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Apr. 8th, 2003 | 02:02 pm
mood: sulking

So one of the lesbians here at Caltech suggested we go see Bitch and Animal at USC. I have to say they were really eclectic, unusual, and quite bizarre. But several of the songs were quite good (and rather clever).

One other odd things was in best liberal/progressive in-fighting tradition, there were protesters outside complaining about Bitch & Animal playing at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival and supporting the womyn-born-womyn policy of the festival. Which is especially problematic for the group since one of the performers though born female is pretty far along the genderqueer/trans scale.



However for my weak body image I was pretty sure one of the women protesting was M-to-F, but she seemed cute (which in my twisted mentality means thin). So I've spent some fraction of the evening and today feeling terribly ugly again. (And yes I'll spend more time talking to my therapist about it this Thursday.)

But this happened to me last time I was making progress at loosing weight. I reached a weight rather similar to the one I'm now at and once again started feeling hopeless about my appearance. Currently I'm guessing my ideal weight is about 85 kg (or at least that's roughly what I weighed by the end of high-school) I've lost half of what I need to to reach that, and yet I still can't imagine ever being able to reach something resembling one of the women's standards of beauty.

For instance my wrists are noticeably thicker than most peoples, and although that's useful for being resistant to breaking bones, it still feels like it both marks me as being freakishly large. (Even if I lost all the weight I'd like to I'd still be much larger than most women)

(I was recently wondering which belief I'd give up first, me thinking I'm ugly, or being an atheist. Admittedly both beliefs are deeply held, but at least I'm aware that there is a strong bit of irrationalism about me feeling ugly.)

And yet, nothing I have ever done has ever made me feel attractive. At best I manage to feel appreciative that I am healthy (at an emotional level, I do regularly appreciate not having chronic pain for instance (well other than back pain, but I discovered I could control that with yoga so that doesn't really count anymore.))

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Comments {8}

Vicky the Compost Queen

The last woman I heard complain about her wrists being fat

from: vixter
date: Apr. 8th, 2003 02:33 pm (UTC)
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was about 85 pounds and in denial about being anorexic.

I guess I am blessed or lucky or something in that I don't stress about my appearance that much.
So I look like a beach ball on long legs with a red face. But I don't care that much.
Or rather it is further down on my list of things to worry about.

I am trying to lose weight (175 at 5'6") but that is more for health reasons.

I looked at a lot of your London pictures and I think you are in some of them. Plum colored shirt and braids ?. You have a lovely complexion.

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Diane Trout

Re: The last woman I heard complain about her wrists being fat

from: alienghic
date: Apr. 8th, 2003 03:16 pm (UTC)
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Yes, but I have data, I can prove that my wrists are thicker than the averag... (So other than that immediate attempt at defending my irrational belief structure, touché)

I have thought that I could be at risk for an eating disorder, though until recently I think that I've been able to eat properly. However recently I've lost 5 kg in 2 and a half weeks (about 11 pounds). I do think that is faster than safe and if it keeps up I'll need to stop somehow. (I'm wondering if I should be actually tracking what I eat so I can be making sure that I'm getting adequate nutrition).

(In imperial units I'm 5'10" and 227 pounds down from 264 in November of 2001, and I think that my "ideal" weight is around 185-190.)

And yes, you're right, I'm the one with the braids.

Thank you for the complement and the comment too.

Over the years I've gotten better when receiving complements about something about my body, at one time I would argue with the person. Now I've learned to say thank you, and in an ideal world (produced by more therapy), the complement would actually stick somewhere in my mental model of myself for an extended period of time.

I think the things I most frequently say that I dislike about my body are things that make me feel like I look trans. So it's quite possible that my difficulties are tied to me still wandering around the world with "internalized transphobia". I think I also blame some of my problems dating on not being physically attractive. Since objectively I have rarely been romantically involved, and not so objectively few people have shown signs of acting like I was attractive, I believe there must be some reason for it. I have a tendency to blame myself for problems, so my reasoning goes, since attractiveness is an attribute ascribed by others, and few have given me any reason to believe that this is true about me, it must be something about me that is wrong. (And I'm writing this down in detail, in the hope I can trap myself in recognizing my own illogic).

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Josh

(no subject)

from: irilyth
date: Apr. 8th, 2003 02:58 pm (UTC)
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Two things:

  • Your 'depressed' icon seems to be transparent, which looks fine on a white background, but a little strange on a darker colored background, which might happen e.g. on other people's friends pages. (Check out my friends page for example.) May or may not be worth doing anything about, but I figured I'd mention it in case you didn't know.

  • There's a big difference between ugly (or, to use a less (heh) ugly word, not-pretty) and unattractive. I don't think I'm particularly pretty (or handsome, or whatever the guy version is), but I do think I'm smart, funny, thoughtful, sensual, and fun to be around, and that those things are why I've generally had good luck in dating.

So, if you're most concerned about being attractive, from a dating point of view, my advice would be to focus on your strengths, whatever they hapen to be, rather than on being pretty, especially a small-thin-woman version of pretty. I doubt my opinion counts for too much, but I think you're plenty attractive, whatever you look like.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Apr. 8th, 2003 03:24 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, I didn't know my image was transparent. I'll try fixing it tonight.

There's a lot of rambling in another response to a comment I made on this subject (about why I think some of the problem may be I've never really managed to feel okay about about being trans.)

[This topic is really emotionally challenging for me]

Focusing on strengths is a good idea, and I'm sure I have more than just being able to fix peoples computers.

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Vicky the Compost Queen

Attractiveness is multi-dimensional

from: vixter
date: Apr. 9th, 2003 10:40 am (UTC)
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Physical appearance is just one part of it. Its importance to people does seem to vary widely. But I have a
word for people who place too much into it. Shallow. There are so many other ways
to be attactive beyond the physical. Intellegence, loyalty, compassion, humor, etc. Which,
as far as I can tell in this journal format; you have in abundance.

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Diane Trout

Re: Attractiveness is multi-dimensional

from: alienghic
date: Apr. 9th, 2003 05:33 pm (UTC)
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Thanks you. My journal might be a better way to get to know me than in some casual situation since I tend to make a better impression in situations where I can share my thoughts.

It always seems so hard to meet someone.

Two new ideas on why I'm having difficulty is it's just difficult for anyone to meet potential relationship partners (merely look at the growth in dating services). The other is that I'm just scared as the last couple of times I tried being in a relationship I ended up getting severely hurt.

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soulspirals

(no subject)

from: soulspirals
date: Apr. 9th, 2003 12:57 pm (UTC)
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For what its worth...
You are the only MTF trannie I know (who I know is MTF) who looks totally like a biological woman to me. That's been true since the day I met you. As a matter of fact, I frequently forget that you're trans, and am startled by commentary that reminds me of it.

*shrug*

I think part of it has been that you never seem on the outside to be reaching for some artificial presentation of what you think "woman" is. You seem to just be yourself.

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Apr. 9th, 2003 05:14 pm (UTC)
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Well, the struggling that I seem to be doing seems to be completely consistant with the typical issues faced by a professional women escaping from a working class background. I've noticed that among my friends I'm one of the closest to my medically recommended weight, yet among my coworkers I'm one of the most overweight.

One of the other things I've noticed is it seems like nearly everyone else has an easier time accepting my gender than I do.

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