Selfies

SISSY

I take a lot of selfies.

I started taking selfies about the same time I started dressing en femme from head to toe. I wanted to see how others would see the female me rather than how I saw myself in that full-length mirror mounted on my mother's closet door.

Self-photography provided the means to do that, but it was expensive back in the good old days because I had to use real film. I had to buy film to take my selfies and then pay to have my selfies processed. I also had to buy flash bulbs to take good selfies indoors.

And then there was the potential for being embarrassed and outed if the person processing the film realized that the girl posing in my selfies was actually me! I wonder how many femulators built photo darkrooms in their basements to avoid being outed?

Eventually, I worked around the problem by using a Polaroid SX-70 camera. Polaroid film was more expensive, but I did not have to take the photos of my "girlfriend" anywhere to be processed. The expense did prevent me from taking mass quantities of selfies. Then the Apple QuickTake digital camera entered my life and changed everything.

Quality-wise, the QuickTake was a step backward from the Polaroid, but the film was now "free" and I could take as many selfies as I wanted, at least until the camera's battery ran down.

And I did take a LOT of selfies! Thousands to be exact.

As digital cameras improved, I graduated from the QuickTake to the Canon PowerShot. And as the Canons improved, I upgraded my PowerShots and currently own my third, a Canon PowerShot SD940 IS. It is full-featured, takes excellent photos, and I thought it was the cat's meow until I started taking photos with my iPhone.

Comparing photos taken during the same photoshoot with the Canon and the iPhone, the iPhone does a better job in my opinion. Or should I say, I do a better job taking photos with the iPhone than I do with the Canon. Perhaps if I was a better or more knowledgable photographer, I could do a better job with the Canon, but for now, the iPhone is my go-to camera.

Sister blogger, Faith DaBrooke of Adventures of a Gender Rebel fame, takes a lot of selfies, too. Viewing her selfies, she seems to be an expert at it. After her latest selfies knocked my pantyhose off (see the photo above for an example), I asked her what tools she uses.

Faith replied, "These photos were taken with a smart phone. And yes, I use a tripod, a little one. If you go on amazon there are a bunch of options. Mine is about 8" high with bendy legs and it came with a remote."

Those are the same tools I use, but if you ask me, Faith's selfies are much better than mine.

Almost all of my selfies are taken in my home where the lighting and scenery is not optimal. I need to do remote selfie photoshoots, but I have been shy about taking selfies out in the great outdoors. (What will people think?)

Nailing It with Your Eyebrows

Tammy, had this to add to my Self-Feminization: Brows post.

I loved your article on eyebrows. Most girls have no idea how important improving your eyebrows can be. By having my eyebrows waxed once a month, I find I can navigate either world quite easily. By having trimmed eyebrows, you add just enough ambiguity so that others just aren't quite sure if you are a man or woman. It then takes very little extra to help them decide.

I live in the north where we get cold winters and we need to bundle up for shopping. Let me share a couple examples of what happens when I go out with a close shave, trimmed eyebrows, gender neutral winter clothes and a stocking cap.

Last week I went into a shoe store and was asked if they could help me find something. I just said I was looking to see what they had for sale. The saleswoman then asked, for men or women. Without any gender-specific clothing visible, I doubt that without nicely-trimmed eyebrows they would have asked that. They would have just sent me to the area where men's shoes were on sale.

I asked for women's shoes and was directed to that area. Awhile back my wife and I were leaving the grocery store with me dressed the same way. As we left, the cashier said, "Have a nice evening, ladies." Wearing less "gender neutral" clothing, I make it easy for others to put me in the "camp" I desire. When I dress fully feminine, the eyebrows don't give me away.

So how do you go about achieving these results? I started with the person that cuts my hair. She does both men and women's hair as well as eyebrow waxing. She always trims eyebrows of both her men and women clients. All it took was a couple of times saying, "I wish my eyebrows weren't quite so thick because it gets my glasses greasy," for her to say, "Well, we could always wax them." I said, "Sure, I'll give it a try."

