Whenever I mentor a hesitant t-girl, I assure her that I was the ugliest male-looking person known to exist, and if I could improve to where I can feel decent about myself and how I look, then anyone can.
It’s sort of like if someone rebuilds a car that had caught fire and rolled down a steep cliff-side and fell into the ocean. If a car can recover from that, then restoring the average car is not as hopeless a task.
Due to how I feel about how I looked, I avoid pictures of me from before I transitioned. Not that looks are everything, or even the main thing, but even so … ew. I didn’t like my body nor how I looked, and the two aspects fed on each others’ negativity and made a downward spiral that ended up with me feeling very glum and failing to find the motivation to get and stay healthy even though my health was rapidly failing. My blood cholesterol levels were bad news and my weight was increasing steadily. If I hadn’t decided to live as the girl I am, I’m sure I’d have been dead by now from a heart attack, and I wouldn’t have even have made a pretty corpse. Seriously.
I avoided picture-taking. Of course, I delighted in taking pictures of others, and (with her kind permission, of course) I’d enjoy taking a great many pictures of whoever was my romantic love interest at the time. Pictures of me? No thank you. On average I think I had less than a dozen pictures taken of me, per year — ideally, less yet. That’s good because pictures of me, from way back when, are not the sort of thing that I delight in seeing all over the place.
At a soul-deep level, the happiest I was was when a lovely and wonderful lady would mentor me as to how to start living as the girl I am. One such miracle worker bought me a nice blonde wig that greatly transformed how I looked and felt about myself. Underneath the wig, my hair was short and unhealthy and styled as if I’d been in a lawnmower accident. But with the wig on, I felt … pretty, which was a total first for me. Really what I felt was “female” for the first time, and feeling pretty just flows from that.
Above is a picture of me in that magical wig, taken in March of 2011. Yes, I know, the rest of the picture isn’t inspiring but wow was I happy.
And suddenly, I thought of the pictures I took yesterday. Yes, I do have my hair lightened and styled. But it’s my own darn hair now, and doesn’t it look very similar to “ultimate fantasy” hair that was an unattainable, temporary dream four and half years ago?