To Wong Foo.

I channeled every drag queen I’ve known and reminded myself that they live for the very things that we take for granted.

Having recently stumbled across an old movie featuring Patrick Swayze and Wesley Snipes as drag queens, I’ve found myself thinking about women – and men who like to be women.

In one of the opening scenes, Swayze and Snipes are preparing for a beauty competition. Each is carefully applying his make-up and sensually easing up his stockings, the pleasure and pride evident and jumping off the television screen.

They were clearly delighted to be women, along with the countless other competitors. The precision with which they applied cosmetics and the awe their faces captured when putting on their clothes was astounding. And the final check when they admired themselves in the mirror? Pure appreciation and satisfaction.

When I looked at the cast of female impersonators, they were of all shapes and sizes. Some created women of breathtaking beauty while others, I will admit, just weren’t aesthetically pleasing.

But what struck a chord with me was how each one looked, felt and believed he was beautiful.

Fat thighs? No problem! Acne scarred skin? Who cares?! Sagging belly, big nose, fat arse? And that’s a problem for who?! Work it baby.

I was in awe of their confidence. They were comfortable in their own skin. Size and looks didn’t matter. They felt beautiful – and they presented themselves to the world as beautiful. They enjoyed being ladies. They loved caring for themselves. They believed that they were worth the attention, effort and admiration.

So my question is, why don’t we? The ones who are born female and choose to remain female – and may be fond of the make-up, hair spray and heels?

We look for quick and easy ways to enhance our natural features. We hate our thighs, our bellies and our big noses. We hide our rolls of fat and wear black actually buying into the hype that black is slimming. Reality check – fat is fat and there is no hiding it. I’ve tried.

We sometimes hate everything about ourselves. Skincare is a constraint. Make-up is a chore. Physical aesthetics pose major problems for our psyche.

But this week, I met with a new hair stylist, A.K.A. magician, who convinced me that my hair was wonderful and length would be my friend. He persuaded me to grow it and start over, having a young mindset and working up the courage to let go – step out of my comfort zone – and see what happens in two months. Right now I hate and love him, however, he’s there to cut it again should I have a breakdown.

The next day I looked in the mirror, thought of Swayze and Snipes, and decided to appreciate and enjoy my female self. I contemplated the joy my hair may bring me. I took time applying my make-up and reminded myself how much I enjoyed the end result. I channeled every drag queen I’ve known and reminded myself that they live for the very things that we take for granted.

Whether male or female, embrace you – all of you. Imperfections, flaws and more.

We’re all beautiful – hopefully inside and out. Embrace that. Appreciate that. Celebrate being a woman – should you choose to. And don’t be so willing to dismiss that honor.

There are many men who would give anything to be you.

Author: E.M. Murphy

A voracious writer, lifetime learner and eternal seeker who aims to open minds and hearts. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a NASM Certified Behavior Change Specialist, humanity and humor is at the heart of my writing, reminding us that the key to success will always start with a genuine concern for others while making sure to be true to our authentic selves.

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