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76 comments

[–] KBash 54 points (+63|-9) Edited

Seriously.

I look like a woman with no makeup on. And I’ll say so myself- I look like a stereotypically attractive woman with no makeup on. I don’t need contouring, because I have high cheekbones and cheeks (fuller cheeks- this particular face- is way more common in women). I have a wider forehead and a narrower chin. I have a stereotypically feminine face, which I’d actually prefer not to have because it’s coded as “sweet” rather than tough. As far as good looks go, I’d much rather have the cut-glass cheekbones and strong jaw of many models than the stereotypically feminine pretty face with the round high cheeks and heart shape, which just means people don’t take me very seriously, and are alarmed when I’m impatient, as if they think faces should prescribe personality (I am sure there are some Neanderthal-browed lantern-jawed men who cry at movies and are very sensitive). Similarly, I have been called an “evil doll” when I get mad. It’s annoying and I wish I could look different but I don’t- and that’s exactly what these dudes want: to look utterly feminine without makeup.

However, there are women with sharper jaws and bigger noses and thinner faces who look one hundred percent female and (IMO) just as with men, the mix of masculine and feminine features makes them super attractive- and they look unmistakably like women, even with zero makeup.

These guys wish they could go without makeup and look like us.

My looks- the very feminine face, with high neoteny- are extremely common, in women of all races (Lupita Nyong’o comes to mind, as a woman with an extremely feminine and neotenous face. I have a very similar face shape to her). I see women who look like me all the time. We are typically considered pretty or even beautiful by those who admire the super feminine babyface look. Personally, since the grass is always greener, I prefer women with a sharper face.

I see tons of women with sharper features who nonetheless look exactly like women, and many of them are very beautiful. They don’t need makeup at all for people to know instantly they’re women.

Can these men who have gone through male puberty say the same?

The trend for natural beauty is competing with and IMO will overtake the trend for the fake face now so popular on Instagram. What will they do then?

This is why they push for childhood transition. Some misbegotten wish that they wouldn’t need so much surgery to actually look feminine. Of course they don’t think about or give a shit about unnecessarily medicalized, sterilized and mutilated children.

I remember talking to a TiM on the debate sub on Reddit some years ago (I often had good conversations with TiMs on there, but not this time). He reminded me of an incel who told me his lack of sex was worse than my repeated experiences of assault and rape.

He said that it didn’t matter if 80+% of trans-identifying kids grew out of it. He said it was more important that the 10-20% of kids who didn’t got to have early transition.

He literally didn’t care about sacrificing the health and well-being of the majority. At all.

If they’re so much better-looking than us, why do so many of them feel that way? Hmm?

[–] ohthegametes 47 points (+47|-0)

I feel that. My face is apparently coded “nice customer service girl” when in reality I’m gown 40-something asshole who is not, in fact, happy to help.

Also, it doesn’t matter if we’re pretty. We’re women . They’re not. Hard cope.

[–] legopants 3 points (+3|-0)

Hi, maybe we could swap faces like in that movie Face Off

[–] KBash 1 points (+4|-3) Edited

I agree with all of this. Looks shouldn’t matter so much.

I have a complicated relationship with my looks. I’ve been so sick- as a result of just unlucky genetics and also stress (including the stress of PTSD, which is the worst stress you can have)- that I actively want to maintain whatever looks I have so that when I’m well, I can cash in again on my attractiveness, whether with regard to getting a partner or having people like me, helping me professionally, etc. I need to lose a fair amount of weight, but I’d like to do that for health reasons anyway. If anything will help me go into remission, it will be that; and I love certain sports, so I’m not concerned about anything but being able to do them again, because I’m very ill right now.

