Tips for Body Positivity as a Trans Person

As a trans or nonbinary person, body positivity can be a challenging concept to embrace. You may have experienced dysphoria, struggled with societal stigma, or felt pressure to conform to unrealistic beauty standards. However, body positivity is for everyone, regardless of gender identity or expression. In this article, we’ll explore some tips for embracing body positivity as a trans person.

“I see your true colors and that’s why I love you, so don’t be afraid to let them show your true colors…are beautiful like a rainbow.”

Cindi Lauper

Trans People’s Uphill Battle With Body Image

Trans people face unique challenges when it comes to body image. Dysphoria, or a feeling of discomfort or distress related to one’s gender identity or body, can be a major obstacle to feeling positive about your face and body. Gender expansive people struggle to be understood. Being constantly questioned, erased and unfairly judged would wear down on anyone’s self perception.

Not surprisingly, daily exposure to discrimination affects your ability to feel good about your appearance. Equity and inclusion is not yet everywhere unfortunately. If you don’t conform to traditional gender norms, finding safe spaces that celebrate diversity becomes crucial. But these are not available everywhere.

For those trans people who may be “stealth”, unrealistic beauty standards exert intense pressure to achieve a certain look that’s unlikely to align with your personal identity (or budget).

The current transphobic climate is only exacerbating the situation, removing healthcare access, basic human rights and even criminalizing medical providers serving the TGD community. As trans author, Juno Roche, described in the live interview we held on Youtube;

“To those in the transgender community who have been reading negative headlines in the press about trans people recently, my advice is, don’t read them, don’t believe them. Believe in yourself and know deep inside you are a change maker. If you lead your life true to yourself you bring positivity to the space around you and to the wider community. You are a superhero.”

Juno Roche, trans author of  3 books: Queer Sex, Trans Power, and Gender Explorers.

Work on your Body Positivity Now

Despite these challenges, there are ways to embrace body positivity as a trans person. Here are some helpful tips and insights:

  • Practice self-care:
    Taking care of your physical and mental health can help you feel better about your body. This might include getting enough sleep, eating well, and engaging in open-air exercise and cultural activities that you enjoy.
  • Focus on inner qualities:
    Remember that your worth is not determined by your appearance. Instead, focus on your inner qualities, such as your kindness, intelligence, talents and sense of humor. Release it all in a journal, as writing is cathartic.
  • Surround yourself with supportive people:
    Being around people who accept and love you for who you are can be a great boost to your body positivity. Seek out friends, family members, or a support group who can offer encouragement and understanding. It’s okay to disconnect when you need alone time too. You get to choose who your family is.
  • Celebrate you to improve self-esteem: Bask in gender euphoric glory that you are beautiful as you are and you are not alone. You were born perfectly unique like anyone else. You matter and belong. You are here for a reason, even though it’s hard, there is a whole community who loves you! When you get too tired of it all, speak with a gender-affirming professional.
  • Create healing routines: What about that trans-positive music playlist as your morning alarm? See that stack of pro-transgender books for your commute? There’s so many healthy trans-related movies and series we love to watch before bed, with actors in all shapes and ages. When is the next local trans celebration?

Additionally, it may be helpful to hear from other trans people who have found success in embracing body positivity. For example, one trans woman might focus on how much she loves her long hair, while another trans man might feel confident in his muscular build. By sharing these stories, we can help to create a more inclusive and supportive community for all trans people.

Surgery is No Magic Solution for a Poor Self Image

We’ve got to acknowledge that medical and surgical interventions can play a role in improving body image for trans people. For example, hormone therapy, chest surgery, and facial feminization or masculinization surgery can help align your body with your gender identity, which can be a major relief from dysphoria.

However, we must remember that medical and surgical interventions are not magic wands nor the only solution to achieving body positivity as a trans person. Some trans people may choose not to undergo these interventions for a variety of reasons, and that is completely valid. So lets emphasize that body positivity is about accepting and loving your body as it is, regardless of whether or not you choose to make changes to it.

Unfortunately, gender affirming medical and surgical interventions are not always accessible or affordable for all trans people. This leads to greater disparities in body image and mental health outcomes for trans people who can’t access the interventions they need or want. Therefore, it’s important to create a culture of acceptance and celebration of all trans bodies, of all human bodies, regardless of whether they have undergone medical or surgical interventions.

“I’m gonna keep trying to push myself to be visible and to be proud because not only do I deserve that happiness but so do the others. In a world where our identity is still up for debate, the least we could do is present a body in its fullness and in its glory. …Ffs has made me feel incredibly more comfortable in sharing my body and my story. I may not be able to change the minds of those who want to erase me, but I will make it a practice to stand in my beauty publicly, visibly and vulnerably.”

Former Facialteam patient & professional dancer, Isla

Cultivating Body Positivity is Self-love

“Be kind to yourself, shine brightly and live your absolute best life. Be proud of who you are, and how far you’ve come. Find your own inner peace, and remember that the world is a far better place with you in it.”

Sarah O’Connell, host of The Sarah O’Connell Show

In conclusion, body positivity is a crucial component of self-love and acceptance for trans people. It will be challenging to embrace an affirming body image in the face of gender dysphoria, social exclusion and distorted beauty standards.

However, we can work towards empowerment by valuing our own self-care, validating our inner qualities and surrounding ourselves with chosen family who encourage positive habits. Although medical care and surgical interventions can play a positive role in improving body image for trans people, they are only a part of a potential solution to cultivating body positivity.

You can start with a discovery collage for your future best self, taking joy in evolving your own style, growing into the YOU brand you desire to be.

Finally, some words of inspiration:

” ´I Am Her’ means that no matter how the world treats me, no matter if I’m rejected, accepted, denied or misunderstood, I will continue to live out my truth as Shea Diamond!”

Patient Relations Manager Lilia Koss, presentator of Lilia's Livestreams
About the author

Hello world! I’m Lilia Koss and I use she, her, and they pronouns. What are yours? With a background in humanities and diverse professional experiences, I have been working with the Facialteam founders and directors since 2008. Involved from the ground up, so I’ve had hands in many pots: patient coordination, orientation events on 3 continents, social media, written and audiovisual content about our gender-affirming healthcare...but now life is more defined. Lately, I focus my energies on Public Relations, community management and live streaming to help raise the visibility of trans health. Life is pretty complete.