Although I’ve more than insinuated what goes on inside my head, I’m going to be a little more forward about some of the thoughts that go on inside my head. And today’s prompt for writing in my Beautiful Me Journal is pretty relevant to what I’m speaking about. The reality is that there have been various times in my life where I had wished I were female (This may or may not come as a surprise to some of you, but it is a point of fact about the things I have felt about myself over the years). With that being said, today’s topic in the daily guide to renewal I have been reading highlights the ways women make expectations to be like others they find beautiful.
In the guide, the author mentions a young woman that spent lots of money on beauty magazines. The woman she mentioned probably had body dysphoric issues based on the description. The point the author is making is that women spend a lot of time, money and effort in trying to be something or someone other themselves. I think, in some way I have been lucky in the fact that I have never done anything extreme – like permanently changing my body to try and suit how I feel (Although, I STRONGLY miss the highly fit lifestyle I used to have). But for me, I’m not sure what it is that made me feel at different times that I wish I were female.
I have mentioned the times I have dressed in women’s clothing. I won’t lie either, but a few of those times I really felt good about myself. I felt comforted, if you wanna say that. I may or may not have mentioned the times I played with what is traditionally assumed to be girls’ toys too. Apparently I really enjoyed playing with my cousin’s Barbie dolls. I was also the kind of kid that was truly aligned to be in touch with my emotional side – another assumed feminine trait (although, totally not assumed to be the case now). And, having spent the first few formative years of my life with my mom, aunts, grandmother and cousin (who is female), I truly believe I was destined to have some feminine traits and characteristics. Certainly, there were times in my life where I Felt right about this and then there were times I felt absolutely wrong about it. And it reintroduces the conversation of nature versus nurture that I posted about earlier.
Mentioning the crossdressing, however, has caused me to remember the times I have done that. In my last blog, for example, I had posted a picture of me wearing a long skirt, blouse, and heels (of course, what people didn’t know is that I was also wearing some black lace panties too). I received nothing but comments of praise. It truly made me feel good. I also remember a couple of times my ex-girlfriend had dressed me in her clothes. Of course then, it was playful and I felt kinda nervous about anyone actually seeing me like that. She playfully called me pretty and gorgeous and things very similar to that. It was an enhancing feeling to the times I had wished I were female. And, of course, as a kid, when my cousin and I would play dress-up and I would put on her dresses and girls’ shoes, it had a feeling of making some sense to me – almost like that was how it was supposed to be. There were a couple of other times I dressed in women’s clothing too, just to feel feminine, but there exists no evidence that I did that.
Now, I’m going to say something that is not popular in the mainstream nowadays: I’m a guy. And, being able to dress in a girly way or feminine way when I was younger, began to become painfully obvious that I couldn’t as puberty hit and I began getting older. Of course, when my mom married a man (who I call dad, although he’s not biologically my dad), I began getting a lot more masculine influence too. One would think that at 6 years old, I would have had a lifetime to adapt to that kind of influence. Truthfully, I have very little negative connotation to being manly or masculine; but the times I felt like expressing myself in a feminine way, I did it privately or in secret, of course. I guess, in some way I knew I was not hurting anyone, but I also knew that I was a male and I was becoming a man. I have nothing but masculine attributes – broad shoulders, hair everywhere, squarely defined jaw, a deep and resonating voice, an Adam’s apple and male-pattern baldness. And, I also began embracing some masculine behaviors (positive ones, mind you. My mom and dad actually raised me to be a gentleman) that are traditionally attributed to men. I don’t need to go into a lot of detail here, but rest assured it would be a HUGE jump for me to come across in anyway to others as female. So, I simply do not crossdress anymore (although, I have put on panties from time to time, it has essentially stopped at this point in my life).
I guess, the main reason I am pointing this out on this BMJ entry, is because I can see at different times in my life, that I tried to be something I was not. I felt I should have been something different than who I am. And in this respect, it is easy to see how horribly I felt about myself. I had a tough time with my self-esteem growing up, there is no doubt about that. And truthfully, discussing this right now I can’t tell if I’m repulsed by myself and want to run and hide for the entirety of my life, or if I am deceptive to myself and not really being who I am as a man, or if I simply do not know what life should be about. Granted, I know most of what I said here gives a certain impression, but the reality is that I have experienced this a lot less than you might imagine.
I know I’m male. You can probably imagine that I have wondered if any of this is related to my sexuality. I have no confusion about my gender, however, I believe science dictates our biology and I also know that it’s society that dictates/approves behaviors and expressions. And I can relate it to the woman mentioned above that gave herself an idea of what beauty should be, because I also felt ugly when I tried to dress as a woman. But for me, the difference is the fact that I am not a woman. And by doing something like that, I began to feel like it was futile and stupid.
Do I feel good about myself?
That’s a tough question, but I do know I’m not ignoring how I feel and I know I’m not avoiding the problems in my life either. I am addressing them and I am working on reminding myself that I have value, I deserve to love myself and I feel like I will be where I need to be when it comes to self-esteem, beauty perception, body image and everything that goes into feeling self-validated, confident and positive.