Being a Part Time Girl in a Full Time Culture

SeleenaK_2011-10-21-14.38.17In society, we all live part time existences.  We spend part of our time as parents, part of our time as friends, part of our time as employees, part of our time as activists, part of our time as lovers.  And no matter where we sit on society’s cruel totem pole, we spend part of our time doing everything.  And that’s considered acceptable; maybe even “well rounded”.

But in the transgender world, this is not the case.  Girls who are girls part time are at the very bottom of the pecking order .. on the bottom rung of the ladder.   And this especially applies to those who are unwilling to permanently alter their appearance to any degree if the enhancements would compromise their appearance when in the “other mode”.  Permanent hair removal, pierced ears and, most certainly, hormone replacement therapy would fall into this category.

Would you like to move up a rung on that ladder?  Laser hair removal will take you there, as well as bring congratulations from your peers.  Hormone replacement therapy gets you an even bigger “congrats!” and moves you up another rung or two.

Start living full time and you’re almost at the top of the food chain .. regardless of the carnage in your wake.   Necessary carnage maybe , but the carnage and tears are all too real.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I don’t believe that anyone has any of these procedures, or changes their life entirely, for the purpose of climbing the ladder, but it is most certainly a welcomed side effect that brings a feeling of pride to those who go in that direction.

To those who need to transition,  it is a vital as coming up from the bottom of the swimming pool for a breath of air.  And it appears, in my opinion, to be something non-negotiable.  It simply must happen.  To make a person “whole”.  To fix what’s broken.  And I would never question that.

But what I do question is why making something “right” moves a person up on the scale, higher even than someone who was (luckily)  born that way.  Is it perceived bravery?  Overcoming hardship? Possibly, but I don’t think it’s bravery that causes a person to leave the bottom of the swimming pool for a breath of air so vital to their very existence.  Maybe it’s the decision, and,  subsequently, the necessary actions needed to get on with life as opposed to ending it prematurely, as so many do.

But I still don’t see how that puts someone “above” anyone who is able to deal with their own gender dysphoria in a less catastrophic way.  And who I believe is equally worthy of congratulations for the life long balancing act they choose to endure.

Although I never think of myself as a crossdresser .. I think of myself as a two-spirited person .. that’s  SeleenaK_5110s_HDRwhat I’m considered to be by most in the TG world.  So I sit on the bottom rung of the ladder.  

I’ve hurt no one.  I’ve alienated no one.  I’m able to be what loved one’s need me to be.  I’m able to “be there” for them always.  I’m successful.  I’m reasonable affluent.  I’m “civically” responsible and I give to charity.  And I pride myself in being able to live in either world reasonably well, without causing  any embarrassment and without making anyone feel uncomfortable.  Yet I sit on the bottom rung of the ladder. 

Luck, life, or my own discipline and fortitude, allows me to travel through time with little or no personal, relationship-destroying baggage.  And a mis-used pronoun won’t ruin my day nor the day of those around me.  Yet I sit on the bottom rung of the ladder.

“But I’ve got nothing against crossdressers!”  Well, thanks sweetie but looking down from your lofty perch,  you just put two very negative words in front of the label you just handed me.

So to those of you teetering on the top of that ladder, please know that I, and a huge number of others just like me, are down here on the ground, both feet firmly planted on terra firma, with balance and stability that’s rock solid.  And because of our large numbers, and the fact that so few of us need financial help, we contribute financially in a very big way to the events, gatherings, foundations and societies you call your own.

Please remember that we might be the EMT that puts you back together after a tragic accident, or the “dude” that intervenes when a hate crime is being perpetrated against you, or the doctor that performs your gender reassignment surgery, or, at the very least,  the “guy” holding your hand when you awaken from that surgery.

But you won’t recognize us, will ya?

Keystone Conference 2013

SeleenaK_6356sHere’s my review of the Keystone Transgender Conference in Harrisburg PA.  My darling Kim is joining me on this one so I’ll be reviewing the conference from her perspective as well as mine.  The conference starts on Wednesday March 13th and runs until Sunday March 17th.

I’ve been told there are usually around 300 in attendance but this year attendance will much higher than that.  Since the Be All Conference in Chicago has been cancelled, likely indefinitely, it seems that many of the regular Be All attendees will be at Keystone.  This would make the Keystone Conference the 2nd largest in North America.

