Monday, July 31, 2006

Celebrities , Body Image and Acceptance: The Effect On The Transsexual

Guest Column by Elizabeth

What is it with transsexuals and their obsession with outing celebrities as closet transsexuals? I understand that some girls really want to be feminine and perfect. They want to be admired, passable, unclockable and unspooky. Some feel they may not be so flawless or that they are too close to being boyish or mannish.

Of course when transsexuals are obsessed with their looks and less concerned about actually living the role of women I think more than gender dysphoria is involved and they suffer from some form of body dysphoria. People who are just unhappy with their bodies like Michael Jackson and well, Amanda Lepore (a NY transwoman). She's had hundreds of cosmetic procedures and plastic surgeries performed on herself.

Do girls need role models, though? Everyone is lacking in some feature or characteristic when compared to another. It seems as though the typical teenage girl has to idolize someone, be that Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Paris Hilton, Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Lopez or Madonna.

Many of these celebrities are in fact talented, attractive and feminine but does it go beyond admiration sometimes when folks want to be like them? Of course it seems transsexuals take the admiration to the extreme sometimes. Amanda Lepore wanting to look like cartoon character Jessica Rabbit. A show on MTV called I Want A Famous Face recently featured a transsexual girl who wanted to look like Jennifer Lopez.

I think it's quite sad when genetic or transexual girls look up to these celebrities and think that celebrities have the perfect body when that is not the case. The photos that appear on the CD covers and magazines from celebrity photo shoots are often Photoshopped and manipulated. Obviously there are people in the media and entertainment industry that don't think certain celebrities meet those perfect standards. For example, seems someone thinks Serena Williams is too manly/muscular and Beyonce's boobs are never big enough.

Just check out the portfolio of Glen Feron sometimes. He's an artist hired to Photoshop and retouch photos of celebrities for magazines and CD covers. He smoothes over their faces, gives them flawless complexions, exaggerates makeup, narrows the waists of women and gives them plumper and fuller breasts and butts.

Transsexuals and Their Obsession With Celebrities

I've seen other transsexual girls ask each other, "Is so and so a transsexual?" "Look at her forehead and those man hands." It just seems like there is some grand witch hunt to out and expose these celebrities. Maybe it's just that trans girls would feel better knowing that there is someone out there in the world who is transgendered, has made it and has gained acceptance. Highly doubtful that any of them are indeed transexuals.

I feel that sometimes transsexual sisters idolize these girls and celebrities but do nothing to really be anything like them. Being transsexual has stopped some girls from modeling, acting or singing such as Harisu, Jordana LeSesne, Dana International, Roberta Close, Caroline 'Tula' Cossey, Claudia Charriez or Gia Darling.

Of course my feelings on the subject are if they aren't out or admit to being one in the first place then why do I want them to be labeled as a transsexual icon?

Much like gay black men and their obsession to label people like Malcolm X, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis and Luther Vandross as gay. They never admitted to it in their life publicly or otherwise and there is no hard evidence to support such labels. Seems like part of the "gay agenda".

What gay black people are doing is proclaimimg someone to be their black gay messiah whenever it seems most convenient. I know they seek greater acceptance and recognition in the larger white GLBT community but really, why not admire someone who actually lived and identities with the life? Why settle for anything less than the real thing? Transexuals must stop and not do the same thing. We won't find wide acceptance this way.

Ciara Harris, That Whole Transsexual Mess and Why She Is My New Flawless Role Model!

Sometime in 2004 rumors began circulating that R&B singer Ciara was a transsexual and that she even admitted so on Oprah. Only problem is that she has never appeared on Oprah, so the rumor is bogus. Ciara denied this and the controversy has sorta gone away and died down.

I have to admit that during the height of those rumors some people commented that she looked quite mannish in one of her videos. I certainly do believe that she possesses features that would leave some room for doubt. No one can be 100% perfect though I'm sure she is 100% female. I mean it's not as if I want to diminish any part of her femininity. I look at her now and think, 'Wow, she does have some broad shoulders and a bit of a square chin.' It's a 'things that make you go hmm' kind of moment.

I have broad shoulders. I look at more it more like, well if Ciara looks like she does and is accepted as being beautiful, sexy and desirable by Black men and society at large then why can't I be accepted as female with my features?

Maybe I should stop feeling so bad about myself for having broad shoulders.

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