Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair photos made me feel fabulous. I love that she’s 65. I love that in transitioning to being a woman, she went for broke. I love the message of power and controlling one’s destiny. I love her hair and her look and her obvious decision not to hold any part of her dream in reserve.
I look at the photos and I wonder: how much just pure courage does it take to completely change your external identity? From top to bottom, every dimension. No dressing up here. She dresses down. So there is no hiding. It’s all real, no pretend. Just a ridiculously gorgeous 65-year old woman on the cover of Vanity Fair. I feel like our team (the world’s old gals) just scored a major victory. This is us. And we’re fabulous.
There are other reasons to be grateful to Caitlyn Jenner. First, Fox News might be right that her transition represents the end of civilization as we know it and I think that’s a good thing. Civilization has a lot of conformity demanded and implied. People can be different but within narrow parameters. A feather here, a feather there. Caitlyn Jenner just busted through those boundaries, moving the chains miles from where they were just a few days ago. That’s great, in my opinion.
Another part of ending civilization as we know it also might mean getting rid of our preoccupation with categorization, having to know what and who someone is before we can proceed with knowing them. I used to get this all the time because my children don’t look like me and are obviously adopted: what are your kids? It was always the first question, not the last. Those inquiring seemed to need this information before proceeding. If my kids were in one category, then the inquirers might continue along one road. If they were another, well, a U-turn might be in order. Same seems to be true on the gender/gender identity question. Maybe the reflex to have to know ‘what are you’ can relax a little bit. That would be nice.
Caitlyn Jenner’s transition cuts through more than one taboo, though. People and the fan rags all made sure to keep an eye on Bruce Jenner’s ponytail and refining facial features, following the irresistible urge to compare the Olympic Bruce Jenner to the new person he was crafting for himself as if looking for telltale signs of cocaine addiction or kleptomania. It all had a slimy feel to it; like this person, once so universally admired, should be looked at askance, we should wince and feel sorry for ‘what’s happened to him.’ It was disgusting like the endless pieces about Kirstie Alley’s weight and Angelina Jolie’s bisexuality. We are made, always to think that not only is something our business but that we should engage in a group tsk-tsk, a tsk-tsk heard around the world. Join us in pointing and snickering at _______________ (fill in the blank).
So for Caitlyn Jenner to emerge from this wicked cocoon the media wrapped around her as an incredibly good looking and really built 65-year old chick who appears to be so comfortable with her looks and herself, well, I say, it’s just an extraordinarily revolutionary and insanely wonderful thing to see. So fine. Truly.
The message sent to me by Caitlyn Jenner’s amazing transition? We should all be such tough broads.