Hope the organizers can handle the sudden growth.

Tuesday March 12, 2013

My bags are packed for an early morning departure!  Since the event runs over four days, eight changes of clothes should be sufficient.  So I’m bringing twelve!  No worries about checked bag limits this time.  Harrisburg is a 6-ish hour drive … maybe 8 hours in total including stops along the way .. so waiting around the airport for a short flight in to Baltimore, renting a car and driving a couple hours back towards home doesn’t really make sense.

Rumor has it that the host hotel is totally booked, a second hotel is full and late reservations are using a third hotel.  I imagine it’s just another day for the folks at the Sheraton but, personally, I worry a bit about messed up reservations when hotels are this full.

Also looking forward to spending time with my best girl friend Dianne.  I haven’t seen her since last October and she’s flown over 16 hours to be here.

But so far so good.  The online event registration process worked like a charm; the hotel handled our room upgrade wishes and my questions to the organizers got quick responses although general communication from the event organizers has been light.

Wednesday March 13, 2013

 

The drive to the conference was nice.  Not exactly colorful but still quite scenic.

The hotel is very nice too.  Much nicer than it appears online.  Clean, modern, spacious and the staff is very nice to us.

Had dinner at a wonderful restaurant in Mechanicsburg.  Carabbas Italian Grill was quite busy, but the service was perfect.  After a long day, I chilled back at the hotel in the Dog and Pony Lounge with  friends and went up to sleep a little past 1:00am. Service in the bar was somewhat slow.

 

Thursday March 14, 2013
Slept until after 9:00am  … I needed that!  Lunch at the hotel was nice.  Excellent keynote speaker.  Kye Allums is a young female-to-male transgender who spent some time in the national spotlight in the US in the basketball world.

After lunch I checked out the vendor area.  It was interesting but I really didn`t see much there that appealed to me.  But late in the afternoon, I attended a seminar on Comportment by Monica Prata, Feminine Image Consultant.  Monica is in the process of launching Nouveau She, a service that “provides full-range femininity training in-person and online for individuals who are cross-dressing, transitioning or integrating their masculinity with their femininity.”  Monica is very knowledgeable, is totally gorgeous and a lot of fun.
(Side note story about Monica:  Did I mention gorgeous? She is.  Picture this; she’s wearing a sexy, frilly black top, tight grey mini, dark hose and black heels .. and she’s talking to us about feminine movement and stance.  With legs spread a little and her weight on both feet she said “Don’t stand like this! It doesn’t look feminine.” But when standing like that, she looked very sexy.  Next she said “Shoulders back, but not your chest out.  It looks off-balance and silly” but again, when she stood that way, she looked fabulous, and again, very sexy.  🙂   So for most of us there, remembering only her words will help with our appearance but we need to erase the images she presented from our mind.  Only goes to show, when you’ve got it (as she does), there isn’t much you can do wrong.  But when you don’t have it (like the rest of us), attention to detail is important. )

In the evening, took the motor coach to the Hollywood Casino in Hershey.  Again .. nice dinner, great SeleenaK20130314_214839sMerlot, lost a few dollars gambling and then back to the Dog and Pony lounge for karaoke.  The place was crazy.  A couple vodka tonics there (no karaoke for this girl)  and I`m off to sleep again.

Friday March 15, 2013

Took it easy this morning … the late nights are already catching up with me.  Coffee in the Club Lounge, got caught up on my email and went to lunch with the conference group.  But on the way to lunch, I stopped by the vendor area to be sure that Scarlett from Scarlett’s Makeovers was here.  I have an appointment with her right after lunch for an advice session.  Got to meet Scarlett’s partner while I was there.  She’s gorgeous and very sweet.

Noticed as soon as I got towards the banquet room that attendance is still growing.  Wow.  It seems that many don’t come for the entire conference.  There might be twice as many here now as there was on the first day.

Lunch was excellent (bravo again  Sheraton!) but the keynote speaker, Mara Keisling, didn’t interest me very much at all so it was okay that I had to leave during dessert for my one o’clock appointment with Scarlett.  I chose Scarlett because we had met at Fantasia Fair in Provincetown last October and I thought she was very cool and very talented.  She gave me a few tips; foundation is a little heavy, concealer for the darkness around my eyes (too many late nights!), heavier blush, some shading tips to take the focus away from my nose (the “nose that could stop a bus” .. hehe!) and some eye lash suggestions.