I now have it done every month when I have my hair cut. After that, it was just fine-tuning the waxing with comments like "Maybe just a little thinner so they don't rub on my glasses," "How about a little arch at the end so they aren't so close to my glasses," "Maybe a little shorter because they grow so fast." And before you know it, I had eyebrows that work in either world.

If I go to a stylist in an area away from home, I just tell them I want them waxed very femininely. No one waxing my eyebrows has ever complained and not taken my money. Also, no one I know socially has ever asked me about my eyebrows. If someone ever did and I was the least bit concerned about their comments, I could always say, "I have them trimmed so they don't rub on my glasses" or "the woman that cuts my hair trims my eyebrows and got a little carried away." But being retired and not caring so much about what others think, I'd probably say, "Yes, I really like them, what do you think?"

With my eyebrows waxed and this knowledge, I feel comfortable going into any store shopping for clothes, regardless of the gender. If I want to go one step further, I just put on a stocking cap that is a little more feminine, then there's no question in most saleswomen's minds.

The results I shared so far are just wearing mainly gender-neutral clothes. Let me end by telling you about the last time I went out with a nice little black dress, full makeup, wig, etc. I stopped in a shop where the saleslady has helped me in both boy and girl mode (and know it's one person). Her comment was "Wow, you really nailed it! "

All-Woman

In light of the foot of snow that fell here yesterday, I recall another January six years ago when it snowed and snowed and snowed some more. I have lived in the same area of Connecticut all my life and I have never seen a month of winter weather like the past 31 days! In that time, we had seven snowstorms resulting in a snowfall total of over 5 feet! The weather has played havoc on my plans to go out. Yesterday, I cancelled my day trip to First Event because of the weather. Other plans have met similar fates. It snowed again (10 inches) early yesterday morning, so I worked from home rather than commute to the office. While clearing the snow from my driveway at noontime, I decided I had had enough; I made up my mind to go out en femme in the evening. Late in the afternoon, I shaved, showered, did my makeup, and dressed to go out. I wore my Victoria's Secret green sweater dress, brown tights, open-toed snakeskin high heel pumps, and matching snakeskin patterned scarf. I also wore my white fake fur jacket and brown designer knock-off bag. If you think wearing high heels is an adventure, try it when there is snow, slush, and ice in your path. But I toughed it out for the sake of fashion! I drove to a nice Chinese restaurant in the next town. It was about one-quarter full of customers. No one paid me any mind (that I noticed). My waiter was very polite and called me "Miss." I had a very pleasant dinner and at the end, the waiter presented me with a free dessert: a ball of coconut ice cream. After dinner, I touched up my lipstick and drove to a nearby Fashion Bug. It was very quiet in the “Bug” --- only one other customer. The sales staff was very attentive. One saleswoman tried to convince me to be measured and fitted for a pair of a figure-hugging jeans. I was interested, but I was not sure how I could try on jeans when I was wearing a dress. I had no spare top, so I figured that I would have to strip down to my bra and body shaper. Normally, that would not bother me, but I had not removed enough body hair to strip down to that degree, so I politely turned her down. I spent about a half hour browsing through the store. I really wasn't looking for anything in particular, but I did find some clip-on earrings that I liked and purchased. At check-out, I used my Fashion Bug credit card. The cashier, who was the same person who tried to fit me for jeans, asked for additional identification. I assumed the she was aware I was a male, so I thought nothing about handing her my driver's license. She looked at it and asked, "Is this your husband?" "Uh oh," I thought to myself. "No, that's me," I replied. She finally realized reality and burst out, "Oh my, God, you look fantastic!" "Thank-you," I said. As she was checking me out, she added, "You know, we have other male customers, who dress as women, and I spot them right away, but I never would have guessed you were a guy! You not only look like a woman – you move like a woman, you talk like a woman, you act like a woman – you’re all-woman!” With that, my high heels never touched the slush as I walked on air out of the store and drove home.
Source: Eloquii
Wearing Eloquii (Source: Eloquii)
German soldiers
German soldiers femulating during World War II.

