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That Mirror: So Honest, So Cruel

October 14, 2013

“I’m guessing you’re here to do something about this?” She said as he gestured at the mish mash of color on the top of my head.

“Yes,” I said, embarrassingly. “I tried to fix it myself.”

She walked me through my options for fixing my hair. We could strip the color, then replace it with whatever color we’d like to go to. We could dye it all a darker shade. We could try some highlights.

Trying to remember just how much I had available in my checking account, I decided on the more moderately priced option: all dark with some highlights.

As she began to color my hair, slopping the dye mixture on with a small paint brush, she looked at me sympathetically. “You don’t have to look so sad. I’ve seen people screw up their hair much worse. It keeps me in business.”

It wasn’t my sense of shame surrounding my hair, but rather a mix of about 5 or 6 other things that were occupying my mind. “Oh, sorry. Rough day so far.”

After covering the better part of my head with the rich, odious dye, she walked away as it processed. There I sat in the chair, with no option other than to look at my own reflection.

I began to analyze the person I saw in the mirror across from me, my disdain for the individual growing with every passing second. Who the fuck does this person think they are? Don’t they get it?  Look at their jaw, their nose, their chin, their brow. Who the fuck do they think they’re kidding?

I may have been on hormones for more than a year, but my reflection still antagonized me. Looking at it, all I could see was the masculine features, forever a part of my face as a result of 15 years exposure to w testosterone-based puberty. These features were permanent, something I needed to learn to live with. No amount of estrogen could reverse this.

After washing my hair and giving me a quick cut, my stylist said goodbye, leading me to the front counter where I would pay.

I felt ugly. I felt worse than I did prior to entering the storefront. It was that damn mirror. That fucking awful, brutally honest mirror, tormenting me, reminding me of what I cannot change.

Signing the credit card slip, I walked out, trying to shake the feelings that I’d just endured.

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2 Responses to “That Mirror: So Honest, So Cruel”

  1. Kira Says:

    The mirror is indeed a cruel mistress. I have a large plate glass mirror in my bathroom and I see myself the same as you do… some days I just want to smash the damn thing into a million pieces.


  2. Real talk: I want to tell you that if you’d been assigned female at birth and bathed only in estrogen your whole life, you might still look this way. You might still have a jaw that was too square, a nose too big, a brow too heavy. LOTS of girls do. Being female does not reside in being pretty or even feminine. Too many people, cis and trans, think it does, but it does NOT. Your femaleness is in the core of you, not in your face, and you’re going to walk the same path of learning to live with your face that innumerable cis girls have walked. Find your strength, sister, and hold your head up.


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