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Men in makeup


The quote that struck me the most was this: “These ‘beauty boys.’ As they’re sometimes called are not just being accepted into the mainstream beauty world. They are helping to give the cosmetics industry a much-needed makeover. Maybelline’s mantra – ‘Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.’ – called on women to fix their flaws with makeup tricks and to present as natural beauties. Male beauty gurus deconstruct that illusion. They recast makeup not as a supplement for natural deficiencies, but as a form of joyful creation.” (Page. C5)

This “form of joyful creation” cited in the article reminds me of the exuberant approach to femininity that may be characteristic of some crossdressers and also transgender women (especially early in transition). I believe that most women who have lived full-time as women for decades lose this special enjoyment. So certainly this new “form of joyful creation” could be the result of a new freedom to use makeup. After all, it is still taboo for men to use makeup and these “beauty boys” are renegade, even now. But my first reaction was that when the makeup was used to enhance male beauty it was “a form of joyful creation” and when used by women (of all genders) it was a daily obligation to cover their flaws, to make them feel more presentable and less bad about their appearance. And perhaps there is an intersection in this that finds a place in the membership of CDI. Who feels that they are not feminine enough? Not perfect enough? Not ready to present in daylight? And who is having fun? Letting themselves joyfully revel in makeup and clothing for its own sake? I will refrain from trying to answer these questions and just leave it as a question.

The multitude of feminine expression represented within the CDI membership can be divided along many lines. Do you use make up for joyful creation? Or is it part of an effort to reduce a sense of deficiency? Pleasure, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, fulfillment and frustration, all come into play in front of the makeup mirror. It is good to remember that this is not only an issue for crossdressers, but for women – regardless of their assigned gender.

Best to you all,


Dr. Katherine Rachlin is a clinical psychologist, gender specialist, and sex therapist in private practice in New York City.  Her website is www.   You can reach her at or 212-206-3636






About cdinyc2012

Crossdressers International Incorporated is a member-supported adult transgendered group focused on support and social activities, serving the New York City metropolitan area. CDI is qualified as a non-profit corporation under section 501(c) 7 of the federal tax code. In the beginning, as stated in “Our History”, our founders envisioned CDI to be an all inclusive, welcoming haven for those seeking to come to terms with their transgendered nature. While the majority of our members and friends identify as cross dressers, we have served as a refuge for those who identify as transsexual, drag queen, and gender queer as well. Historically, our focus has been on the m-f crossdresser/transgendered. However, we do welcome those who identify from the f-m experience. While many of our members are long time comfortable with their transgender identity, we have never lost sight that our basic mission is to stand ready to provide a welcoming sanctuary for those who are taking their very first steps of self discovery. We know from our own experience that this can be a frightening time for those who have been closeted. The fear of loss of family, friends, employment, and standing in ones community can be overwhelming. And all for merely being gender different. Even today in our changing times the fear of discovery, ridicule, and worse can be terrifying for those who are attempting to safely practice their gender expression. WE are here for you. We make no claims of being “expert” in any matters, yet through our individual and collective experience we are highly knowledgeable. CDI also serves as a resource center where we can direct you to qualified professionals should that be desired. In short, we believe that groups like ours help to save lives. Sometimes just a welcoming smile and spoken kindness can be enough to assure someone (and maybe that’s you!) that they are not alone. For whatever reason each of us were dealt this hand from birth. For years many of us have considered it a curse. At CDI we believe that once liberated from the isolation of the closet that in time you will come to see your own transgenderism as a “gift”. So whether experienced or not, come - We welcome you, and we exist for you!

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