Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jacob's Nightmare ... Ashleigh's Dream Come True!

Well, I've only got one suggestion for tags so I'll wait that out a bit, and just start tagging the news posts.

I made the above caption for Ashleigh, who is a relative newcomer to the Haven. I had saved an extra hair rollers picture from when I was making Shauna's, and I wanted to do something with it. The pose leads itself to a steady and subtle change .. a slow burn so to speak. Most of my captions are "real time" so its nice to do an overall arc, hitting on some things in their preferences that make them smile. Since she's new, I didn't have too much to go on, so its a basic caption, but I like it when changes happen, and its an issue, but then it fades. ("Ummm Jake, you realize you have long red fingernails right?" "Omigod, yah!" *goes back to reading his maxim magazine, then 20 minutes later* "Hahaha, look at the guy reading a romance novel with his long nails!" *Jake looks up and blushes, embarrassed, then get engrossed in the novel again*)

This caption pretty much highlights how femininity has changed over the years, and how in one way, the TG community has failed to follow along. We used to have many things that we can concentrate on when it comes to female accoutrement. The above hair rollers or hair salons, hosiery and heels, lots of foundation garments, and makeup being some of the things that seem feminine. Nowadays, those things don't seem nearly as prevalent in a woman's life. Bare tanned  legs are in vogue, makeup that doesn't LOOK like makeup sells well, and I don't think any women under the age of 30 even owns a slip. Curly hair is only done with a curling iron, and most women now are using hair straighteners.

Not only have men become more metrosexual, women have become much more comfortable in how they look. Lots of what used to define women, have now become more of a fetish idea or kink. Fishnets (and back seamed stockings) are naughty wear, and makeup, hose and heels are "I'm going to slut it up tonight!" Most women have a few pairs of lingerie for seduction or to feel sexy, but would even forego nightgowns for over-sized T-shirts.

I think it started back in the 90's when grunge was in fashion. Women figured out that they could be comfortable and still be women. Also, more women were actually gaining power in the workplace, and dress codes lessened as time went on. I mean, I can get away with outfits I never would've gotten away with 10 years ago even, and I've seen women wearing FLIP-FLOPS in an office setting, which probably would have gotten her fired back in 1995.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: What defines a woman as feminine and girly now as far as how she appears and acts in public? Where do you think it will go from here? Back to the way it was, or even more of a homogeneously genderless existence for both male and female?


  1. I think the things that define women as 'feminine' or 'girly' are still the same. But our society doesn't seem to enforce them on women to feel appropriate any more. I know of a woman (she is a friend of a friend) who is in the marines. She is buff, has short cropped hair, rarely wears makeup, and still is accepted as a woman. Her general body shape, her breasts and her face all all that really call out 'woman'. She is very masculine in both her dress and demeanor.

    The same goes for men and their masculinity. I work with a guy that has longer hair, is always talking about cooking and soap operas, and keeps his nails meticulously clean and buffed. Years ago people would have associated him as 'girly' or even gay.. but now a days he is just another guy.

    I think that in the future, we'll see a shift back women more openly embracing their femininity and men more openly embracing their masculinity. Its all a cycle.

  2. Great question Dee,
    I personally don’t think clothing has much to do with a woman’s femininity. It’s more in the way she carries herself. Styles and fashion constantly shift but femininity doesn’t. Even the type of woman that is considered attractive has changed many times. In my lifetime we’ve gone from buxom to waifish to skinny implantees and hopefully back to something slightly more natural. These are all just trends and have nothing to do with who a woman actually is. How many vapid vacant beauties have you met? On the other hand we all know that one girl who is so downright masculine that it’s hard to think of her as a woman but we also may know a girl who can fit in and be one of the guys while still holding her allure. It has nothing to do with her size or weight but about being comfortable with who she is. I work as a sculptor and believe me when I tell you that I’ve seen girls in welding hoods that are more strikingly beautiful than any woman dressed in a ball gown. It’s the same with makeup. Sure it may be fun to see her get all dolled up once in a while but isn’t it also refreshing to look at a girl and see beyond her minor imperfections? When I think back about some of the best times I’ve had with the women in my life, they weren’t wearing fancy dresses or extravagant jewelry. They were more likely wearing jeans and a tee shirt but that doesn’t mean I saw them as any less beautiful. So I guess what I’m saying is that I have no problem with homogeneous styles of clothing and I don’t believe they’ll ever lead to a genderless existence. No matter how you dress us up one fact remains constant: Boys got outties and girls got innies. Our roles may change but the core of sexuality will remain basically the same. Besides who among us wouldn’t enjoy having women taking over for a while?