I don’t wear false eyelashes all that often but the one’s I do wear are a little extreme for my face.  So I’ll be replacing by Red Cherry #100’s with #510’s … and I need to start trimming the lash length (left to right .. not the length of the individual lashes).  All great advice.  I left Scarlett looking much nicer and am very appreciative of the time I spent with her..

Dinner was downtown at Raspberries.  Around 40 of us were there.  Food was very good and the staff treated us fabulously.  It was a short walk to the Open  Stage Theater.  The theater was great fun!  The cast is very talented and the other theater-goers were cool with us joining them.  Christy Snow and Hayden were our escorts for the evening and they took wonderful care of us.  Christy’s a darling and she works so hard to keep us organized.  And Hayden was awesome too.  It’s great having a trans guy looking out for us.

Saturday March 16 2013

The “faces” of the attendees seems to have changed again.  The crowd is even larger, which I imagine confirms my suspicions that many only come for the last couple days.

Another wonderful lunch provided by the nice people at the Sheraton, and another token keynote speaker to tell us the same old story.  This time it was Mara Keisling, the Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. , and personally, I found her political references silly, boring and exclusionary to those of us in attendance who are not from the USA .  So what if she met Michelle Obama?  I met Judy, the bus driver, and I sincerely believe Judy wasn’t nice to me simply because she wanted my vote.  haha!

Back to my room to dress for the gala.  Three outfits to choose from!

I met quite a few local people at the Gala on Saturday evening that identify as lesbian or gay. Although it’s considered to be a great party, many appeared to be there mostly to support the local trans community.  I found it very impressive that so many in the central PA LGBT really do support each other.  We spoke to several gays and lesbians in attendance and they were funny, sincere and just a pleasure to chat with.

SeleenaK20130316_205632sNow about that party.  Hors d’ovueres we’re everywhere and the cocktails were generous but not exceptionally pricey.  Dinner was very good (I had the pork ..lol).

But the speeches .. hmmm.  Another self-serving Keynote speaker .. this time it was Dr.Jillian Weiss, Professor of Law and Society at Ramapo College.  .. who basically  gave us yet another of those rah-rah pep talks about how the trans community is “one”.  Wishful thinking for the activists and those who are looking to advance the acceptance of those of us who have or will transition.  But I personally believe that majority of those in attendance didn’t fit into that category.  (Dr Weiss is currently on the  board of Lambda Legal .. an organization I respect a lot. )

Aside from the keynote address, the conference organizer spent much podium time thanking some vendors and those who provided financial support for the event but I would have much rather been able to applaud the individuals who’s hard work made the event possible.  I prefer to think of them as the heroes and heroines as opposed to  those who were there to generate revenue, regardless how generous they were.

So to those who worked so hard behind the scenes, please know that many of us think you’re awesome and are very appreciative.

On a personal note, I’d like to give a special shout-out to the following people for making my Keystone Conference so memorable:

Dianne
Jamie Ghee
Mariette
Amber
Kat
Alaina

In Summary

 

  • Value related to the cost:  Very good.  Lunches every day were great, the Gala dinner was very nice too.  Tickets to the Open Stage Theater were at no extra cost to us.  And although gambling, most dinners, all drinks and dancing in and around Harrisburg were, of course, our own responsibility, transportation to all events was provided.
  • The Venue:  Very good.  The Harrisburg Sheraton is a great hotel and every staff contact I had there was fabulous.  My room and room rate was better than expected;  the hotel property was modern and meticulously maintained.
  • The City:  Very good.  Who knew that Harrisburg, which is located in very conservative/fundamentalist/religious central Pennsylvania, could be  so welcoming?  Yet they were, to the point where I (the person) as opposed to I (the wallet) felt their kindness was sincere.
  • The Attendees:  Same old combination of attention whores, egomaniacs, party animals, shy newbies and seasoned veterans as one would expect at an event like this.  But all of us fall into one of those categories, I suppose.  I don’t know this for a fact but it did seem that the number of couples in attendance was higher than I would have expected.  Bravo spouses!
  • Dining:  Continental breakfast for me was included with my room since I  managed to get a room on the club (top) floor.  All conference-included luncheons at the Sheraton were very good.  For dinner, we had several choices each night and had the opportunity to book them when we registered.  We paid for our own dinners. The choices were very good; nice variety and several price ranges.  My dinner at the Casino/Racetrack was an example .. casual food in a somewhat elegant dining room overlooking the horse track

