Monday, August 20, 2018

Purchased

Last week, I bought two items that I hope will improve femulating.

Verfanny Magnetic Eyelashes

After years of applying glue-on false eyelashes unsuccessfully, magnetic false eyelashes are a miracle! Put one magnetic eyelash strip over your natural eyelashes, then position the second magnetic eyelash strip under your natural eyelashes and as you do, the magnets in the eyelashes attract each other and snap together. No glue, no muss, no mess!

The set I purchased includes two sets of lashes: one for a subtle look and a second for a fuller glamorous look.

Philips Norelco Bodygroomer

I already own an electric razor and a back hair shaver. I use the electric razor to shave all the body parts I can reach and the back hair shaver for the area of my back that I cannot reach with the electric razor. They both do an adequate job, but I could not resist purchasing the bodygroomer because it was an Amazon Deal of the Day and by applying my Amazon Prime Rewards points, it cost only $11.43!

Whereas my electric razor is intended to shave my beard, the bodygroomer is intended to save my body hair, so it does a better job body hair-wise than my electric razor. It is also easier to use than my back hair shaver because the bodygroomer's back attachment provides a more solid feel for navigating it around my back, whereas the back hair shaver is lightweight and navigating my back with it can be adventurous. The bodygroomer also provides a smoother and more thorough shave than the back hair shaver.  




Source: Madeleine
Wearing Madeleine (Source: Madeleine)




Ivory Marshette
Ivory Marshette, professional femulator, circa 1983

Friday, August 17, 2018

Snoop the Chute

I had a colonoscopy yesterday.

I was a little concerned going in because it was 12 years since my last one and they reccommend getting one every 5 years especially if colon cancer runs in your family like it does in mine.

I absolutely hate the prep the day before. I will not go into details, but if you have had a colonoscopy, you know what I mean.

Before the procedure, the anesthesiologist said I would be "asleep" for about 30 minutes. I dunno about you, but it did not resemble sleep to me. No consciousness, no dreams, no nothing... it is like I was dead for a half hour.

Just before I went to "sleep," I asked the doctor to show me the tube he would use to explore my nether reaches. I was expecting a tube approximately the diameter of RG-59 cable (the black cable that connects all the gizmos to your television). Boy, was I wrong! It was more like the diameter of a garden hose! Ouch!

Anyway, after I returned to the Planet Earth, my doctor informed me that I did not have colon cancer and did not have any polyps. (I assumed at a minimum that I would have polyps because I did have one the last time the doctor snooped my chute.)

He recommended that I keep on doing what I am doing because it is working.

Since what I wrote above has nothing to do with femulating, I have to add that both my nurse and my anesthesiologist made my day by remarking separately that I do not look my age... that I look much younger. So since I am so well-preserved, short skirts and high heels will continue to be part of my wardrobe!




Source: New York & Co.
Wearing New York & Co. (Source: New York & Co.)




Janek Traczy
Janek Traczy femulates Lana Del Rey on Polish television's Your Face Sounds Familiar (2018)

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Back to School

Cradock High School
A 1950 womanless beauty pageant at Cradock High School in Portsmouth, Virginia
Commenting on last week's womanless beauty pageant post, my blogging sister Meg Winters wrote, "I can't figure out why the schools sanction these events. There must be some sort of educational explanation, but I cannot for the life of me imagine what it is. Do you have any thoughts?"

I believe that schools sanction the womanless pageants because they are a good moneymakers. The schools' investment is minimal, so most of the income is profit. It is a lot easier than selling chocolate candy bars door-to-door, which is what my high school made us do.

Historically, I believe the womanless beauty pageant was a descendant of the womanless wedding, which was a popular fundraiser in the Midwest and Southern USA in the 20th Century.

Except for the flower girls, the femulating participants of womanless weddings were adults. So when it came time to find fundraising activities for a scholastic femulators, womanless beauty pageants seemed more age-appropriate. The pageants began in earnest in the late 1940s, grew in popularity in the 1960s and today, is still a popular fundraiser despite pushback by transphobia.

Anyway, I sure would have preferred donning an evening gown and sashaying on stage rather than selling candy door-to-door.




Source: ModCloth
Go back to school in this preppy outfit from ModCloth (Source: ModCloth)





Miss Danny Hicks
Miss Danny Hicks was a vision of loveliness in the 1965 boy beauty pageant at Columbia (SC) High School.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Name Game

By Starla Renee Trimm

“That which we call a rose,” Shakespeare famously wrote, “by any other name would smell as sweet.” Well, perhaps. But if a rose were instead called a “fibbertywhatsis,” I doubt it would have quite the same romantic cachet.

