Dove's long-running "Campaign for Real Beauty" is a departure from typical aspirational beauty care advertising (buy this product, so you can look beautiful like these unachievably perfect models), and focuses instead on inspirational messaging around natural beauty and self confidence. Pretty brilliant brand marketing.
Jasmine's transition has helped me feel genuinely beautiful and comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my adult life. How can I complain that my nose is too big when she is trying to change her entire facial structure to pass as a woman? How can I whine that my boobs aren't perky enough when she is suffering through puberty to grow her own pair? How can I bemoan my frizzy hair when she is spending hundreds of hours on excruciating hair removal? It all feels so petty and repulsively ungrateful.
Now when I look in the mirror, I don't see all the things that I want to change about myself. I just see me. And I am perfect because I am a healthy, beautiful woman, born in the right body.
Being married to a transsexual sure puts things in perspective.
I wish Jasmine could see herself through my eyes. The first time I saw her in a woman's wig (a couple months into HRT), I thought she looked beautiful. Even without makeup, I could see the transformation; I could envision the stunning woman she was going to become. I jumped up and down, "Baby! Oh my gosh, baby, you are going to be beautiful, this is going to work! Don't you see it?"
But all she could see was a man in a wig.
So I started taking photos, because I was sure the camera could capture her beauty, and then she would see what I was seeing. But every photo was all wrong. The angles were unflattering, or the lighting was bad, or the pictures simply fell flat. I desperately took fifteen, maybe twenty photos, and they all failed to capture her beauty through my eyes.
If only I had my own sketch artist.