How does my body define my identity? Or is it more subtle than that?
I didn't like my body for many years – I never felt comfortable with it, but I guess many people feel the same. When I looked in the mirror and I could only see a negative image staring back: very skinny, gangly almost; ribs you could count; ears that stuck out at right angles; pale skin. I no longer feel that way now, though. Instead, I love my body today.
Nice curves, some extra weight filling the hips and waist, reasonably sized breasts, good legs, and calves that heels accentuate. Though at 5' 9½", not too high of a heel!
Are the clothes I wear what give me confidence? Or does body confidence enable me to present my style? Do I have a style for others' approval or my own approval? I'd say the latter – I look good and am happy with how I look, and my clothes reflect my happiness.
As an older woman, I guess I've grown into myself while accepting that nothing will ever be perfect with the only body I'll ever have. Age can give you confidence, make you care less about other people's judgment, and care more for yourself. It can give you the confidence to stand in front of 2000 people and speak from the heart. Confidence to walk into a room not knowing if there are people present you've met before, but confident you'll be welcomed and immediately be part of the group. Confidence to contribute to discussions and give an opinion that will be listened to.
It's not just age, though, but my physical body now matches my internal self-identity. Too many years of trying to balance the physical and mental disconnect can undermine one's confidence. Now I accept and embrace the reality of transgender identity and finally, I am proud to call myself a transgender woman. To hijack Simone de Beauvoir: 'One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.'
Emma x the anti-casting
All the womxn featured on the underargument have been selected based on the personal story they shared with us which was inspired by one of our collections' themes. We only receive stories, no photos and no measurements. This is what we call the anti-casting and it is our way of reclaiming the representation of women's diversity and utilising the power of storytelling to empower ourselves and others. Find out more and maybe submit your story too here.
Emma is wearing collection no.2. For identity // Against Stereotypes.