On the other hand, my looks have been a horrible curse. I think especially if you have low self-esteem as a woman good looks/feminine looks (very feminine face, curvy figure) can be disastrous. Due to childhood trauma, bad parenting and undiagnosed mental difference, I was ill-equipped to deal with the attention that being small, curvy, pretty and young-looking attracted. I’ve experienced everything from being fetishized and constantly harassed to being fat-shamed when I gain weight due to my health conditions, so I’ve seen all sides, and experienced all the forms of harassment women receive for their looks. I still have body dysmorphia and I know it’s going to be a struggle to ever overcome that, regardless of how good shape I may get into. I’ll still have all the evidence of illness on my body- the stretch marks, sagging breasts, loose skin from losing weight. I’m lucky I’ve stayed young-looking despite being close to forty, because if after everything I’ve been through I ended up haggard after getting in shape, I’d feel crushed. I know that’s patriarchal thinking, and I wish I could stop caring. At the same time I think it’s probably natural. I’m trying to fall somewhere in the middle in my thinking on this issue. I don’t want to be patriarchally colonized into either caring too much about my looks, or not caring at all in some reactionary way, because that’s also letting them win. I’m trying to figure out who I’d be and what I’d want were I free of patriarchal values.

I’ve felt ugly, stupid and worthless for a long time. I think it’s perfectly fine to say good things about myself, to love myself. I’d be happy to read a post from a woman about her beauty and her relationship to it and coming to terms with the pros and the cons (I do think there are lots of cons), or a post from a woman about how society codes her as unattractive, and her relationship to her looks, the pros and cons and coming to terms with it. I think both are fine, and both are legitimate. I’m sure my looks may have been more of a pro had I been well- mentally well- and I think a part of me wants to be able to enjoy them, because frankly I’ve never had a chance. I think there’s nothing wrong with wanting to experience some benefit from them for once, before they’re gone for good, which they will be one day, probably in the fairly near future.

There are pros and cons to being young-looking as well. I remember there being a beautiful and young-looking woman my age now when I was in grad school the first time. She had also struggled so much and experienced so much male violence, which had curtailed her life for years as well, and she was just finally getting her voice and motivation. She fit in well at the program of mostly young people because she was unattached, unmarried, and didn’t look thirty-eight, which does make a difference. Similarly, doing a second master’s now will be easier on me since I won’t stick out too much to my cohort (I know people go back to school all the time, but as a single person with no children I’d like to be able to hang out, even if my peers are younger).

It does mean I’m taken less seriously! Being a college professor while constantly having people (college men around campus) ask me my major as a chat-up line was funny. It did mean I had to really put my foot down, as both men and women were liable to disrespect my authority, men especially of course.

We all have a complicated relationship with our looks under patriarchy, and probably would even without patriarchy, although it certainly makes things pathological rather than merely complicated.

I’m glad to finally be able to celebrate how I look. Pride in oneself is different than slavish devotion to makeup and fashion based on low self-esteem. Liberal feminism is right that women can take pride in their appearance, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Radical feminism is right that there’s way too much emphasis on women’s appearance. It’s not either/or.

My point was though that the very feminine babyface is very common, so it’s silly to say that trans women are better-looking than women, unless they’re implying that the amount of time one spends on one’s looks is what makes one attractive, or that heterosexual men are attracted to boyish looks. Most women, even women with sharper features, retain that feminine face to varying degrees and are instantly identifiable as female and are (IMO) quite attractive without a trace of makeup. I think that’s rare for an adult male trying to pass as the opposite sex.

I feel your pain though re: not getting taken seriously. Even my boyfriend got annoyed and embarrassed at a certain point about me always getting carded for alcohol at restaurants and such, since he’s 40+ (although he’s younger-looking himself). It’s flattering on the one hand, and means you’re not listened to in professional settings on the other. Like other women I know who are petite, pretty or young-looking, I’ve had to compensate by adopting a no-nonsense attitude, which doesn’t seem fair as it’s not even necessarily my personality but sigh- the things we do to navigate patriarchy.

My dad interestingly has my exact same face- I look just like him, only more babyfaced with the feminine features- so it’s not as though this is unique to women (and IMO babyfaced men “pass” better in drag simply for this reason). He’s kept his baby face well into his seventies and only his bald pate, white hair and beard, and wrinkly turkey neck give him away now. 🤣

[–] Stealthygal 31 points (+31|-0)

The idea of bypassing puberty in order to pass better is also ALL about MtF needs, too. Does nothing for the possibility of FtM people

[–] KBash 5 points (+5|-0)

I know. For the life of me I cannot understand why they put females on puberty blockers or push for their early transition. It’s totally unnecessary.

