am glad I did.  Since then, I have added bras and panties from Glamorous Corset, ThirdLove, HommeMystere, and Allure   to my lingerie drawer(s).  🙂

Victoria’s Secret has been experiencing some changes recently including hiring their first openly transgender model as well as the resignation of the CEO I referenced earlier.

The company received significant backlash and calls for boycotts when these comments were made and I had hoped that the CEO would be punished in some way for what was said.  I do not think that the comments and this resignation were connected in any way, unfortunately.

I am happy that a transphobic person no longer has a say in what a major brand does, and I am glad that they have hired a transgender model, but are these changes enough to win back my business?

Maya Angelou wrote “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time” and I think this is an appropriate quote in many instances.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t give someone a second chance or that one’s perspective and opinion can’t evolve, but I can’t quite get on board with shopping at Victoria’s Secret again.

For starters, there are many companies, particularly the brands I referred to above, who market to and design for our community.  ThirdLove specifically is very inclusive and HommeMystere designs the cutest panties for us.  I believe in supporting companies that are transinclusive and not giving my money to those who either just downright hate us or those that don’t see transgender women as women.

When a t-girl is ready to experience the world en femme, most of us will want to frequent places where we will be welcome.  I know I did, and I still do.  If we want more businesses to be accepting of us, then we need to financially support businesses that already support us.  I believe that this sends a message.  Of course, I am not so naive that I do not think me not shopping at Victoria’s Secret had any impact whatsoever on them, but spending my money with companies that do embrace us made an impact on them.

I’m glad whenever there is a leadership change or some progress made in any corporation that inches its way towards inclusivity, but I will continue to buy my lingerie from designers that support my values and embrace our community.

Love, Hannah

 

 

Glamorous Corset Review: Dita Corset Update!

About two weeks ago I was sent a Dita Black Satin Corset from Glamorous Corset.  I fell in love hard with it within the first few minutes of wearing it.   I learned more about wearing a corset in an hour than I thought possible.

backThe main reason is that this is a proper, authentic corset.  It has steel boning (which prevents the corset from wrinkling and allows the corset to retain its shape and therefor helps you keep YOUR shape) as well as a generous amount of spiral steel boning which are the metal rings in the back for lacing your corset.  With so many spirals I am able to customize my corset where I want it to be tighter.  On big reason that I love this corset is because of how long it is.  I can make it tighter on top without the whole corset being too restrictive.  I can tighten the middle to cinch my waist even more without it constricting my torso.

CaptureThe corset has a steel busk in the front of it which is what the hook and eye are attached to.  This is the part of the corset that needs to work the hardest.  I have had corsets in the past where the fabric tore at this part but this feels very strong.  The hooks line up perfectly and fit very securely into the eyes.  The alignment is solid.

 

Over the first week I seasoned my corset.  Seasoning is when you wear the corset for a week or so for about an hour at a time to allow it to conform to your body.  The first time I put mine on and fastened it, I expected this process to be the other way around.  I thought it would be my body getting used to the corset.  The first time wearing it I counted down the minutes until the hour was up.  It was tight, it was wonderful.  But I was getting used to it.

Over the next few days, I was able to wear the corset without the same feeling of tightness that I had the first day.  I didn’t loosen the binding at all and I could feel both my body and my corset adjusting to each other.  After a few days I didn’t really notice it all except that my posture was amazing.

Before the first week was over, I surprised myself by cinching the waist.  After the first day I couldn’t have imagined being able to wear it tighter than it was, but it was true, the corset was adjusting to me.  Of course, I was also learning how to wear it and getting used to it too, but I understood what was meant by the corset conforming to me.

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Another perk was how I walked.  I walked differently.  My hips moved a little more and I had a little more… swing than usual.  Wearing high heels forces you in a way to walk different, and a corset isn’t that much different.  But when I combined stilettos and my corset… girls, I STRUTTED.

It takes about 7-10 days for a corset to season, and although I am beyond that period of time, I still wear mine for anywhere between two to three hours at a time, something I once thought would be impossble.  I think my corset has conformed to me, but I am building myself to being able to wear it for a whole day.  My “progress”, if you will, is going better and faster than I expected.

One of the intentions of a corset is to help create a curvier figure.  This corset gives me more of an hourglass figure and a smaller waist.  When I wear my breast forms and thigh pads it’s hard to believe that this is my body.  This corset was the missing piece for a more shapely figure.

A corset can be intimidating and requires patience and dedication.  In my experience this commitment has paid off tremendously.  If you are looking for a beautiful corset that is not only sexy but versatile, consider adding this to your wardrobe.

Glamorous Corset has also provided us with a discount on all their corsets if you want to add one to your wardrobe.  At check-out, use discount code HANNAH15 for 15% off all corsets.

Thank you to Glamorous Corset for this beautiful corset.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

 

Glamorous Corset Review: Dita Corset

After years of dressing, I started to add enhancements into my wardrobe a couple of years ago.  I was surprised by how much I loved what breast forms and thigh pads did for my figure.  I was also surprised by how much difference they made to my appearance.

