Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Three years of transition - only subtle facial changes

Three years ago - on 9 December 2008 - Lucy Melford made her first public appearance. An awful lot has happened to me since then, nearly all of it irreversable. So when contemplating a post to mark this three-year stage in my personal development, I expected to find plenty of photos in the archives that would show how much I've changed. I'm talking about face shots of course, the bit of me that would most clearly show the before-and-after effect of feminisation.

But in fact I didn't find many shots suitable for comparison. For one thing, until well into 2008, close up shots of my head were few. Besides that, the expressions on my face then were mostly unlike the expressions you'll see now. However, here are four quite well-matched pictures from October 2008 and December 2011, with a fifth from September 2005:

By October 2008 I'd been on a serious diet for four months, and my face was much thinner than it had been during most of the 2000s. The shot from 2005 is more typical of how I looked before transition began.

In the 2011 shots I'm wearing no makeup except mascara and lipstick. The lighting is natural daylight in all five pictures, although the 2005 and 2008 shots were not by a garden window but out on sea shores. Obviously you have to ignore the different hair and different clothes.

You know, I don't see any startling changes! There's been a general softening of the skin, the eyes are open wider, and the mouth has slightly changed shape (it's all that speaking and smiling practice!). The cheeks and neck have altered in a feminine direction, the beard shadow has gone, and the eyebrows have been thinned out to the point of non-existence. Generally the face has become more rounded compared to 2008, but is much the same as it was in 2005.

And that's about it.

I think that you'd definitely say that my feminisation has come a long way in the past three years, and that the male look is much subdued, but surely I must still be highly recognisable to anyone who knew me before transition began. It's a salutory illustration that you mustn't expect a quick and fundamental transformation when going onto hormone treatment!

Of course, the years ahead will see an ongoing development in skin texture, and more shifting of flesh about the face. But the smoothing-out and reshaping process will have to contend with the drooping and sagging effects of gravity on aging tissue. Oh well. At least that will look natural.


  1. I think you are being unkind to yourself here Lucy. From the photos you've posted I can see definite changes, subtle changes they may be but they do show a difference in the before and after shots. The problem with ourselves is that we have looked at the same face for years and we tend to be more critical of what we see. For a stranger it is different because a stranger hasn't got a reference point other than what they perceive a woman should look like. Showing both old and new photos helps us to see the changes that perhaps you don't notice yourself. You are correct regarding the fact that it is early days and things will get even better in the next three years buy hey, I think you look great now! Applying more make-up (not too much though) will make you look better of course and I'm sure you take full advantage of that fact. I think you are very brave to put your pre-Lucy photos on your blog. I wouldn't do that myself but I couldn't even if I wanted to, I do not have any pre-Shirley Anne photos except that I do have pre-op photos as Shirley Anne. You can see one of those in my gallery. In case you are wondering which one, it is the one in which I am wearing a short wig.

    Shirley Anne xxx

  2. I agree with Shirley Anne. I see quite a lot of difference between then and now. They're the kind of differences where someone who knew you before might think that you (now) were that guy's sister. There's a family resemblance, but not nearly as close as you seem to think.

  3. We are our own worst critics! World of difference though as mentioned he could be an older brother...

    He looks like a nice guy and there are few enough of them...

  4. Thank you all.

    I do agree that I'm a bit hard on myself, but then I wouldn't want to kid myself that I've been magically changed into a something I'm not.

    I thought it would be interesting to post these shots up, and see what people had to say. I'll probably repeat the exercise in three years time!


  5. I think you look very different! I honestly think you look like two different people. :) Ok there are some facial similarities but that's it.

  6. Lucy, you look absolutely fab in ALL of the pictures, including the old you.

    You were an extremely attractive male. I have found this to be the case with friends who I have known prior to transition and after transition. Very attractive men became very attractive women. Obviously, men who I consider attractive are not beefcakes.

    Calie xxx


This blog is public, and I expect comments from many sources and points of view. They will be welcome if sincere, well-expressed and add something worthwhile to the post. If not, they face removal.

Ideally I want to hear from bloggers, who, like myself, are knowable as real people and can be contacted. Anyone whose identity is questionable or impossible to verify may have their comments removed. Commercially-inspired comments will certainly be deleted - I do not allow free advertising.

Whoever you are, if you wish to make a private comment, rather than a public one, then do consider emailing me - see my Blogger Profile for the address.

Lucy Melford