The “Too Natural” Look

There is one look that is, unfortunately, commonly seen at TG gatherings and is one that very seldom actually works, in spite of the person who adopts this look truly believing that it does work.This particular look which we’re going to discuss now is not that easy to define, but it’s one of those “you know it when you see it” looks.

When viewed by a naive observer, this “Too Natural” look is at best androgynous (such as the character “Pat” on Saturday Night Live) but more often times the look is clearly masculine, and is indicative of a failure to blend or pass.

“It just looks out of place” is an often-heard comment regarding this look.

So, what exactly is the “Too Natural” look?

In general, the too-natural look involves the intentional avoidance of multiple aspects of the presentation of a feminine image, including, but not limited to such thing as makeup, padding, control, various grooming items, hairstyle, mannerisms, habits, etc.

This look has long been associated with those who have recently spurned the label of CD (or similar labels) and adopted the label of TG or TS, in perhaps an attempt to distance from the rituals and habits associated with crossdressing.

This look is, however, seen on those who either wish to appear more natural, or decide to take some shortcuts in the preparatory ritual.

The bottom line is: Being oh-so natural does not work! Adding to this is a common conclusion that the person trying to go with this look is frequently totally oblivious to the fact that it is not working.

So why doesn’t this look work?GGs are often lucky enough to be able get away with a short hairstyle that requires little maintenance, minimal or no makeup, no padding or control, and still present a feminine image, but it is extremely rare for a MtoF TG to adequately present such an image without a little help.

The MtoF TG (still) has the 46,XY karyotype, and along with it such things as a larger frame, the masculine skeleton, body and facial hair, a typically larger face with stronger features and a coarser complexion, larger hands and feet, and the tendency toward pattern baldness.

“But I’m on hormones, this doesn’t apply to me.”

Yes it does! If you don’t think so, please consult any of countless human physiology and anatomy reference books which discuss XX/XY-related physical characteristics. Hormone therapy will, to an extent, promote breast growth, redistribute fat, and alter patterns of hair growth. The key phrase here is “to an extent”, and other measures will usually need to be taken to present a truly feminine image.

The MtoF TG will usually need to compensate for these characteristics in order to present a truly feminine image, using many techniques, including:

  1. A hairstyle that is distinctly and unquestionably feminine. This needs to be long enough to be styled or permed and can be used to compensate for the stronger facial features and masculine hairline pattern.
  2. Use of cosmetics to adequately cover the beard shadow and to subordinate any strong facial features as much as possible.
  3. The presentation of a distinctly feminine figure, using a combination of such things as padding, control, and garment selection.
  4. Attention to details.
  5. Unfortunately, if these items are not followed, the result is that the image is that of a guy. :(

    Let’s discuss some of these items …

    Can you wear your own hair? It depends. Is it long enough to be styled? Are you afflicted with pattern baldness or a receding hairline?

    If you’re considering wearing your natural hair, you should consult a stylist who is familiar with the TG community, and one who is known to tell you the way it is, as opposed to what you want to hear.

    Five O’clock Shadow (at 8 in the morning):Facial hair is one problem that needs to be taken care of in order to be presentable in public. Those who have completed a course in hair removal such as electrolysis, laser, etc., will not have this problem, but those who have not, including those who have treatment in progress but incomplete, will need to take some actions, including:

    • Remove it.Yes, shave it, using a blade or electric razor, as you prefer. You will also want to consider carrying a small portable razor with you for touch-ups if you need it.It is very important to avoid excess pressure which results in skin irritation, ingrown hairs, and “razor burn”.
    • Cover it up.At minimum you will need to use a foundation which contains an amount of pigment necessary to provide coverage of the “shadow” on the chin, neck, upper lip, and sides of the face.This can be anything from a “full coverage” liquid foundation from the drug store, heavy foundations such as Max Factor’s Panstik, to corrective cosmetics, used to cover tattoos and birthmarks (Dermablend, Recover, etc.), to theatrical foundations from Mehron or Max Factor’s stage line.
    • Color-correct it.This is the most tricky of these procedures. It should be done in addition to, and not in place of removal and coverage. This is almost always done prior to the application of foundation.There are several techniques, all which require a significant degree of practice, including:
      • Clown White.This is in the form of theatrical greasepaint, available at most any costume shop. This is used to lighten the areas of the face where dark hair is present.This can help in some cases, but the amount of lightening necessary will change as the hair begins to grow over the period of several hours.

