Crack the lens

Hi,

By all that’s fabulous, it is far too hot today. A global uptick in heat waves and extreme weather, but hey, let’s count the money from burning fossil fuels in our air conditioned mansions. 😋

A few weeks back I happened to go to a professional ‘do’ and photos were taken: group shots on the fly and posed ones too. Luckily I managed to avoid most, but not all.

I found myself looking at the smiles and laughter, thinking that folk had enjoyed themselves (which is great). There, in the background, was what looked like an egg with a pair of glasses drawn on it, balanced on a shirt and tie. Yes, that would be me. I clicked by that and tried not to think about the image. Moments later, another attendee’s message popped in saying how hideous they felt they looked.

Ah, twas as if they’d read my thoughts about myself.

Kindness ensued as others offered their support. Not denials or false praise, but empathy.

In an unusual moment of honesty, I found myself replying that I didn’t like having my photo taken either for similar reasons and that that old devil of Self Criticism, well – and one more time for the people at the back 🙂 – would we say such things to a friend? Yet, here we are.

The gulf between feeling right and being in the closet

So if I don’t like my photo being taken as Richard, do I like it in Lynn mode? ‘Like’ may not be the exact word, but certainly prefer would be in the running. I’m certainly more at ease than I am in a shirt and tie.

Maybe make-up, hair, padding, and the right clothes all help make something more ‘me’ than the male mask. That or good slap hides a multitude of sins 😉

L x

8 Comments

  1. Thank you, Joanna. Yes, it’s a little too familiar. It’s a rare day in which I see an image of the male me, and don’t, well, flinch or cringe a little.

    I know that’s how I look and most of the time I can ignore it. But, how I look as a man….. it does not match how I feel inside.

    It seems, on reflecting on the above messaging situation, that I’m not alone in that discomfort.

    1. I agree, it does seem rather widespread. And, to channel Morpheus once again: I know exactly what you mean. Similar, I surmise, to how one feels when hearing one’s voice recorded played back – it does not match our residual self image.

  2. With you on that. There is just one photo of myself in the last twelve years that doesn’t make me cringe and curl with with embarrassment (and is now adorned with a Pride flag background for Teams).
    And yet, if we flinch like that, and happy to post photos of ourselves in femme mode, can we really claim that we are not actually dysphoric?

    1. Ooo, that’s a good question, Susie.

      Hmm…. 🤔 I think it’s multifactorial (there’s a word for a Sunday morning 😉). What I mean is – and I can only describe my feelings, you and others may be different – I think there’s an element of ‘okayness’. I am okay with the bloke photo? How am I feeling about my appearance on that day? Orge-like, bulky, accepting, nonchalant, accepting?

      That okayness is influenced by what I’m wearing (I’m not really a tie person, groovy shirts yes, formal, not so much). I find makeup helps my skin and colouration look better (when I get it right 🙂), so not having ‘my face done’, I feel exposed and that I look tired. I guess good makeup is there to help us look as good as we can. I wear it for me, not others. See also painted nails or pretty jewelry.

      To add to that, on ‘fat days’ (or ogre moments), they feel like my body is not how it should be. That seems a call from that old devil, Dysphoria.

      On good days, I can bat such worries aside and cope with the flinch. On more challenging days, the image – or sound – of me, throws no just my thoughts, but knocks my confidence too.

      All that still happens, despite me saying I’ve made peace with how I look. It, perhaps like good mental health, requires regular exercise.

      Great question. Thank you.

  3. Interesting post Lynn.

    I’m not one for ‘male me’ photos, I despise them. More so now than ever as I look at myself with my hair at the awkward stage & dyed, studs in my ears and a nostril piercing and I question what I’ve become.

    It makes me feel really uneasy and I much prefer seeing photos of myself as Lotte even if they’re digitally manipulated.

    BTW I always think you look happy/comfortable in your Lynn photos, they look so natural too.

    1. It’s a tricky situation, I think, Lotte. Hopefully your look, as it is now, is something you’re more comfortable with. It’s been a while since I had hair to be in the inbetweeny stage, but I do know what you mean! It’s not always easy, is it.

      As to photos, I guess they’re all taken at a time when I’ve been out. So, I’m made up – not just in temperament, but in looks too. That and Val and I seem to take a number of shots, so there’s lots that don’t make it. We’re back to that ‘our own worst critic’ vibe again. 🙂 Still, it’s good to have a record of the night out and look back when things aren’t 100%

      As to natural, I wonder if at Chams, that’s where I don’t mask my behaviour. I know I do when in bloke mode.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.