 

  • The Event:  Very good. I was a little concerned that the organizers might have found it difficult to manage the arrangements for a larger-than-usual crowd but no .. they was no indication that the 100-200 additional people caused any issues at all.  In my opinion, the organizers get an A+ for, well, organization. The seminar selection, in my opinion,was mediocre. There was less “fun and informative” and more “take things to the next level”.   One of the biggest issues for me, and this might seem trivial to most, was that they spelled my first name wrong on my name tag.  I learned long ago that the best way to make someone feel insignificant is to either forget or misspell their name.   And spelling mine “Selena” makes me much less easy to find in the online world.

Will I return to the Keystone Conference?  Quite possibly.  I really did have a great time but, as always, the fun comes from the socializing that goes on during and after the scheduled  events.

Just How Homophobic Are You?

SeleenaK_6708sI was reading a Canadian Press story this morning about a campaign by the government of Quebec to get residents thinking about homophobia.

The campaign includes a series of television commercials with a common theme.  The commercials, it seems, lead the viewer down a typical path expecting the “lovers”, who’s activities it chronicles, to be heterosexual,  and at the last second, the viewer sees that the relationship is “same sex”.  The ads ask the question “Just how open minded are you?” and ends with something like “Does this change what you were thinking 20 seconds ago?”.  The typical paradigm shift.

In both the gay and lesbian versions of the ad, same sex lovers are shown locked in a passionate kiss.

It surprises me that the complaints filed against the ad campaign have been negligible .. nine in total as of this writing, according to the Canadian Press.  Bravo Quebec!

The CP article also states “While 78 per cent said they were comfortable with gays and lesbians, the number dropped to 45 per cent in the case of transgender people.”

Although the percentages are quite different, frankly I’m surprised, and feel quite optimistic, at how high the acceptance of trans* people is.

The only thing about the campaign, and the government website survey that accumulate this data, that get’s under my skin a little is that a reasonable person could feel an implication that transgenderism goes hand-in-hand with homosexuality .. and that assumption isn’t exactly accurate. There is little or no connection between sexual orientation and gender orientation.

I’ll be looking for the ads to appear on the video sharing sites since they’re only being aired in Quebec, and only until the end of the month.

My personal experiences in Quebec haven’t been exactly heartwarming .. regardless of which gender I’m presenting.  So I’ve avoided going there for some time now.  Ironically, it appeared that my inability to speak French was much more offensive than my presentation or perceived sexual orientation.

To read the entire Canadian Press article on the Montreal Gazette website, click here. (unfortunately the article is no longer available)

Cherish the Indifference

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There is an old expression that goes like this: “pull a string and it follows you everywhere; push a string and it goes nowhere at all”. 

To pull is to lead.  To push is to force.  I think this applies to what’s been happening in the US since 2008 .. and it worries me lots.

In any civilized society, there are always some who take an extreme stance on many social issues, and there are those who are mostly indifferent.  The majority usually falls in the socially-indifferent category.  It’s often the “I don’t really like it but live-and-let-live” mindset.  Like a pendulum, they don’t spend much of their time at the ends of the swing but instead live their lives between the far left and right extreme.  I think of them as the indifferent.

There is little danger within this group.  They live their lives within their beliefs and they give the much needed balance to society.

I’ve learned, from my extensive experience in the US, it was because of this balance that both extremes, the ultra-liberal and super conservative, were able to co-exist.  Then something happened.  And it happened during the campaigns for a new president.  The average liberal .. not the extremist liberal but the average good intentioned liberal, who had always been easy-going, suddenly lost their tolerance for those of a more conservative point of view.  It was like the gang mentality that causes things to sometimes get out of control at protests, but in this case, social media was the arena.

SeleenaK_7160s_cropThey got mean, intolerant and judgmental.  Even more judgmental that those on the opposite end of the spectrum.   It was as if they believed that their candidate for president would given them the social power to rid the planet of the conservative mindset forever.

And since the day he was elected, the hatred spewing from the left side has continued .. even escalated.  The attacks were not against the ideology;  they were attacks against the people.  The right attacked concepts while the left attacked people.

