Welcome to being a woman, Caitlyn Jenner.

How do you know when you are truly a woman? When you’re being objectified like all the other ‘girls’.

It feels cruel, doesn’t it?

To pick at a negative from the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Caitlyn Jenner’s “coming out” this week.

Because it has been, almost entirely, a supportive reaction.

News bulletins and social media, magazines and TV pundits… With a few, glaring exceptions, they are gushing in universal appreciation at Caitlyn Jenner’s transition story.

It’s a beautiful thing. BUT.

And yes, that’s a BUT in a story about transgender woman who has been extraordinarily courageous in becoming her true self under the gaze of millions.

There’s something in the tsunami of gushing coverage of Jenner’s transition that wrankles.

Caitlyn Jenner for the cover of Vanity Fair.

Because it will not last. The enthusiasm for fawning over a new, brave celebrity icon will soon morph into ruthless critique.

The clues are already there. Because now that Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, there is only one discussion:

And it’s about her appearance. Her boobs, her hair. The effectiveness or otherwise, of her surgery choices. Her wardrobe. Her UNDERWEAR.

As Jon Stewart so brilliantly squewers in this video, it’s as if, when Caitlyn was a man, we talked about what he did. Good and bad. He was an Olympic athlete. He was a motivational speaker. He was a sometimes lack-lustre father. He was the patriarch of arguably the world’s most famous family.

Now Caitlyn is a woman, there is only one thing up for discussion. What she looks like.

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Because the important thing about being female is how attractive you are at any given moment.

Right now, the media is full of praise – and rightly so – for Caitlyn. Her carefully stage-managed, surgically-airbrushed appearance and her old-Hollywood wardrobe has been hailed as “hot”, “classy” and “beautiful.”


But they will turn on her. Soon, what the craning lenses of the paparazzi will be doing to Caitlyn will be what they were already doing to transitional “Bruce” – trying to find ways she is failing at being a woman.

Because in the eyes of the mainstream media, you don’t have to be new to being a woman to get it wrong.

Soon – somewhere right now, in fact – Editors will be zooming in on neck wrinkles, and make-up mistakes, and dresses that might be too short, or too tight. The game will go from rooting for a brave hero, to willing her to look ridiculous.


Because that is what we do to women.

We do it like this: (Post continues after gallery.)

And because we are obsessed with external Caitlyn, we are convinced that this, the ‘do, the contouring, the corset, the heels – this is what womanhood is.

“You go through all this stuff and you start learning,” Caitlyn says, as she peers into the mirror, applying make-up. “The pressure that women are under all the time about their appearance.”

And this from a woman who used to live with the Kardashian family.

Now that Caitlyn is living her truth, she is free to be insulted about her appearance daily. She is free to be compared in an endless game of “who’s more fuckable” with all the other women around her. She is free to be openly criticised about the size of her breasts, her thighs, her feet.

Being a woman is not about the outside. It’s not about shopping and getting your nails done. But to watch the breathless coverage of Caitlyn’s transition, you would think being ably to freely apply lipgloss was the pinnacle of womanhood.

As Caitlyn has said, many, many times, she is a woman from the inside-out. “I was born with the body of a man, and the soul of a woman,” he told Diane Sawyer in the interview that started it all.

But nobody’s interested in Caitlyn Jenner’s soul. We want to talk about her boobs.

And before long, it will be decided that there’s something wrong with those boobs, or that she’s showing them too much, or too little.

It will be decided that Caitlyn is wearing too much make-up, or too little.

It will be decided that Caitlyn has had too much surgery, or too little.

And what ever she does – and she hopes to do plenty to further the cause of transgender people everywhere – and wherever she goes, every piece of commentary about her will include one important point – what she wore.

Welcome to being a woman, Caitlyn Jenner.

Do you think there is too much attention on the way Caitlyn Jenner looks? 

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Before they loved Caitlyn Jenner, the tabloids hounded her: