Ask Dita Sunday, Dec 30 2012 

Burlesque star and fashion icon Dita Von Teese started doing an advice column for on glamour. Dita’s personal style is very classic; forties/fifties vintage. She’s dressed this way most of her adult life, well before it became “cool.”

In her first column, Dita responds to a question:

Dear Dita,

I adore your glamour style! However, I personally feel sort of overdressed in high heels, stockings & dress while around people in jeans. Everybody is staring at me & asking “What’s the occasion for that?” Have you ever been in that kind of situation? How to be brave enough to go on with glamour style every day? How do you deal with unwanted attention?

Malina Kaa


Part of her response:

I recall a moment I had once that really cured me of feeling self-conscious. Two guys made fun of me in passing, who were both dressed in hideously ugly, stained and torn “University of Idiocy” T-shirts with mismatched shorts and some sort of offensive footwear.

I remember thinking, “Wait a minute, the fact that THESE guys think I look silly/crazy/unsexy is actually a compliment!”


It says much that a person who takes the time to dress nicely is considered weird, yet people who can’t be bothered to wear clean clothing are acceptable. The first time I saw a woman in pajama pants and slippers in a grocery store I just stared; now it seems like it’s acceptable to go out that way. Baseball caps with the sales stickers still on them; exercise pants with logos like “Juicy” and “Pink” on the ass; leggings worn as pants; flip-flops worn everywhere…

We accept tackiness and sloppiness as okay, but find a woman who takes time to chose her outfits, wears accessories that look right, wears makeup, has nice hair and nails, worthy of ridicule? Really?

I’ve said it time and time again. You can be a juicy, ripe peach and there’s still going to be someone who doesn’t like peaches, so you can either submit to someone’s criticism of you, or you can get on with the business of being your own amazing self who attracts other like-minded people that appreciate you.


…I really think we just have to forgive them, because they just don’t know, and sometimes, they even fear what they don’t know, and we should have sympathy for them. And, I have to add, that if you are already feeling uncomfortable, it might not even be that they are being rude, but their words are magnified and mirroring what you are feeling, so maybe it’s more about finding ways to find your own comfort zone and working on self-confidence.

Sometimes, you do have to just do your own thing. And the people who are worth knowing will get it-and get you. Don’t let your own self-doubts be magnified by others; find your inner strength and let it show.

Many of us who go out en femme find ourselves faced with similar issues. Even among our peers we are sometimes criticized for “overdressing” when we just want to look the best we can. Maybe we want to be, as Dita puts it, stars in the amazing story of our own lives. It’s perfectly acceptable to leave the jeans and casual blouse at home when you really want to go shopping at the mall in something stylish, or even a bit retro. And it you get attention from it, bet it’ll be positive. Particularly if you are letting your own inner positiveness show.

Now, be fabulous, okay?

Comments, I haz them Wednesday, Apr 29 2009 

I got more comments on my last post than on anything I’ve written in a while. And I’ve got followers!

So, a few of those comments…

Caroline said:

We all wish we could just pass and good luck to all who can but nature is cruel and even a lottery win can’t fix some of us.

Then again have you had a good look at your fellow citizens? Nature has often also left them short of an ideal beauty and they also just have to get on with life too.

When I was a lil’ tranny, my Auntie Crystal said that we should never shun our sisters-even if they are homely. Because their needs and hopes are just as legitimate as ours. And maybe they never had someone help them out-like people helped me as I got started.

Tina Jensen wrote:

…I know I’ve never been a male as society defines it and I’ll never be a girl in that world either. Actually, being a Transgendered girl is something I’m very proud of. Passing can be good in that it doesn’t draw undue attention, but do any of us really pass…I mean really?? Maybe we are special people who someday will be accepted as everyone else is. Getting out and setting a positive example is what really counts.

Maybe we are special people-we certainly have a unique perspective on gender. We have experienced both male and female, and we can understand things that others never will. We should embrace this!

I’d prefer to be unnoticed than to be stared at. And to be treated like anyone else. As for being positive examples? I know that’s asking a lot, but if you can manage not to act stupid in public I’ll settle for that…

Renee wrote:

…I’m glad this particular notion – that passing isn’t the “be all, end all” of transition – is gaining steam in our community. It’s important that those who feel trapped by their circumstances, when they come looking for information, don’t feel doubly-isolated because they happen to have unfortunate genes. And the only way for that top happen is to talk about it every chance we get.

What the community needs is to stop trying to segregate and label everyone and accept that there are no simple answers, and not everyone is going to fit your ideal. Appearance is just part of it, but it’s something that we have managed to fixate on. Talking about this will help move us towards acceptance among ourselves and the general public.

Some of you wrote some great compliments, and I’ll just say thank you. And hope that you’ll continue to find something useful from my stuff…

Pass GO, collect your life Thursday, Apr 23 2009 

There is a discussion on passing on the SCCLounge, which I moderate. One of the questions was about people who don’t care if they do or do not pass, and I wrote:

I do not know if I represent “the other side” but do know I’m not overly concerned with being “passable” or “blending” when I go out. But I do think I make a pretty good Zelda.

I am over six feet tall and am not in the WNBA. I can’t shop at Bebe or Forever 21-I’m a Lane Bryant and Torrid girl. I’ve got a few miles on the clock, which I am reminded of daily. And my personal style varies from Goth girl to casual funk to damned near soccer mom.

Okay, this one time, at SCC I went to the mall with a really nice, very cute and feminine tgirl. It was a Saturday afternoon, with lots of people shopping. We spent about an hour and a half in the mall, shopping and talking and in general enjoying ourselves. As we were leaving, this girl asked me “How do you stand it?”

“Stand what?” I said, wondering what had happened.

“The stares,” she replied with a slightly concerned look on her face.

“What stares?” I replied. Which took her by surprise. After all, I *had* to be worried about having been “clocked” as a tgirls! Right?

Well, no. I had not paid attention to other people’s reactions to me. I had not been looking around to see who had or had not been looking at me. Because it did not matter. I wasn’t looking for other people’s valitation, or for their acceptance or lack of it. I just was there, another person shopping in the mall.

I do know that the vast majority of people tend not to really say or do anything when they see me. Either I register as another woman in their mind, or they know something is different about me but they don’t care enough to stop and take another look, or they know exactly what I am but it is not an issue for them. A handfull will take a second or longer look at me. They may say something to the person they are with, or not. They may smile at me, smirk knowingly, giggle, frown, or something else. And once in a blue moon, someone will actually make a remark to me or at me.

And I accept that those are all possibilities. But I do not let them discourage me. What I *do* is to go out and be myself. Because I have the choice of staying at home, woried that I am not going to blend or pass and trap myself in my own closet. Or, I accept who I am and just, well, do it.

I do feel comfortable with who I am-and that make a lot of difference. It’s far more likely that you’ll blend into the crowd if you feel like you belong there rather than feel like you’re an outsider. Passing? That’s good genes and/or medicine, and the ablilty to totally get rid of everything stereotypically male you can.

But for me, I’ll just be the best Zelda I can be.