As a transgender woman, presenting more feminine may seem like an unachievable goal. If you are emerging into your authentic self as an adult, unconscious male behaviors and habits may belie your efforts to act more feminine. Consider how you sit in short skirts or dresses, your table etiquette, and how you gesture when you speak—do those areas need improvement? Here are three strategies for improving your feminine presentation:
1) Identify your goals
For many mtfs loving, accepting and living as your authentic self has been a struggle and didn’t happen instantaneously or easily.
It also takes time and practice to act more feminine to complement the woman you are inside. The first step in improving your feminine presentation is identifying goals that are reachable and realistic given your level of motivation, capacity for patience and current lifestyle. Do you want to raise the timbre of your voice? Do you want to walk more ladylike? Do you want to gesture more femininely? Do you want to improve your table manners? Any or all of these things can improve with time, patience and commitment.
2) Observe cisgender women
Once you have identified your desired goals for improving your feminine presentation, start observing cisgender women that embody the level of womanliness you wish to achieve. If you admire active women, watch them at the gym or during a professional athletic competition on television.
If you’re still “eating like a man” or attack a plate of food like it’s your last meal on earth, observe a girlfriend’s table etiquette next time you are dining together. A masculine voice is generally lower in pitch and comes from the chest—you can feel it vibrating in your chest and throat when you say the word “mood” with your usual voice. A feminine voice generally has a higher pitch and comes from the head, you can feel that when you say “yoohoo.” If you sing, you may have heard the terms “chest voice” and “head voice.” Singers try to bridge the gap smoothly between the two vocal ranges. You can hear the difference in vocal pitch between the male and female news anchors while watching your nightly news. Learning by example--watching cisgender women in how they carry themselves and listening to how they speak—is the best way to improve your feminine presentation.
3) Practice makes almost perfect
Once you have identified your goals for presentation and notice how cisgender women move in their bodies and speak, you can begin practicing on your own time, in the privacy of your home, or with trusted family members or friends. It may be helpful to mimic your girlfriend’s table manners while dining together, or watch your favorite actress and imitate how they gesture or walk. Download an app for your phone that can teach you how to speak in a higher register, record your own voice and the desired feminine pitch level you would like to achieve. Practice speaking or singing in a more feminine voice while you are driving or cooking a meal. Practice makes almost perfect, so give yourself time every day to make your desired improvements whether it’s only a few minutes in the shower or an hour set aside each day or week.
With these strategies, your level of feminine presentation can improve and begin to feel more natural and automatic! If you are still struggling to act more feminine as a transgender woman and feel you could use some professional assistance, schedule a feminine presentation consultation at Trans-Image Consulting Group!