What does it mean to be female ?

When I was asked this myself recently, I had to admit the question made me stop and think. Really think. Being Transgender you might expect my answer to reflect my dysphoria, but as a woman I know my femininity is worth more than that. I don’t think I could sum it up in a single word or an expression.

Being Transgender doesn’t invalidate my answer to the question. Sure, there are TERFs who may disagree, but so what ? Sometimes, shock horror, society (and the law) disagrees with them too and you don’t see many of them beating themselves up over it, or changing their opinion.

So what does being a woman, a Transgender woman mean to me ?

It means I know that I am more than just my gender. I’m aware of the obstacles life is going to throw my way and prejudices people will have about me. I can trust my own ability to overcome these too, even if I don’t immediately know how to. I don’t need to do it all on my own either, because I have the confidence and self-awareness to know when to ask for help.

I’m not afraid to show my feelings either, because, hey, we all have them and I’m not afraid to be true to mine. They’re my truths, which reflect my kindness, generosity, compassion, integrity, a willingness to be vulnerable, and authenticity. They help ground me and be true to myself.

As a woman, I know that my strength and value is built on these feelings which give me a kind of confident humility in all that I do. Backed up by my faith in God and passion for loving and helping others, this confident humility means I stay centred, without being arrogant.

Being a Transgender woman, I know that femininity is more than a biological or social construct. It’s about being human and recognizing the complexity of diversity that comes with being human. As a Transgender woman, I’ve had to take responsibility for my life, what I want for my life and how society will see me in a far more fundamental way than most others. I have gone beyond any fears or prejudices to define my own womanhood.

I enjoy being a woman, and I enjoy being the woman I am becoming. I especially enjoy challenging the notion that I can be put in a box. I am training to be a hair stylist and an activist for my community. I want to be married and have many children, all the while maintaining my identities as child of God, a daughter, a sister, and a good friend. But I don’t think that any of this makes me a more special kind of woman or better than any other woman; it’s just MY womanhood. And though it may need some work, for the most part, and until further notice, I love it.

What does being a woman mean to you ?

Be true to yourselves

Kendra

Transgender FAQ (The WTF ones)

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

  1. Why should I believe there are more than two genders ?  Reply – What do you get from only believing there are two ?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 !!!!
  5. 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.
  6. Can you get me Paris Lees phone number ? Reply – No, sorry, maybe you could email her agent ?
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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)

Social Media

  1. 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.
  2. Are you gay ? Reply- Yes, In England gay is just another word for happy though.  Are you ?
  3. Will you marry me ? Reply – No. Never in a million years, because I’m a once in a lifetime woman.
  4. Do you do Cam work ? Reply -No, I am a makeup artist and cannot manufacture any form of mechanical timing or actuation device.
  5. Are you flirting with me ? Reply – No.  Just NO
  6. Can I have your number ? Reply – yes 5.
  7. Do you know Farrah Mills, can you get me her number ? Reply, no, we’re friends and I couldn’t do that to her.
  8. Can I call you Cindy ? Reply – no, I like my name just fine thankyou.
  9. 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.
  10. Didn’t I hire you as an escort once in London ? Reply – Probably not, I don’t do impersonations of cars from the 1980s.
  11. Would you like to see my cock ? Reply, no, I’m a vegetarian, Poultry has no interest for me.
  12. If I sent you underwear would you wear it and then return it unwashed ?  Reply, no No NO NO NO !!!! Ewwww !!!
  13. Show me your tits.  Reply – Sorry, I don’t have any pets, feathered or otherwise.
  14. How much for sex ?  Reply – more than you can afford since it would cost me my dignity.
  15. 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 !!!
Love always

5 minutes a day…..

As well as giving me the chance to goof around outdoors, the recent snow also gave me a chance to do some thinking about a whole range of things.  It’s great fun to let your mind wander around like this sometimes.  While it’s not exactly meditation, for me, I can find it even more restful than sleeping and certainly more enjoyable !