[–] Stealthygal 0 points (+1|-1)

Plus if they're that triggered by menstruation they can get the implant, and tbh I don't think blockers do much to hold back hips. I don't advocate binders of course but they can minimise boobs if they want to... wait till all growing is done before mastectomy if they really want one.

These guys wish they could go without makeup and look like us

All the TIM who want to go into women's prisons should be denied any makeup, nail polish, or long hair. (I know a lot of women like those things, but they might find it liberating to go without them if they once relied on them on the outside.)

The trend for natural beauty is competing with and IMO will overtake the trend for the fake face now so popular on Instagram

Oh I so hope you're right! Too late for me. I wish natural beauty had been the thing when I was young (if one more girl told me "you'd look so pretty with makeup"! Passive aggressive or what!)

This is why they push for childhood transition. Some misbegotten wish that they wouldn’t need so much surgery to actually look feminine.

I wonder if the male body keeps trying to heal itself, no matter how much Frankenstein stuff is done to it? I mean shaved jaw bone can't grow back (can it?) but the body is still going to fight to develop as male, I'd imagine, no matter what chemicals are thrown at it.

[–] KBash 6 points (+8|-2)

TiMs in prison claim that not having access to these things is oppression, so that’s never going to happen! How else can they express their gender if they don’t get bras and panties and lipstick and wigs?

As for natural beauty, I actually think it’s a double-edged sword. Beauty standards will still be there, and women who don’t look as gorgeous without makeup as with will be looking for cheats (the no-makeup makeup look, which is already really popular). Also, the natural beauty trend means tons of skincare and haircare maintenance, so it sells just as many products (albeit usually cleaner products), often takes just as much time (and includes unnatural things like Botox and dermarolling, etc., to keep the “natural” look a young look), and otherwise is not particularly liberating because it results in even stricter standards for women, who now can’t even hide behind makeup anymore without being judged. I think the “natural beauty” trend is still for men, sporty men and “woke” men who think makeup is crass and judge women for wearing it, or that it’s incompatible with the sporty or cool lifestyle, but who still desire picture-perfect beautiful women. They’re perfectly happy for women to spend tons of time and money on skin and hair care and to curl or straighten or blowout or style their hair, as long as they’re not wearing loads of war paint. This is not actually “natural” beauty.

Now there are some women who naturally have perfect skin and hair, and kudos to them! Most women have to work for their “natural beauty.” Men are allowed to have flaws and be handsome.

I’d like to see a world in which women are still considered attractive with their flaws, just as men are.

[–] ovarit327 6 points (+6|-0)

Wow you just made something make sense for me! I’m not beautiful, but painfully “cute” (if I had a dime for every time I’ve been called that...) and people never take me seriously the first time they see me upset, like it’s a funny little game I’m playing. Then they can’t handle it when they realize yes, I’m actually a human being who has negative emotions too.

[–] KBash 1 points (+4|-3)

I’d much rather be beautiful than cute. I actually have people pinch my cheeks- men and women! I remember age 28 flying back from Japan and asking the flight attendant for a glass of the free wine they were giving out. She was a brusque middle-aged lady, and she actually grabbed my face and cupped it and stood there contemplating me for a while. She said “how old are you?” (Over international waters, which meant 18 was the drinking age). I said “I’m 28,” and she said “you look so young.” (I’ve continued to be carded and hear this even recently). Then she poured me a huge glass of red wine giving me a broad wink the whole time. She probably thought I was 16 and putting one over on her!

I agree about “painfully cute.” People treat me sometimes like I’m an actual goddamn baby. Being an actual goddamn baby with giant boobs is bad for my mental health!

If I get slender (difficult due to my thyroid, but possible with hard work), I finally veer out of the “painfully cute” territory. The difference between being perceived as cute (or sexy, which baby-women with curvy figures are also often perceived to be) and being considered properly attractive is astounding. I am treated so much better when I get slender; not because when I’m a bit curvy I’m so unattractive, but I honestly think because of the cuteness factor.

No one takes cute baby faced people seriously! The same goes for men. How seriously do we take petite young-looking pretty men? Not very seriously. Obviously it’s worse for women.

