Every year, a monk who lived high in the mountains in an isolated retreat would come down to a nearby village and barter with the villagers for supplies to sustain him until his next visit.
Each year, he would bet the villagers that he could guess what any of them was holding in their hands. The villager would wager some food and the monk would wager the gift of a blessing in case he couldn’t guess. But he never did, and when he returned to this retreat, the villagers were left to wonder as to how he did it while thinking of new ways to catch him out so they could receive his blessing.
One year, a teenage boy came up with a cunning plan to gain the monks blessing. He would hold a live bird in his hands and invite the monk to guess. If the monk didn’t guess, he would receive his blessing, but if he did manage to guess, the teenage boy would ask “is it alive or dead though ?”
If the monk guessed dead, then the boy would open his hands in front of the monk, the bird would fly away and the boy would receive his blessing. If the monk guessed alive though, the boy would clasp the bird tightly, killing it and again, he would receive his blessing.
Pleased with his plan, the boy waited until the Autumn when the monk came to the village. Patiently, he waited and then asked the monk “what have I got in my hands ?” when it was his turn.
The monk, looked at the boys hand and smiled “You have a bird in your hand” he said. “BUT” shouted the boy, his trap set “Is it alive or dead ?”
The monk thought for a while, for he was a very wise man and understood immediately what the trap was. In time, he smiled again at the boy and said “You have the gift of life in your hands, what you choose to do with it is up to you”.
Beaten, the boy opened his hands and the bird flew free.
Remember, Every single one of us has the gift of life within our own hands.
Giving talks on any subject can be a difficult proposition, particularly one as potentially misunderstood (or even divisive for some people) as Transgender Equality. Throw in having any kind of social media profile, where people can add comments to your wall, or message you directly and the opportunity for some truly jaw dropping moments seems to exponentially increase . Here are some of my “favourites” from 2018 so far…..
Talks and Presentations
Why should I believe there are more than two genders ? Reply – What do you get from only believing there are two ?
What does Trans stand for ? Reply – I don’t think its an abbreviation, but if it is I would imagine it stands for Respect, Diversity and Equality.
Surely Trans women aren’t real women ? I’m with the Turds on this. Reply – I think you mean TERFS, but I get your point.
Why should you be able to use the Women’s toilet ? Reply – Because it will save me having to pee or poop over your shoes here. Please excuse me, I REALLY need to go !!!!
You say Trans people are statistically more likely to commit suicide than any other marginalised group, but I’ve known 5 people who’ve committed suicide and none of them were Trans what do you say about that ? Reply – I’m sorry for your statistically anomalous losses.
Can you get me Paris Lees phone number ? Reply – No, sorry, maybe you could email her agent ?
Do you have to buy special makeup for men ? Reply – Not unless men want it as a present. Otherwise I just buy and use the same as you do.
So, you’re a Tranny ? Reply – No, you’re confusing me for a Ford Transit Van, but when I wear white, I can understand how you might think that.
Do you watch Orange is the New Black ? Reply – yes, but only the ones with Laverne Cox in, otherwise I find it’s not true to life for me.
Turn out for tonight’s talk has been lower than we expected so we can’t afford to pay you, would you like a free row of tickets for the raffle instead ? Reply – That’s really kind of you, but gambling is a demerit in Buddhism, so I’ll have to respectfully pass.
What have LGBT people ever done for me ? Reply – We’ve given you the word “F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S “ daghlingk and a standard for it to live up to.
Are your parents disappointed with how you’ve turned out ? Reply, I don’t know, since I outed myself to them, they’ve passed away so arguing with them about it has become a lot harder.
(I do get invited back though. Sometimes)
Do you like Dick ? Reply – I don’t know anyone called Richard, sorry. I’m sure if I met him and got to know him, I might.
Are you gay ? Reply- Yes, In England gay is just another word for happy though. Are you ?
Will you marry me ? Reply – No. Never in a million years, because I’m a once in a lifetime woman.
Do you do Cam work ? Reply -No, I am a makeup artist and cannot manufacture any form of mechanical timing or actuation device.
Are you flirting with me ? Reply – No. Just NO
Can I have your number ? Reply – yes 5.
Do you know Farrah Mills, can you get me her number ? Reply, no, we’re friends and I couldn’t do that to her.
Can I call you Cindy ? Reply – no, I like my name just fine thankyou.
Do you like S&M ? Reply, Yes, their bras aren’t just any bras, they’re M&S Bras. I wouldn’t buy any others.
Didn’t I hire you as an escort once in London ? Reply – Probably not, I don’t do impersonations of cars from the 1980s.
Would you like to see my cock ? Reply, no, I’m a vegetarian, Poultry has no interest for me.
If I sent you underwear would you wear it and then return it unwashed ? Reply, no No NO NO NO !!!! Ewwww !!!
Show me your tits. Reply – Sorry, I don’t have any pets, feathered or otherwise.
