Wikipedia defines envy as " a resentment which occurs when someone lacks another's quality, achievement or possession and wishes that the other lacked it". It can be one of the most common cause of depression, anxiety and body dysphoria amongst the transgender population. Day after day one can spend scrolling up and down facebook looking at all the totally beautiful transwomen posting picture after picture of themselves for all to see and admire. Envy and resentment starts to build as you compare your body and looks to all the other transgender women posting, posting and posting all over every transgender facebook group. How, as an average transgender woman, can you deal with this onslaught of "I'm so pretty" and "I pass better than you"?
Credit: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=envy&id=D292C3D81736C15C1C30F1099E1C632632FD4153&FORM=IQFRBA#view=detail&id=AEA726BEC39457D91C13C1A6E97C3D67A30390E5&selectedIndex=1While not all the photos of transgender women on facebook are of perfect bodies, not all the bodies are transgender women. Yes, there are cisgender women who post in transgender groups pictures of themselves presumably to demean and destroy the self esteem of our sisters; a radical feminist counter attack if you will(they will stoop to any low). Propaganda has been used for centuries to demean and belittle certain groups within our society so be careful you don't fall for their infiltration of our transgender facebook groups. Don't immediately assume that you do not measure up and begin punishing yourself for something that is well beyond your control. Step back a little bit and you will start to notice that most of the posts are of people who look great, having wonderful times and cooking fabulous food. You don't often see someone posting that they are cooking macaroni and cheese and photo shopping their photos so they look more feminine. I have run into more than a few transwomen who are guilty of the Photoshop fake! Then they will go on to explain to you that they grew their ample breasts in three weeks using self hypnosis and drinking a lot of milk(I am not kidding I have heard this one). Being a Clinical Hypnotherapist myself I am highly dubious that you can go from a flat chest to a B cup in three weeks.
Credit: http://www.ingodsimage.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/envy.jpg So what can you do to protect you and your self esteem from the fakes, infiltrators and narcissists who continuously assault us from every side? How can you enjoy the love and companionship of your fellow sisters without crumbling before the hoards of beauty shots from a minority of transgender women who are genetically blessed enough to pass a cisgender? There are some tips and techniques you can use ranging from the simple to the draconian in order to protect yourself from facebook envy eroding your happiness.
- See them for what they are: insecure body obsessed transwomen who get all of their self esteem from how they look. Their entire existence revolves around how well they pass and they spend little time(or money) on anything else. That is, besides showing everyone how good they look from every angle.
- See yourself for what you are: A wonderful, talented, funny, beautiful human being who is unique in this entire universe. Beauty, real beauty, comes from inside and not from makeup or a surgical procedure. Just because you were not born with that perfect body does not mean that you should throw it all away.
- Remember the Photoshop fakes: Look very closely at the pictures you are seeing before you. Do they look too perfect? Are the colors off and body parts out of proportion? Photoshop fakes abound so don't let them hurt you with a visual lie. This also goes for most if not all of the magazine shots of women you see in the media, they are all faked!
- Follow the money: Ask yourself how did they come to look this way? Were they lucky enough to have their transition paved with money while yours was paved with stones. Of course it's not fair but such is life, you should not belittle yourself just because someone else has money. I know it makes their lives so much easier and they love to tell you all about it but you cannot let it get you down. They are simply perpetuating the transgender hierarchy and massaging their own ego's.
- Are they actually cisgender?: Look carefully at them, a transgender woman will always have something that give her away and sets off your transgender radar. As a transgender person you can usually spot another transwoman a mile away despite how well she passes. Remember the radical feminists posting shots of themselves claiming to be trans just to take a swipe at the transgender community; setting an impossible standard to live up too.
- Picture perfect: Remember that people are only going to post the pictures that make them look good and filter out all the rest. The viewer ends up comparing their otherwise dull lives to someone's perfect moments! No one's life is full of perfect moments so bear that in mind.
- Stop comparing: The competition race is the enemy of joy! You feel worse about yourself and it becomes difficult to share in their joy and accomplishments. You cannot be happy for someone if your seething in jealousy. This type of behavior not only stems from your insecurity but also builds upon it and is a vicious circle.
- Be real: Be real on facebook. Post real stories with real pictures and you will not only feel better about yourself but you will be helping to combat facebook envy for the transgender woman.
- Block them: This may seem rather draconian and I suggest it only as a last resort. If someone on facebook is destroying your self-esteem with their posts and it's just ruining your day, simply block them. You will no longer have to see their posts and suffer any dysphoria and envy due to them anymore. This seems very simple but is in fact a fantastic way to protect your self esteem. However this method does avoid confronting the issue directly and thus helping to improve your self esteem.
As you can see there are many ways that facebook envy can influence and effect the transgender women; often negatively. Sadly the problem is often compounded with the fact that many transwomen live rather lonely isolated lives and therefore spend an inordinate amount of time on facebook. Ultimately if you want to avoid the envy then log out and go for a walk. You will get to see what normal, damaged people, look like.