Would John Wayne still be seen as a tough guy if he’d used his birth name of Marion Morrison? Would Cheryl Ladd (the “Shemp” of Charlie’s Angels) have had as successful a career as Cheryl Stoppelmoor? (A name that looks like a typo.) Would Gerald Ford have been more or less respected as President Leslie King?

Names matter. They have power. The wrong name can be an albatross around one’s neck; the right name can be one’s ticket to success.

Rightly or wrongly, we have a history of stereotyping people by their names. Remember when names like Bruce or Percy were associated with gay men? (They sound a bit fey when lisped  and of course, all gay men lisp, right? The malarkey we used to believe.)

Some believe that your birth name is prophetic and can shape the direction your life and career will take. When you think of a woman named Bambi or Brandy or Barbie, do you envision a future CEO or an exotic dancer? Do you think a young lady named Ethel, Gertrude or Hortense is likely to win Miss America? 

Therefore, many people change their name to try to minimize such problems. And not only in the direction you’d assume. In Flannery O’Connor’s short story “Good Country People,” a woman named Joy rebels against her saccharine, polyanna Mother by changing hers to the ugliest name she could think of: Hulga.

Obviously, names are an issue for trans folk. Someone born male and transitioning to female can hardly keep their male birth name unless it happens to be traditionally neuter/unisex. And even then, one might want to change it just to have a clean break with the past. Even if one is not legally changing their name, the right chosen name can be of tremendous significance to one’s self-image, and how others see them.

Many MTF trans people simply take on a feminized form of their male name. Joe beomes Joanne or Joanna; Dennis becomes Denise; Robert becomes Roberta. It’s the simplest path; it’s easy to remember and easier for others who knew you from back when to get used to. I’ve heard some say that their parents told them something like “We named you Brian; if you had been a girl, we would have called you Brianna” and deem it appropriate to take on that name. Those who do have a unisex name may retain it, but change the spelling (Chris to Kris, Kim to Kym, etc.).

On the other hand, there are those who want nothing to do with their birth name, feminized or otherwise. Perhps that name is just too negatively associated with their pre-transition life, so they go in a completely different direction. Some choose a name that seems to fit the image they have of themselves as a female. Others choose a name that has some special meaning or significance. Canary Conn, in her autobiography (the first trans-penned book I ever read – it made quite an impression) relates how she was often mistaken for a girl when very young and how one day a woman heard her singing and exclaimed to her mother, ”She sings like a canary.” 

Myself, I’ve gone down both paths. For a few years when I was working as a female, but had not yet legally changed my name (in fact, I never did), it seemed simpler just to retain my birth name, but ask that it be rendered as just an initial in my work record. So, the people with whom I worked knew me by the femme variant of that name, payroll would issue a check with just the first initial and I could deposit it in my bank account bearing my male name and no one would be the wiser.

But in my non-professional life, I have always been Starla, to myself and later, to others, at least since the age of 14 when I entered high school. There I encountered someone who made a strong impression on me. To paraphrase Francis Pharcellus Church, “Yes, Virginia, there was a Starla.”

She was one grade ahead of me, a Junior to my Sophmore. A baton-twirling majorette during marching band/football season and a clarinetist in concert band. So even though we rarely had an academic class in common, our music-related activities kept her in my sight and on my mind a lot.

Starla was beautiful. Not a garish over-the-top beauty, but a very quiet, understated, natural beauty. She would not have been the first girl that caught your eye when you entered the room, but before long, you’d be hard-pressed to take yout eyes off of her. She was lithe, statuesque (about 5-10), with long silky hair that came right out of a Prell ad and a flawless complexion. (To put makeup on that face would have been a crime.)

No pants for this girl. Except on the coldest Central Florida mornings (meaning maybe 4-5 days a year), she came to school smartly attired in pretty patterned mini-dresses. (The better to show off those long, gorgeous legs.)

Moreover, she had a quiet, but delightful personality. Smiling came easy to her and she showed a kindness towards everyone she met. You could not find one person in school that had anything bad to say about Starla. Needless to say, she was totally out of my league. But I don’t doubt that had I screwed up the courage to ask her on a date, she would have turned me down in the gentlest, sweetest way possible.

Of course, I never even considered asking her out. Not just because she was a goddess and I was a fat little class clown, but because she confused me. Yes, I idolized her, but at that stage of my life, when hormones were starting to rage and I was first beginning to question my gender identity, I found myself constantly vacillating between wanting to be with her and wanting to be her. I’m sure many of you can identify with that.

So, that’s how I came to call myself Starla. I liked the name; it was unusual (still fairly uncommon today) and somewhat exotic without being too hippy-dippy. (It was the 70’s – lot of strange names floating around back then.) 

