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Guest Minerva

The importance of FFS

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Reading up on the possibilities of a succesful transition I came a cross several transwomen who claim FFS to be vital for passing and called it their best investment ever. 1 even writes it is more important to her than her srs because 'passing is about the neck up'

It is worth noting that the most important surgery on that list (unless you are a transitioning teenager) is FFS - being transsexual means that you want to be accepted by society as a woman (not that you want an excuse to dress as one, or want to have boyfriends without feeling guilty).

I now live a normal life as a successful business woman fully integrated into society, and without FFS I simply would not be able to do so - I would be yet another of those post-op transsexual women gently outcast to the fringes of society, unable to find good employment and socially trapped within the T-world. To those girls considering transition: Make FFS your priority.

While it is in my country not that common, I see a lot of foreign girls getting FFS. Some even before going fulltime and some in college. Is FFS really that vital, and how do these people pay for it? College students and professional starters aren't exactly known for their vast financial resources.

Because I started hrt long after finishing puberty I fear it might be vital for me because I do fear I will be judged on my looks when job hunting or just when socializing. Surely there is a lot more to passing than just a nice face, but when one of those factors is off and screams 'male' it doesn't exactly help.

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Yea I've always thought FFS was very important but it depends on the person, some people don't need it at all. I would like to get it done in like 2 years, I wanna give the hormones time to do their thing before I do any cosmetic surgery. As far as paying for it... I have no idea, I'm broke as a joke, if I can get my credit fixed between now and then I might be able to finance it, but who knows. All I know is that it *can be extremely expensive, it depends on the doctor and how many specific procedures he recommends, some people only get the adams apple shaving and a nose job which might only cost $5-7k. However some get the full works, brow shaving, jar line contouring, eye socket contouring, chin implant, hair line adjustment, nose job, adams apple shaving, ear tucking, etc... a surgery like that is going to set you back almost $30k, and the recovery time is going to be longer so you have to factor lost work time too. Basically its absurdly expensive...

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Whether or not you need ffs is entirely up to the individual. I believe a lot more people have it done than really need it. I always thought I would need it. Well, I didn't get it and haven't been mistaken for male in years. It comes down to the saying "We are all our own worst critics." Confidence in yourself makes a huge difference.

Karen

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SRS certainly is not important for passing except for very few situations.

The vast majority of transitioned folks out there have not had FFS and do quite fine. I do not count those who have had a nose job, trache shave or some other small surgery as FFS. FFS is something that has gained popularity over the past 10 years and was hardly talked about earlier.

The people I know in person who have had FFS look little different and in my opinion is that it is not the magic bullet for passing. FFS can never overcome some fo the behaviorable aspects that can affect passing. FFS doesn't fix voice or speaking patterns.

Appearance can have an effect on professional success for anyone, but one's face is just one part of that. How one dresses and acts is a big part of the overall presentation and professional success revolved around far more than how one looks.

Like most cosmetic surgery, it comes down to how the person having the surgery feels. Attitude has a great deal to do with passing and to the degree that FFS gives one confidence and removes the preceived flaws, it can help in that fashion.

FFS is what ti is. I personally don't see it as a magic bullet nor a must have for success. In my opinion most can achieve good natural passability without.

If one is balancing the trade between FFS and SRS, that is entirely up to individual needs. Some dont' feel a strong need for SRS or don't even want SRS but feel their face makes them unpassable. Others may feel they pass fine or consider perfect passing unimportant but the body congruence that SRS offers is more important to them. There is no one best choice that fits all.

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This is always a great confidence shattering topic to read. Financing any form of major surgery probably isn't in my future for a very, very long time.

From what I have personally seen anyone who gives HRT the time to do it's job will pass just fine. The problem is that the time HRT needs to work over years of testosterone poisoning can be pretty significant. I say most pass fine within one to three years so long as they work on hair control, voice and body language/mannerisms. Those who try to rush transition, like going full time at 6 months of HRT or no HRT may definitely benefit from FFS but I've seen some before and after photos that weren't all that different.

Ultimately I think the need for it is determined by the individual. I might like to have FFS someday or at least a nose job and yes, because I consider it more important to passing I would have it done before SRS even if I passed perfectly without it. It's just personal preference. Many women don't need it at all but let's face it... we're not exactly a community overflowing in self confidence. From what I have seen though FFS isn't always that dramatic and there are things it cannot fix like broad shoulders, small hips, large hands or feet BUT many of us pass just fine even with those other physical cues we can never change or get rid of. With patience and time we can learn to pass just fine with the body we were given no matter how tall, how big or how small.

