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My Facial Feminisation Thesis


Part 6:

Female Neoteny and Feminisation as a Subtractive Process


It is very difficult and often impossible to tell the difference between the skulls of male and female children – they are more or less identical. When females reach puberty, the face is largely unaffected and retains its childish features. This retention of childish characteristics in the adult is called “neoteny”. However, when the male face reaches puberty it is strongly affected by hormones and this is when all the characteristics that make a face masculine start to appear.

So it seems that whether we are male or female, we all start life with female faces. This is important for trans women because it means that the face we have at say 11 or 12, just before puberty strikes is a good indication of the face we would have had as an adult if we had been born female. This also explains why trans women who transition very young (before or in the early stages of puberty) tend to look so naturally feminine.

The masculinisation of the male face that happens at puberty seems to be mainly an additive process – the skull becomes larger, the jaw grows heavier, the brow bossing builds up, the nose becomes larger etc. It therefore follows that feminising an adult masculine face is mainly a subtractive process. The aim of FFS therefore is to remove the added masculinities to reveal the underlying femininity, taking the face back towards its prepubescent and therefore naturally feminine state.

One exception to feminisation being subtractive is the cheeks - adult females have fatter cheeks than males because they retain the cheek fat that you see in children. So although feminisation is mostly a subtractive process, when it comes to the cheeks it is generally an additive process. In cases where some extra fullness is needed in the feminisation of the cheeks (for example in cases where hormones have had a limited effect on this area) I feel that it is better to add fat to the cheeks with a fat graft to address the problem directly rather than trying to build up the cheek with solid implants.

This brings us to a very important point – FFS should never be about trying to create a whole new face or trying to copy someone else's face – it should always be about trying to reveal the female version of the patients own face – the face they would have had if they had been born female. That is why it is generally not a good idea to try to copy someone else's features - it can often lead to features that look unnatural and out of place. A good example is when someone with a long face asks for a little turned up nose with a concave bridge. I find this tends to work better on shorter and more rounded faces but many trans women have longer faces which suit a straighter bridge. If you impose a little turned up nose on a long face, it can look artificial.



Please use the links below to navigate around the thesis:



Part 1: Common Misconceptions

Part 2: The Established Research

Part 3: Prototypes

Part 4: Sexual Dimorphism of the Face Feature by Feature

Part 5: Relative Proportions

Part 6: Female Neoteny and Feminisation as a Subtractive Process

Part 7: Objective and Subjective Femininity

Part 8: How Feminine is Feminine Enough?

Part 9: Beauty

Part 10: The Man in the Mirror/Self Perception