A whole slew of new thoughts has arisen since my last installment yesterday with regard to the Vanity Fair cover story of the newly minted and probably photoshopped Ms. “Call me Caitlin” Jenner. Beyond it being exploitive of women in skimpy attire , it promotes a very narrow gender-normative image of the transgender experience and that alone hurts the rest of us while being viewed from the cisgender majority as a big step, if not leap, forward.
The first thing that grabbed my attention was the headline “Call me Caitlin.” It sorely brought to mind that vintage National Airlines ad campaign which touted the infamous slogan “I’m Cheryl, Fly me!”
The other thing that brought forth my ire was her cheesecake presentation in a swimsuit as if she were posing for the cover of a swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. At first glance I was somewhat jealous of the almost unrecognizable flawless face with not a wrinkle, laugh line or scar to be seen anywhere which made me wonder how much of her was digitally airbrushed with some new and improved software akin to Photoshop™. I haven’t had any feminization surgery and yet I have been told by strangers that I must have good genes because I don’t look a day over fifty, at least from the chin up..
Next on my list was her more than amply curvaceous figure and I thought to myself that at least my bust is real and perky like a teenager and I don’t have to worry about them sagging anytime soon. It is hard to believe we are the same age with me a few months older.
One more thing I noticed was they had to mention that she has yet to undergo what was my first and foremost priority which no one will probably ever see except my doctor, a lover or three and perhaps some of my women friends sharing a hot tub together with bathing suit optional. And they certainly aren’t going to be looking that closely anyway, if they do at all.
Still I shouldn’t judge her priorities being quite different from mine. After all we trans persons are a very diverse lot which has been my point from the beginning.. Still again you who are not trans wouldn’t think so from this whole media circus.
I am wondering just how many of my well-meaning friends who know me as a transgender woman will be asking if I have seen this latest cover article of Ms. Jenner in Vanity Fair Magazine. Many have already asked me recently if I had seen the two-hour Diane Sawyer interview where “he” still wanted to be addressed with male pronouns and his birth name. I had missed the original broadcast so after the second or third asking I went to the internet to watch the Special including the all-too-frequent commercial breaks and I must admit that I was thoroughly impressed with the candor and demeanor of this objectified person of interest. Now all of a sudden, we have “Call Me Caitlin.”
If they do ask, unless they are close enough to be considered a trusted friend with whom I have been in intimate conversation about my transition, as I am not one as yet to be so cool headed as Ms. Cox was with her two Katie Couric appearances, I’ll just probably just settle with “I assure you that you really don’t want to get me started!”
Deanna Joy Hallmark