If you feel you need FFS then go for it. Not everyone needs it, but that need is all up to you.

I think a lot of the information out there is biased by the "Trans Heirarchy", a system trans people use to give themselves more worth and importance than others of their community. A woman who opted for FFS before SRS would make the argument you stated, while a woman who opts for SRS before FFS would probably say she is a "True Transsexual" because she opted for SRS first.

Just remember "YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY". It can be really hard, but we need to try to enjoy the journey of transition and love the bodies we live in. Transition is a spiritual and mental journey as well as physical. If we find contentment with what we've got then we can determine whether or not we need something like FFS somewhat more objectively. I second everyone here who said FFS is not a "Magic Bullet". Google some before and after pictures and in most cases you will see it probably wasn't and those are going to be the best results of the batch.

Try not to put the cart before the horse and take everything you read with a grain of salt. People can say whatever they want but that doesn't make it true, It makes it their opinion. Do lots of research before you follow the opinions of others so you can determine what you believe and what path you want to take with good reason.

~Jade.

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In my opinion FFS is vital and a necessary procedure for most people. To me only the very young can get away without FFS. Each person's needs and experience are different. There is no one way to find self-acceptance. Think of FFS as a possible tool to go where you need to go. I will say that those who I have seen who have had FFS, the results are astounding. As with all sugeries please understand the risks. FFS is a more complex surgery than SRS.

FFS should only be considered after consultation with your therapist.

Brenda

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On another forum, I was told I'd need fairly extensive FFS in order to ever pass.. Almost 11 months of HRT, a smile and a degree of confidence seems to work for me..

FFS is a personal choice. If you think you need it, go consult with a surgeon and see what they recommend. Not everyone needs it and not everyone wants it. I know of some who had the whole works planned and then for various reasons, had only a rhinoplasty. The change in the nose was often enough for them..

Yes, the results can be amazing.. But there are also significant risks that need to be considered..

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I can only speak for myself here. I think there are things that FFS could help with, and there is the more routine cosmetic surgery that many natal women get, like reducing eye bags, wrinkles, and sagging skin. I wouldn't mind having that kind of surgery.

But do I need it to pass? Not in my experience. I am by no means pretty, but I look enough like a natal woman that no one seems to give me a second glance, or at least not often enough to matter. Yesterday I even spoke to an auto mechanic for 10 minutes, who stood not 3 feet from me, and he never seemed to question my bona fides as a woman.

It is up to the individual to decide, but to say that most need it, or won't pass without it, I just don't see it in day to day encounters with trans folk.

HUGS

Carolyn Marie

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There are women with square jawlines, high hairlines, embossed brows, and with the possible exception of the Adam's apple, just about any facial feature that we think "screams male" is possessed by thousands and perhaps millions of women who never get misread as male.

I think way more people get FFS than need it.

From people I've seen IRL who have had FFS, it was not necessary for them. I don't agree that it is "vital and necessary for most" as was stated above. From what I've seen, it's the exact opposite. It is vital and necessary for very few. I've never had any FFS and it's been a complete non-issue.

I think that most people ought to give things at least 2 or 3 years before considering FFS. Early in our transition, we're more or less all lacking some degree of self-confidence. Rushing into a facial feminization procedure before giving the hormones to work and one's confidence a chance to develop is a bad idea.

The person who was in that original quote, saying that she wouldn't be able to live normally without FFS... well, maybe she would and maybe she wouldn't. Perhaps she had FFS too early in her transition to know that perhaps a "normal" life was indeed possible without it. I'll change her last line: To those considering transition, don't consider FFS at all. Consider it only after you've transitioned. Otherwise, you don't have the experience to know if you truly need it.

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There are so many masculine looking natal females that even if I had been considering FFS before, I do believe that I would mark it off of my list by now.

Seriously, if you examine most women's faces very closely you will be able to find one or more masculine traits on almost every one of them - the truth is that even the most masculine male has at least one feminine trait on his face as well.

We think that we need FFS because we are looking for what we feel will prevent us from passing instead of looking for what will help us pass and doing our best to accentuate that.

Be positive and confident and you will most likely not be read.

There are worse things in life than someone knowing that you used to be male - staying male or going through a lot of unnecessary, painful and expensive surgeries pop into my mind for starters.

Love ya,

Sally

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Such an interesting opinions and point of view pass in this thread. True, for some it may be necessary, for others it might be a form of luxury.

I think it is best for me to wait untill I am a year or 2 on hrt before I make up my mind, given that it is possible at all money wise.

Just now I was browsing through my picture collection of golden age hollywood actresses when I came across several women who have masculine facial features.