A law of physics says that the more you pull the pendulum in one direction, the farther it will go in the other direction.  And this is obvious in the birth of the Tea Party and the strengthening of the fundamentalist Christian groups at the far extreme of the pendulum’s travel.

And for someone like me, it’s scary.  I’ve traveled the US lots, from liberal area to liberal area and spent time in some of the most conservative areas along the way.    And until now, I’ve never felt at risk.  Those who didn’t understand viewed us as sickos, nut cases, twisted individuals.  Most looked upon us with pity, which sounds sad, I know, but it was non-confrontational.  It was safe.  But now, people like me are viewed as a flag bearer for extreme liberalism.  The same liberalism that attacked their fundamental beliefs, attacked them as Americans, attacked them as human beings.

I’ve learned that nothing brings out unpredictable, confrontational behavior in an American than being told they are un-American.  And the left has told the 47.2% on the right, in no uncertain terms, that they are, in fact, unworthy Americans.

So an election, and more importantly, a re-election has caused almost everyone there to choose a side.  And now the pendulum seems to be spending most of it’s time at the extreme ends of it’s travel.  This violates the laws of physics .. the laws of balance.

People have become less and less indifferent.  You’re either with me, or you’re a monster .. a poster child for everything “wrong” with society.

And this is hurtful to those of us who know the dangers of hiding behind “rights”, who realize that acceptance comes through one personal interaction at a time and  are content living under the radar.

Most of the world understands this but Americans just don’t seem to get it.  They’re unable to look beyond their borders .. beyond their perception of their culture, which has been split down the middle by the axe of liberalism.

When in the USA, indifference was my best friend.  It kept me safe and I miss it dearly.

Fashion versus Fetish

SeleenaK_9927sAs an observer of fashion over the years, I’ve come to a conclusion.  Sure, this may be a well-known fact to others but for me, it’s a new concept .. and the implications are scary.

I’ve come to the conclusion that today’s fashion is tomorrow’s fetish.  This is likely common knowledge to many but a revelation to me.  I’m not sure if this can be an all-encompassing statement about human behaviour and sexual perversity but we, as pervy humans, tend to fetishize things that had a sexual impact on our development, often at a very young age.

Guys and T-girls seem most likely to acquire a life long fetish but it certainly happens to women too.

The dictionary defines a fetish as a sexual attraction to an inanimate object.  Although I certainly shouldn’t question Webster, that definition conjures up images of a lonely perv whacking to a pair of women’s panties that mysteriously moved from her laundry basket to his at the Laundromat.

My definition is somewhat looser than that.  I tend to think of a fetish as an attraction to anything that consistently conjures up feelings of eroticism in an individual, that is not already part of the male or female anatomy.  Feet, seamed stockings and high heels are common fetish items.  Big red clown noses are a little less common <grins>.

And fetishes are best appeased only occasionally, to allow us all to get on with life.  Let’s face it, if your fetish was big red clown noses and everyone on the street wore them, you wouldn’t get a lot done.

Therein lies the sadness to my observation, and you just know this is leading to a discussion of legs since I’m obviously a leg girl.

It seems that when seamed stockings were everyday wear for most women, little emphasis was placed on them sexually .. that came later.  After the disco years, when spandex “everything” went out of style (thank god), an increased fetish interest in “all things spandex” started to appear.  And now that pantyhose have vanished from everyday life, the pantyhose fetish crowd is growing .. and I can personally make this observation because I’m seeing an increasing number of requests for pantyhose pics on my site.  Even Lady Gaga is careful to show the reinforced part of her pantyhose on stage to leave no doubt that she’s wearing them.

So, where does that leave us going forward?  Bare legs, in my opinion, don’t qualify as a fetish since they’re part of the anatomy.  Does the casual comfort-based look women have chosen leave the next generation of fetishists with a choice of cotton sweats, denim or microfiber?  And regarding women’s footwear .. flip flops, track shoes, fluffy slippers?

Maybe schoolgirl skirts and knee-high socks will continue their popularity but the symbolism of that outfit is .. well, you know .. a little twisted when the admirer is older and might be more about role-play than fetish.

So I’m calling on the fine hosiery manufacturers of the world .. Hanes, Wolford, Legs, etc .. to do something .. anything .. to revive their industry.

If not in the interest of corporate profits, think of the next generation of fetishy pervs.  Because if a marketing response to the downward trend doesn’t happen soon from you, I’m going to start wearing a big red clown nose.

