Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Makeup Skills & the Mother Daughter Thing

I would love to have had makeup help from my own Mom, but that would never ever have happened. It was a hopeless teenage fantasy that one day she might do. It was a dream along with many other heartfelt wishes which I found hard to deal with and control: Wishes like wanting to give birth to children of my own and marry some nice guy. Those feelings were intense and caused me to harm myself because I felt that my body had let me down. I watched a similar process in my ex at a point in our relationship where we believed that we couldn't have children. The longing to experience motherhood is planted there within you, but not always the ability to bear children. It hurt almost as much as being Trans.

Now I'm a woman I wear makeup a good deal. I deal with the general public a lot at work. I'm expected to look presentable and nice. However, I don't rate my makeup skills very highly. I discount the practice I got with Mom's makeup as a teen. Seven years of making myself presentable enough for work have lead to a certain amount of confidence, but mainly speed when I'm pushed for time on a morning. So much of it gets finished off in my rear view mirror after I've parked up. Given all of this, I was surprised to get asked if I would do my daughter's makeup ready for her school's 'Masked Ball'. I've never done anybody else's, I don't have the confidence!

I'm used to subtle cappuccino shades of eyeshadow, light touch mascara, neutral looking shades of lippy and gloss, restrained blusher. Most of my time is spent applying age defying, wrinkle reducing moisturisers and foundations, a sad necessity of growing older. Teen Party makeup is something very different; electric blue eyeshadows, gorgeous lip glosses...

I was surprised to find how much easier it was to do makeup on someone else. I don't know why, It makes sense now, everything is the wrong way round when you do it in the mirror, take tweezing your brows for instance. By helping my daughter, I got the chance for Mom & daughter chat and it was so nice to be in a position where I could actually really help. As a trans Mom you can sometimes, well, oftentimes get to feeling that your some kind of 'also ran', not the real thing, inadequate and ill equipped. I have so often felt inferior to my daughter's birth Mom. In a small way, helping my daughter helped me to overcome that.

This isn't about feeling superior to my daughter's 'real' Mom, not about scoring points or anything like that. It is however about being accepted as a woman in a special way. I typed the word 'unique' and then backspaced it out. Uniqueness signals that there is only one. In my daughter's case she has two Moms. I hope I'm worthy of sharing that claim to motherhood. I've talked on these pages often enough about milestones. Mostly the big and obvious ones like being put on hormones, finishing facial electrolysis, passing etc. Sometimes however the milestones are smaller, unexpected and take you by surprise, pretty much like this one. They are no less important.



  1. Don't feel bad: most girls these days don't get any help with their make-up from their moms either. Mostly because their moms don't know any more than they do.

  2. Too true, so much has changed since the era of 50's glamor when I was born & through the stylish 60's. Plus ca change!