It's very unfortunate, but we live in a society obsessed with beauty. The goldfish-like attention spans of the media-sated are directly proportional to the bimbo-esque qualities of the dolly-birds piped into their living-rooms. The only place for the less beautiful lies in freak-show programmes, the Undateables, My big fat gypsy wedding, Super-size vs. Super-skinny. Or My transsexual summer.
It was very interesting last year to listen to reactions from people outside the trans bubble to the MtF participants in MTS based on their looks. There were four MtFs on the programme, and to paraphrase the unflattering descriptions from outside the bubble: one was seen as pretty, another pretty but used far too much makeup, the next had a disastrous wig and the last was seen as still having something of the bloke about her. The last woman was furthest along the path of transition, yet it was sobering to hear people unconsciously refer to her as "him". Not through malice, just thoughtlessness and ignorance.
Pretty strong stuff. And I think it's time we all admitted it, we all looked at their appearances too, whether we judged them by it or not. The phrase beloved of comedians "You were all thinking it, weren't you!" springs to mind.
I'm writing this because I've observed a reaction somewhere else in the trans community to one of our number. I'm not going to go into detail because it would be unfair on her, but she's very talented at what she does. She's also pretty, I believe she was lucky enough to be able to transition young. I find it unfortunate that I am seeing praise being heaped on her from within the bubble for being pretty, rather than being clever or doing what she does.
If we don't liberate ourselves from the beauty obsession, what hope have we for those outside the bubble?