(originally published in my blog October 29, 2009)

StockingStore Short Strap GarterBelt

shortstrapgarterbelt2012-02-26-02.08Those of us who prefer to wear our nylons “butt high” can rejoice.  Stocking Store has just the garter belt for us!

At the recommendation of my friend Eric, I ordered a black and a white 8-strap garter belt from Stocking Store.  Satin, adjustable waist, adjustable garter straps, metal clasps .. perfect .. and when they arrived I was pleased to find that the garter straps are very short.  Yes, there is some adjustment in the strap length but the shorter the strap, the less adjustment possible.

I do have some skirts that are still too short for stockings but these garter belts hold my size long or size opera stockings firmly in place.  No more removing, shortening and re-sewing the garter straps on brand new garter belts!

I’ve worn and washed (hand wash, of course) mine many, many times and they still look new.  Made in the USA and at $39.95, a good value, in my opinion.

The strap configuration is not exactly symmetrical. The front, front side and rear side straps are an equal distance apart but the very back strap is quite close to the rear side strap.  If I could say anything even slightly negative about this garter belt, it would be that the rear strap is a little too forward.  It’s not easy to get the garter tab into the keyhole of a pair of fully fashioned nylons but this is mostly an aesthetic thing,  and something only a stocking connoisseur would notice.  But they do manage to keep everything nice and straight and are not prone to the dreaded seam-twist-to-the-outside.

Product number is #VB204S

You can find them here:  http://www.stockingstore.com/Short-8-Strap-Garter-Belt-p/vb204s.htm

The Magic of High Heels

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Yes, it’s no secret to women of grace and style. We can’t adorn our bodies with anything that has greater significance.   They’re a sign of affluence, fashion sense, power and sexuality.

High heels have been the defining wardrobe accessory for centuries.  There’s evidence on ancient Egyptian murals that heels have been with us since 3500 BC.  And they’re not leaving us any time soon.

“Nothing has been invented yet that will do a better job than high heels at making a good pair of legs look great, or great ones look fabulous.”
– shoe designer Stuart Weitzman –

But what’s considered high?  That has changed over the centuries.  Today, according to women’s shoe manufacturers like Gucci and Jimmy Choo,  today’s high heels are anything over 3.5 inches (8.9cm).  Most regular high heel wearers would agree with that definition, while those who rarely wear heels might consider a two or three inch heel to be high.

There has been a lot written in the last 20 years about the health concerns related to long term high heel wear but I think I understand the real story behind the alarm.  Allow me to give my opinion, which may differ from the others out there, and will definitely differ from the medical professional-turned media personality.

Let’s look back to the 1940’s and 1950’s.  High heel wear was quite common  among almost every demographic and occupation.  Stay-at-home mom’s wore heels to church, shopping as well as any event that required even a slightly dressy look.  Flight attendants, office workers, school teachers, almost every women in the public eye wore heels.  Yet there is no clear indication today that mature high heel wearers  from that era suffer more foot anomalies than women born before or after them, or even non high heel wears from the same era.  The warnings we hear from Podiatrists always make reference to today’s styles, today’s quality, today’s construction .. and in my opinion, that’s where the problem lies.  Not with high heels, per se.

“Yeah, but I do it backwards and in heels!” – Ginger Rogers –

 

Does it fit?

For those old enough to remember, feet were carefully measured in shoe stores to 220px-Brannock_uspat1725334-fig1determine accurate length and width, and only then was the correct size determined. Shoe store staff used something called a Brannock device for this purpose. And even if you shopped at the same store regularly, they would always (re)determine your size before allowing you to try on new shoes.  Foot dimensions do change, usually related to health issues, the aging process etc.

It was not unusual for a shoe store to have to order less common shoe widths for customers who needed a narrow or wider shoe.  But when you eventually left the store with a new pair of heels, you knew they fit you well.

Quality

Back in the high heel heyday, it was almost impossible to purchase heels that weren’t made of leather.  Leather was then, and is now, the best material for footwear of any kind.  But in those days, the quality of shoe leather was substantially better than anything available today at a modest price point.   It took a little while to “break in” a new pair of heels but as we wore them, the shoe contoured itself to our feet to some degree.  Today’s polyurethane heels only lose strength and rigidity with wear.

