A "perfect" Gender Transition
Being trans can come with a lot of internal pressure to be perfect. You may want to master that perfect voice and pass in every single social context and always move with the perfect gait. While transitioning, this form of perfectionism can have both pros and cons.
As you begin to change things about yourself, it essentially opens a Pandora’s Box of attributes that can be altered to feminize you further.
Once you begin to transform and transition, the temptation to constantly alter things is quite high, and consequently, in the pursuit for perfection, you might end up at the surgeon’s door more often than it is necessary.
In fact, if you are a perfectionist, take a second to make a list of things you want to change about yourself. It’s a long list, isn’t it?
The reason is that you probably made that list by using the ideal female body as your reference point. These standards are typically harmful for cis-women too and for trans women, this entails hundreds of changes to who they are and how they look.
This mentality is a shortcut to dysphoria. While the majority of trans women do experience dysphoria, those who seek perfectionism tend to battle with it a lot more frequently and at a higher degree.
Dysphoria is exacerbated when you spend a lot of time dissecting femininity and comparing yourself to such definitions. This is the hallmark of perfectionistic behavior.
While cis women struggle with that too, trans women have the added burden of dealing with testosterone, which they are born with. Thus, meeting the standards of the perfect female body is even harder for them.
People whose birth gender is male tend to have certain physical attributes that are considered masculine, such as broad shoulders and straight hips, and large foreheads.
While some are rectifiable, others aren’t. For perfectionists, the latter becomes a large mental hurdle that they must struggle to overcome.
In essence, as a perfectionist, you won’t feel satisfied with your transitioning journey at any point of time.
However, there are obviously advantages to being a perfectionist. Firstly, your desperation to be perfect will put you on a path where you actually make an effort to change and transform.
This effort can help you feel better since you are working towards your goals and you are witnessing changes as well. Trans women who are perfectionists tend to walk more quickly on their transitioning journey.
With constant practice, they often master what they set out to do in a very short period of time.
One needs to find a balance between perfectionism and acceptance. To mitigate dysphoria and feel comfortable and authentic, you might find the need to change many things about yourself.
But at some point, you should draw a line of what you don’t want to change, typically because it is practically impossible to achieve. Otherwise, you will be stuck in a vicious loop of trying and failing, which can be counterproductive.
Another instance where you could skip altering yourself is for those problem areas that only you seem to be fussing over. It is easy not to be objective when you are considering surgical procedures because you don’t want to overlook even the tiniest of flaws.
However, many such flaws can be worked upon by working on your self-acceptance instead.
While change and adaptability are undoubtedly positive attributes, it is important to remember that excessive change can be chaotic and even unnecessary. As a trans woman, it is very easy to get caught up in the cycle of identifying problem areas and seeking out a surgeon to rectify them.
However, this is not healthy, since no amount of mental effort is going into tackling dysphoria and therefore, the surgeries have no positive effects at all.
Instead of getting stuck in this continuous cycle of dissatisfaction, you must try to work on your mind and self-acceptance and satisfaction. If necessary, you can seek your friends’ objective opinions to understand whether your problem areas are actually problematic or not.
While a certain amount of perfectionism is natural and helpful, once it crosses a line, you must learn to push back. While you may initially feel guilty for not pursuing perfectionism, it is a more healthy attitude to hold for your long-term well-being.
Treating yourself with love and care through this process is of utmost importance.
Do not be harsh with yourself and more importantly, understand that most people do not see the problems that you see with yourself. We hope this helps! Good luck!!