Sunday, June 19, 2011

Feminization

Normally, when someone who's kinky starts a post off with "feminization", the story is going to be about men being forced into makeup, panties, heels, and tutus. Or something.

That -- the activity -- is okay, although I am disturbed a bit about how it's usually considered humiliating. I mean, it's humiliating for men to do all that, but for women? That's what we're expected to do on a Saturday night.

Maybe not the tutu.

But I'm not here to talk about that now. I'm talking about me, and how I have played with feminization, or with gender roles. Before I really get started, I will point out that I am physically unambiguously female. I'm a fat chick, but I have enormous, ahem, tracts of land, and there's not a whole lot I can do to conceal them.

That's what nature (and wonderfully tasty food) has given me. The performative part of my gender, though, that's a different thing altogether. At various points in my life I've been obsessed with pink or purple, with skirts, with frilly things, elaborate hair, and makeup. At other points in my life, I've had short, simple hair, wore no makeup, and wore jeans, hiking boots, plain t-shirts, and men's flannels everywhere. Pretty much the opposite of performing my gender. For special occasions, I would dress (cross-dress almost) girly, and bring my tits out. Almost as accessories. I'd also put on my girl face, with makeup.

Lately, I've been striking a balance between the two. I sometimes wear jeans and flannels. I also sometimes wear brightly colored skirts. I tend to wear v-neck t-shirts now, which expose some upper torso skin. I am currently obsessed with pink and orange. [1] I almost never wear heels, and even when I'm wearing skirts I usually wear the same shoes I wear every day. I value comfort as much as color and style. I still never wear makeup, though. Sometimes I paint my nails.

A few weeks ago, I got a call from a Mary Kay rep. She'd gotten my name from one of the bridal salons, and offered me a free hand treatment and facial, and if I could do it at a particular time, I'd also get a bit of a makeover. I didn't think I wanted that, but it was free, and I was sure I could resist a hard sell. It sounded like it could be fun, and girly, so I invited my future sister-in-law along, so we could be girly together.

There was no hard sell, expect possibly of mary kay itself, and the makeover wasn't, really. Instead we spent most of the time doing the lotions and potions of the skin-care line.

And... I really liked it. So I spent a lot of money on pink skin care. I have three hand goops. Two eye goops. Two lip goops. Microdermabrasion goops. Four bottles of daily face goop. And a nifty roll-up bag to hold it all; it has a handle and a hook to hang it on the shower rod. My hands and face are expensive!

The thing is, this shit is working. My face feels wonderful to touch. The allergy shadows under my eyes are fading. My hands are satiny and soft. People in the past week or two have commented that I seem to be glowing more than usual. [2] I suppose it makes sense; I mean, there's a lot of scientists working wicked hard to make these goops effective. But I always kind of figured it wasn't much better than soap and water, you know?

I'm liking it. I'm also liking how I can do this, and feel good, and read more feminine (because good skin is girly, you know) and I don't have to put on a different face.

It's interesting, though. They were pushing pretty hard to get people to join mary kay and sell the stuff, and that's where a mary kay rep makes her real money. It's a pyramid scheme. A relatively benign one, but it still is. My area has relatively few reps here, so it's a prime area for recruitment.

They had a deal where if you bought in, you could get some stuff free, in addition to your buy-in kit. I was all set to do that, because I like saving my money, but my rep was like "the kit is really if you actually want to sell...." But the narrative in every case about how people joined up and became reps and now make buckets of money for not working hard starts with "and I never thought I'd do anything like this, I didn't even do anything for about six months after buying my first kit. Now I make six figures!"

So my own personal rep took my commission instead of sending me out into the world to make free money for her. That's okay, it means I won't share my expensive goops, and thus cannot convert other geekly non-gender-conforming friends to the pink mary kay way just by demonstrating that hey, your hands will feel nice.

It is odd to think of me doing these things. It feels transgressive, in a gender-conforming way. Like I'm... cross-dressing my face (cross-gooping?), or something, even though I'm stepping closer to the gender roles society applies to my physique.

When I start feeling too girly, and planning a wedding can do that, I think about getting bright orange combat boots to wear under my elegant trained wedding dress....



[1] Pink because the color literally makes my ex nauseous, and I bought a ton of it during the hostile part of the breakup phase... and then noticed it looks great on me. Orange because that also looks great on me and not many people wear it. I do pretty well in all kinds of vibrant colors! I had no idea, during my black t-shirt phase

[2] Nobody has asked me if I'm pregnant. I'm not.

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