Wednesday, October 21, 2015

You Look Much Cuter in Your Other Picture (Actually Finished this Time!)

Goodness, did she just say what I think she said?  I pondered that question as I walked away from the Shisheido counter in Macy's.  It had been a strange dichotomy of people's opinions and I just wasn't that sure I had heard her correctly.

Earlier, Jules and I had walked up to the Clinique counter to get some new eye makeup remover.  It was gift time at Clinique and thus of course there was quite a line backed up.  I told Jules that I was going to try and find Shiseido as I needed some new blotting papers and theirs are the best!  Slowly I wandered around the makeup area unable to locate their counter.  Eventually some nice sales associates, from Lancome, asked me if I needed help.  They pointed me in the direction of the Shiseido counter and one of them complemented me on my hair, which I thanked her for and then the other complimented me on my tunic, which I thanked her for as well.

Off to the Shiseido counter and eventually actually locating it.  Once there I was greeted by a younger sales associate who asked what I needed and I showed her my dwindling packet of blotting papers.  This nice lady, who was selling a different brand informed the actual Shiseido associate if she would help me.  This lady quickly located the item I needed and then informed me that it was gift time and asked if I needed anything else.

I don't normally purchase other items from Shiseido and thus didn't know what they might be able to offer.  After a bit of explaining I got a cleanser from them as well.  Everything was going quite smoothly; nothing occurring out of the ordinary.  I took out my wallet, handed her my credit card, and my ID, which as you may know obviously shows my male photo.

I don't often think about it much anymore while making purchases.  I have done this SO many times now it is kind of ridiculous.  The sales associate rings me up, I sign my name, she packages everything up, hands me my bag and then comes in real close to me, so that only I can hear her.  And she then kind of whispers to me, "Well obviously you look fine in real life, but you look much cuter in your other picture. I just thought that you should know that."

Being as I wasn't 100% sure what she said to me, as I had not really processed her comments at that point, I thanked her and walked away to find Jules and leave.  And within a few steps I was almost pissed off enough to go back to the counter and tell her that she should keep her shitty, ignorant, opinions to herself.

I mean fine, she is entitled to her opinion.  And she expressed it in a polite enough manner.  And to someone like me, someone who switches back and forth between their gender presentations of male and female, fine so she thinks I look better as a male.  But I began thinking about all the rest of us out there and especially those of us who are choosing to transition.  How would someone in that position receive that comment.  Umm.... not good!  That would have been a really quite shitty comment for her to have said.

And it made me realize how hard it must be for those who do transition to have to live with their male ID while awaiting all of the hoops one must jump through before being able to obtain an ID that matches their identity.  And for them, and those folks, I wanted to go back to the counter and start a ruckus with that ignorant woman.

But I was tired, and Macy's was crowded, and thus I simply left.  I still feel bad.  I still feel as though I dropped the ball.  I missed an opportunity to provide a much needed education to someone who should know better.  It is exactly those types of comments, from people with best of intentions, that can sting so much.

Now, what is my responsibility if I am feeling so irritated by her?  Contact Macy's and Shisheido and inform them that they need to better educate their employees so that hopefully this woman never insults others in this manner.

Okay.  Rant over.  Thanks for listening.

I will still visit Macy's.

I will still purchase Shiseido items.

I will just keep my wits about me and inform ignorance of their ignorance on the spot.

I am strong enough to stand up for myself and help educate the uniformed.

Watch out.

Love yourself people.


  1. So the question is, was she passing judgement: you re a man, dress like one. Or was it an innocent observation: hey, you're a cute guy, why hide that? Or, was she actually complimenting you but it came out wrong?

    I think if she was judging you, you would have felt that right away. People who judge us cross dressers start from the first second they see us.

    Now, your observation about those in transition is spot on.

    1. You know how I felt just about the entire time she was working with me was that she was uncomfortable with me. I kind of felt as though her comment was her way of letting me know that she did not approve. Possibly I was reading more into it than was actually there, but I still feel as a rep of the cosmetics company and Macy's, she should have kept that opinion to herself.

      I have had similar comments from people over the years, and have never felt judged as I did from her.

  2. Hi Jules,
    No, I think maybe you are being a little harsh.

    Let's see, you present passably as female and buy girlie stuff. Then you hand over male ID. It says 'yes, this is a game and I also look like that some of the time'.
    It depends of course whether you want young females to fancy you in bloke mode...
    Me, I'll take anything on offer in that department, though thankfully like you, I have a wife to supply all the serious affection. 8-)

    I hope I don't offend, it just seems this way to me.
    Interesting post, though.

  3. Hi Nadine - it is always interesting to me how we all deal with discrimination. I try to focus on the majority of people who accept us for who we are rather than those who do not. I am sorry that this happened to you. Here's to better shopping days at the Shiseido Counter at Macy's. Hugs, Charlene 😊

  4. I wandered over here from Already Pretty, and as a gender-nonconforming/trans-ish person, I really hear you. Straight and/or gender-conforming people tell me all the time that I look "better" when I dress in women's clothes and wear make-up and try to steer me that way. I don't, though - I get hit on and complimented far more often [by women, my target demographic!] dressed as I usually do.

    Frankly, it is prejudice, and those comments are rude and ignorant. What people mean isn't "you look better"; it's "you look more like I think you should". They have no mental model for gender-nonconforming people, so they think we look bad - just like people in 1900 would have thought that a woman with short hair looked dreadful, just dreadful, or people in 1950 would have thought that a man with long hair was a repulsive degenerate.

    This kind of thing is the very definition of "microaggression" - that petty stuff that people do that they know won't push you to complain, but oh god does it grind you down.

  5. I don't think she was trying to be rude but ...It was rude! I would have been pissed if she looked at my drivers license and told me I looked better with my hair long much less to tell you that you look better as a man. Sorry you have to deal with crap like this.

  6. I've had people tell me that I looked cuter when I was chubby. I've worked hard at losing weight and I find it annoying. But then I realise everyone has an over-inflated opinion of the importance of their thoughts and feel that they just have to speak their mind (or as they would ike to believe - compliment me). Anyone who has drastically changed in any way - haircuts, aging, facial hair etc. would have expereinced this.
    While you have every right to be irritated (as I was) I don't think she was necessarily being offensive or discriminatory. And about her being uncomfortable around you - a lot of people worry they are going to say or do something offensive and it makes them nervous. I was recently informed at a Pride event that I shouldn't saw Xyz (not a person but a task) 'sucks' as it is LGBT unfriendly. We are getting a bit oversensitive to what are perceived microagressions. Chris.