society sets it's own standard for female beauty. For western Europe
c.2000, it appears from a review of both medical studies and the media that
the perfect beautiful woman will possess all the following characteristics:
An attempt to calculate the proportions of a beautiful woman. Confusingly, many male-to-female transsexuals have skeletal proportions closer to the ideal female than the average cis-women.
5 foot 9 inches tall (180 cm)
body proportions with figure close to 36-24-36 inches. BMI
around 19. WHR more than 0.7.
- but rounded rather than starved appearance
Slight - leg and
arm muscles not prominent or strongly defined
and glossy hair, preferably natural blond
visible hair on the legs, armpits, forearms, and especially
not on the face
forehead, high cheekbones, a face wide at the temples and
narrow at the chin with a short jaw
Green or blue eyes, large in proportion to the face
symmetry of facial features
unwrinkled, unblemished and hairless skin - without any scars,
imperfections or marks of age
pert and shapely
and long (both absolutely and proportional to height)
hands and feet, long slim fingers
course the woman described above probably doesn't exist, and probably never has.
Further the above characteristics are an overage - for example modelling
agencies strongly favour girls under 22 with a boyish figure of 34-24-34 inches
(give or take an inch), whilst
men tend to prefer more mature women with a fuller figure, perhaps
37-24-37. Even supermodels have defects and the media
representations of women are often artificial illusions generated by make-up artists, lighting,
professional photographers, Photoshop guru's, etc.
Due to genetics and testosterone, young male-to-female transsexuals often
have above average height, slim build and long leg length. As
are thus closer to the ideal described above than most CIS-women.
Top row from
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston
Bottom row: Penelope Cruz, Cate Blanchett, Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Roberts
is the Fairest of them All?
In 2001 the American Academy of Facial Plastic and
Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) surveyed its membership - facial
plastic surgeons, true face specialists - to rate the facial features of
The results of the
poll were published in November 2001, Catherine Zeta-Jones was voted the "ideal face of femininity"
by 27% of the facial plastic surgeons. Nicole Kidman came in
a second, whilst Jennifer Aniston, Penelope Cruz and Gwyneth Paltrow tied for
Although born male,
Emma Ellingsen has a near perfect female face according to
studies, She has began taking puberty blockers age 13 and
estrogen age 16 but has had no facial feminisation surgery. Shown
age 18. (Norway)
Explaining the results,
AAFPRS President Dr.
Shan Baker said:
may be in the eye of the beholder, there is a real mathematical equation for
measuring a person's attractiveness. In fact, the skeletal proportions
are the true determining factors," said .
"Not only should the face have high cheek bones and a clean complexion, but
a well-proportioned face will be divided into equal thirds when horizontal
lines are drawn through the forehead hairline, the brow, the base of the
nose and the edge of the chin. And when analysing the face vertically,
the length of the nose should occupy one-third of the total vertical height
of the face."
The face of Catherine
Zeta-Jones displays many features of the ideal face of femininity,"
says Baker. "She has a short delicate jaw with small chin and nose,
all of which are desirable for an attractive female face. Her lavish lips,
well-developed cheek bones and prominent eyes give her the face of the new
Nicole Kidman was tied for second with Gwyneth Paltrow (with 18 percent of
votes each) for having the ideal female nose. Once again Catherine
Zeta-Jones came away as the winner for the females. According to Dr.
Baker, her "small, straight and symmetrical" nose gave her 22% of the surgeons' votes.
However, it was Nicole Kidman's lips that are most kissable; she
came out on top for having the ideal mouth with 33% of the
vote. Angelina Jolie's bee-stung, pouty lips followed very close
And as for Academy
Award winner Julia Roberts ... her eyes have it! Twenty-three
percent of the AAFPRS surgeons believe that Julia Roberts has the ideal
set of eyes. "Large eyes with ample space between upper eyelashes and
brow are attractive features," says Baker. "This combined with
expressive animation and framed with strong arched brows gives Julia
Roberts the perfect set of female eyes."
Richard Fleming's Data
based plastic surgeon Dr Richard Fleming first began practicing in
the 1970's, he soon noticed that
most people wanting a nose job or cheek implants had a famous star
in mind. He started collating data to find who has the most
coveted features. His 2002 list of the most commonly asked
for stars' facial features is as follows:
Jennifer Aniston, Debra Messing, Julia Roberts
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Heather Graham, Penelope Cruz
Kim Cattrall, Halle Berry, Sela Ward
Nicole Kidman, Heather Locklear, Marisa Tomei
Elizabeth Hurley, Denise Richards, Hillary Swank
Cate Blanchett, Salma Hayek, Ada Pinkett-Smith
composite face above-right is built up using the
characteristics of one of these stars in each category.
