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Navigating Beauty Standards as a Trans Woman Is an Impossible Balancing Act

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Great article by Katelyn Burns on the challenges of female beauty standards. I particularly liked the quote, "Sometimes I know I’m a real woman because everyone has an unsolicited opinion about my appearance."


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very interesting article. I manage to get on that thin zone I think. I pass well and have my own unique style, not too masculine, not too feminine (cliche).


The moment when I think it hurts a LOT is when someone transition and find it's impossible to reach that zone for whatever reasons. Where I live it's the moment where the true transphobia happen. Those who fall in that category have it hard.

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jae bear

Oh dear, I worry about this constantly, and I’m not sure if this article helped me or set me back. But I do know I’m gonna give it my best shot, I know I have a long way to go but I’m gonna do the best that I can and see where I can take what I’ve got. Then again I have a fantastic wife that is kind of my girl guide Sherpa along the way mount womanhood and since she is strikingly beautiful I’m sure she can at least help me pass. I also find it funny that it’s totally socially acceptable for me to just be myself in male mode, just as girly as I want to be, and no one bats an eyelash, but the idea of outwardly identifying and dressing as female will draw all sorts of attention immediately.



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Ultimately, it comes down to accepting ourselves and finding a look that suits us. There are always going to be people that want to criticize and they'll find something imperfect about everyone to nitpick.

You do you! 


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Interesting article for sure.  I liked the point that some feminists use the very thing they rail against (beauty standards) to rate trans women for acceptance.  While I pass well enough I try not to get sucked into the vortex of ever escalating beauty rating and comparisons.  Like Marie, I have my own style and it works for me.  That is all that matters. 



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Good, sad and scary article. As someone just starting their transition, this is like jumping in an icy shower. :blink:


 At the same time, I think that this is reinforcing the value of the work I'm facing, and I expect to do that work every day until I die. Maybe it's because I have always felt like I had to work hard to put on a :alien: to deal with people every day (one of the characteristics of people on the autistic spectrum), and I just want to be comfortable enough with the actions of "acting properly" - even if you're still "that freak." Not that I'm that weird IRL, but like I said, sometimes it takes a lot of effort, and even though I'm going to lose a lot of my physical "presence" that men read into - a lot - I'm still on the larger size of average for male, and have been forced to defend myself from larger people pretty much all growing up. Self-defense, sadly, is part of my transition plan, to refresh and help keep me in shape. I grew up with the verbal stuff (same sex parent in the 90s, and me not learning how to act "normal" until late - if ever B)), and have a (planned) life path that can allow me to not have much physical contact with the public if necessary (fine by me if needed!), with a healthy enough income for the modest life that my wife and I look forward to. I worry about it more with my wife than myself :(, but she has also been an ally pretty much from childhood, and has seen (and been caught up in) the petty b.s. as well. 


It also reminds me how much I want to just opt out of all the b.s. that the patriarchy does, just by its' existence. Not that it's a major driver for me or anything (and losing that is going to suck in ways I don't realize yet), but... my wife has to remind me at least every other day that not ALL men suck, just a lot of them. :P


3 hours ago, jae bear said:

I also find it funny that it’s totally socially acceptable for me to just be myself in male mode, just as girly as I want to be, and no one bats an eyelash, but the idea of outwardly identifying and dressing as female will draw all sorts of attention immediately.


I have found being male to be VERY restrictive, myself, with kickback that caused me to have many social issues, plus one expulsion/leaving school and a few lost jobs over the years. Not to say that it's less restrictive than the path that I'm on now, but... this is my path, my life, my body and my identity. In many ways, every day, I make a choice about who I am, every moment, especially now that I'm starting my transition. There are no words for the strength that gives me, or the help that it has been providing me already. :angel:

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Finding myself and a style that fits has taken time.  With that seems to come an acceptance of the flaws caused by birth and time.  As an older person i have to accept more sags and creases which seems to make the male flaws seem a bit less toxic.  With time i simply have found that for the most part i forget that i'm doing anything other than living my life. I relax and smiles come.  Each smile seems to make friends at the market and regardless of flaws i'm finally happy.

Thanks to all of you for helping me through all the fear and trouble i felt before.





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That's so sweet, Charlize. 

And so like the journey of most cis-women. We sometimes forget how many cis-women are re-defining themselves too in middle age and beyond. They're finding a new identity post-menopause and with empty nests (for those that had kids) and coming to terms with bodies and faces that are aging. That journey to acceptance is the same in a lot of ways.

"Relax and smiles come". I love that!



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