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PvZ purple beret
my patronus is a basilisk jeliza
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if shaved head, then red lipstick = ok, else chapstick
(this is mostly just noodling for my own benefit, since maybe if I write it down I'll have to think about it less.)

The weird silver lining of when my depression was less controlled was that when the world is dulled, I didn't care that much about how I present to the world as long as it isn't very feminine. Clothes must be physically comfortable, always, but hitting a more precise zone in the masculine/butch/unmarkedandrogynous/both-and-androgynous/womanlybutnotveryfeminine space isn't an issue. Given that I default to jeans+tank top+maybe a sweather and have visible boobs/hips, that last one is where I tended to land out of sheer apathy.

But when my mind is clearer, it becomes an issue.

And makeup has become amusing again, in a "drawing lines on my face" and "bright colors are my jam" kind of way.
And it is summer, when sundresses are just so damn easy (I am not made for heat. Also, I found nifty soft knit dresses which are super comfy.)
And I am starting to care about looking like not-a-slob more if I go out where people can see me. Even if it means that I dress like a 20something art student, I'd like to look like I'm doing it on purpose.

This means that I am having to devote far more processing cycles than I want to what else I am doing with presentation. Is the funny colored mohawk going to be sufficient to balance the dress AND lipstick? Do I need to shave my head completely? Are there even sandals that aren't ugly and aren't feminine (and can handle a lift) in the world or is my emotional comfort going to demand a summer of sweaty feet in boots/sneakers?

And does all this angsting mean I need to be pondering that whole identity thing again (seriously, I did my therapy time already), which seems in many ways pointless because whether the label is cis or gender-something, it will have pretty much no practical effect given how my life is structured?  Or are my appearance preferences just frosting that doesn't need to affect the flavor of the gender-identity cake, so I can just go think about whether I should concentrate on charcoal or digital drawing instead?

I really wish I didn't care. I have so many other things I could be doing with the brain time.

Well, I find this navel-gazing interesting, but then I have all manner of issues with depression plus anxiety about leaving the house and how I look and so on. I need more dresses and skirts that are soft knits and which fit or maybe I just need to find some of the ones I do own and see if they fit. Gah.

I also have some sandals I should track down-- for a time several years ago I went on quite the sandal shopping spree mostly with Birkenstocks & Tevas. I rejoiced when I found black leather (or at least leather-looking) Tevas that I felt were dressier than most standard issue Tevas without being girly. I also have green velvet Birkenstock clogs and other ridiculous (but awesome IMHO) things I don't wear nearly enough.

For the first 25 years of my life or a bit more, I never ever wore sandals. Or at least once I started dressing myself, I didn't. Or at least nothing with open toes. Boots and closed toe flats I guess were my think, the occasional very low heel. Then I bought a pair of Tevas before heading up to the Winnipeg Folk Festival and my eyes were opened to the joys of sandals and also of not caring who sees my naked toes so long as I'm comfortable. I think giving in to wearing jeans came later after previously only really wearing them for horseback riding.

I haven't looked at sandals much in recent years, but my cursory glances seem like there are a lot more well-made options for women now, but I fear many are more girly and that the men's and unisex options remain fairly bland. Of course there are now more breathable open shoes like so many Keen shoes which seem to both cover one's feet while also letting the air in.

I keep thinking about dying my hair some fabulous colors, but I'm still in "duck and cover" sort of mode when out and about and not wanting more than the bare minimum of attention and I suspect purple hair or something might get more attention than I want. Hermit mode still mostly.

Definitely people will talk to you more with bright hair. The last time i went blue was also the last time i was at a conventially attractive size, and i Could Not Deal with the attention, particularly from men.

Just wondering, is it "I wish I didn't have to care, but I do kind of have to, because I care about some of the ways people react to it"? Or "I wish I didn't care (and I don't have to), but my brain does it anyway"? Or some of both? Seems like they might take you in different directions.

It's the latter; I don't know that anyone else notices particularly, and I'm actually well set up to handle it when other people are confused/bugged by me gender-wise. People read me as a boy/man *constantly* from elementary school through my 20s, even when I wasn't dressing masculine. Which freaked me out as a kid/teen, but I'm totally at peace with now, though it doesn't happen nearly as much now.