A fascinating article about presenting femme. I aim to present as someone who has the clothing and “beauty” products optons from the entire range of fashion. Nonetheless people only focus on the clothing I wear, that seems to them, incongruous with what they perceive when they see me; “an effeminate guy.” So skirts and leggings and lipstick, are considered femme whilst other attire considered “normal” for my body type is ignored. There is no “passing” as an agender/genderqueer person who was designated male at birth, at least until society accepts “gender ambivalent” as a style. You add in my being chubby trying to find “women’s” clothing that fits, (much like the frustrations the author decribes finding clothing for someone who’s tall), and add in my disability that makes applying makeup or putting in earrings difficult to impossible and the frustration is multiplied. Sigh, I just want to be my authentic self, is that too much to ask?
Here are the opening paragraphs of the article by Sean Faye as it appears in DazedDigital.com:
For us trans and queer people raised as boys, femme aesthetics are often vitally important to self expression – but not always easy to achieve
“Because I am trans feminine and tall; tailoring and adjustments to women’s clothes is very important for me. I recently took something that needed to be fitted to Nordstrom and when I took it to women’s tailoring the woman there looked confused by my presence, suggested I should be in the men’s tailoring area and said ‘I’m sorry – I don’t know where to put you”.
“Because I am trans feminine and tall; tailoring and adjustments to women’s clothes is very important for me. I recently took something that needed to be fitted to Nordstrom and when I took it to women’s tailoring the woman there looked confused by my presence, suggested I should be in the men’s tailoring area and said ‘I’m sorry – I don’t know where to put you’”.
M Zavos is twenty years old, currently living in Chicago during the early stages of her transition. As I ask her about her experiences of clothing herself, it is clear that she, like many other trans people, is acutely aware of her own sense of style and taste, but also the practical frustrations her identity presents to her enjoyment of fashion in an industry ill-equipped to deal with trans and nonbinary people. Particularly those who were assigned male at birth for whom presenting as feminine is seen as a cultural trespass in a patriarchal world. When I ask M how the exchange in the dressing room made her feel she says “it was just extremely othering”.
Discussing gender variant people in conjunction with fashion already runs the risk of being reductive. Trans identities and androgynous aesthetics are not the same – the world of fashion has embraced androgynous models (some of whom are, in fact, trans); brands like Selfridges’ Agender offers a high end aesthetic of “fashion without boundaries” and Tom Ford has launched his Lips & Boys male lipstick campaign: in it, women models wearing various shades of lipstick turn to kiss male-presenting models who are – surprise! – wearing a matching shade themselves.
Continue reading the article here at DazedDigital.com: http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/29034/1/fashion-victims-in-the-fitting-rooms-with-trans-femmes