Interestingly a Google image search using the composite face above
resulted in the photo (right) of the 1990's drag queen Mimi Marks
(right) being suggested. The 1980's transsexual model Caroline Finch (nee Cossey)
(shown left) also has a face that very closely complies with Dr Baker's
standards. Neither Caroline or
Mimi seem to have had any facial plastic surgery, which leads to the
possibility that based on current Western standards an XY man
may well have the "perfect" female face!
Golden Ratio of Beauty
In 2019 a Harley Street clinic surgeon, Dr Julian De Silva, digitally mapped
the faces of female celebrities and compared the results with a
mathematical equation known as Beauty Phi devised by the ancient Greeks
which calculated the perfect face shape, including the size and position of
the lips, nose, chin and jaw line. The 23-year-old model Bella Hadid
had the highest match to the ratio at 94.35 per cent overall and was thus named as the most beautiful woman in the
world. In second place was Beyoncé (92.44% match) and taking
third place was Amber Heard (91.85%).
Welcome to the Twenty-First Century
In 2004 a transwoman - Amanda Lepore (pictured right) - made a catwalk appearance at a Spring
2005 fashion show in New York which caused headlines around the world.
From a distance at least, Amanda had exactly the fair skin, long blond
hair, petite build (just 157 cm or 5ft 2in tall)
but voluptuous "hour glass" figure (38-22-38) that had been used as a standard of female beauty for much of the 20th century -
particularly in the middle decades.
Indeed, Amanda often impersonated Marilyn Monroe.
However, the 21st century has seen a change in the Western perception of female beauty.
This began in the 1970's through to the 1990's, with women's
fashion magazines such as Elle, Vogue and Cosmopolitan
leading the charge. A beautiful woman now
needed to fit the following template:
at least 173 cm (5ft 8in) tall with
slim, with an
athletic rather than wasp-like waist
small pert breasts
long bown or dark hair
When 23 year-old Sarah Gronert
(Height: 6ft 0in / 183 cm, Weight: 143 lb / 65 kg) was voted as having the best legs in female
tennis she met most of this description, and her blond hair and
generous bust undoubtedly still appealled to many men. Probably
only a handful of the voters knew that she was genetically male
but suffered from AIS.
prescription of beauty is perfect for young male-to-female transwomen,
leading to the huge success in the 2010's of top 1000 transgender models such as
Isis King, Lea T, Ines Rau, Arisce Wanzer, Andreja Pejic, Geena Rocero,
Carmen Carrera, Jenna Talackova, Teddy Quinlivan, Hari Nef,
Avie Acosta, Maxim Magnus, Hunter Schafer, Valentina Sampaio... the list
now goes on and
These magazine adverts all
feature transgender models. From left to right:
Andreja Pejic for Bonds;
Hari Nef for Gucci; Ariel
Nicholson for Miu Miu; and Valentina Sampaio for L'Oreal.
They are all tall with long legs (perhaps excluding Hari who is
'just' three inchs above average female height at 5 ft 9½ in (1.77m))
and have beautiful faces. Nevertheless theya all lack the
figure and prominent bust of the glamorous films stars of
irrelevant to a designer if a model is female or male, the important
question is whether the model will be a good clothshorse
for their wares.
So many top models
are now outing themselves as transgender that Teddy Quinlivan said that
the reaction she got was essentially "that's great, but please go to makeup, we have a show
in 40 minutes...". Another example of this was
the "discovery" in 2017 of Ariel Nicholson,
age 16, weight 125 lbs, height 6ft 1in. In 2018 the influential
models.com added her to their "Hot List", stating:
It was on from
the jump: Ariel's career began in 2017 with American Vogue and
Calvin Klein, and has continued through 2018 working with only the
best of the best - Inez and Vinoodh, Mert and Marcus, Marc Jacobs,
and Miu Miu, to name but a few. Ariel's star potential has never
been in doubt.
notable omission from model.com's commentary is any mention
that Ariel was openly transgender. Transgender models have
apparently become so commonplace that it was nolonger worth mentioning.
The Fashion Editor of a UK newspaper attending Milan Fashion Week Spring
2019 began asking the fashion houses how many of the models (typically
20-40) on the cat-walk of their shows were cis-women. The only
response she recieved was "about six". She concluded that designers have found
that it is much easier to design and display their clothes using tall
transgender and androgenous male models, rather than female models who have
inconvenient curves such as a bust.
In 2018 Vogue magazine
averaged the faces of 200 women who had featured on its front cover to
arrive at this aggregate face ....
and transwoman Catalina Aristizabal
from Colombia then shot to fame due to closely matching the face.
had featured in an ad campaign "Boys will be Women".
In September 2019, The Fashion Spot calculated that 83 openly
transgender women had appeared as models in 52 Spring 2020 fashion shows
across Paris, Milan, New York and London, and had conducted 1.23% of all
walks. This compared to 56 transwomen for Spring 2019 and 45
transwomen for Spring 2018.
Hunter Schafer led the pack for 2020 with appearances in 17 shows
(hitting all four cities), whilst
Teddy Quinlivan walked in 11 shows. The Fashion Spot's
estimate is far too low as it excludes the many androgenous male models
who regularly model as a woman, and it makes no attempt to estimate how
many female models were born male but are stealth. Transwomen
may still form only a small proportion of the model industry, but their
numbers are growing very rapidly.
"Her" in this advert is actually an androgenous male model, Alex
It has also become unlikely that you can browse a women's magazine without encountering
advert that features a transgender model. An unscientific review
of about 100 women's magazines (varying from Vogue to Stellar)
purchased in Ireland in the first half of 2019 found that 30% included at
least one advert featuring an acknowledged transgender or androgenous
male model. One
issue of Cosmopolitan had three such models in adverts.
None of the adverts even hinted that the model was not cis-female.
In August 2019 it needed only a brief reading of
fashion magazines such as Elle to discover that the latest 'hot' young model
was 17 year-old Emma Ellingsen
(left) from Norway. However it then required very little online research to reveal
that she had prevously prominently featured on social media, and in
several Norwegian TV programmes, as a teenage transgender boy-to-girl.
Valentina Sampaio has had huge success on the catwalk and in women's fashion
magazines, but also negligible interest from male orientated
The Barriers Fall
The centrefold of the first issue (December 1953) of the American magazine Playboy famously
featured Marilyn Monroe, and the magazine perhaps remains a
barometer for a "male" view of female beauty. It is therefore
The cover of the February 2016 Italian edition of Playboy
transgender woman Vittoria Schisano
playmate in the November/December 2017 centre-fold of U.S. Playboy
Ines Rau, who is transgender
The March 2019 German edition of Playboy had transgender model Giuliana Farfalla on its cover
The playmate in the August 2019 edition of U.S. Playboy was Geena Rocera
- who (no surprise by this stage) is transgender.
Geena Rocero in the August 2019 issue of Playboy magazine. She a received a
with negative comments focusing on being her age (35)
rather than her being a transwoman.
Twenty years ago,
any of these photo spreads would have been major news world-wide, but by
2019 Playboy barely mentioned in the accompanying text that Geena was transgender.
Many other international editions of Playboy used photos of these girls over the
following months, but buyers often had to read the "small print" of the
article to discover that the girl whose photos they were admiring
was transgender and was physically born male.
In the USA, a leading men's magazine is GQ, established in 2003.
It soon became famous for featuring scantily clad super-stars such as Angelina Jolie
and Eva Herzigova on its cover and in photo articles.
In April 2017,
the cover of GQ Portugal featured Andreja Pejic. Whilst the cover
included the letters "XX", few readers would have understood the
significance before admiring the eight-page photo spread of Andreja
posted this backstage photo during a
shoot for the Victoria's Secret PINK campaign.
For many years a hold-out against transgender models seemed to be
the Victoria's Secret - which claims to sell "world's best bras"
and uses "the most beautiful Supermodels" to promote its wares. In
2018, Ed Razek, the chief marketing officer at Victoria’s Secret said it
would not use "transsexual [models] because the show is a fantasy”.
It was thus a surprise when on 8 August 2019 it was
a 22-year-old Brazilian model, would front a new marketing
campaign - VS PINK. She was born Valentine and transitioned as Valentina when age 12 (in
recent interviews she claims age 10) and began taking hormones age 15. She
probably had SRS in Thailand in 2016, age 20.
A day after Victoria's Secret hired Valentina, Ed Razek resigned.
In March 2020, Victoria's Secret launched “Its Most Diverse Ever"
including older, transgender and curvier models. From the
left: Barbara Palvin,
Helena Christensen, Romee Strijd,
Valentina Sampaio and Solange van Doorn.
Chanel is a French company founded by
Gabrielle Coco' Chanel which "caters to women's taste
for elegance". Since the 1960's, Chanel products have been marketed by
top fashion models, idols and actresses, including Catherine Deneuve, Carole Bouquet, Vanessa Paradis, Nicole
Kidman, Keira Knightley, Kristen Stewart, Pharrell Williams and Marilyn
August 2019, Chanel announced that the new face of Chanel Beauty cosmetics was
American model Teddy Quinlivan. There was not even a hint that 25 year old Teddy
was a post-SRS transgender woman.
of Teddy Quinlivan published when she was announced as the new
face of Chanel Beauty cosmetics
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is published annually by American magazine Sports Illustrated and features female fashion models, celebrities and athletes wearing swimwear in various locales around the world.
Being selected for the highly coveted cover photograph has been considered as the arbiter of
reaching supermodel status. Although the magazine had previously
featured a multi-page photo spread of the Brazilian "top 100"
transgender model Valentina Sampaio, it was still a major surprise when the 2021
cover featured transgender model
decades, beauty contests required that contestants were a "natural born
woman". This became increasingly controversial
and the rule has now gone. The subsequent 2018
election of transwoman Angela Ponce (left) as Miss Universe Spain
also shows how complex and
confusing "female" beauty has become. It seems inevitable that very
soon Miss World, Miss Universe, or the No. 1 ranked Female Model
will have been born genetically XY male. Or maybe they already are...
Importance of Physical Characteristics
This section gives the results of QueenDom's
on physical attraction, this compiled the opinions of more than 10,000
visitors to arrive at a rough image of the Venus and Adonis of the 21st
is how Men and Women rated individual features in the opposite sex. The
numbers represent the mean score of men, women, and the two
voting was on a scale of 1 to 5: 1 is a turn-off and 5 is very
men and women rate facial
features in the opposite sex
men and women rate other physical characteristics in the
of body hair
Four beautiful young women in their teens or 20's
from Australia, from the left Grace Stevenson, Evangeline Macdonald, Belle
Bambi and Avery Jae ("AJ") Clemintine. All have transtioned from male
and take female hormones; AJ had GRS age 22.
Preference for hair
length varies between men and women is probably due to cultural
influences. Generally, European women don't like shoulder length hair on a man, but men
don't mind medium or short hair on a women, in fact very few men find short'ish hair to be unattractive. Women, in general, don't
Men are more
enthusiastic about blond hair than women are (70% of men find this above
average on the attractive scale, compared to 47% of women). So maybe
blond women do have more fun!
Women are much less tolerant than men of red hair. 57% of women didn't
like red hair, compared to only 25% of men who found this to be unappealing.
Everybody likes clear
skin, since it is an indication of health. In general, more men and women
seem to find dark or olive skin more attractive than pale skin.
Perhaps pale skin suggests unhealthiness to many, while darker skin is a
sign of health and robustness. But the cultural idea that tanned skin
is healthy is slowly changing as the incidence of skin cancer rises from sun
bathing and sun beds.
Freckly skin is
viewed with reserve. Women are more likely than men to find freckly
People feel quite
strongly about white, straight teeth. The main concern is definitely
hygiene. Yellow, stained or rotten teath and the bad breath that
might accompany them is for most people a rather unappetizing image.
In contradiction to
other studies, the poll shows that most men claim to prefer a thin woman -
although the hip-to-waist ratio isn't shown.
female human body may be indeed be the loveliest thing that nature has
ever create when seen though the rose tinted eyes of an artist, the
soft lens of a camera, or observed by a man after too many
beers. However the cruel reality is that naturally the female
body is often fat, hairy, smelly and even outright UGLY.
cis-girl supermodels are
beauty as described in this article is often an illusion that requires a
effort to sustain. The shell of the perfect woman is stressful and
expensive to maintain; the contest is to see who does it best and the
standards are impossibly high.
example the ideal beauty described above is "thin",
is not obviously muscular or strong, her body's contours meet a fairly
precise technical specification for softness and curvature while
containing only the minimum amount of fat and flesh necessary.
There is thus a whole industry built on taking the fat and flesh off
women's bones in order to meet these demanding standards.
ideal woman also has shiny, glossy hair, and lots of it - but only on her
head, of course! Leg hair, underarm hair, any visible hairiness,
even on the forearms but especially on the face - it all has to
go. Every day millions of women visit salons to have their scalp
hair styled and treated, and other hair removed from their bodies,
perfect female beauty is also white. She should have clear soft skin,
without marks of age or character. She has child like face with
large eyes, full red lips, a small delicate nose, a face wide at the
temples and narrow at the jaw, a dainty neck, ... . Every
day several billion women spend considerable time skilfully
applying some form of cosmetics to modify the appearance of their
face, and every year several million seek more permanent surgical
price that many women choose to pay in the hope of being considered
beautiful (by both men and other women ) is high in every way.
