If Clothes Made a Man

In this world, there's a level of agreement between your confidence and your innermost thoughts/desires. At least that's how I feel for myself. I've often looked at people, adults mostly, through the lens of social media and dissected their 'brand.' I looked and analyzed and their comings, their goings, their likes, dislikes, interests, disinterests, and their genuine expression of self.

This genuine expression of self goes beyond the clothes. I can almost sit there and recognize how the person would be in a state of complete innocence as a child. I believe that state is when a person is most vulnerable but at the same time most themselves. I most definitely lost that state of childhood early.

Once childhood was out of the way, I fretted every year that I didn’t feel woman enough. I looked at my outward appearance and saw myself resembling my male classmates. Especially being overweight. In my young eyes an overweight boy and an overweight girl look very familiar. After I hit puberty I thought differently. I was convinced that I had to be a girl, so I’d wish for more feminine features. I wished for long flowing hair, big flowing dresses, and a fabulous prince charming.

My first formal dance was so disappointing. I wore this sexy red dress, silk I believe. I had the red hot lips, my hair was straightened for the first time. I had some short heels. Flats? I think they were flats. And a silk cardigan type shirt. It was a beautiful dress but I was just so confused. I never sat to think about why. I was just a teenager and so angry at the world. I was angry at myself too.


Fast forward 15+ years! I’m a smoking hot beast in the gym where I pick heavy things up and then perform all kinds of movements to build muscles. And at the beginning of my muscle building journey I looked at my female body and accepted that one day I’d like to look like an IFBB Women’s Physique competitor. Realistically, I never thought I’d be thin enough to compete in Bikini. But, that’s not the important part.

I’ve been going through cycles of body dysmorphia and gender dysphoria for a long time now. I think even more now where gym and bodybuilding is concerned. Bodybuilding is all about the body. Certain exercises are excellent at building certain muscles. But there’s more... certain hormones are better at building muscles than others. Male bodies grow muscle and bulk up way more than female bodies.

And that’s upsetting. Because in the process of discovering these facts, I went through a whole lot of life that was great and yet also hurt. No matter how much I shop at a men’s section, the biology and science of my body created a lot of doubt. And what about my total state of innocence? Have I always known or felt this way before? Yes and no. For a very long time I didn’t question anything.

My parents told me I was a girl, so I tried my hardest to be a girl. It’s 2019 though, I get to tell myself that I don’t need to try hard to be a woman. It’s plain to me. My body might be different, and it may be difficult for men to parade around in dresses. But I am who I am. No one, no clothes, nothing in this world can define me.

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