Dina’s Diner

| Nov 25, 2013

LOOK AT THE BODY ON THAT … MANNEQUIN?

A Venezuelan Mannequin

A Venezuelan Mannequin

The New York Times had an interesting article about clothing mannequin design in Venezuela. The article appeared on the front page of the Times and was continued in its International section on November 7, 2013. The headline read “Mannequins Give Shape to Venezuelan Fantasy.”

Commercial mannequin manufacturers have begun to respond to Venezuelan conceptions of feminine beauty — which happens to include full bosoms and generously proportioned hips and derrieres. Venezuela has a culture that prizes physical beauty and Venezuelan women often enhance their physical assets through cosmetic procedures. “Venezuela is known for its oil and its known for its beauty” said Lauren Gulbas, a feminist anthropologist at Dartmouth. The Times points out that in the ’70s and ’80s Venezuela became famous for the success of its beauty queens in the Miss Universe pageants. As oil riches made the country affluent, women began to spend more money on beautifying themselves, including through cosmetic surgery.

So when Eliezer Alvarez, a small mannequin manufacturer in Valencia, Venezuela analyzed his stagnant sales figures, he realized that his mannequins did not reflect the standards of beauty sought by women in his country. “So he went back to his workshop and created the kind of woman he thought the public wanted — one with a bulging bosom, cantilevered buttocks, a wasp waist and long legs. A fiberglass fantasy Venezuelan style.” That’s how the Times put it.

With the success of the full-bodied mannequins, other small suppliers began changing their models to reflect more zaftig proportions. Nereida Corro, a co-owner of Alvarez’ mannequin factory said, “[Until recently] the mannequins were natural, just like the women were natural. The transformation has been both to the women and to the mannequin.” Older mannequin styles still come from Europe and America, according to the Times. But those mannequins “hardly reflected the physiques of real women” in Venezuela. “They make them so skinny” said Mary Angola, another mannequin maker in Valencia about the Euro and US models.

The US fashion industry sometimes makes noises about making fashions for “real women” instead of the waif thin models they run out on the catwalk. It’s interesting to see that Venezuelan mannequin makers and their merchant customers are taking it upon themselves to put a more popular ideal of body shape in their storefronts. I, for one, welcome our new “T and A” mannequin overlords.

CASSIDY LYNN IS BACK AND SEEMS JUST FINE

Cassidy Lynn

Cassidy Lynn, American sweetheart.

A couple of months ago, I had an item about teen TGĀ Cassidy Lynn who was elected homecoming queen of her California high school and then had a meltdown over negative commentary. The story of her triumph and heartache was covered widely in the mainstream press and here in TGForum at the time.

I guess the old saying “you can’t keep a good man down” — or something like that, is apropos here because I checked into Cassidy’s YouTube site recently and she has made a full recovery of confidence. She posted a Halloween preparation video, another video of her first drag lip-synch performance, and another random transformation video to her channel all in November 2013. The young girl is a busy bee.

It’s great to see her back in full sass and rockin’ out as only she can. As I said before, there are a lot of very good transformation makeup videos on YouTube by some very talented crossdressers and TG’s. Fight back the envy and enjoy them sometime.

A Tumblr TG

TAKIN’ A TUMBLR

It will sound stupid to the more tech savvy among the readership here (there ARE readers here, right?) but I just recently stumbled upon Tumblr. Tumblr is a series of photo posting sites with themes created by their owners. I’m sure there are some very tame, family-oriented, intellectually uplifting Tumblr sites on the web. But my interests have been more, uh, earthy.

And of course, nothing to do with photography can be devoid of a crossdressing niche. Tumblr has many crossdressing-themed sites, all searchable through Google using key words. Once inside a Tumblr page, the links through the posted photos can lead you through a wormhole of related sites. One such is Neverenoughcds.tumblr.com.

When I started crossdressing back in the ’80s, we had CD contact magazines and we had to go to adult bookstores to buy them and wait for weeks to have our own photos published in them. Geez, you kids got it easy these days.

I HAVE THIS DREAM EVERY SO OFTEN

Definitely not Jermaine Lloyd.

A recent article on the HuffingtonPost.com website caught my attention. It was posted in their “weird news” section on November 21, 2013 with the headline “Jermaine Lloyd Arrested Naked — Except for the Turban and High Heels.”

Here are the relevant excerpts from the HuffPost: “A Georgia man was arrested for indecent exposure after he was caught running around in nothing but a turban and high heels. Deputies in Richmond County, Ga., confronted Jermaine Lloyd, 28, Sunday morning. He was hiding behind a tree. At the time, he was trying to put on a pair of pink women’s panties. He ran from the scene but was apprehended a short time later, the Associated Press reported.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have a dream every so often that something like this has happened to me. I never remember all the circumstances of the dream but in its simplest recurring theme I am somewhere in public, or at work, or at a family gathering, half naked and in various states of full or partial crossdressing. I can’t recall ever being in a turban and high heels ensemble but I’ll wait for Jermaine’s story to seep into my unconscious mind a while before I disavow ever having that particular embarrassment befall me in REM sleep.

As mortifying as my dreams may seem, it is also wildly exciting and I usually wake in an exhilarated state at the remembrance. I wonder if this is common to crossdressers. I’d love to hear from any who have had this type of dream.

The rest of the news article about Jermaine makes it clear that he has some substance issues and prior run-ins with the constabulary although the crossdressing angle is never explained. But I, too, have had a few evenings with a full load of vodka. So no judgement here. As of this writing, I have not taken to skulking around only in headgear and high heels — yet.

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Category: Fun & Entertainment, Opinion

About Dina Amberle: I started crossdressing and going out publicly in 1988. I joined the Renaissance group in the Philadelphia area that year and later became chapter leader for two years in the '90s. I always enjoyed writing and wrote for the Renaissance newsletter and magazine throughout my membership years. I've been writing for TGForum for several years now. I also contributed items to LadyLike magazine and other TG publications before the advent of the internet. My hobby-within-a-hobby is singing live as my alter-ego Dina Sinatra and I have had the opportunity to do that with several accommodating performers and in a number of venues over the years since the mid-1990s. In the Diner column items here, I try to relate crossdressing or transgender themes (and my own pet peeves and fetishes) to the larger world -- and vice versa.

Comments (2)

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  1. carmennoel says:

    I have had dreams very similar to what you mentioned! I have also had dreams where I have been fully dressed & end up going through a door that shuts behind me & the room is full of women that I know. When I try to go back out the door it has locked behind me & I have to walk through the room of former girlfriends, female co-workers, friends wives, teacher from HS & college etc. it has been a reoccurring dream throughout my cd life. I have woke up a combination of exhilarated & embarrassed.

    Carmen Noel

  2. jessica baker says:

    I always enjoy your perspectives Dina. Keep them coming <3

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