My sister has had this problem because she’s tiny, and has big blue eyes with long curly lashes, and long naturally blond hair. She’s been called a “Barbie” and a “princess” by both women and men when trying to work in her field (law). She actually had one boss blink her eyes repeatedly in an imitation of a bimbo at her, when she was making a complicated point about a case she was working on. She was treated so badly she ended up leaving the law and doing her PhD, during which she was still treated badly. It’s actually a studied phenomenon- the “pretty penalty”- in the workplace. I think it’s actually an penalty for women who look stereotypically cute rather than striking. The petite tininess, tiny hands and feet, tiny features etc., short stature= treated like an actual child and not taken seriously.

Almost every woman I know who has this problem has compensated by adopting a take no shit attitude. Of course there are many women who embrace it and try to use it for patriarchal crumbs, which are never worth it, at least in my opinion.

I have to actually starve myself slender and then I’m treated with a bit more respect, since I’m dark-haired rather than blonde (knowing my sister’s experience there definitely is some stereotyping of the “dumb blonde”), and my features end up looking less baby like.

However if I don’t get down to actual slenderness, I retain the prominent baby cheeks and people actually pinch them. I’ve had to learn how to stick up for myself, and it hasn’t been easy. At all.

Babyface solidarity, sister! ✊🏻

I think my facial expressions are too serious and cranky for pinching cheeks (my mom used to experience it) but otherwise, same. Baby faced with good genes for skin on top of that and I’m 5’1 (and tend to only wear flats). This is the main reason I’m not giving up makeup until women are treated with more respect by default—if I don’t wear makeup (in a style that helps place my age) I’m treated like a teenager. In my late 20s, someone literally asked what grade I was in. When I’m with my >60 year old mom (who also looks much younger) cashiers tell me to be good and help my mom in the tone you use with children (think I’ve heard that one when I was 30 actually). No one ever guesses my age right without makeup, and even with, they tend to be off by 5-10 years but at least I can work with that.

Ive loved skipping makeup since face masks became a required thing, I can see now that mascara and I were in an abusive relationship even more than I’d realized (how did I sleep in that garbage omg) but. .. I often find myself in situations where if I’m not already perceived as a grown woman, nothing I say can reclaim the level of respect I need to navigate and be heard. If I had straighter hair maybe I could compromise with a very serious (or outdated/old) haircut, but Jesus, frizzy wispy curls AND no makeup puts me straight back into the high school age range for sure.

[–] Ash94 4 points (+4|-0) Edited

Interesting that you bring up Lupita. TIMs love comparing woc to men. Philosophy tube tweeted something like "there is no trans liberation without woc liberation" after saying Black and SA women are hairy and are often mistaken for men.

Similar to this girl's tiktok response, here's a black girl's epic takedown of Philosophy tube's racist ass (he double downed on tumblr after posting those racist tweets comparing woc to men)

https://honsaplenty.tumblr.com/post/643109233826709504/why-do-you-and-other-trans-rights-activists-feel

[–] KBash 1 points (+2|-1)

I specifically brought up Lupita for that reason. She has the epitome of the feminine-looking face, and I see black women with a similar face all the time (in fact, I’d say the heart-shaped face with apple cheeks may be more common among black women, if anything; I’ve had many black female students who also have this face). Being white with the apple cheeks and heart-shaped face is, if anything, more of a rarity; but it is the stereotypical feminine female face! (Ariana Grande is another example of a woman with this face, if she puts on even the tiniest bit of weight; when she’s rail-thin she ends up with sharp cheekbones, which I would not- there is no getting rid of my cheeks!) Lupita Nyong’o is like that: very slender, still has the cheeks, but they’re little apples. That’s me too, when I’m slender. Right now I’m not and my cheeks are giant, lol.

Anyway, yes, since trans people say such ridiculous things, I thought I’d point out that many black women also have this incredibly feminine face, IMO more often than white women, who tend toward sharper features on the whole.

Thanks for the tumblr link, I’ll check it out!

[–] JustWantToUnderstand 0 points (+1|-1) Edited

Philosophy Tube creeps me out so much, they write like my English Professor that I fucking hate.