Talackova. After being outed as a transwoman she was
barred from the 2012 final of Miss Canada Universe, but
gained an exception after huge public pressure.
male-to-female women labour under the handicap of their androgenized
(primarily testosterone) skeletons, unless hormone therapy was
started at a very young age.
- even in the most attractive transsexual women - are great height
(e.g. Kelly van de Veer), large hands and feet (e.g. Roberta
Close), masculine voice (Eva Robins,
and Adam's apple (Caroline Cossey had
surgery to remove her Adam's apple removed). Even
Ha Ri-Su - who
has had to counter rumours that she not reallay a transsexual
- has the
small breast areola and large feet typical of a transwoman.
On the more positive
side, the long legs of a tall transwomen can dazzle as a model -
photo shots of Caroline Cossey, Jenna Talackova, Andreja Pejic and
Teddy Quinlain provide just a few examples. Also, facial
feminisation surgery (extreme plastic surgery) can - in the best case
- now deliver
extraordinarily successful results, e.g. search on-line for Gigi
Gorgeous, Cadence Winter Matthews,
Carmen Carrera and Stef Sanjati.
Beauty Pageants such as Miss World and Miss Universe have become a shadow of
their 1970's heyday when the finals were televised worldwide, but oddly the 2000's have seen the emergence
of alternative beauty contests featuring transwomen. In recent
years the transgender winner of
Miss International Queen has received far more publicity than
the supposed "Big 4" contest Miss
International which requires contestants to be born female.
Indeed, even national-level competitions have become major news in
countries such as Thailand, Brazil, Venezuela, Philippines and
perhaps less expectedly in countries such as Mexico, Israel and
Contestants for the Philippine
Miss Universe 2016
and (right) Miss
beauty contests. It's very unlikely that
casual observers would realise that the former contest
was effectively restricted to XX
women and the later to XY women.
Some of the contestants in the Miss International Queen 2012 beauty
Pictures from the Miss Transsexual 2012 beauty contest
(Above) The line up for the Miss Trans Israel 2016
which was unexpectedly won by Talleen
Abu Hanna, an
The contestants of
Miss Trans America 2017. The wide
height and body shape shows just how how it is to define "beauty".
Beautiful Women or
Top models such as
Teddy Quinlivan, Valentina Sampaio
and Andreja Pejic are open about being transgender but the
reality is that the modelling industry has sucked them in as
female models. In most of their catwalks and photos they
are unambiguously presented as "female" and beautiful women.
since 2000 there have been regular attempts by marketing
companies to involve transwomen (the more beautiful the
better) in marketing campaigns that combine "inclusivity"
with an appeal to the widest possible audience.
Ideally this includes relating with both CIS women and the
increasingly large LGBT+ community.
One landmark in this process was Valentina Sampaio becoming
in 2020 the first openly transgender model to be featured in the
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Another example is when in 2019 Paris Lee, Angela Ponce and Lea T
appeared in a photo shoot
paid for by Pantene, a major hair product manufacturer. Pantene
initially used the photos
as part of an advertising campaign (left) with the hashline
#HAIRHASNOGENDER. The goal was
apparently promoting trangender awareness whilst selling
their hair products! Later adverts
dropped the hash and just used the tagline "The Power of
photos were sold on to a company who provides stock photos
to media outlets, and they have since been used by magazines such as Young
Vogue (right) to illustrate their own articles
with no caption or supporting details provided. The reader
is thus left to make their own assumptions about the models
some famous and scantily clad transsexual women. On examination they all lack
some characteristics of the ideal female beauty, but so do most CIS-women.
A CGI showing eight cloned women derived from
actress Scarlett Johansson.
By the time this is practical, our standard
of beauty may have changed dramatically.
Miss Universe 1971, Georgina Rizk.
genuinely successful male-to-female sex-change operation was probably Christine
Jorgensen in 1952. The last 65 years have seen huge advances in
genetics, surgery and endocrinology. Parents with enough money
can already ensure that their child grows in to a attractive woman - even if born genetically XY male.
The standard at which a woman is considered to be "beautiful" is also
constantly and rising and changing due to rapidly advancing cosmetic
surgery and image enhancing technology. For example, the winners of the major
hugely popular beauty pageants of the 1970's and early 1980's would have no
chance of featuring in a 2020's list of the "Top 100 Most Beatiful Women in
the World". The extent to which this is due to modern medical
procedures deserves serious discusion, and the filtering and "photoshoping"
of pictures is also undoubtedly a major factor.
thought that it was obvious who the woman in the painting at the top of this
page was based upon. It unexpectedly caused considerable on-line
discussion. Email me
if you are still unsure.