Jane Russell is a very good example.

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I very much agree that most people don't need FFS. Considering there are many natural girls with masculine facial features and vice-versa, it isn't totally necessary for most people to pass.

To look really pretty though, is a different story unfortunately. And even though I have no personal experience with HRT, I can say the effects can be stunning. Plus little stuff like eye-brow shaping or long hair can go a long way. I used to think I would NEED FFS, but after seeing myself with a wig I feel a bit differently.

Then again age has a big impact on whether or not you need FFS. Teens to people in their 20s pull it off the best usually, but some are just naturally more feminine or masculine in their features.

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The only thing that matters in transition, and I mean the ONLY thing, is what YOU decide is important!!! For some people, having a naturally feminine face without cosmetics is absolutely necessary to feel comfortable. For others, there is no appeal whatsoever. I, personally, hope to have FFS eventually, but it's not my #1 priority. Many women never have FFS. For many, it's the first step. Whatever is right for you is OKAY!!!

I personally find statements very offense that begin with "Being a transsexual means that you should do [whatever]." There is no RIGHT WAY to be trans! The whole point of transition is to be YOURSELF, not somebody else's idea of who you SHOULD be! That puts us back at the very beginning!

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Funny thing is there are plenty of girls of all ages that have passed through these boards in the time I've been here who've either been living FT or started after and none of them had any significant FFS that really stands out to me, yet a whole bunch claim their lives are remarkably better and there is general acceptance even from places they weren't expecting it. Obviously there are some that have had tougher times than others.

I would not be shocked, given the money the surgeons make, that they don't have sock puppets pushing FFS for them on these boards. It seems a lot more common in theory. This doesn't mean people haven't had it done and haven't been thrilled w/the results.

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The only thing that matters in transition, and I mean the ONLY thing, is what YOU decide is important!!! For some people, having a naturally feminine face without cosmetics is absolutely necessary to feel comfortable. For others, there is no appeal whatsoever. I, personally, hope to have FFS eventually, but it's not my #1 priority. Many women never have FFS. For many, it's the first step. Whatever is right for you is OKAY!!!

I personally find statements very offense that begin with "Being a transsexual means that you should do [whatever]." There is no RIGHT WAY to be trans! The whole point of transition is to be YOURSELF, not somebody else's idea of who you SHOULD be! That puts us back at the very beginning!

perfect way to put it... if you feel you need it then you need it, if you don't then you don't need it. :)

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I also agree with Nova Maria.

I have had FFS. I didn't have surgery for others, I had it for me. The never like the image in the mirror; it always looked like a stranger to me. I wanted to look more like I should have and FFS gave that to me. I look like a cross bewteen my sister and my mother, which is as it should be. Now I like the image in the mirror and that makes me happier and more confident.

FFS is an individual thing. People should not make sweeping statements like everyone NEEDS this or that; it's up to the individual to decide what's right for them.

As for cost... they must come from a family that has some money because FFS costs more than SRS. I know my FFS was twice the cost of my SRS.

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FFS is an individual thing. People should not make sweeping statements like everyone NEEDS this or that; it's up to the individual to decide what's right for them.

Agreed and anyone who wants FFS for themselves because of their own self perceptions I won't take issue with that. Now there are a few individuals that get surgery crazed to seek to fix every preceived imperfection, but that is another issue.

Where I have had problems with FFS is when people start promoting FFS as a magic bullet to passing, beauty or success. Sometimes it is the doctors themselves promoting their own surgery. Sometimes it is other trans people twho belief in FFS to an extreme and even look down upon those who don't have FFS as if they will never pass or presume, because they have had FFS, they pass much better than others.

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Sometimes it is the doctors themselves promoting their own surgery.

I think your spot on with that.

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Sometimes it is the doctors themselves promoting their own surgery.

I think your spot on with that.

I would disagree for a few reasons:

1. Personal responsibility: People shouldn't be looking to blame others. People who say they need FFS to "pass" raise a red flag with me. As I always say the only person you should be having surgery for is yourself! You need to be an educated consumer who's also honest about what they themselves need.

2. Unless you are actively researching FFS you're unlikely to come across propaganda.

3. Not all doctors are like that. I don't think mine was.

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People who say they need FFS to "pass" raise a red flag with me. As I always say the only person you should be having surgery for is yourself! You need to be an educated consumer who's also honest about what they themselves need.

While I certainly do agree with you partially, I am convinced that there is more to it. People who say they need FFS to pass also do this for themselves because life is harder when you do not pass. Think of getting a job or into a relationship. The sad truth is that a person who looks like she is trans will have a harder time getting a public job than a woman who doesn't. Then again, how can you ever get the money for FFS if you don't get the job in the first place...