My Thoughts

So, in summary, I’m not so quick to believe that simply elevating the heel causes damage to our feet.  Other factors, as I mentioned above, certainly have a role.  I only wish the nay-Sayers would provide a little more detail to their analysis instead of simply painting all types and quality of heel with the same brush.

Consider not worrying so much about the height of your heels  but instead buy the best quality shoe you can afford.  Let me repeat that in different terms. When looking at a new pair of heels, let their construction beyour biggest health concern .. not the height of the heels.  Yes, the man-made $30 stilettos can be tempting,  If you just can’t resist them, wear them in moderation, but do own a couple pairs of versatile quality heels.

“It is all very well for so-called sensible people to recommend flat heels and short skirts, but most of us prefer not to be sensible.” – Anna Held, Polish-born stage performer

And to the other t-girls like me out there, we’re in a bit of a dilemma these days.  High heels do wonders for the shape of our legs and make our feet appear noticeably smaller simply because they use less “real state” .. toe to heel length shrinks as the heel height increases.  They also adjust our posture in a very positive way. But many of us don’t wear them because the “average woman” does not.

I’ll leave a discussion of current women’s style (or lack thereof) for another discussion but since people in general, and women in particular, are getting taller in stature as the years go by, adding a few inches to our height doesn’t always make us the tallest girl in the room.  The smaller steps we take when wearing heels is quite flattering and if we learn how to walk properly in heels, the fact that we’re wearing them isn’t all that obvious.  But enter a room teetering, stiff-legged and everyone knows you’re not what you appear to be.

“You put high heels on and you change.” – Manolo Blahnik –

There’s no other accessory that can do so much for our overall look.  A pair of stilettos instantly dresses up a pair of jeans,  is the finishing touch on your most glamorous outfit, adds a professional, successful air to your business suits and helps you to appear as confident as you are.   And the “click click click” when you enter a room tells everyone that you mean business.

Be safe, be sane and enjoy your heels!

(the preceding comments are my opinions only and are not intended to replace sound medical advice.  I’m not a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV, although I have been known to wear a nurse’s uniform in the bedroom)

Update: 03/25/13

I just found a wonderful podiatrist who understands the need to wear heels and has suggestions to minimize the long term risks.  Dr Emily Splichal’s Catwalk Confidence and Stiletto Recovery Program is worth looking into if you’re as high heel obsessed as I am.  You can find her at Midtown Podiatry in New York City or on her Catwalk Confidence website.  Lots of good information there!

Here’s a short video clip from an appearance on Oprah where she discusses and illustrates how to walk in heels.

additional information:

Staying “Real” in the Social Media Age

stockingfoot_640x480_6450I’ve been thinking about opening up a special type of membership to those who might be interested in supporting my website.  It might be something like $5 per month or less and, although paying members would see the same content as those who enjoy the site for free, I would be also be available for one-to-one text chat too.

As Yogi Berra once said, and I paraphrase, “You can observe a lot by just watching” (teehee!) and I’ve done this … for many, many years.  And have seen the evolution of the online world.

SeleenaK_X6449Since the social media and “sharing” sites have gained prominence, the internet has become a place where we’re desensitized to imagery.  Follow me on any of the social networking sites and you’ll see that my work often appears along side images of the most gorgeous models at their peak, and photographed by the most talented photographers ever.  Both my appearance and my photographic abilities shouldn’t put me on the same planet as them, let alone in the same timeline.  I know this.

So is there anything I can still offer?   Blogging is an option but I don’t really write that well.  Most blogs include photos “borrowed” from the web and I just won’t do that.

What I just might have going for me is that I’m real, I’m here and I’m now.  Marylin Monroe, Betty Page and Jane Russell are not. Irving Claw, Richard Avedon and Francesco Scavullo are gone too, and that hot, hung she-male’s photo you’re lusting after is likely many years old, and she probably stopped doing work like that long ago due to the exploitation in the genre.  And if you could find her, she probably doesn’t speak the same language as you anyway. teehee!

Mass online image sharing has greatly lessened my ability to grab a tiny sliver of the pie.  But I’m here, in the flesh, and I have the energy to interact with you.  And I can and will chat with you on just about any topic.  And your contribution would help take my site forward and would allow me even more ways of interacting with you.

Please comment here or message me directly with your thoughts on this. bimbo at seleenak dot com