Gettin’ Curvy Without A Prescription
At QueerDoc, we believe that there is no one way to be transgender. And although we prescribe hormones for gender affirming care (previously known as hormone replacement therapy), we do not subscribe to the view that you have to take hormones – or change your appearance – to be you. For individuals who do not want to take hormones, or who are unable to take hormones and who want to have a softer and/or curvier appearance, today we’re sharing some tips for curves without hormones. We also include several of these links on our gender expression resources page.
Note: we use “Gettin’ Curvy” and “Gettin’ Softer” instead of “feminizing”
At QueerDoc, we work hard not to use terms like “feminizing” or “masculinizing” and try not to conflate gender identity with gender expression.
We are putting together a whole series of blogs on affirming exercise (scheduled to start in the next few weeks!), and hope to have a blog dedicated to ways to add curviness and decrease bulk/angularity through exercise. Some popular tips we’re sure to include are:
- Repetition and form, not weight – aim for high reps to tone rather than weight to increase muscle mass.
- Concentrate on hips, your booty, and your core. Lots of squats!
Clothing and Prosthetics
Humans have been minimizing and/or accentuating the shapes of their bodies with clothing for as long as we’ve worn clothes. Shapewear can smooth or sculpt depending on the compression (but can get uncomfortable!) Adding padding to shapewear can create seamless curves, and options are available at many varied price ranges. Many different shapewear and how-to guides can be found online. We love Gender Gear’s short informational pages on breast forms, gaffs, and pumps.
Specific Terms and Techniques:
Breast forms: come in all shapes and sizes and multiple materials, from small “cutlets” to full over-the-shoulder “plates.” You can also make your own breast forms with pantyhose and a filler material, or by crocheting a pair.
Gaff: a device to create the appearance of a smoother groin. Can be used in combination with tucking, or alone.
Tucking flattens and smooths the genitals. We like TransHub’s primer on how to tuck safely.
Taping: medical tape, sports tape, and specially designed body tapes can also be used in tucking and creating cleavage.
Hip pads and booty pads or panties/shorts: often silicone. These are designed to plump up hips and bum. Nia Graham’s quick video tutorial utilizes a waist shaper, a waist trainer, shapewear, and padded undies to create fab hourglass curves.
Pumps: using a pump to create a vacuum and applying it to the surface of the body can pull blood to the surface and engorge that section of skin. This can provide temporary changes but consistent application may bring about more persistent changes.
Clothing styles: clothing which minimizes the shoulders (unless you’re going for an 80s-inspired power look,) and waist, and emphasizes the hips can create an hourglass shape. Refinery29 has a great slide set of looks which do this. Color-blocking vertical stripes on the sides of the body, and adding fabric at the hips (“peplum” is *such* a great word!) are two time-tested techniques.
Other styles that can emphasize your hips include:
- “Trumpet” or pencil skirts,
- Dresses or skirts with pleating,
- Utilizing bold patterns – including horizontal or angled stripes! – on your bottom half
- High-waisted skirts with a belt
- Smaller and angled pockets on your backside
- Tailored and structured styles
- Styles with a flourish on the hip
Tucking, Taping, and Boobs, Oh, My!
Makeup and Wigs
Makeup can be powerful. There are many resources and how-tos out there. We’d like to highlight the Sephora Stands YouTube channel for their tutorials. Sephora is not currently offering Classes for Confidence inside their stores, but you can sign up for the virtual class waitlist here.
Nonbinary makeup artist Joseph Harwood has a makeup tutorial video discussing the anatomical tendencies between more and less angular faces and how to soften the face through makeup.
We shared Nia Graham’s hourglass video above – her YouTube channel has multiple other tips and tricks videos, including her Trans Tips Tuesdays playlist.
Surgical and Non-Surgical Procedures
There are options for non-surgical changes to your face. Botox can lift the brow and relax the jaw line. Fillers can add volume to lips and cheeks, and create a less-boxy chin.
Pumping, or injection of free silicon, is another possible option for reshaping your body. It can create fullness and curves. It is often very cost effective as it is not provided in medical facilities. Medical providers do not offer this option due to both short and long term potential health consequences. We recommend you speak with a knowledgeable healthcare professional prior to participating in a pumping procedure. This way you can weigh the potential benefits and risks and make an informed decision about what works for you.
We won’t write in detail about gender affirming surgeries, or top and bottom surgeries in this blog – many blogs could be written about your options – but, we are happy to point you towards our gender affirming surgery resource page.
There are advancements happening all the time in gender affirming surgeries, and new techniques are being developed. Learning about your options and finding a great match surgeon can be a challenge. If you’re new to searching bottom surgery terms and want to find out what kinds of surgery are available, we like to highlight Dr. Wittenberg and Dr. Statterwhite because they include discussions of penile preservation vaginoplasty and nullification options on their websites. Just as we believe there is no one way to be trans, we also believe that there is no one surgical procedure for everyone. We appreciate these surgeons who are pioneering more inclusive surgical options.
Links to Online Stores
TranscendThem – breast forms, gaffs, body shaping apparel, padded underwear (Trans/Queer Owned)
Origami Customs – gaffs, bra padding (Trans/Queer Owned)
GenderGear – breast forms, bras, gaffs, pumps (Worker-owned Cooperative)
TransTape – tape, removal oil (Trans Owned)
Unclockable – tape tucking kits (Trans Owned)
PuffyLuffy – crochet breast forms
SheBop – breast forms, gaffs, cleavage tape
Extensive product selection, sites include references to cross dressing: