She’s Got the Look

| Dec 19, 2011
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The Artist D

When I first came out to my mother as transgendered she wept for hours on the edge of the sofa. It was clear she had no interest in the transgendered person I was. Weeping, she screamed out, “Please don’t tell your father. God, don’t ever tell your father!”

A few years later when she had calmed down and filled her prescription of Prozac she asked to see a picture of me “as a woman.” Being The Internet’s First Super Star I of course had one on hand to immediately show her. “Oh!” She exclaimed, “You’re such a pretty girl. You look like a girl. I thought you would be more … like … well, a drag queen.”

I was reminded of a very naive broadcaster asking RuPaul if he was a woman. To which Ru answered something along the lines of, “Honey, have you ever seen a woman look like this?”

It’s clear that society’s view of us is that a man in a dress is a man in a dress no matter if that man feels like a man or a woman. We know that to not be true. If you are a transgendered male to female personality you want to be accepted as a woman. We here all know very well that you are not a drag queen and that calling you such is a horror.

The topic of passability (the ability to pass dressed as a woman) is something that keeps most trans people up at night. It’s a delicate dance to create the female form out of the male one, some feel they are stuck with.

Moms Mabley

We often see living examples of both extremes. You don’t want to look like Dr. Frankenfurter just as much as you don’t want to be Moms Mabley. You want to blend in, but you want to be yourself. Our human nature is very confusing as we want to be accepted as everyone else, but yearn to be special. Alas the more you customize yourself, the more noticeable you may become. Which may, in turn, “out you” as the spotlight is further directed your way.

Always remember to stay calm and not to overdo it. Indeed a lot of things we aspire to we tend to exaggerate upon. Unfortunately, things that some genetic girls can exaggerate on are big red lights if we try it ourselves. Wigs, eyelashes, lip liner ,and breasts immediately come to mind!

For example, you’ve wanted breasts so long that when you finally get the chance for a night out on the town you end up stuffing a double D sized bra. You don’t have to be flat chested, but you also don’t have to be Dolly Parton. It’s a very bad sign if you’re safely buckling yourself into the car and the seat belt strap exaggeratedly splits your false bosoms in two different directions. It would be lovely to have enormous breasts, but on most frames it’s just not natural.

Grace Jones

Likewise if your eyelashes look like butterflies they definitely may make people question. It’s not that these things may out you as a male, but that it makes people think you are utilizing props. Which then leads a person to wonder what else you may be hiding under your frock. There’s a fine line between being fierce and being Grace Jones.

On the other hand we don’t need to look like we’re headed to Bingo. There is no need to cover every inch of your body like you are the Invisible Man. To blend in flawlessly you just have to take a look at other women. What is the common style and how do they present themselves? It doesn’t make you a sheep to go along with that herd, especially when you’re just getting started. If you want to work up to your Madonna cone bra dream look you might want to tone it down until you find the courage for cones.

Over the next few months I will discuss the epic mystery of “passability.” I hope to cover several different specific topics relating to transgendered male to female people. If you have a fashion topic in mind or a burning question that you’d like me to discuss here please leave a comment below  and I’ll be sure it gets covered.

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Category: Style

The Artist D

About the Author ()

The Artist D is a true raconteur and provocateur! He has been performing online since the mid 1990s. A relic from the cam show age before MySpace was any space. Author of In Bed with Myself, an autobiographical tale of transgenderism and Internet celebrity. Executive Editor of Fourculture Magazine and host of The Artist D's Fabulous Show. Panelist and commentator on Fourthought, a weekly live stream.

Comments (8)

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  1. says:

    Ten grand is simply too much. It is insane. TAD did you lay out that kind of money just for beard removal?

  2. says:

    Also, it seems crazy to that beard removal should cost more than major medical facial femitization by a physician or transistion surgery for that matter.
    I’d guess TAD has had niether but appears to be a very beautiful women. TAD, correct me if I’m mistaken.

  3. says:

    Ally, thank you so much for your factual and complete reply.
    I was thinking, being that Thailand does really advanced transistion surgery for much lower cost than one could get in the US that they might offer electrolysis of the same quality for-say-$20./Hr-. In that case, it may be well worth the cost of the trip. As for laser I’m a bit afraid because I hear it can cause serious burns, or at least visible ones. Also, half of my beard is white and I understand lasers don’t affect white beard.
    I’m hoping that the Artist D has some good workarounds. By the way, she is beautiful-a beautiful women period.

  4. says:

    DJ: Hiding the beard is very difficult for most people who are old enough to have developed a full beard. Hiding it in such a way that you can pass as a woman in daylight (when most women don’t wear heavy makeup) is even more difficult, perhaps impossible for some people with heavy beards.

    Go to and the forum there to learn about electrolysis and laser.

    A good electrolysis practitioner could probably clear the average beard in around 90-120 hours of treatment, ie $9-12,000 at the typical rate of $100/hr

    I highly recommend starting with laser if you have light skin and dark hair, you will still have to finish with electrolysis but it will save you a lot of money to clear as much as you can with laser. Laser places are always having coupons and specials these days, I bought a package of unlimited laser treatments on my face for 2 years for $600. I stopped after the 7th treatment and finished with electrolysis. Total cost around $1800, considering the difference it has made in my life, it would have been worth it even if I had to pay $10000+ to remove.

  5. The Artist D The Artist D says:

    Thank you Tabikatt! I appreciate that. It takes time, but we get there. 🙂

    And DJ, hair removal of all kinds is on the top of my list. Maybe even the next article. Stay tuned!

  6. says:

    Oh, I forgot my question. The beard: electrolysis? What’s the cost? Can it be hidden? It’s a real image killer. I hate it. Please advise.

  7. says:

    I love your advice. Of course, your singing to the choire.
    But I have never been able to characterize it as well as you. To pass as a women or even to simply cross dress does not mean one should look like a drag queen. Genetic women never look like drag queens-it would look rediculous. I’m really interested to see what you have in your tool box.

  8. says:

    followed u since I was on myspace..have to say you’ve been my inspiration to not die and become myself..even if it’s taken nearly a decade..

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