Apparently the left-over testosterone in my system is blocking two important girl-skills:
- I rarely notice when a friend gets a haircut, unless it’s pretty dramatic
- I can’t remember where and when I purchased every single item in my wardrobe
I’m told that, of the two, #1 is less forgivable.
This is one of those things that I’m not sure how to ‘fix.’ I’m learning (slowly) how to put on makeup. I’m getting better at seeing what outfits work together. (Though my date outfit from last night was the result of my roommate vetoing what I was going to wear.) I’m having tons of fun making and wearing jewelry. I’d even say I’m slowly adjusting my voice to something that feels more feminine and ‘right’ for me.
But all of those are things that, to one extent or another, you can practice.
I realize that I’m holding myself up to an unreasonable standard of ‘womanhood.’ I started to write “…because I’m trans,” but that’s not it: It’s because I live in a culture of near-unobtainable feminine ideals. All of my girl friends, trans and cis, have had issues with their appearance, confidence, clothing, presentation, and overall uncertainty over what it means to be a woman. I think these feelings are heightened because I’m trans, but they’re not caused because I’m trans.
At the same time, I do want to live up to those ideals, even though some of them are simply impossible for me to reach. (For example, there was a dress at Anthropologie that I simply loved, but the only way I’d ever fit into it was if I removed a few ribs. The issue wasn’t my weight, which is heading in the direction I want it to. Rather, it was my shape.) And, because I can’t reach the curvy body I’d love to have, it feels all the more important to obtain all the girl skills that I’m “supposed” to have, as some sort of reassurance that I am a woman. Which isn’t to say I don’t like my body tons more than I did before I transitioned – I do. And I like it more and more as I become more confident in presenting myself in ways that I find pleasing. But I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that I – like 99% of the women on the planet – am not going to look like this anytime soon:
Back on point, what’s frustrating about failing to notice a friend’s haircut (or a coworker’s, which prompted this post) is that I’m not sure how much I can do about it. I can make a mental effort to be more observant, but it’s not like I can have flashcards of my friends and family and test whether or not I can notice a hairstyle change.
This also plays into whether or not I’m interested in identifying as femme, and to what extent. I’ve certainly been playing with a more femme mode of presentation lately, and enjoying dipping my (painted) toes into being a girly-girl. My (undoubtedly stereotypical) perception of ‘femme’ means having all of these girl skills that I’m attempting to aquire. Including noticing when your friend got a new haircut.
What skill – gender-related or not – do you think you “should” have, even though you might not?