Thoughts about costumes and dress-up parties

In an earlier post I elaborated about my feelings around being outrageous in the Pride Parade and I think this is somewhat a follow-up post. The thing is that a friend of mine has a rather famous party each year and there are a lot of people coming there. During the first parties the main thing centered around the host and a few more people doing drag. That is a bit complicated of course since it feels important for me that people see the difference between them and me. Probably it isn’t a real issue for most people but there is some nagging feeling for me which is a bit hard to wipe off.

Lately, he have introduced themes to the parties and invited people to come in costume. Last year it was an asian theme and this year it is supposed to be historic in some way. 18th century have been given as a good example and those outfits are rather glamourous to say the least and that brings me back to the same issue I explored in my Pride post earlier.

My journey have been a lot about finding out who I am and what kind of woman I want to be. Along the way I worked a lot on what kind of feminine expressions I am comfortable with and that have changed over the years. Anyway it feels great to now feel that I have found a style that is me and something I am comfortable with. That means also that I have actively discarded a lot of stuff that I don’t think is me. Maybe not feminine enough or sometimes a bit over-the-top or too glamourus. Whether I like it or not a lot of this is something I have done in order to “fit in” or become “passable” in my everyday life.

So doing dress-up is a bit emotional for me since it sometimes means doing things which is so not me and opposite the look I desire. Even though all other people at a costume party is equally dressed-up and not themselves for me it can sometimes feel more “deep” than others. I guess it is a question of feeling confident in myself as a woman and distance the outfit from that. But for so long I have learned that my well-being is so closely linked to how other people percieve me that is is hard to do just that.

It is a bit strange because on one hand I think it would be fun to play around with different expressions of femininity but on the other hand I feel a risk of not being seen as the woman I am. Maybe even the woman I want to be. I guess that is something I need to work on.

So, I was a bit nervous when I together with another friend went to a costume shop in the southern part of Stockholm to look for some 18th century outfits. I tried on a few beautiful gowns and it felt surprisingly ok, especially since I did not had much make-up on this day. So it was a good “training excercise” for me. The one I like the most was beige long gown with gold details on – a very queen-like dress. However, it also a matter of hair, shoes and accessories.

Finally, a lot of people also like to “play their role” during dress-up parties. For me that is also a bit difficult since I sometimes am bit afraid of not behaving feminine enough. The drawback of not having lived as a woman for all my life means that I have learned some habits that is not “right”. Sometimes it is also “moves” that a lot of women have done during their teenage years, some school play or whatever that I have no experience from. And feeling uneasy or nervous about doing a “classic” feminine pose is of course a bit scary. But on the other hand nobody is perfect and I must be better to accept my own mistakes or rather not be so scared about doing them.

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