How about you? Did you choose a femme name that was unrelated to your birth name? If so, how did you come to choose it? Was there a person or incident in your life that made that name significant? Or did it just seem like a name befitting the woman you wanted to be?

P.S. Had this doll and its commercial been around 20 years earlier, I might have chosen another name after all. That doll’s creepy robotic voice would have freaked me out!







Source: ShopBop
Wearing Faithfull The Brand top (Source: ShopBop)




Jerzy Grzechnik
Jerzy Grzechnik femulates Britney Spears on Polish television's Your Face Sounds Familiar.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Plugging Fantasia Fair


We almost lost Fantasia Fair.

Last fall, there were stories and rumors swirling around about Fantasia Fair's imminent demise. I will not repeat any of them here because I don't know which stories are true and which are false, but the bottom line was that Fantasia Fair was folding its tent after the their long run as the longest running transgender event in this neck of the woods. We lost so many other transgender events the last few years, losing Fantasia Fair would be the another big blow to our community.

Fantasia Fair is unique. Most other transgender events take place in a hotel. Some of those events sponsor quick trips out among the civilians, but most of the time, the attendees are cooped up in the host hotel for a long weekend.

Fantasia Fair is eight days a week. And instead of being stuck in a hotel, attendees live and breathe out among the civilian population of Provincetown, Massachusetts. The whole town is our oyster and is completely supportive of the girls and boys in attendance.  

The good news is that Fantasia Fair regrouped. The event has been saved and will be back in its groove from October 14 to October 21. They even have a fresh new website where you can learn all about the event and sign up to attend yourself.

By the way, I want to thank the folks behind the new website for mentioning my book, Fantasia Fair Diaries, which recounts my experience attending the Fair. Read the book and it will whet your appetite to become a future Fan Fair attendee.




Source: DVF.com
Wearing Diane von Furstenberg (Source: DVF.com)




Abby, Brigitte, Ethan, Stana and Jan at Fantasia Fair in 2010
Abby, Brigitte, Ethan, Stana and Jan at Fantasia Fair in 2010

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Here We Go Again

My favorite Hitchcock film and
probably my favorite film of all time
I went to the movies Wednesday afternoon.

I have not been in a movie theater since 2006 (to see Clerks II with my daughter). Blockbuster and Netflix DVD home delivery have been my friends since then, but the Missus is celebrating another trip around the Sun and wanted to see Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

I am not a big fan of modern musical films basically because I like the music in most of those films (give me a musical film like White Christmas or Holiday Inn filled with Irving Berlin tunes). But I like ABBA's songs, saw Mamma Mia! on Broadway and saw the first Mamma Mia! film, so you did not have to twist my arm to see the new film.

The plot of the film was as contrived as a musical could be (no surprise), but the music was good as was the cinematography. It is definitely a chick flick, so it was a good fit – my eyes even welled up during a couple of scenes.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is a fun film and I recommend it for girls like us.




Source: Bebe
Wearing Bebe (Source: Bebe)




John Hansen
John Hansen (center) femulating in the 1970 film, The Christine Jorgensen Story.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Voice

This Nancy from 1953...


...reminded me of this...






Source: Intermix
Wearing Redemption gown, Jimmy Choo booties and Lele Sadoughi earrings (Source: Intermix)




Dito van Reigerberg
Dito van Reigerberg femulating on stage in The Legend of Georgia McBride

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

It’s that time of year

By Starla Renee Trimm

Ahhh… autumn in the Deep South.

In a few weeks, the oppressive heat and humidity will begin to wane, the mountainsides will come alive with spectacular colors, the SEC will begin to once again dominate college football and the kids will return to school. And where gays, atheists and Muslims are still soundly reviled, where they would rather let trans students pee in their pants than use the appropriate bathroom, where city council and school board meetings still begin with prayers “in Jesus’ name,” where your “right” to buy an AR-15 without the guv’mint intefering is soundly defended, where schools, streets and parks are named not after Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln, but for Lee, Jackson and Davis... yes, where grits are considered a vegetable and animal flesh is thoroughly deep fried to make sure the critter’s dead before it’s eaten... in the land of hypocrisy writ large, Gun ownin’, Bible totin’ real men and genteel women will gleefully and enthusiastically put their ‘tween and teen boys in full, beautiful feminine drag and parade them down a makeshift catwalk in a gymnasium for their school’s womanless beauty pageant with nary a trace of irony, lavishing as much time, prepartion and mascara on them as they do when their sisters run for Rattlesnake Roundup Queen or vie to be crowned Miss Mule Days. (Um, no kidding, those really are things.)

