Day 15: Image
A few posts back I spoke about how instrumental YouTube was during the beginning part of my transition (DAY 5: VIRAL). There was so much information at my finger tips and so many people like me sharing their stories. One thing that I was constantly watching were transition timelines.
Transition timelines are pretty much a video in which the person curates a series of photos over time, showing how they have transformed over that period. You can check out some of these below.
(Gigi’s so extra, I love her!)
I’m talking about this today because I used to be obsessed with watching them, with how these people were becoming themselves. It was amazing! I watched them all!
Watching someone, a real person, go through a transformation and come out on the other side feeling more like themselves was incredibly inspiring and aspirational. They gave me courage to start a very difficult process.
But watching so many of those videos and putting those transformations as goals quickly became unhealthy and destructive. Despite knowing better about body image and self-esteem because I had experience so many of those issues throughout my life, I still found myself comparing my body, my sense of what is beautiful, to these strangers on the internet, to these arbitrary cisgender standards of beauty.
That said, I’m not trying to bash anyone for putting up videos of their transformation. Those stories are so so important to young trans people who may be struggling with believing in themselves or taking that first step, just like I was. It was just that I had started developing unreasonable expectations of myself and how I was going to look and how beautiful I would become and how great I would feel about my body.
(cue all the self-image and body issues)
It’s taken me a while, but I’ve come to accept and be okay with the way I look. Not that I’m in love with it, but that’s okay. We’re so often given this generic “love your body just the way it is” advice, forgetting sometimes that building a sense of self-worth and self-confidence are complex and often difficult processes.
Sometimes I hate the way I look. Sometimes I feel like my tummy looks gross, or I’m embarrassed about the size of my feet, or that my tits are too small, or that my facial hair makes me look like a man, or that everything makes me look fat.
And feeling that way is okay.
It’s okay to not always be body positive and kumbaya about everything. So much of my anxiety is there because I’ve been taught that feeling the bad feelings is wrong (cue all the self-doubt).
Between feeling bleh about myself, there are also many days when I’m confident as hell and the boots are just working and my makeup’s on fleek and I feel amazing and screw your beauty standards. Just slay!
Understanding my own beauty and my own power was so important in learning to accept myself. And I think we need more of that in the world.
I still have moments of doubt and insecurity. But that’s also okay.
And that’s a good thing.