Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Swimsuit Season

I had a blast at the pool this past weekend, admiring all the swimsuits on display. I caught myself wishing I could hand out awards - cutest, most daring, most flattering, who wore it better, etc. Is "swimsuit reviewer" a thing? Lol. It's June and the kids are out of school, camping season has begun - we're fully into the summer season now! I had the idea to do a photoshoot modeling all the bikinis I've bought over the years that I hardly ever get a chance to wear. I redecorated my closet to look like a fitting room a while ago (I might be a little obsessed), but I don't think I've ever really done anything with it.

Problem is, I took a bunch of shots before it occurred to me that this is the sort of thing that would flow a lot better in the form of a video. I've always wanted to do a "fashion shoot" video. Of course, it would require a lot of cuts, and I don't have much experience with video editing. But, I recently fired up Movie Maker again and successfully managed to edit a clip (without it crashing my computer), so I thought it might be worth a try. After all, I've seen videos of girls modeling leotards on YouTube - surely, I could figure it out. So I gave it a shot.

Working in motion is tough. I'm used to micromanaging every part of my body to look perfect (or as close as I can get) in an image. And while I may have mastered posing for still frames, I don't know squat about moving around. Plus, the files have the potential to be much larger, and they take more time to review. And you've gotta get a whole take down from start to finish - there's less freedom to cherry pick elements you like here and there. I tell you, I have loads more respect for actors now.

So what I came up with is far from perfect (I think it runs a little long, the fades are rudimentary, and I don't have any sound to go with it), but it's just a tentative first step. I mean, I've recorded videos before, but the possibility of cutting between scenes opens up a whole new world of storytelling potential. Not that I have actors to work with any more than I have models, and cloning in a video is far beyond my skills, but I'm a creative individual. I could probably come up with something. In the meantime, enjoy this:

So, this video reflects something of a fantasy I have, which involves a trip to the mall with a group of hypothetical girl friends (not to be confused with "girlfriends"), to shop for swimsuits. We would visit one or more stores, and at each one, we'd all pick out a handful of swimsuits we think we might like, and then we'd head to the fitting room and try them on, modeling each one for the group, before making our final decisions and purchases. And then, of course, we'd all go to the pool or beach and strut our stuff. Although, personally, I think I'd have more fun trying suits on with the girls than I would showing them off for the boys - but that's just me.

Anyway, in this fantasy, my sex isn't really specified. Ideally, I'd be a girl, because that would be more realistic, and the swimsuits would be more likely to fit the shape of my body (men's swimsuits - at least the kind you can buy in stores - do not hold my interest whatsoever). In my fantasy, I'm not a boy parading around in front of girls; I'm just one of the girls. However, I don't think it would change my enjoyment of the fantasy significantly if I were in fact still biologically male, provided the girls were supportive of my gender identity (which would be a requirement for friendship). I wouldn't mind a little playful teasing at the sometimes comical way the suits fit my body, so long as the girls have some level of appreciation for the look of feminine/androgynous men in women's clothing.

I've tried on women's swimsuits in real life. It's fun. I've even bought a few, because - as impractical as they are - I can't seem to resist them. But it doesn't quite live up to my fantasy because I don't really have anyone to model them for, and I'm never perfectly comfortable in that situation because I've been made by society to feel a bit like a wolf in sheep's clothing, solely on account of my physical anatomy. There's always a background level of anxiety tied to the fear of getting "caught". Which is sad, because I'm not doing anything that a girl wouldn't be totally justified in doing - which is try on a piece of clothing to see how it fits on her body, and, ideally, find something that makes her feel sexy and/or good about herself, so she can add it to her wardrobe.

It's hard being a minority - especially one that experiences a lot of discrimination from society. What I really need is for someone to tell me it's okay. That it's okay for me to be the way I am. That I'm not going to be reviled for it, if I don't hide it well enough. Because I know I'd rather just relax and be me than have to constantly worry about conforming to other people's stereotypes (whether it's for one gender or the other). None of us is 100% masculine or feminine, but a biological woman doesn't have to worry about being treated like an infiltrator and possibly a sex pervert if she forgets to shave one day, or properly modify her voice, or let someone get a peek from the wrong angle.

Don't get me wrong, I have people in my life who support me - one of them, at the very least. But I need more. I don't want to feel like we're a few candles against the wind. I need to know that there are others out there like me - and not just "allies" - fighting for me, for the freedom to be me, and to pursue happiness on my terms - not violating the standards of law or common human decency, but just in ways that maybe the majority of the population has been socialized to think is strange. Is that really so bad? That some people delight in being different from everyone else? Who are we hurting?

I'm not threatening your way of life. At least not any more than your conservative views are threatening my liberty and my safety. What makes your views better than mine? That yours are shared by many? That's antithetical to the concept of equality. Your life is no more valuable than mine, just because you stand in solidarity with a majority of the population, any more than my life is more valuable than yours, because I dare to stand apart from the masses. Neither one of us is better than the other. We stand as equals. That's my perspective. Prove that yours is superior.

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