    I may be in the minority here but even in my own fantasies I prefer to think of myself as a simple girl in a sundress or tee shirt and shorts with maybe a pair of dangly earrings and nothing else. (insert panty joke here) I’m not saying that I think of myself as pure and chaste…what fun is that? Seriously though, I’m sort of a free spirit and I think the trappings of elaborate costumes would just weigh me down. Yeah okay, I do have dress up fantasies but they mostly have to do with pleasing someone else. As far as the TG community goes, it makes sense that we’re behind the times. We all struggle with gender issues and need to cover as much of our maleness as possible, so things like stockings, frilly dresses and coiffed hair are important parts of the fantasy. A Lady Gaga tee shirt, tight jeans and a pair of chucks just isn’t gonna do the trick. Not to get all Freudian here but I’m guessing that most of us developed these yearnings in early childhood so the women we identify with are at least a generation behind us. Many of us still remember the mysteries of the beauty salon or the racks of dresses we hid behind in the department store. They have become archetypes in our understanding of femininity.

    Ouch, I think I just hurt my brains. I wanted to say more but I think I need to lie down for a bit. I hope some of what I said makes sense. I look forward to everyone’s thoughts.

  3. @ Caitlyn

    I understand that, and sort of made mention that it looked to be heading that way.

    Another facet of what I was referring to is something that is inherently "girls only" or "boys only" and that is rapidly shrinking.

    I mean, I know of women that attend "smokers" and day spa's offering package deals for pampering spouses. Friends that have gotten married have combined the hen party and bachelors into one trip to a casino for a show and gambling.

    I am still wondering if there is anything that is still really "boy" or "girl".

  4. @ Steffie

    Wow, I didn't see your post when I was commenting on Caitlyn's.

    You pretty much hit the hammer right on the head of the nail, and probably said what I was saying better than I did, though I was hoping that people would touch on some of the subject matter that you brought up.

    I do think we definitely are behind the times, both from your Freudian standpoint, but also the world and how quickly it changes now. Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga are already burned out in pop culture, and Bieber's been around LITERALLY 15 minutes. We are constantly chewing up our own lives and regurgitating things 24/7/365. I pity those trying to make sense of this era even 20-30 years from today. Everything I can recall from the last year seems utter disposable, and not worthy of what is left of my memory.

  5. I think you hit it on head when you said the TG themes have not moved along with the modern ideas of femininity. Women are finding new ways to define femininity. The struggle with women has been one for equality and recognition and the results is that roles of women have changed and women themselves have cast off the classic images of femininity.

    Those traditional roles of women are those that some crossdreamers seem to strive for. The themes of submission and casting off the tropes of traditional male roles is a need for escape for many who love TG. I think it will be something that continues to be prevalent in TG. Only way that changes is if modern roles/views of women are accepted as well.

  6. I suppose it's the stereotypes of women that we dream of, housewives or slutty hookers. I guess a working career woman who dresses in suits isn't in line with that fantasy. Then again modern ideas like a MILF or a cougar have slipped in.

    I'm also with Steffie, if I was a girl I would dress fairly normally but it would be good to have the option of putting on a skirt or a dress. Even though metrosexual men have come along and women wear more masculine clothes, men are still thought of as too tough to wear feminine clothes.

  7. I think these days, for full-time women whether genetic or living-as, the only thing feminine that still remains throughout is a certain attitude.

    Most women, regardless of the feminine accoutrement they don't make use of, still retain a certain way of moving, an inherent feminine gracefulness that never leaves and that men have an incredibly difficult time either matching or emulating.

    I would say that that is the only thing always feminine in a world where women can and do have the same jobs and hobbies and men, women can and do often have the same morning rituals as men, and even women's and men's clothing is increasingly unisex.

    Though, I think a lot of the classic "feminine" objects of the world are still kept alive by us, sissies, cross dressers, fetishists, and the various forms of T-people, not to mention hipsters, who for all their annoyingness do do a lot to preserve things that otherwise would fall by the wayside.

    So, while women continue to evolve and change socially, the things that they cast off, such as big curlers (so cute!), stockings and garters, cat's eye glasses, high-high heels, super-frilly feminine undergarments, and so many other wonderful things, are still preserved for the future to enjoy.

    And, I think that's where the world is going, towards a greater level of individualism.

    In 10 more years, as we look around, we'll see an unbelievable mixture of people wearing whatever pleases them.

    We'll see people in unisex clothing, and looking like they've just come off the beach, and looking like they walked straight out of the 50's, all on the same streets, in the same offices, sharing the same spaces.