One of my recent daydreams had me wondering.  You know we’re always racing from one thing to another, what would we do with more time ?  If you’re anything like me, probably more running ! But isn’t it crazy that the less time something takes to do, the less likely we are to do it ?

So girl, its time to put down that mobile phone, abandon the Facebook status update and dare I say it step away from the cake………. (I know, I can’t believe I typed that either)  Instead, why not try one or more than these quick routes to a better day and happiness ?

BreathingBreathe. That’s right, just breathe !  The best thing about these five minutes is that you can literally do it anywhere, office, home (there’s even one girl in the salon that does it in the ladies – she gets embarrassed)  You don’t need to “do the pose”, sitting cross legged with your thumb on your fingers, just comfortable !

Close your left nostril with your left thumb and breathe only through your right nostril and let the energy flow through you.  You’re looking to keep a regular rhythm with your breathing and keep your breaths in and out the same length.  I also prefer to close my eyes closed personally, but beware, I’ve heard ladies snoring a couple minutes in when they do this ! Just settle into your rhythm and enjoy for five minutes.  Heaven !

Balance

Find your balance.

This is my personal favourite 5 minute exercise.  Ok, so you don’t have to stand on a mound, looking like the cross between a figure four and a belly dancer, but studies have shown that simply standing on one foot for 5 minutes can have a positive effect on your core strength and joint stability.  I know what you’re thinking though – are you having a laugh ?

The simple answer is NO ladies !

Try standing on each foot for a couple of minutes to get a real benefit in your core – if nothing else, you’ll learn to wobble evenly !

Doodle (or colour in)

Doodle.png#YNotbU recently bought the Authentic image modelling agency and their Creative Director Amanda is an AMAAAAZING doodler, but even if you aren’t as talented as Amanda, there’s still a great mental benefit to doodling and colouring in.

Just listen to Amanda’s advice “Don’t let a perceived lack of talent stop you – get some pencils and a pad and just create your own masterpiece. Whatever you do will be an original so don’t forget to sign it !”

Doodling isn’t just a way to keep yourself occupied in a dull meeting either, studies have shown it can help improve your memory and ability to retain information, improve focus, reduce stress and help you think more creatively. Dedicate a few minutes a day to doodling and see where the blank page takes you…. I’d love to see what you create !

warm upGetting back to an exercise theme though, I want to talk to you about probably the most important 5 minutes of your workout.  The 5 minute warm up before and the 5 minute warm down afterwards.  Follow this simple routine at the start and end of your workout and thank me later !

 

  • Upper body and arm stretch: Clasp hands together, plans facing outwards, push arms up above the head. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Tricep stretch: Raise right arm, bend it backwards so right hand is in middle of back and use other hand to gently pull elbow towards left side until you feel a strict. Hold 30 seconds and repeat on other arm.
  • Standing cat cow: Feet hip-width apart, legs slightly bent, lean forwards and place your hands on thighs just above knee. Round your back so head and shoulders are curved forwards. Then arch your back so your chest is open and shoulders back.
    Shoulder shrugs: Shrug shoulders up and down 10 times.
  • Upper trap stretch: Lean your head to one side so your ear is towards shoulder. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat on other side.
  • Calf stretch: Bending your left knee in a lunge shape, place your right leg straight out behind you, heel on the floor. Place hands on kitchen side and stretch into right calf for 30 secs. Repeat on left side.
  • Hamstring stretch: Bend your left knee and place your right leg straight in front of you. Sit into the left leg tilting your bum towards the sky. Keep your right foot flat on the floor for 15 secs, then lift toes towards sky for 15 to increase stretch. Repeat on left leg.
  • Glute stretch: You can hold the kitchen side for support if you need to here. From standing, bend you left leg slightly and lift you right leg up and place your right ankle just above left knee. Sit into it and try and for 30 seconds, Repeat on left.
  • Quad stretch: Standing on your left leg, feet hip-width apart, take your right ankle in your right hand, keeping your knees together. Tilt your pelvis forwards to increase the stretch and don’t lock out your standing knee. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat on left side.