Review: Caitlyn Jenner’s The Secrets of My Life

crossdresser, crossdressing, sissy,transgender,Travesti,

After years of intense training, Bruce Jenner won the 1976 Decathlon at the Montreal Olympic games. After winning, a fan handed him an American flag and he took a victory lap. With an American flag held proudly, a handsome and smiling Jenner rounded the field and that iconic moment was seared into a generations mind. He became the all-American hero.

Ironically, Bruce had painted himself into a corner.

I’ll start with a note: Caitlyn Jenner constantly refers to “Bruce” in her book. She states simply that “he,” “Bruce” did exist and to deny that would be disingenuous. She does this much to the chagrin of others in the transgender community where she is a controversial figure. I will follow Caitlyn’s example in this review.

Her narrative will speak directly to readers here at Femulate. Winning the Olympics brought not only jubilation, but the thought “I’ll never be a woman now.”

If you’ve perused through online profiles of other sisters, Caitlyn’s story will ring true. Always wanting to be a girl, at the earliest age, borrowing clothes and dressing up. Sneaking out in the neighborhood for nighttime strolls and praying at night to wake up as a girl.

He proved himself on the high school football field while envying the cheerleaders on the sidelines.

He hid women’s clothes in the college dorm.

In public, Jenner was the ultimate visage of American manliness — handsome, athletic, and financially successful.

In reality, she would endure decades of emotional loneliness, three failed marriages, parental shortcomings and bouts of self-loathing.

As a transgender person, reading this book at times it seemed she was writing about me. The book is oddly familiar in its writing style, a biographical timeline made up of trials and tribulations that are personally reminiscent and feel like countless transgender profiles that I’ve read online.

In the 1989, after two failed marriages, Bruce would attempt to transition. He started HRT but found little support or acceptance. Then financial reality set in. “If I lose 'Bruce,' I lose my way to make a living and so does the family that depends on me.” Twenty-five years later, there would the transgender websites, medical advances, support groups and a growing community of transgender persons to support her.

A longtime Republican, Caitlyn received a huge negative backlash from many activists in the transgender community. She's realized that as Bruce, she “ ived in a world of white male privilege” and yet was still entitled enough as Caitlyn to have voted for the Donald Trump-Mike Pence ticket. Her remarks about gay marriage on The Ellen DeGeneres Show also drew anger from the LGBT community.

She also took much criticism from the transgender community for her views on transgender women and appearance.

“I think it's much easier for a trans woman or a trans man who authentically kind of looks and plays the role. So what I call my presentation. I try to take that seriously. I think it puts people at ease. If you're out there and, to be honest with you, if you look like a man in a dress, it makes people uncomfortable. So the first thing I can do is try to present myself well. I want to dress well. I want to look good.”

She has been attacked and berated by transgender activists as being “a clueless rich white woman” and shouted at with chants of “you are an insult to trans people, you are an insult to women.”

To her credit she has raised considerable amounts of money for transgender causes. Her Finally Free lipstick with MAC cosmetics has raised over $1.3 million dollars for transgender youth. She personally has spent countless hours working with families and transgender persons. She knows she has made mistakes, “I’ve grown into Caitlyn,” she said. “It’s tough to take 65 years of being Bruce and being male, and then like, overnight, everything changes.”

It’s common to censure historical figures. We could easily condemn Thomas Jefferson as a slave owner or we can view him objectively and see the paradox of a man who wrote the Declaration of Independence and advocated for a new system of government that brought democracy to the modern world.

As a baby boomer, I see and relate to Caitlyn Jenner as a transgender woman who came of age in a time when the word “transgender” did not exist. To put it mildly, less flattering terms were used to describe us. You couldn’t even find a doctor to get treatment and therapists knew nothing about “sex changes.” You could get arrested for dressing as woman in public. In fact, crossdressers met in secret. The Tiffany Club here in New England would meet new members in cloak and dagger fashion in order to keep their meeting location a secret.

Obviously, that has changed in recent years. Transgender persons are no longer banished to tabloids at the back of the Maybrook Sweet Shop. Many have sacrificed before us and have fought for our rights. To credit any one person would be disrespectful.

