Things To Love…

Having a poor sense of body image is par for the course with gender dysphoria. Having decided to embark on this course, one of my first necessary actions was to shave: I grew a beard years ago, around the age of nineteen, and have seen little of my face without it since the time when it was still the relatively rounded, glowing, and youthful face of an adolescent.

One can thus imagine I was none too pleased to encounter the gaunt, blocky, masculine jaw and chin that nowadays lay beneath it, and which tauntingly reminded me why I grew the thing in the first place…

For that, learning some extensive make-up techniques will have to be the first step, though it acutely brings to mind the late Leelah’s Alcorn’s fear: “The longer you wait, the harder it is to transition. I felt hopeless, that I was just going to look like a man in drag for the rest of my life.” ( Quoted from her suicide note, incidentally.

A vital step to take, therefore, and as my spouse has patiently reminded me, is to find aspects of my body to love, and they have pointed out a few. After all, no-one in life has it perfect, even models and celebrities being routinely photo-shopped to match a non-existent “ideal”. So, on the pro side…

1. Long legs, and thankfully now mostly smooth, as I have finally learned to endure the exquisite torture of a mechanical epilator…

2. No hair loss so far, and long, black hair, well below my shoulders. Hoping to grow it further, mind.

3. A defined waistline and hips, if hardly curvy.

4. Enlarged pectorals that can just about fit an A-cup bra. Extensive chest exercises for most of my life have allowed me to tailor my body thus far, though I suspect it is close to the limit of what can be achieved without actual body modification / medical intervention (not ruled out, but no immediate plans).

5. Thin enough to fit most size 12 (UK) women’s clothes, though height (5’11”) can be an issue.

Not too bad a starting line, then, for all my dissatisfaction. I feel as long as I can keep the positive aspects in mind, this journey of mine will be a rewarding rather than a merely frustrating experience. Society at least teaches us that if we shoot for physical “perfection” we will be eternally unsatisfied, though I think it would prefer if we did not learn the lesson and kept on trying to buy our way out of the black hole… Contentment and learning self-love are so anathema to corporatism that it is practically a moral duty to practice them on a daily basis. Here’s hoping I will prove a good example of that…

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