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Beauty Is In The Eye of the Beholder

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By Cristy Garcia

What is beauty? We could spend years trying to provide and objective and universal definition and will keep on failing because beauty is subjective. The standards of beauty vary from age to age, culture to culture and person to person. We talk about physical (exterior) beauty and inner beauty when referring to a person, but we must be aware that what is beautiful for some might not be for others. Granted that there are some standards from which we can try to measure beauty, we will never be able to find universal beauty in our material world.

In the online communities that we have built in all social networks, “beautiful” is an adjective that is commonly used and those who are considered beautiful take pride while those who think they are not are always pointing that out to others with some kind of shame. Does it really matter if I am beautiful or not? If it does matter, by which standards should we measure it?

As men trying to present as women, we are not pleased to look like a woman and pass for a woman. We want to look like and pass for, a beautiful woman! Once again, talking as a heterosexual CD, what is what I need? Do I need to wear women’s clothes, play the role of a woman and be perceived as one or is it all about being beautiful as a woman? As I have matured in my life and having cross-dressed since I have memory, beauty is not how I look but how I feel when I am Cristy. Beauty is enjoying the few opportunities I get to be her and even more beautiful if I can go places. As my dear friend, Nora Simone, pointed out to me recently, beauty is giving and caring about others and making others feel good about themselves.

Over the years I have gotten countless comments, on my photos, mentioning that I am beautiful or saying something like “I wish I looked as beautiful as you”. Even though I welcome such comments, the ones that I treasure the most are those who let me know if have been inspiring or helpful while sharing my feminine side and thoughts with likeminded people. I’d rather inspire with words and advice than with looks, sense of fashion or tricks of the trade. I’d rather motivate people to find beauty inside of them because when they do it will automatically reflect on the outside. Beauty comes from inner peace and when we are happy and at ease, we are the most beautiful we can be.

What I am trying to say is that we must put all our effort in feeling beautiful for ourselves and not looking beautiful to others. Stop worrying about what the other girls will say and focus on how you feel. If you ask me, I would rather be perceived as a very average looking woman who is happy in her own skin than as a gorgeous woman who is wearing so much padding, constraints and makeup that make me feel so uncomfortable that it reflects in my carefully made up face.

I never felt more liberated than when I decided to tone down my makeup and wear loose A-line dresses that do not require me to put on corsets or padding. At the same time, I never felt more naturally feminine! Maybe I do not look beautiful, but I certainly feel beautiful.

Do you dress to feel beautiful or to be beautiful?



12 Responses

  1. Cristy, nice thought provoking post.

    I’ll start with a thank you. When I first ventured onto places like Flickr & YouTube in the early 2010s, you were one of the first people I came across. Of course you always looked fabulous but what I found far more profound was the realisation that it was possible for a genetic guy to live the feminine dream and not just look like the proverbial ‘bloke in a dress’. I’ve come a long way since those early days but will be forever grateful to you and others like you for inspiring me when I needed it most.

    And so to your question. I reckon that my ‘she-time’ amounts to around 2-3% of my life so when I do indulge this side of myself, I want to reap as many rewards as possible, both from soaking up the sensations and liking what I see when I look in the mirror. As a heterosexual male, it’s almost inevitable that I’ll strive for attractiveness in how I present because I use women I perceive as attractive as my yardstick. But you asked about feeling/being ‘beautiful’ and, in the physical sense, I’m realistic on what’s achievable on a 63 year old male! In the more spiritual sense, I feel a strong responsibility to live up to the expectations of others and I hope that what I write here, both in sharing my own experiences and in attempting to show compassion to those like me fits the bill. That certainly makes me feel good but whether there’s beauty in that, and in particular whether doing that gives me the right to feel beautiful, is up to others to judge, not me!!!

    1. Thanks for your comments, Amanda! We all have the right to feel beautiful and should not mind what others think. Being decent, respectful and considerate with others makes us more beautiful than any physical attributes 🙂

  2. As always, your post is very thought provoking. My goal now is to dress to blend in and just be another woman. While I absolutely love my dresses and heels, they are now an infrequent thing for me. As I integrate more and more of my femineity into my everyday life, its more sundresses and leggings with a sweatshirt for me. I just want to get out in the world and go about my everyday business authentically.


    1. If that makes you happy, Lauren, then that is the way to go. I am with you in that regard 🙂

  3. Cristy,
    Beauty is such a subjective term how do we truly describe it . At first we try and go all out to transtion into something truly ( or hopefully ) beautiful , almost engineered , perfect makeup , outfits that are too beautiful for words but what does that really make us ? Age for most of us is against us , the majority wouldn’t qualify as catwalk models , so using ” beautiful ” has to encompass something far more . In fact it’s not a word I often use , beauty is only skin deep , a human is made up of many qualities , I tend to use ” attractive ” more as it suggest a person with visible and hidden qualities , someone you would be happy to spend time with and enjoy their company .

    I know I’m lucky in having a figure which easliy works as Teresa so I’ve never resorted to padding ( other than small additions in my bra ) , OK I could dress sexy if I chose but my goal has always been to integrate , so dressing appropriately is most important . With that I gain a much higher level of acceptance , if people choose to see me as beautiful, glamourous , attractive , whatever that’s up to them , I feel good just being Teresa .

    1. Then again, Teresa, if we agree in that beauty is subjective, as long as we think or feel we are beautiful then we are in our eyes and mind.

  4. Cristy, very well said. For me, and probably many of us, when I dress it is comforting, if not joyful to see the manifestation of my “other” side. Yes, there are times when I want to be the glam queen and rock the beautiful dress with amazing makeup and stiletto heels, with padding added in all the right places to give me those feminine curves. But more and more, I am happy happy to pull on some mom jeans, a cute top, comfy shoes a casual wig and minimal makeup to go out shopping or a casual meal. It actually feels more “me” to be casually dressed with no padding or shapewear just blending in with the other women at the store. We all find our beauty in our own way.

    1. Being at ease with ourselves and our presentation is what we should all seek. Feel good in our won skin and not try to impress anyone. Easier said than done in a material and superficial world like ours.

  5. Hi Cristy,

    A while back I ran across this comment from Nora – “So, I’m simply saying that its possible to make yourself beautiful by being who you are…..deep down inside. If you feel beautiful, it will show.” – that I thought was very insightful. I have experienced this in my own development as a trans woman and have seen it in other trans ladies who are accepting of and deeply comfortable with who they really are. It manifests itself as sort of an aura that makes the person seem beautiful, not necessarily in a beauty pageant sense but more as you describe it as someone with a deep sense of inner peace. When I am out and about doing my everyday errands in addition to my wig, I usually wear just my breast forms and lipstick and I always feel very feminine.

    What you and Nora have said is certainly true – concentrate on yourself and good things will naturally follow.

    1. I also read that phrase by Nora and made absolute sense to me, Fiona! She expressed in a few words what took me paragraphs! Thank yo for mentioning it here. We both agree!

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