 

So let’s get going girls AND Don’t forge to tell me how you get on !

 

Madds

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Press release – YnotbU acquires Authentic Image Model Agency

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 Altered Image stated “On behalf of Altered 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.

Things to avoid before you sleep

Getting enough sleep and a good nights rest actually takes a lot more effort and preparation than going to bed early enough in the evening. I know it might seem like too much of a hassle, especially when it comes at the wrong wnd of the day, but arranging your days activities so that you slow down mentally during the evening can really pay dividends for a good nights sleep.

Let me walk you through the things that I do……………….

First things first, I’ve made sure my bedroom is ready for sleep. It’s the second most important thing I do there (on occasions) I’ve purchased a tempur style mattress which is soooooo comfortable, I just love going to sleep now, rather than fall asleep on the sofa in front of a tv playing to itself. Next, I set the alarm clock on my phone and LEAVE IT DOWNSTAIRS on charge. That way, I get a good rest without distraction and more importantly, can’t hit snooze when it goes off, for 10 more minutes. If I want longer in bed, I set the alarm for later. Simples.

Making sure I only sleep in bed (and, you know) is important because it associates bed with a place where I’m relaxed and ready for rest. If I use it as a sofa for watching tv, or taking my laptop to bed to work on a couple of bits of work, then it just becomes like any other room in the house. Think about it, the Kitchen is for cooking, you wouldn’t do that in bed would you ?

During the day, I make sure I get all the stressful or strenuous activities out of the way early on. As keen as I am on fitness and exercise regimes, I don’t personally exercise too late in the day (after 20:00 for example) as I find that exercising later than this will often leave my adrenalin levels high, which makes it hard to sleep.

At home, before I go to bed, I don’t drink coffee (So I make sure I don’t have Joanna round, who’s permanently wired for it) I’ll also not drink any alcohol or wine. I just make a bottle of my favourite Lemon water and take it to bed with me, just in case I wake up thirsty. I also don’t rely on anything like milky drinks, or sleeping pills. When I’m tired, I go to bed, its as simple as that !

When I’m in bed, rather than watch TV, I’ll tend to read my kindle for half an hour or so. Something nice and simple, not too stimulating, but one of those books you can just mush into, pick up and drop when you want and just enjoy the moment. I’m actually reading a book about Sardinia at the moment, planning my next holiday ! lots of relaxing photos of lovely beaches and pleasant landscapes. Perfect !

Then, last but my no means least, I always wear an eye mask and ear plugs in bed. I just find it darkens the room for me and creates a silence that is restful. I don’t need any apps to play running water (makes me want to pee) wind chimes (makes me stay awake listening for the next bong) or walks through a forest with a flute (gives me a headache) I just need ot make sure I go to sleep tired.

What are your tips for going to sleep and getting a good nights rest ? I’d love for you to share them with me !

Hugs

Madds

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Breast Massage

In my earlier blog, I wrote a little about how a few simple exercises could be beneficial for toning the pectoral muscles underneath the breast tissue area, which can help improve the general toning and provide some enlargement too.

In addition to these exercises, another technique you can practice is to massage and check your  breasts.  Besides having a beneficial effect on breast growth, self examination of your breasts is an important habit to get into for all women, including transgender women at every stage of their transition.

Why does massage help ?  Well, your breasts are largely composed of fatty tissues and adipose fats, each of which respond very well to massage. By massaging your breasts, you stimulate the supporting tissues and the lymph circulation.  Each of which has a positive effect on the firmness and shape.  It also triggers a healthy hormonal response, increasing the levels of oxytocin, which can be a very effective method to increase breast size.

Done regularly, you’ll notice that your breasts will develop and become more toned and have an improved appearance, which can help improve your self confidence.

How to do it

Massage using very firm pressure using circular, inward & upward strokes for 5-10 min once or twice daily.

