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Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

Last week on the crossdressers forum we got to talking about the tricky business of developing a convincing feminine voice. I have a few tips (which you’ll find elsewhere on this blog), as do others. You can even buy an expensive course or hire a personal consultant if you like. But without spending a nickel, you can pick up some good tips.

Still, reading tips and practicing while you drive around in your car with the windows rolled up is one thing. Gauging how well you’re doing with the tips and how convincing your voice sounds is another kettle of kippers entirely.

Someone suggested it would be nice if we could upload mp3s so we could let others hear how we sound and give us feedback, and also so we could hear how others sound and get an idea of how much progress we’ve made (or not).

That’s the idea behind the all-new Voice Project! To learn more, just click on the tab at the top of this window.

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Do I Look Okay?

Today one of the newer members of the crossdressers.com forum (a terrific, safe, free forum, by the way) posted a longish essay about going out in public — how to do it well and how to do it badly. I asked her permission to reprint it here, and she graciously said yes. Thanks, Starla!

Here it is, with only a few minor tweaks here and there (hey, I’m a writer, I can’t help myself):

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Though I have not been dressing for many years, I spent a lot of time in public as Starla back in what I like to refer to as my “Pink Period” (about 120 years ago, or so it seems). I hope some of you will find these thoughts of value, especially if you are making your first fledgling steps into public. Whatever you’re considering doing, I’ve been there, and speak from experience. Hopefully, this treatise won’t be TOO long, boring, disjointed, or self-contradictory. (You be the judge…)

Number one rule: be safe. When considering an outing, ask yourself, “Would a genetic female do this?” If the answer is “no,” don’t. I’ve seen many YouTube videos of crossdressers skulking around deserted parking garages, walking past closed shops on a lifeless street at night, etc. – yikes! Why not just wear a neon sign that says, “Victim Available Here?” Use your head. Believe it or not, you will pass better (and be much safer) in a crowded, well-lit, busy environment than anywhere else. This is a lesson most novice girls need to learn when venturing outside the privacy of their home or hotel room — crowds are cover. The more people and bustle and activity and noise going on around you, the more you become just a tiny speck in the overall tableau of society. If you’re just one of the varied multitudes, you are far less likely to be an object of attention and scrutiny (or violence) than you would be in a quiet, dark, isolated setting. The first time I went into public fully dressed, it was to a huge, crowded shopping mall at the height of the annual Christmas shopping madness. People were focused on finding bargains, not on systematically dissecting the perceived gender of that kind of tall, chunky woman-looking-thing with the big hands.

For your first few forays into public, you might benefit by being accompanied by an escort. Having someone with you for support will help calm your nerves. It also helps convey the image and minimizes attention. If you are with someone who is talking to you and relating to you as a female, (more…)

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Wax Lips

When I was a kid, you could buy these red, shiny wax lips in a dimestore. Mostly for Halloween, I guess, but maybe they were in stock all year around. I’m sure I tried wearing them a few times. Hadn’t thought about that in many years.

Watching random transgender-related videos on YouTube, I’m struck by how many MTFs (using that term loosely, to mean just about anybody who was assigned male at birth but is now presenting as female) are so fixated on the big red maxi-lipstick thing. I don’t understand it at all. I mean, lipstick, yes, certainly. Don’t leave home without it! But when it’s a deep, deep red and applied so liberally that it splooshes and squooshes out over your natural lip contour onto the surrounding skin — girl, get a grip. Better still, get some tissue paper and clean it off.

Lip liner is another offender. I’ve tried it, I think I may even own some, but it always seems to draw too much attention to itself. Like, “Look at my great big luscious lips!” Thanks, I’d rather not.

One problem with the big lips, and this is a fashion tip, is that if you have a large head (as many of us do), you don’t want to do anything oversized on your face. If anything, you want your face to look smaller. The other thing is, if you stroll down the street, or through the mall, you can go for days without seeing a single woman who is wearing that much lipstick. Even at a club, most women hold back. They know they’re sexy enough already. They don’t have to wave a flag.

But then, I’ve never been into drag. I’ve never owned a feather boa, never strutted down a runway. I wouldn’t actually mind owning (more…)

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Glue & Glop

I’ve been away from cross-dressing for a shockingly long time. Not only are my makeup skills rusty, but I have a lot more … ah, facial details to compensate for now than I did 25 years ago. So I’m taking some time to practice and experiment. This is less about developing a Look than it is about avoiding gross and garish mistakes.

I always hated having glop on my chin. So I had electrolysis. In the intervening years, it gradually became apparent that the electrologist I employed didn’t do a very good job. Quite a lot of chin hair has grown back, so I have to use the glop again.

It doesn’t just look awful, it feels awful too. My face can’t breathe!