It is my opinion, the night Caitlyn Jenner, the former Olympic icon, graciously walked up on stage in front of a national television audience and accepted the Arthur Ashe Award for courage was the moment when transgender persons had reached the proverbial tipping point. All of our pioneers and their sacrifices were finally brought to light in the American collective cognizance.

Our fight for acceptance and rights would be far from over. It was what I like to call our “Will and Grace moment.” It put us on the map and in the minds of America. Now it’s not unusual to see transgender high school students, while universities across the country have programs to assist transgender students. Most Fortune 100 corporations have non-discriminatory policies for transgender persons. Transgender persons are now sons, daughters, cousins, co-workers and friends.

Like any other woman, Caitlyn has been shaped by the experiences and ethos of her life and like any other women, is subject to foibles and shortcomings. In this case, she’s a transgender woman, a member of our community, who believes in us, fights for us and is one of us.

Like any other community in times of adversity, we need to put aside our differences and worked together.

Self-Feminization: Brows

In this post, I continue to write about some of the things I have learned and used to feminize myself. Uni to Girly Brows can either make or break your entire look. I had a unibrow when I started to get serious about femulating. I did not have a solid unibrow, but there were enough hairs above the bridge of my nose that it was not very ladylike. So early on, I took a razor to that patch of hair. In boy mode, nobody noticed that I now had two distinct eyebrows. (Wearing eyeglasses in boy mode also helped to disguise my eyebrow feminization.) Emboldened, I bought eyebrow tweezers and an eyebrow trimmer. With the tweezers, I attacked the stray hairs and with the trimmer, I shortened any hairs that had grown to unruly lengths. The result was neater and more feminine brows. And in boy mode, nobody noticed. Further emboldened, I began using the tweezers to thin my brows. I only thinned along the bottoms, never the tops because I had read in a number of places that you should not pluck along the tops of your brows because if you do, the hair will not grow back! Still nobody noticed, so I kept on thinning and the result was a perfect feminine sweeping curve along the bottom of my brows, while the top was not so perfect. I was a little frustrated until I visited our public library and took out a book titled Beautiful Brows: The Ultimate Guide to Styling, Shaping, and Maintaining Your Eyebrows by Nancy Parker and Nancy Kalish. The book deflated the advice about not plucking above your eyebrows and said to go ahead and pluck above, as well as below. Immediately after reading that passage, I dropped the book, went to the bathroom and plucked all the strays above my eyebrows! Now my eyebrows, both tops and bottoms, looked neat and feminine and since then I continued to pluck and thin above and below. (By the way, the hair does indeed grow back above as well as below.) This is a very tricky business, so take your time and go back and forth between your left and right brows so that they will look alike.
To color and define my brows, I use an Avon eyebrow pencil. Although my natural eyebrow color is light brown, I use a blonde eyebrow pencil because I found that using a brown pencil resulted in a brow that was too dark. Blonde is just right for me, so you too might want to go one shade lighter than your natural brow color. Using an eyebrow brush, I comb out my brow hairs so they are lined up horizontally and pointing away from my nose. Next, I sharpen the pencil to a very fine point and draw a line that defines the upper edge of my eyebrow. I start drawing the line above the inner corner of my eye (point A in the accompanying figure), angling upwards to the peak of the arch which is above the outer edge of the pupil of my eye (point B), then drawing the brow out to a point that lines up with my nose and the outer corner of my eye (point C). All the while I draw the line as close as possible to my existing brow hair. After I define the tops of my eyebrows, I use the pencil to fill in the area below the line where the hair is thin or missing. Then I use the eyebrow brush to brush and even out the color I just applied. Women generally have higher brow bones than men, resulting in a greater distance between the bottom of the brow and the eyelid. To compensate, use a highlighter to brighten the area under the arch and lift the brow even more. Any questions? I will try my best to answer them.  
Source: Bebe
Wearing Bebe (Source: Bebe)
Manuel Arte femulates Jane Russell and Frankie Kein femulates Marilyn Monroe in the drag show Faces in Santa Monica, California, 1986 (Source: University of California Calisphere)
SaveSave