  1. Apply some massage oil or breast cream on your breasts. This is to help reduce the unpleasant feeling due to fiction. Oils and creams will make you feel more comfortable while massaging.
  2. Start massaging from the centre of your breasts, use a firm pressure with your palms. Follow the contours of the breasts from inwards to outwards. Ensure your hands are moving from the outside of your body towards the middle in a circular motion. Repeat about 25 times.
  3. Using alternate hand movements, sweep from the underarms area upwards & inwards towards the front. Again, repeat this about 25 times.
  4. Use both hands lifting the breast upwards with firm support, for another 25 times.
  5. Repeat step 2, with lighter strokes and without pushing the bust inwards.
  6. Repeat for your other breast.

For best results, work directly on the breast tissue, rather than through the fabric of a blouse or bra. Use a pressure that feels comfortable and take your time, working the area slowly. You can use this technique laying down or standing up, but use a gentle lotion to get the best effect.
One last thing I want to emphasise while you’re doing this, which is very important ! While you’re doing this, check your breast tissue for any signs of abnormalities, like redness, soreness or lumps. I’m sure that you don’t need me to tell you that this is for signs of cancer or other serious illness, so I’ll just stick with encouraging you to get into the regular habit of doing it. Please !

Love and strength

Madds

 

Those last few kilos…..

I was chatting to Joanna yesterday evening about what sort of things she gets asked  by girls in the group and one of the hot topics that came up quickly was the subject of your operations and weight.  It seemed that one of the common themes from the girls she had spoke to was the difficulty they had in hitting their ideal weight for the various operations.

Sometimes, those last few kilos are just as hard to shift as the ones that get you started.  But the good news is with a little help, you can get there and not just get the body you want, but also the operation too !!

When we start with diets, we’re filled with ambition, expectation and enthusiasm, but no matter what diet you follow, none of them mention two of the most important facts of weight loss – “It takes time !!” and “You’re going to plateau” occasionally as you metabolism adapts and changes.  It’s at these latter times, its important to remember what I call “The vicious cycle of dieting” to realise where you are in the process and also to stay focussed

dieting 2
The vicious cycle of dieting

Let’s talk about those last few kilos and their effect on our motivation.  Why do they stay firmly stuck in place ?  Well, initially, when we start our diets, we get a lot of “easy wins”.  We lose water weight and some of our natural bloatedness reasonably quickly and all seems good.  Our friends our also probably complimenting us frequently and encouraging us to continue.  

Then at various points along our diet, we’ll “plateau” as our metabolism changes.  These plateaus are tricky, particularly for transgender women, because in addition to the hormonal changes that your body is adapting to, the associated changes in metabolism mean that you’re going to have to work harder to burn the same amount of calories.   As our friends get used to the new you, they’ll probably be less vocal and giving of “high fives”.  Suddenly, what we’re going through isn’t so interesting.

Also, when we’re close to meeting our goals, we’re probably starting to “feel the slog” of it and getting bored.  This is a key failing of most diets.  You have to want and enjoy dieting and the food you’re eating.  Otherwise, you’ll find excuses to wriggle out of the regime and justify some sneaky bonuses (Like chocolate cake on the weekend if you’re Joanna).  I know, sticking to calorie restrictions, hitting the gym and drinking all that water can get boring, but stick with it !!

Each time you plateau, particularly with your target weight in sight, is the time to look back at what you’ve accomplished up until this point. Remember, as Transgender women, your ambition is body sculpture rather than muscle building.  If you’re hitting the gym too hard, you’ll build up muscle which weighs more than fat  So ask yourself, is this what’s happening to you ?  Strike a balance between working out and diet, to ensure you’re getting the results you want.

If you’re really stuck, it might be that you’ve set a weight goal for yourself that’s just a bit too low and you might be fighting your bodies natural wants and needs.  Is the weight you’ve set yourself the right one for your size, age and health profile ? Ask yourself how you reached your target in the first place and regularly check that its right for you.  Remember, ultimately, it’s your body and have the confidence to say what’s right for you.

Drop me a message here in the comments and let me know how you’re getting on and what your frustrations are, would love to hear and work with you !!!

Love always

Madds

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