How much for sex ? Reply – more than you can afford since it would cost me my dignity.
Can I cum round ? Reply – Corners ?!??!?
(funny how when you report these, they are seen not to violate “Community Standards” – what community ?!!?!!)
Would love to know what your own experiences have been !! Drop a comment and join in !!!
YnotbU is excited to announce the successful conclusion of several months negotiation between YNotbU and the Authentic Image Model Agency, which sees them join our @TransMakeupandBeautyAdvice brand.
Commenting on the acquisition, Amanda Pearson, Creative Director of Authentic Image stated “On behalf of Authentic Image, I can’t say enough how thrilled we are at this next stage of our business development. We’re excited to be working with the YNotbU team and the opportunities being part of the @TransMakeupandBeautyAdvice brand presents us. Now we have secured this deal for our agency, we can’t wait to get started on our shared vision, the coming years projects and our own USA expansion. In particular, I wanted to thank Gemma Atkinson of @YNotbU for being the inspiration behind this deal and making us feel so welcome.”
Echoing Amanda’s sentiment, Joanna Darrell stated “It’s a real privilege to be able to welcome Authentic Image to our family. The girls energy and passion for what they do has been so much fun to experience during these conversations and their ideas for what we can achieve together has created a real buzz among the team. In addition to recognising and thanking Gemma for her efforts on this project, I’d like to extend my personal thanks to Kim Lewis, former Managing Director of Altered Image, without whom this deal simply would not have happened. The values, ethics and behaviours she has strove for throughout her career and instilled in her team are not just what attracted us initially, but what make it such a good fit for both organisations moving forward. Even though she is stepping down and retiring, I’m sure it’s going to be an exciting 2018 for us all !!!”
The acquisition completes formally at the end of March.
For more information, please contact YNotbU and Authentic Image via our usual communication channels.
One of the great things about working with K’Anne and Shadoe Publishing, is you get a chance to see a number of great events, review wonderful books by really talented authors and chat to K’Anne herself about her writings and what she does to help authors get their work out there to readers.
Earlier this year, I blogged about one of these ideas that she was working and following one of our online chats, I thought I would write an update about her Lesfic Bard Awards, which are rapidly gaining momentum as a competition for authors to showcase their works,
The first thing I wanted to share with you is that the nomination categories have been announced !!! Check out the poster to see this years categories. Any grab your fancy ? (That’s not as rude as it sounds, I promise !!)
As well as the traditional categories, there are some really interesting genres here that you wouldn’t normally see represented. Anthology for example, as well as BDSM (get your kink on) Poetry and Studies. This diverse range of categories is another strength of the awards, you just don’t get this range of genres in other schemes that I’ve seen. It really gives every author a chance to showcase their talents !
The next piece of news that I wanted to share with you is that sponsors are starting to come on board. So far, sponsors have offered financial support for the awards as well as publicity for winners and I thought I would take the opportunity on behalf of lesficbardawards,com to say a huge thankyou to the following organisations !!
Lezbelib – are offering winners the chance to publish an article on their site, shared throughout their social networks. PLUS an advertising banner promoting their latest book !!!
Every month in our Facebook group, we share an online week long themed event with members looking to get inspiration for their exercise regimes, or maybe just a bit of a lifestyle or confidence boost.
They’re great ways to share ideas, meet people having the same issues you’re having, get inspiration and who knows, maybe make a lifelong friend who helps you make a positive change in your transition.
In my makeup group, I get asked all sorts of questions, which are a great way for myself and the members to share and learn. I really love these chances to interact with the women and appreciate them taking the time to join in.
One such lady this week was the lovely Aeryn, who asked what the best way to shape her eyebrows was and also what the best eyebrow shape was for her face. (Didn’t I tell you we get great questions ?) So, I thought I would take the time to write a little note to help you make the most of this makeup essential – let me know what you think !
I did an earlier blog about face shapes here and a blog how to choose right shape for your face so I’m going to assume that you know which one of the six basic shapes (Round, Square, Long, Oblong, Diamond or Heart) that you are and you know what shape you’re aiming for.
So on with the shaping !!
If you’ve tried shaping your eyebrows before and it hasn’t worked for you, then. I recommend that you leave them for about 6 weeks before you have another go. The reason for this is that after this period of time, your natural shape should haver, the goal of shaping is to enhance, not redefine. Otherwise you will look unnatural. Yukky !!
