To The FemmeMobile! Away!











{May 30, 2012}   Transgender beauty pageant redux

I got an email from a friend this morning, an extremely awesome friend, that basically said this:

“You do realize that your post is like, “I’m not transphobic, but…””

It went on eloquently, but that about sums it up. (I have great regard for this friend’s ability to put things totally bluntly, without making me feel attacked, like a terrible person, and without her sounding like a bitch or condescending. I wish I had that ability, but I don’t think I do.)

Anyway, in emailing her back, a few things occurred to me.

1. I would have no problem with this if we were showing many types of bodies as beautiful, and this were just another one. But,

2. as I saw it, we were just extending the already-almost-unattainable body into a completely-unattainable-body.

As I was explaining this, I said that while I felt it was morally wrong to say what I was saying, practically speaking I didn’t want to be showing young girls something that they couldn’t possibly ever do on a skeletal level as the standard of beauty.

This is when somehting occurred to me. Except for the 5% of people who are born with that model body type, we are already showing young girls something they can’t possibly do on a skeletal level. We’re already having to play damage control because it’s already impossible. Not almost impossible, but totally impossible for 95% of the population. I’m sure there is another 5% of the population that has a very male body type; no hips, broad chest and shoulders, etc. (They still aren’t going to have the muscles along the abdomen that men have, but an MTF modeling is going to have issues a cis-woman doesn’t anyway, so it’s  a wash IMO.)  If we have an MTF modeling, then at least those girls (and also the other girls born in male bodies) have a representative, too.

What we need to be doing is adding more body types into what’s considered beautiful. While I wouldn’t have chosen a body type that’s an extreme of what we already have, that also doesn’t mean we should exclude it. This is one of those two-wrongs-don’t-make-a-right moments. Saying, “We need other body types but not that one” is bullshit. I call bullshit on myself.

I feel much better now. I have two centers of what’s right and wrong: my head and my heart. My heart always figures it out first, but until my head figures it out, too, things don’t work well. Now I’ve got both lined up. Woo hoo!

So I can say without reservations, go Jenna! (The model. Not me.) And also – Thanks, Momo. You rock my socks.

J

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