Sarcasm aside, it’s that time of year and what follows are links to galleries of some of the best school womanless events currently available online. Some schools pretty reliably hold a pageant every year like clockwork; others more sporadically so and some are “one-hit wonders” that inexplicably pulled out all the stops for an elaborate pageant one year, while never doing it again.

These are full galleries (and a few videos), some posted by schools, others by parents, teachers or other sources. It is not by any means exhaustive and there are many equally good pageants to which only a single photo or two or three scattered around the Web bear witness or for which the original source galleries have vanished over the years.

Many of the photos in these galleries have been spread around and you may well have seen most of them. But this is a chance for you to see them in context as originally posted with whatever comments were appended to give you a taste of some of the “Best of the Best” school womanless pageants in Dixie.

Will the more consistent schools grace us with another excellent event this year? Will some of the “one and done” schools revive the idea? Or will some school rise out of obscurity to begin a new pageant tradition? We shall see. Meanwhile, be inspired, amused, appalled or whatever by these shining examples of the schizoid Southern culture!

Alexander City Middle School (AL)
2015 pageant (personal gallery)
Beaver Elementary Schoolgurls
Beaver Elementary Schoolgurls

Beaver Elementary School (Wildersville, TN)
2014 pageant (personal gallery, manually click/swipe to scan through)

Central Elementary/Middle School (Dubberly, LA)
2016 pageant (personal video of opening number)
2016 pageant (personal video of introductions)
2016 pageant (personal gallery, largely focusing on the poster’s own son):
2017 pageant (personal video of opening number)


Kudos to this school. The womanless pageant is one of its many annual projects to benefit St. Jude and they raise more money than almost any other group in the state. The year I saw documented, they raised $31,000 which is pretty damn good for a not terribly large school in a mostly rural area! Yes, I make fun of Southerners, but give credit where credit’s due.

E.O. Coffman Middle School (Lawrenceburg, TN)
2015 pageant (school gallery)

Ernest Ward Middle School (Walnut Hill, FL)
Ernest Ward Middle Schoolgurls
Ernest Ward Middle Schoolgurls
2010 pageant (newspaper gallery)
2013 pageant (newspaper gallery)
2014 pageant (newspaper gallery)
2018 pageant (newspaper gallery)
2018 pageant (personal gallery)

Gordo High School (AL)
2013 pageant (personal gallery)
2015 pageant (personal gallery)
2018 pageant (personal gallery)

Haralson County Middle School (Tallapoosa, GA)
2017 pageant (personal gallery)
2018 pageant (school gallery)
2018 pageant (personal gallery)

May be an up-and-coming “sleeper” that will get better in time. Right now mostly “so-so” femulations and way too much of the huge, unrealistic balloon boobs sort of thing, but they’re getting an impressive number of boys participating, who seem enthusiastic (which can’t be said for the audience which seems bored out of its gourd at times).

Honaker Elementary/Middle Schoolgurl
Honaker Elementary/Middle School (VA)
2013 pageant (personal gallery)

Potts Camp Middle School (MS)
2018 pageant (teacher’s personal gallery)

Rehobeth Middle School (AL)
2017 and 2018 pageants (school club gallery; manually click/swipe to scan through)
2018 pageant (personal gallery; manually click/swipe to scan through)

Thomasville Middle School (AL)
2013 pageant (winners only)
2014 pageant (school gallery)
2015 pageant (school gallery)
2015 pageant (personal gallery)
2016 pageant (school gallery)

Wilson Hall Middle Schoolgurl
Wilson Hall Middle Schoolgurl
Wilson Hall Middle School (AL)
2015 pageant (professional photographer gallery, 400+ photos!)

Not many schools can afford to engage a professional photographer to document their womanless pageants, however, in this case, the photographer is also the mother of one of the contestants – the gurl in the red dress and headband – so I assume they got these for cost or maybe even for nothin’!

Finally, not a beauty pageant and not in the Deep South by any means, but I have to mention the YouTube videos from the annual talent shows held at Rachel Carson Elementary School in Gaithersburg, Maryland. For several years running, it seemed to be a tradition that some of the graduating 5th grade boys would put on a dance number dressed as girls. However, I can’t document any such act in the last 5 or 6 years, nor prior to 2009. My guess is that it was a specific group of parents that spearheaded and organized these things and when their kids aged out and moved on, the annual drag numbers ceased. But you never know – one of these years, someone associated with the school may see these videos and think, “Hey, what a fun idea!” and revive the tradition. In any case, here are three of the annual events.

Rachel Carson Elementary School (Gaithersburg, Maryland)
2009 (“All the Single Ladies," includes some fun “behind the scenes” footage)
2010 (“Life’s About to Get Good”)
2011 (“Pretty Girls Rock”)




Wearing Jovani
Wearing Jovani




Bill Kaulitz
Bill Kaulitz