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Crossdressing and Tranvestism Essay

This critique is based on the video “Hide and Seek” by Group 29. It is about cross dressing. Cross-dressing represents the act of wearing clothing commonly associated with the opposite sex, including various forms: (1) underwear only, (2) clothes but no makeup or wig, (3) clothes, makeup and wigs, and (4) trying to “pass” as a woman. There are different terms to address the people who cross-dress, such as cross dresser (CD), transvestite (TV), Drag Queens (normally gay and exaggerated) and female impersonators (actors who play women).

However, it is important to note that cross dressing is not identical or relevant to transgender, gender identity and willingness to become the opposite sex. The transvestites only want to dress like the other gender for some time. Statistics have revealed that about 3% to 5% of the populations are transvestites, while the majority of them are heterosexual. According to medical research, the underlying factors of becoming a transvestite are due to family background, the surrounding environment and social learning. Most of the cross-dressers face difficulties such as fears to be discovered by family, friends and partners.

However, this is because the society is generally against cross dressers and often described them as insane or having mental problems. For example, in Hong Kong, the society is unfriendly towards cross dressing and the general public does discriminate against the transvestites. Analysis The content of this video is analyzed in four aspects as follows:- Title Titled as “Hide and Seek”, the video portrays the fear of a male cross dresser to be discovered by his girlfriend. The authors would like “to show the cross dressers are hiding themselves away but at the same time seeking the identification. ”

From the video, the message that the cross dressers hope to hide their habit is clearly shown. When the Katherine returns home and opens the door, Joe is very frightened that his cross dressing behaviour is revealed by Katherine. However, the second statement “at the same time seeking the identification” cannot be directly or passively interpreted from the video, since Joe only exclaims his love towards Katherine when his cross dressing is about to reveal from the sub-title “There is another girl. But he still loves you. ” This statement does not prove that he is seeking for identification, approval or tolerance from Katherine.

There is also a lack of any scene to show that Joe, being a transvestite, is searching for identification and recognition from other people. Moreover, if the tile “Hide and Seek” was not stated and explained by the authors, the audience would not identify the specified meaning of the title. It otherwise gives the impression to audience that the title relates to the hide and seeks between Joe and Katherine when Joe is cross dressing and Katherine is returning home. Plot In the video, the first part shows the actions of a man, Joe and his girlfriend, Katherine at the same time.

Joe is dressing on as a woman in the washroom. First, he puts on make-up: Applying mascara and putting on red lip gross. Second, he wears on a shocking pink flower dress, black leggings and bra. Then he caresses his breast in front of the mirror. At the same time, Katherine is going back home, entering the entrance, getting into the lift and opening the doors with keys. When Joe realizes Katherine is coming back with the sounds of keys, he quickly washes his face to remove the make-up, takes off his bra and leggings, and finally uses a cotton pad with make-up remover to remove his eye shadow, eye line and mascara.

At the same instant, Katherine is searching for him. Then, Joe walks to Katherine. Katherine is suspicious that “Why there is smell of fragrance? ” and “Was there another girl? ” Joe’s eyes are enlarged to show his fear and speechlessness. “There is another girl. ” “But he still loves you. ” Here, it would like to bring out that Joe does not have any extramarital relations. The “another girl” means Joe himself. Even though he has the cross dressing behaviour, he still loves Katherine. Character There are two characters in this video: Joe and Katherine. First of all, Joe is a transvestite.

I think that his acting is realistic to justify the role of his character. He has acquired mastery of wearing on all the female attire and make-up. After dressing up as a female, his smile and stroke of hands on the breast in front of the mirror can effectively bring the message that he really feels satisfied with it and enjoys transvestism. Moreover, when Katherine is puzzled with the fragrance form Joe, the facial expressions from Joe is vivid to show his fear to reveal he is actually having transvestism at home. Regrettably, there is one shot which looks rather strange.

After wearing on the black stockings, he twists his legs and moves his toes. Though the authors describe that scene as “cross dresser looked at his leg” and they describe it as using the cross dresser’s point of view, and “it can make the audience understand the mindset of the cross dresser: happy and pleased with his feminine look”, that shot gives an impression to me that Joe was having leg fatigue at that moment so that he moves his legs and toes to relieve the pain. Also, the shot is not basically taken in the cross dresser’s point of view. It is a shot from vertical direction.

So, that show does not make me understand the mindset of Joe. To better improve the above scene, the video camera should be put at the angle from Joe’s eyes. And his facial expressions when he is happy and pleased with the feminine look should be filmed. Furthermore, the facial expression of Katherine is not quite realistic and cannot make the audience to understand what she feels. In the shot Katherine has got back home, she searches for Joe elsewhere. Finally when she finds out Joe, she should be feeling suspicious and puzzled why there is a scent of fragrance, according to the wordings “Why there is smell of fragrance?