        The look rendered by clown white is often inconsistent under various kinds of light. If it looks natural in daylight, it may look very obvious under fluorescent light and bright white under the light of a camera flash!

        Clown white is often an oil-based product and can be quite heavy.

      • The “Cheap Red Lipstick” trick.This uses a red pigment (from a red lipstick of most any brand), applied lightly to the beard area, to neutralize the blue-black cast of the beard shadow. If done properly it can be quite effective. It does, however, take a LOT of practice!If you try this, remember that a little goes a long way, and too much can easily give a sunburned appearance to the face!
      • Correcting lotions.This involves the skilled application of a magenta (and possibly a yellow) color correcting lotion to neutralize the blue-black cast of the beard shadow. This is similar to the “cheap red lipstick” trick above, but uses something closer to the right tool for the job.These lotions are frequently seen in sets of three (yellow, pinkish, and blue-greenish) at department store cosmetic counters. They can be quite pricey.

        The proper application of these takes a good amount of practice, a makeup mirror capable of several types of light, and very acute color vision.

    Figure enhancement and figure control:Many beginners assume that they must present nothing other than the classical hourglass figure, with prominent breasts, hand-span waist, and curvaceous hips.

    Yes, this often times requires lots of padding, makeshifts, some very heavy hardware, and a look that is impossible to comfortably maintain over a period of several hours!

    This is one reason why those who once choose to go for the look of the exaggerated female form will go to the other extreme and try to get by with little or no enhancement.

    The truth is that women come in all shapes and sizes with many deviations from this stereotypical look. You will have quite a bit of leeway, but the overall image being presented needs to be feminine, at first glance, and with a closer look as well.

    From an observer’s point of view, nothing says “I’m a girl” more than the presence of breasts and nothing says “I’m a guy” more than their absence.

    With the exception of those with surgical implants and some who had several years of clinical-strength hormone replacement therapy, almost everyone will need some help in the breast department.

    One common characteristic of this “too natural” look is to have breasts that just don’t appear to be there.

    Yes, the tape measure (sometimes aided with wishful thinking and some imagination) may show that you do indeed qualify for an A-cup or even an almost-B-minus, but when starting with the male physique, this often isn’t enough. In GGs, breast size varies quite a bit from AAAA to Avenue Q, but you will seldom, if ever, see a genetic female with the large V-shaped chest with no visible breasts.

    In general, women tend to have a smaller waist than men, but there is considerable overlap in waist size between the sexes. Women do come in all sizes, and the percentage of women who actually do wear the dresses from those 3-5-7 shops is quite low.

    Waist control is a personal choice. Most do not need it to present a feminine image. In many cases it won’t hurt, but it’s not often times a dead give-away. A small(er) waist can help to compensate for the lack of hips, but it can also emphasize the masculine “V” shape of the chest.

    The female pelvis, in particular the ilia, tends to be broader and less deep than the pelvis of the male. Males also lack the deposits of subcutaneous fat alongside and behind the pelvis. For a given body weight, the male hips tend to be narrower and show more muscle and less fat than the female hips.

    This “lack of a booty” does present quite a challenge, and many just prefer to let this one go. Several years of clinical-strength hormone replacement therapy can redistribute fat to the hips, to an extent, but nothing can change the shape of the pelvis itself.

    There are three effective techniques to deal with this issue:

    1. ControlControlling the waist can make the hips appear broader by comparison. This may become uncomfortable over time.
    2. PaddingThere’s a whole smorgasbord of techniques here, some easy, some complex, some comfortable, some not, some expensive, and some cheap. Padded panties and girdles are commonly available. Pre-made pin-in and sew-in pads are also common. There are even custom-made garments (such as the “Veronica”) for this purpose. Countless articles abound on how to “cut a piece of foam into a pork chop or a map of South America” and similar methods.
    3. Garment selectionThis is probably the most effective technique there is, but one that is often not followed. Things such as tight skirts, tight jeans, tight shorts emphasize the attractive rear of a voluptious GG. They will also emphasize the lack of such a rear if none happens to be present.

    Attention to details:GGs tend to learn at an early age to accentuate their strong points and to direct attention away from their weak points.

    Unfortunately, in the TG community it is often the case that features which should be subordinated for the most natural image are those chosen to highlight.

    Very seldom does this “Too Natural” look involve highlighting features that should not be highlighted, but it often does involve failing to highlight one’s strong points.