Thigh pads gave me more curves and I loved how I looked in dresses and skirts with them.  Breast forms helped me look and feel more natural.  I could see potential for an hourglass figure and I wanted to find something for my waist.

I own a corset (that I spent a lot of money on) but I rarely wear it.  Corsets are peak lingerie, in my opinion.  Incredibly sexy with a wide array of options.  You can attach garters if  you want (and why wouldn’t you?), there are underbust and overbust options as well as a variety of material with everything from PVC to satin.  The intricate lacing and tying in the back is simply alluring.  A true corset has steel boning which cinches your waist and slims your figure.  It’s easy to confuse a corset with a basque.

I rarely wear the I own because despite spending a lot on it, it’s rather cheap.  The metal strips that are sewn into it are more bendy than they should be and do not keep its shape (and therefor did not help with keeping the shape I wanted) as well as it should.  They also poked through the fabric and then poked me which was not comfortable.  It felt bulky and did not move with me as well as I would have liked.

I knew corsets were meant to be functional as well as sexy, but this experience made me think that perhaps they were not as functional as I hoped.  Luckily I was mistaken.  I was sent a Dita Black Satin Corset from Glamorous Corset last week and within minutes of opening the package I knew that everything I thought I knew about corsets was wrong.

CaptureThe corset arrived in a black velvet bag and I immediately knew that any corset experience I had before was nothing compared to what was ahead of me.  This was the real deal.  The corset had some weight to it and I could feel the steel boning in the fabric.  The corset felt thick and shimmery and I didn’t think the steel boning would be able to poke through the fabric.  The steel fasteners in the front felt strong and the hooks fit comfortably and snug.  It also has six loops to attach garters.  Six!

backThe back of the corset was even more impressive.  It was already laced and the cords felt strong without being too thick.  The eyelets were not too close to the edge of the panels so I wasn’t worried about them being ripped out.  These details stood out to me because of my past experiences with corsets and what I liked and did not like with previous ones.  The cords were long which meant that not only could I tie a really sexy bow in the back, they were also long enough for me to adjust the corset as I needed.  This would be something I would own and wear for a long time.

The next thing that I looked through was the guide that the corset included.  The guide included instructions for lacing and tying the corset of course, but also how to get used to wearing it.  There is a practice called seasoning where you wear the corset for 45 minutes to an hour each day for about ten days.  This allows the corset to adapt it’s shape to your body and also helps you get used to wearing it.  You will know you are wearing a true corset the first few times you put it on.  It has an impact on your posture as well as on how you move.  It is recommend you season your corset before you wear it to an event and  I couldn’t agree more.

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I loosened the laces of my new corset and after putting it on I tightened the back of it.  The cords were long so with a few minutes of practice I was able to tie it.  With an authentic corset you may be able to go tighter but that is something you slowly work your way up to.  After my corset was laced and tied, I felt taller than before.  I stood straighter and my posture was amazing.  It was not so tight that I could not move easily, but I definitely knew I was wearing it.  I liked that it was a underbust corset which allows me to wear a bra with forms.

As recommended, I wore the corset for an hour that first day.  I got used to the corset (and the corset got used to me) as I moved normally and naturally.  It never felt tight or uncomfortable but I did notice I was wearing it.  I tightened the corset to trim my waist and I could see a more shapely figure under my shirt and jeans.  I also felt… sexy.  Wearing lingerie is a fun little secret and we all know the joy of wearing something cute under our clothes but this was a different level altogether.  I used to think lingerie was nothing but sexy but we all have experienced wearing something cute but uncomfortable.  Lingerie can be beautiful and practical and this corset is the pinnacle of that.

I was worried about putting it on the next day as the seasoning progressed.  The day before I tightened it after I put it on, but this time it was already tied and I would simply hook the latches on the front of it.  I am happy to say that it fit like a dream and it was easy to fasten.  I was surprised by how much more comfortable the corset was the second day.  It was still tight and cinched my waist but it wasn’t nearly as noticeable as it was the first day.  I stood and sat straight up and I couldn’t slouch if I wanted to.  Again, I stayed home and went about my time and I was able to move even more naturally than I did the day before.

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I am excited to continue to season my corset and wear it to an event or an outing.  I am really happy to have something that I feel completes my quest for a more shapely hourglass appearance.  I will post more reviews and updates over the next week or so and let you know how the seasoning goes.  So far my first impressions are nothing but positive.  A corset is a commitment, it is something you invest your time and money into and I can see this investment paying off.

Glamorous Corset has also provided us with a discount on all their corsets if you want to add one to your wardrobe.  At check-out, use discount code HANNAH15 for 15% off all corsets.

Thank you to Glamorous Corset for this beautiful corset.  I’m glad to find out that everything I thought a corset was supposed to be was wrong.

Love, Hannah