” However, the facial expression of Katherine gives an impression to me that she is drowsy or just wakes up. Her countenance makes the audience confused about what is going on in the video. With the following wordings “Was there another girl? ” the audience can eventually get the message that Katherine is suspicious with Joe to have another partner. Props In the video clip, plenty of female props are employed to show the symbols of cross dressing. For example, mascara, red lip gross, face powder, cosmetic brushes, black stockings, bra are used. These are the representative symbols of a female. Generally male would not use these things.

And the myriads of cosmetic kits in the washroom are adequate to show that Joe wants to dress up to be an attractive and pretty woman. In fact, I feel that the props used in the video are strongly relevant to the theme. They are constructive to bring out the message that Joe is cross dressing and the elements of cross dressing are clearly identified. After watching this video, one can understand what transvestism is and how the transvestite dress in the opposite. In my opinion, to further elaborate the image of a transvestite, except the clothing and make-up, Joe can also wear wigs and high heels to make him more feminine.

Music Concerning the music part, there is merits and demerits in the video clip. To begin with, when Joe is putting on mascara and lip gross, the music is quite relaxing and cheerful. However, the music becomes wary and suspicious when he is putting on other cosmetics in the washroom. It is a bit inconsistent that the background music for similar instance of make up is so contrasting. In my opinion, the wary music should start when the camera shot moves to the lobby of the building, which implies that Katherine is coming back. In this way, it can let the audience knows that some dangerous instance is about to begin.

On the other hand, the speed of the music in the later part is effective to show that sequence of the video. The music becomes increasingly faster when the climax is reached. The speed is useful to show that Joe is so fear to be discovered by his partner of cross dressing because to many people, cross dressing is something abnormal and should be corrected. Interpretation According to the description from the authors, the aims of video are to let “people who are too busy and have no time to figure out what cross-dressing is could immediately understand the feeling of cross-dresser and understand they are not monster or insane.

Their acts are only pleasure-seeking. ” And they believe that the video is “the most effective way to bring a sense of reality to the readers: how the cross -dresser feel when he is cross-dressing; his deep fear of being discovered and the confrontation faced by the couple. ” I think that the video clip is effective to bring out the aforementioned aim of the presentation. In particular, the background music and the facial expression from Joe are realistic and let the audience understand the feelings of the cross dressers.

However, normal audience without knowledge to transvestism could not understand the nature of it and disregard the transvestites as insane, since there is only one statement “But he still loves you. ” to show that transvestites would not change their love towards lovers. Meanwhile, there lacks any information or implication to prove that the transvestites are indeed normal as ordinary people. So, this video is not useful to educate to eradicate biases towards the transvestites once communicated to the public.

It only broadens the knowledge of acts by cross dressers and their inner feelings to audience. In my view, the video should include information to educate the public to accept the transvestites and feel comfortable and easy to live with them. For instance, we can portray a scene that a cross dressers is having cross dressing and his wife lives with him happily and does not mind it. I think that there should be other scenes to portray the daily life of transvestites, and thus the audience can get an implication that the cross dressers are normal as well.

Transvestism is only their habit and it would not harm other parties. This is because I feel that the society is full of discrimination towards the transvestites. They are usually related to abnormal or insane behaviour, mental problems or crimes like rape, indecorum. There should be strong and forceful publications to assure the general public that the transvestites are not insane as they may prescribe. In a nutshell, the message from the video can be partially communicated, and it can only be communicated to audience who already has basic knowledge of transvestism.

Otherwise, the audience may still think the cross dressers are insane after getting known to their act. The choice of taking videos to show the implied message of the authors is quite suitable. The way and steps of cross dressing can be clearly identified and shown to audience. It makes the audience understand what the meaning of cross dressing is. Also, audience can understand the feelings of cross dresser after reading this video that they usually perform it secretly and do not want their family, partner and friends to know it.

With the help of the additional wordings, the audience can further consolidate the idea of this video. So I think that the aims of authors to use video: “A good video could be eye-catching and effectively delivered a thought-provoking idea in the readers’ mind. ” is justified. A man cross dressing to act as a female is quite an innovative idea and the wordings shown at the end of the video can help the audience to understand the transvestites still love their partners even though they have this habit.

Conclusion The video produced by Group 29 “Hide and Seek” can effectively communicate to the audience how the transvestites do in cross dressing and their fear to be revealed by partners. However, this video is not sufficient to educate the readers to accept transvestism such that transvestites are ordinary people like everyone. Reference Chow, L. S. Hide and Seek by Lai Shan Chow. Retrieved December 13th, 2008, from CITE Mahara: http://mahara-broadening. cite. hku. hk/view/view. php? id=76

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