As a Transformation Specialist, I often get emails and phone calls about giving someone a makeover or transformation. The one question that is common amongst everyone is, can I make them or will they “pass”. Passing is one of those trigger words in the Transgender community. Some people see it as their goal while others find the concept of Passing or being Cis Normative demeaning and offensive. So, while I understand and respect those who choose not to pursue a Passing or Cis Normative look, many in the Transgender community do.
Now, I can do a very nice makeover and can truly transform a girl, but the ability to “pass” is so much more than a pretty face, hair and dress.
I think “Passing” in public adds up like this:
– 10% is what your wear, your outward appearance – makeup, hair and clothing. Most girls do fine here, the largest issues here are being age or situationally appropriate. Example – wearing an evening cocktail dress at 10:00am on a Monday to the Mall.
– 10% is how you wear it, carry yourself or overall deportment. This is the sitting, walking, talking etc. Most girls try really hard here as well. They try and learn to walk in heel, sit like a lady etc. However, they don’t often pay attention to the finer details, eating drinking, and overall body movement. But, these are quickly taught and are easy to work on. The other issue that comes up is girls who go way over the top being to feminine – it’s a big red flag – you’re trying so hard it’s obvious you’re not real. Remember, rarely are women a Barbie or a Porn Starlet.
– The largest factor to passing, 80% is confidence. If you feel confident, you know you look good. Confident people don’t let others bring them down, they don’t pay attention to the whispering, and they assume those whispering are just jealous. Confident people don’t worry about people looking, they want people to look because they look and feel good. So who cares if someone does look? Confidence can also make up for small little miscues in the other two areas.
A big part of confidence is self-talk, and positive self-talk can be priceless. The key with self-talk is remembering that everyone else around you is having an internal conversation with themselves. So, while you’re worried if you’re “passing”, those around you are worried you’ll see the stain on their shirt, pimple on their nose or whatever other kind of babbling is going on between their ears.
Here’s an exercise for you – Head to the mall someday, dressed any way you like. Now, see how many people make eye contact with you? How many people are even paying attention to the other people around them? Once you’ve left, how many people you can remember actually looking directly toward you? Most likely, not more than 5, and you were paying attention! How many would you have remembered if you were not paying attention, and listening to the conversation in your head?
Now you can see why I believe confidence is 80% of the game because positive self-talk will take you much further than a red lipstick – although, I do love a good red on my lips.
What’s your key to feeling confident when you’re out? I would love to hear from you.