Mark the shape (so you can see what you’re aiming at) If you’re not going to use stencils then you’ll need to work out the basic shape. When I’m doing this for clients, I use an eyebrow pencil and showgirls the three points I’m aiming for. Imagine a vertical line going straight up the side of your nose. Where it intersects your eyebrow is point (1). (It’s where your eyebrow should start from) Next for point (2) imagine a line from the end of your nose that touches your iris. Where this intersects the upper edge of your eyebrow is point (2). Its where we want the highest point of your arch or curve to be. Lastly, for point (3) we want to imagine a line from the edge of your nose to the edge of your eye. Where this intersects your eyebrow is where we want your eyebrow to end. Take a look at the graphic below to see what I’m talking about. A good tip here is make sure that point (1) is at the same height as point (3)
4. Prepare for plucking operations !!! We’re getting close now !! Brace for plucking !!! To take the edge of some of the pain, it really helps to massage a drop of face primer into the eyebrow area (not too much, otherwise you wont be able to grip the brow)
5. It’s time to pluck !! Good plucking begins with good tweezers. I personally use these tweezers from Younique. But if they’re not for you, tweezerman tweezers are a really good alternate. The most important attribute for the tweezer is a sharp angled (slant) edge to the tweezers which helps pick the right hair and shear it cleanly. Start at the inside edge of the eyebrow and remove any baby hairs, long stragglers or ones that go against the main “grain” of the brow. Don’t be afraid to stop every now and again and look in the mirror. Not only does it help to gain some perspective, but it also helps with the pain management !!! Once you have done the inside edge, move to the lower arch, then the outside edge and finally the top edge. Easy. Remember, if you aren’t confident “freestyling” it, you can use a brow stencil, which you hold in place with one hand on the face and you tweeze with the other hand.
6. You should be able to leave your face to calm down a little after the plucking (I know, it hurts, but its not forever) and you should be able to leave it for about siz weeks before you need to do it again. Plenty of time to build up the courage !!!
In my earlier article, I explained one of the most important concepts in makeup and styling, the Face Shape and why it is so important for getting your look right. In this article, I’ll be talking about selecting the best eyebrow shape for your face. I(f you’re nervous about using tweezers, or its your first time, you can get some stencils here, which help you get an even shape.) First things first
When we shape our eyebrows, we’re looking for the eyebrow has to complement the eye. Remember, they’re the frame to your eye, which is the main feature. You also can’t work with what isn’t there, so don’t be tempted to overpluck. Your eyebrows know what shape they should be, plucking should complement your natural shape and features. Oval face Shape.
Generally, most Makeup Artists and stylists consider the oval face shape to the ideal face shape (Lucky you !!) and most of the eyebrow shapes that we discuss for the other shapes will try to make the face to look more oval in appearance.
Because the oval face is considered to be the ideal, most artists agree that that you only need a soft arch which goes straight up and then gently curves round at the top and down.
Long Face Shape.
With the Long face shape, because its longer than it is wider, we’re looking to create the illusion of width.
We do this by using a flatter eyebrow shape, with a minimal to no arch which tends to draw attention up, away from the face, emphasising the length.
I’m not a huge personal fan of blocking in eyebrows (ie drawing a rectangular shape and colouring in, creating sharp corners at the nose edge. I personally find it a bit artificial and more for cosplay or younger ladies) But, this is one face shape which suits “blocking in” if you want to try it.
Round Face shape.
Thinking about the difference between the round face shape and the oval, you can see that what we want to do is create the illusion of length.
We do this by creating as high an arch as we can within the natural brow shape.
If you’re not using a stencil. Start by creating as high an arch as you can that follows a straight line to the peak of the brow, and creates a more vertical line.
You want some really good lines and angles here, so stay away from a rounded brow shape which will make your face look even more round. Oopsy !!
Square Face Shape.
Unlike the round shaped face I’ve just discussed, because it’s more angular, we’re looking to create a softer arch than with the round face shape.
The softer curve will help offset the angles of the lower jaw line. Some makeup artists will also recommend you go for an angle line like for the round face, but I tried this on a client once and we both agreed it wasn’t a good look – it made her face look angular and artificial.
Heart Face Shape.
With the heart shape, because the hair line dominates the forehead, rather than use a defined or soft arch, we’re looking to create the same shape in our eyebrow line.
My preference is to use a more rounded eyebrow. A low rounded brow creates a natural look, which is soft, feminine and attractive.
Some makeup artists will suggest using a high angular arch for a more dramatic look, but my preference is to go for softer more rounded one, purely because I don’t want to appear dramatic every day !!!
Diamond Face Shape
In the unlikely event that you have a diamond shaped face, what we want to do is create the illusion that the face is narrower across the temple line and take away some of the angles of the jawline and forehead.
We do this by shortening the length of our eyebrow slightly (not too much as you will make your eyes look wider apart than they really are). What you are trying to do is to take out any thinned areas at the ear edge of the eyebrow to keep it tight and tidy with the edge of the eye.
To soften the angles of your face, use a soft rounded eyebrow, which will help soften the face and offset the angles.
So, there you have it in a nutshell, the six basic face types and the eyebrows that suit them !! As I said right at the start, if you are unsure of your shaping abilities, the best thing to do is to get some eyebrow stencils, or, if you are feeling more confident, go to a professional eyebrow threader. They’re quick, painless and really effective !!!