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The Devil's in the detail

This article was written by Christine Parker (#704)

I recently met a very nice couple at a Tuggerah restaurant night. It was the husband's very first night out as a woman, and her lovely supportive wife accompanied her. They sat opposite me and we had a very pleasant conversation during the meal.

I always like to be very encouraging and supportive of new people having their first enfemme night out. I still remember my own disastrous first night in 2007. A massive downpour; trouble finding a distant parking spot; getting lost; being armed with a tiny umbrella and new shoes that were too big. I was lucky to get there only 45 minutes late, soggy and close to tears. I ended up having a great night after such a terrible start. I do recall how kind and supportive my fellow diners were towards me, including two of whom I still count as good friends today, but I digress...

Anyway, back to this more recent and much happier story. During the conversation, the wife complimented me on my "attention to detail" as to how I presented as a woman. I thanked her and added that I always try my best. However, I had not really been consciously aware of being very "detailed", but on reflection, I had to agree that I do attend to as many details as possible so as to present as well as I can as a woman. In addition, I also realised that it took a long while to achieve this and that process of improvement still continues today.

My motto in life has always been to do the best as I can in any endeavor about which I have become passionate. I hold the view that I will never be the World's best at anything, but I will always aim to be the very best that I can personally be.

For example, I played golf rather erratically as a teenager (but much better than I played footy!). When I took it up again in my late 30's, my approach was more mature and within two years I was playing in A Grade, with a handicap of 12, something that I thought would be impossible when I was younger. I learned all about the little details that make a good golfer and I practiced them diligently. The pinnacle of my golfing career was shooting 73 at Moore Park (a par 70 course at the time), which took my handicap down to 11. On returning to the clubhouse, I found out that Greg Norman has also shot 73 on the same day in Victoria. I doubt that Greg was happy with his score, but I was over the moon about my 73!

It was similar in many ways to my cross-dressing. I had often cross-dressed in public in my twenties, but looking back I had limited dress sense and had a very small wardrobe. However, I did become quite adept with makeup (as old photos have reminded me), but I had little skills with body shaping (a pair of socks in a bra was the best I could manage). My overall presentation was reasonable, but not all that great. I did not have anyone to guide me. You need feedback and you need access to information... so let's enter the 21st century! Google and YouTube to the rescue!

I like to research things. I will often ask myself, "What is the best way to do this?", "How can I improve?" This process reminded me of learning my professional skills when I was younger: "See one; do one; teach one". In other words, a more experienced person shows you a skill, you practice and perfect that skill, and then you teach it to someone new. It is referred to as the apprenticeship model of learning. It can be applied in all walks of life, but it has particular relevance to our own group. We need to pass on our knowledge to those coming behind us, our new members.

We also need to accept our limits. I was a proficient golfer, but I knew that I would never be good enough to become a full-time professional golfer. Likewise, I know that could never live full-time as a completely passable woman, like a transsexual who was naturally feminine as a child and who went on to hormones in their teens. These are our community's "professionals". In comparison, most of us are just talented amateurs.

So what are some of the details that are important to me? This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but here are my top 10 details to work on. I will start at the head and work down:

  1. Hair:
    This is my No. 1., as hair is the first detail that I always notice about a woman. At 66, I am lucky enough to still have a reasonable head of hair and have a life style that allows me to wear it long. In 2013, I added a human hairpiece to enhance my own hair. I make regular visits to my hairdresser.

  2. Eyebrows:
    This is an important detail. Bushy eyebrows might be fine for John Howard, but are not a good thing if you want to look like a woman.

  3. Makeup skills:
    It takes a quite while to become proficient at this. Makeovers can help, but I find that online video tutorials are of more help and easier to access. My number one detail tip is to blend your eye shadow. Despite the fact that I am almost blind in my right eye, I occasionally get compliments from women about how well I do my eye make up.

  4. Earrings and other jewelry:
    Pierced ears are compulsory, if you are serious about details. Do not over-do the bling, especially in the daytime. While not technically not jewelry, wearing female glasses is an important detail, if you wear specs.

  5. Breasts:
    Was there life before breast forms? Yes, it was called the "Prehistoric Era!" Tanya at the Breastform Store will bring you into the modern era. Showing a bit of cleavage by positioning the breast-forms is a detail that increases one's passability considerably.

  6. Hair removal:
    Before I walk out the door as a woman, I do not want any hair showing on my arms, legs and chest, but one detail not to forget is those ugly nose and ear hairs!

  7. Nails:
    Keep your nails a little bit long and well manicured. A professional manicure is worthwhile if you will be dressed up for more than a day.

  8. Waist:
    Girls have waists; boys do not! Do not whine about corsets hurting; just wear one! You'll get used to it.

  9. Hips and bum:
    Girls also have these and boys do not. Tanya at the Breastform Store is the one to help you shape up.

  10. Shoes:
    If you are already 6 foot tall, do you really do want to draw more attention to yourself when you are out shopping? I reserve high heels for the Seahorse Ball.

    Christine Parker, Seahorse Webmistress.

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