I think I can improve the look a little if I get exactly the right color of foundation, but that may be a problem too, as my natural complexion is (more…)

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Been wishing you could squeeze into that little black dress? If so, read on.

A couple of years ago I had slid up past 190 — not obese on a 5’10” frame, but definitely chunky, not petite. I put myself on a diet and dropped to 170. Lately the numbers on the scale have started to creep up again. Also, I have an extra incentive now, so I’m going back on the diet, aiming straight at 160 this time. I can tell you in two words how to lose weight. And unlike a fancy celebrity diet, this method is guaranteed to work.

Eat less.

The only way you’re ever going to lose a single pound is if you’re taking in fewer nutrients than your body needs. Your body has been storing up soft, jiggly layers of extra nutrition in case of an emergency. Now you need to get your metabolism to start using up some of the lard in the larder.

This is so simple and obvious that it’s shocking that anybody could ever make a nickel marketing diet plans. The reason diet plans sell, I’m pretty sure, is because people have (more…)

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Okay, ladies, tonight I started studying the flairs and foibles of fashion. Yes, on the Internet — I hope you don’t have a problem with that! (I sort of do, but it’s late, the stores are all closed.) I’m gathering some good, helpful tips, especially ideas for us older gals. I’ll post those in a few days.

In the meantime … why settle for a nice romantic comedy when you can watch explosions and flying body parts? Readers crave fresh meat, and I aim to please. While prowling around, I paused to study a bunch of posed photos t-girls have taken of themselves and uploaded to crossdressers.com (great site, by the way!). None of these observations was made by barging into anyone’s home and criticizing what they do in private — it’s all right out there for the world to see.

A few details have been changed to protect the innocent — or the guilty. Here’s a laundry list of how not, repeat not, to impress anyone as a t-girl:

  • Eyebrows too heavy, inadequately covered (covering never seems to work) and inadequately shaped.
  • Shiny foundation, with perspiration showing through — powder emergency!
  • Chalky white foundation — especially dangerous with the red, red lips.
  • Too much blush — clown cheeks.
  • Too much lip liner. Any visible lip liner at all, actually.
  • Wig poorly chosen (usually way too glamorous) or poorly styled.
  • Wig sticking out from head.
  • Man’s glasses. Get the glasses, girl, or get contacts. Even bumping into the furniture would be an improvement.
  • Poorly fitting outfits (usually too tight and bunchy).
  • Tight top emphasizing broad shoulders and deep chest.
  • Failure to accessorize.
  • Hey, this is the only necklace I own! Cut me some slack! I stole it from Aunt Gladys’s bureau when I was 13, and I think it’s just gorgeous!
  • Heavy stockings. (Wonder why.)
  • Wrong shoes for the outfit — color clash or style collision.
  • Visible beard shadow.
  • Failure to minimize disastrous features (a big nose, for instance) by having the rest of your look so together that we’ll give you a pass on the nose.
  • Black leather boots with a wide black belt, thus emphasizing the wide male torso and heavy bones. The boots by themselves are maybe okay, if the rest of the outfit says “petite.”
  • Showing too much skin around neckline and upper arms — worst on older women, but the male golfing tan from the elbows down is a no-no even if you’re 20-something.
  • Looking embarrassed.
  • Looking scared.
  • Looking defiant, crazy, or lost.
  • Shoulders hunched forward.
  • Trying to look like a hooker, but without either the raw material or the fashion skills to pull it off.

If you’re not guilty of any of these faux pas, congratulations! You can go anywhere and everyone will be happy to see you. Look, I know shopping is tricky. But if you’re going to do it, do yourself a favor, girl! Get into it, have some fun, and do it right.

As Lady Astor is supposed to have said, “I don’t mind what people do, as long as they don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses.” (Runaway horses were a real danger in cities in the 19th century.) Let’s all try not to frighten the horses, shall we?

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What’s the key to an internal transformation from male to female? For me, it’s my voice. I like wearing the cute shoes and the frilly undergarments, don’t get me wrong … but all the paraphernalia in Frederick’s won’t help me feel feminine if I’m talking like a truck driver. And conversely. If I’m using a feminine voice, it hardly matters what I’m wearing. I feel feminine.

It took me years to work this out. Fortunately, I have some small skill as a vocal mimic. I can do a few different accents, and sometimes slip into them when not even thinking about it, just based on what I’m saying. Even so, developing a feminine voice was not quite as easy as putting on lip gloss.

First, what it’s not: It’s not about pitch. Or at least, not very much. Women’s voices are a little higher than men’s, but the pitch range overlaps. I’ve seen videos of MtF gals whose feminine voice was completely convincing even though it was clearly in the same pitch range it had always been.

Pitch inflection is another matter. Men tend to talk (more…)

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