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I wasn't going to weigh in on this but while I believe that FFS can give you more self confidence or make you more attractive it is useless for "passing". Appearance is not the key. We get so wrapped up in it and put so much emphasis on it that we lose focus I think on what really is important.

I know of a transwoman-not a member here-who spent mega money on FFS and still could not get a job or be accepted as female by and large. Why? Because she put all the emphasis on appearances and not projecting the inner woman she was. The mannerisms and way of speaking were still male. Attitude was still male.That makes people see a man in a dress and makes them deeply uncomfortable.

Think about 2 movies-both featuring men who are not at all feminine or attractive and not done as "man in a dress" movies. With no FFS involved. They worked only because the actors were believable as women. They had makeup and clothing to match the characters they were portraying as women and coaching in mannerisms. They were actors in a part-true-but they do demonstrate that anyone can "pass" One is the old "Tootsie". Have you looked at Dustin Hoffman? Talk about male features! And Robin Williams in "Mrs Doubtfire" is the same. Maybe those are not the women you want to be-probably not-but given the male appearance of both those men they are examples of the ability of any woman to be accepted as a woman regardless of features. They did have professional makeup but you can learn that or hire a makeup artist to give you tips for disguising and highlighting for a tiny fraction of what you'd spend for FFS if you don't want to study it yourself.

Think of FFS as natal female bodied think of plastic surgery. Something to enhance your appearance because that is all it is. You can't buy passing -you have to work hard on it. Transform the way you project yourself and mannerisms. Learn all the little clues and ways of speaking and moving. It's hard work but that is what transition is really about and why it takes so long. You have so much habit and socialization to unlearn and then relearn.

And no way to shortcut it. Sometimes in the offensive "man in a dress" movies and skits you will see men with naturally feminine features who look beautiful as women-yet they are very much a man in a dress. because that is what the joke often really is meant to be. The pretty face, the pretty clothes and the disconnect with manner and mannerisms

You don't need FFS to get a job any more than any other woman needs plastic surgery to get a job. You need to put in the work so that you can present as the woman you are without that uncomfortable disconnect. It isn't appearance. Except in the most basic way like your facial hair and hairstyle of course. I mean you can't expect to go in with a beard and in a suit and get a job as a woman but you'd still have a better shot at it with all the mannerisms and body language perfected than you would with a beautiful face and male mannerisms and body language.

My take on it anyway

Johnny

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Appearance is not the key. We get so wrapped up in it and put so much emphasis on it that we lose focus I think on what really is important. .................. Because she put all the emphasis on appearances and not projecting the inner woman she was. The mannerisms and way of speaking were still male. Attitude was still male.That makes people see a man in a dress and makes them deeply uncomfortable

Hi Johnny,

I couldn't agree with you more. At the end of the day, it's the inner woman that is going to drive the outer appearance, irrespective of what you look like.

There is a perfect example that I know of; and she is the most extraordinary woman I've ever met. Her name is Stella Young, and she is an absolute dynamo of excitement, zest and limitless energy who heads up the Disability section of the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

http://www.abc.net.au/rampup/

When you first see this spectacular woman, the very last thought you would have of her would be compassion or sadness for her plight. Before she even opens her mouth, her whole demeanour, facial expression, body language, simply radiates such a love of life and her follow companions, you are simply hanging in mid air waiting for the awesomely good news. Once she starts to speak, you are left without any doubt whatsoever that she has no disability at all. It's just easier for her to move about in a wheel chair.

The exploits this woman has undertaken and the challanges and achievements she has conquered, leave the rest of us totally excuse less. Even to attempt the most meager reason for us not having attempted similar challanges is tantamount to pure denial.

The beauty of that character is, that is present in each and every one of us. We just need to find it in ourselves and bring it out.

Be safe, ell and happy.

Lotsa huggs

Catherine

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I don't think FFS is that important for most of us. Most of us that start in our teens or early 20s, seem to have no issue. I've even seen one very macho, masculine guy transition into what I see as a very pretty girl.

I totally saw a girl. And I mean a girl. Only a girl. Looked nothing like anything masculine (save a small hint in her profile) that was paying 20k for FFS.

I look at my face and think -maybe-. I don't want to do a lot of surgery. Im thinking a nose job will be in order some day. But that's going to get cheaper and cheaper to do, I'd bet.

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I think someday maybe my nose but the rest of my face is very much like my mother, sister, and daughter so I'm not too worried there longer term. But my nose I can see getting a little done there.

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