Friday, February 28, 2014

Dear Tim Gunn,

I know you are concerned that, if I am watching a fashion show or looking at an ad campaign featuring a transwoman, who you insultingly call "a tall, skinny guy with no hips" (see P.S.), there's no way I can "project [my]self into those clothes," but just so you know, there's already no way I am projecting myself into those clothes, transwoman or no, so don't you worry your pretty little head about it. If I see a transgender model in an ad campaign, I won't lose all touch with reality or somehow disconnect with the world of high fashion.

When I look at Vogue, I am being sold envy and the unattainable. I am being sold someone I have never and can never be, and I am being sold the desire for and the knowledge of all that I am not.

Reality isn't a concern when it comes to fashion.

If you think that using transgender women as models is using "basically adolescent-shaped boys or men in women's clothes" (again, see P.S.), I'd like to know what you think the fashion industry is doing now? Because I don't see many curvy, size-6 cis-women walking down the runway, let alone someone size-8 like me. At size-2, 5'9", and 110 pounds, most fashion models do not resemble the women you see walking down the street.

The cis-women who dominate high fashion are already decades younger, dozens of pounds smaller, inches taller, and infinitely wealthier than I. In any given runway or print situation, they are wearing items worth significantly more than my average yearly expenses. Their body shape, life experience, and facial features in no way reflect back on me. Except for the fact that they are overwhelmingly white.

But if I know that a company has chosen to hire a few of my transgender sisters, then I can at least begin to believe that they recognize that there is a breadth of female experience beyond what they constantly sell me, even if the models themselves are still size 2, 5'9", and 110 pounds.

Also, Tim, have you ever SEEN any transgender women?



P.S. You need to check your language when you talk about transwomen.
I'm no expert, and I am still learning, but please.

P.P.S. That's Carmen Carrera, former RuPaul's Drag Race contestant, model, and performer, modeling something I can never project myself into.