The History of Facial Feminization Surgery and The Feminine Ideal of a Surgeon

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The History of Facial Feminization Surgery and The Feminine Ideal of a Surgeon

Joined: November 16th, 2015, 2:24 pm

March 14th, 2018, 8:06 am #1

FFS-5.JPG

The New Yorker takes a look at the history of facial-feminization surgery for transgender women.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018 ... omans-face

Why would facial surgery be more important to a transgender womman than bottom surgery for transgender women?
The anthropologist Eric Plemons spent a year observing [surgeon Douglas] Ousterhout’s practice, and recently published a book, “The Look of a Woman: Facial Feminization and the Aims of Trans-Medicine.” He argues that Ousterhout not only honed a set of techniques; he also developed a theory of gender difference. 

Ousterhout came to believe that, for trans patients, the most meaningful surgical intervention they could undergo was not genital but facial surgery. Few people you meet see your genitals, but everyone sees your face, and instantly makes assumptions about your gender, based on a subconscious assessment of your features. (Trans men typically have an easier time signalling their gender: testosterone therapy induces the growth of a beard, or the development of male-pattern baldness, and though trans men are sometimes of smaller stature, a short man is hardly viewed as remarkable, in the way that a very tall woman can be.)

Ousterhout initially sought to bring his patients within the middle of the femininity range that he had established through his research into facial shapes. But as he became known as the leading authority in facial feminization—a field that was rapidly being populated by other surgeons—his surgical interventions became more extensive. He gradually came to believe that he should try to make his patients look not just like average women but like beautiful women. In part, this was to counterbalance common masculine traits that a trans patient cannot alter, such as the size of her hands. 

But Ousterhout’s decision also had the effect of upholding certain cultural assumptions about what is beautiful or feminine. As Plemons, who is trans, writes, “Feminine is a term in which biological femaleness and aesthetic desirability collapse.” At the very least, Ousterhout wished to enable his patients to open the door to the UPS guy in their sweatpants, without the armor of makeup or careful hair styling, and be perceived as female. But he also believed that he had the ability to give his patients a face that emulated a feminine ideal.
Dr. Ousterhout:

drOusterhout.jpg
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Joined: November 17th, 2015, 5:51 am

March 15th, 2018, 6:11 am #2

Here is a video from an interesting FFS Clinic . The youtube channel has many testimonials form people who have had FFS. You'll have to switch on the subtitles as most is not in English.

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Joined: November 17th, 2015, 5:51 am

March 15th, 2018, 6:13 am #3

And here is a news report of the same clinic.

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Joined: November 17th, 2015, 5:51 am

March 15th, 2018, 6:21 am #4

I know of one person who had FFS, nose job and facial bone restructuring. The cosmetic result was most excellent, such a huge difference. It was magical..... However about a year after very nasty problems arose. Severe facial pain set in, very severe pain indeed. This was something to do with a set of stretched trapped nerves trying to settle. My friend who was in her late 60s at the time was put on powerful pain killers which dumbed the pain and also dumbed her brain too. The choice was suffer the unbearable pain or walk around in a cloudy fog due to the powerful pain killers.  Nothing could be done. This went on for about two years, then one day the pain switch off and all was back to normal. My friend told me she contemplated suicide several times due to the state the FFS left her in. 
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Joined: November 16th, 2015, 2:24 pm

March 16th, 2018, 5:27 am #5

This went on for about two years, then one day the pain switch off and all was back to normal. 
 It sounds like the body was recalibrating by reconnecting nerve paths. That sounds so hard. I am glad it worked out.
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Joined: November 20th, 2015, 1:07 pm

March 16th, 2018, 10:55 am #6

I had some facial surgery when I was 17, to move my upper jaw forward. They used a bone graft from my thigh, and some metal pins, and actually had to give me surgery under general anaesthetic twice, as the first time it didn't attach properly.
It took a while afterwards for the nerves in my face to reconfigure themselves, and it still isn't quite right nearly 20 years later. There is a particular place I can stroke on my cheek which I seem to feel the touch coming from somewhere up by my eyelid, which is just a bit weird, but isn't exactly a problem, and isn't something anyone else would notice.
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Joined: November 17th, 2015, 5:51 am

March 17th, 2018, 2:42 am #7

Xora, I too had jaw surgery at 19, but mine was the opposite of yours. Mine was the lower jaw moving forward, but with the upper jaw moving higher up inside my face. I too have a zone on my cheek which is not quite right even 30 years later.
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