Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Should I Dress for The Job I Want

According to Fortune Magazine:

By: Anne Fisher
      March 19, 2015

In a word, YES. 

“It may seem superficial, but clothing makes a statement about who you are and where you want to go,” says Jacqueline Whitmore, an etiquette expert and author who heads up the Protocol School of Palm Beach. She often advises executives who want to polish their image. “Personal style has always played, and still plays, a crucial role in the career trajectories of leaders.

Since people tend to judge us (consciously or not) at least in part based on how we look, why not look as if you’re ready for a promotion? Dressing well, however, “doesn’t necessarily mean wearing a suit and tie every day,” Whitmore adds. Sometimes subtle details can make a distinct impression, especially on fashion-conscious folks like your bosses.

Above all, choose quality over quantity. Whitmore recommends a few good outfits in “lightweight, breathable fabrics like wool or wool blend that don’t wrinkle easily,” in “colors, like taupe, black, and navy, that are professional and travel well.” Then showcase your personality by adding “a pop of color with your accessories” — a vivid tie or scarf, for instance.

The best reason to ignore your coworkers’ comments and dress for the job you want is what Whitmore tells the managers who attend her seminars.

If you like to dress up, dress up. Take pride in looking your best, and don’t worry about what your peers think of you, she says. At the end of the day, they’re not the ones handing out promotions.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Would You Wear - SPERRY Platform Sneaker

Sperry Crest Vibe Platform Sneaker

Many wait and make the pilgrimage to Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale.  Nordstrom seems  to do their sales in reverse by putting new merchandise on sale for a period of time and then after the sale returning the items to regular price. This is nice because quantities are not limited and many of the sale items are favorites. No fake "One Day" sale items found here. The sale starts with  Nordstrom credit card holders getting first access and then the general public. The sale seems to be very popular and on the first day I happened to be at the mall and Nordstrom was super busy.  

I was very pleased to see the above Sperry Crest Vibe Platform Sneaker included in the Anniversary sale. After trying them on in the store, I did purchase the white and blue. Even for my high arch foot, the fit is comfortable for a slip-on style and the size was my normal women's size.   

It is the platform that provides the extra feminine touch. I like the look of either with jeans and especially the white sneaker which looks great with white jeans.  

Deborah at "Fabulous After 40" (great fashion advice) has been talking about the Nordstrom Anniversary sale for a few weeks. She has some awesome fall shoe advice on her blog.  

On the Sperry Sneakers, would you wear them?


Monday, July 29, 2019

Mainstream, Gender Bending Still Only Goes One Way.

Why Most Men Still Don’t Casually Wear Dresses

Personal Note: Here are several paragraphs from an article published at the now defunct site, Racked. The whole article is still there and the best tease are the sidebar quotes.  Read The whole article - Fascinating. It draws amazing conclusions as when (if ever) men will be able to gender bend as easily as females. We do it, however with suspicion and danger.  Read the whole article and let us all together say "AMEN SISTER"!

By Marlen Komar  Apr 23, 2018

Not once have I had a guy who, after offering to make breakfast in the morning, stood up, stretched, and grabbed one of my shifts off the floor so he didn’t have to fry up a couple of frittatas in just his socks. Never has a man walked from my room with a dress skimming the tops of his hairy thighs, the short hem flashing cheek as he rooted around for pans, the strap falling all come-hither-like down his shoulder — and me watching all of this from my bed, biting my fist.

We’ve seen this same scenario play out a hundred times over with women wearing men’s shirts, but never really the other way around, at least in the United States. And you have to wonder: why not?

“Isn’t it queer that for a boy to want to be a girl, and look like a girl, and dress like a girl is so unusual that it fills his parents with fear that he is abnormal, whereas virtually every girl in the world wishes she were a boy?”

“The display of skirts on men is effectively an undermining of male power — by males. To put it extremely, they are like deserting troops.”

“[Pants and skirts] don’t have equivalent power, or potency, or symbolism.”

"The woman is gesturing using the codes of the ruling class: men. A man gesturing to the codes of the oppressed class gets him nothing, except ridicule.”

“Boys learn that the girl rules are forbidden territory. If you trespass over there you’ll get smacked down, sometimes literally.”

“Wearing a skirt to me (female) is just like wearing a pair of pants — it makes no difference. If the outfit looks better with a skirt, then I’ll wear the skirt.”

Men Can Wear Dresses

Fashion isn’t just a public manifestation of gender, but also a private one. “Certainly fashion and clothing are how we present ourselves to the social world and how we’re read by others, but it’s also very much about how we read ourselves,” Ben Barry, associate professor of equity, diversity, and inclusion at the Ryerson School of Fashion, says. "There’s this intimate connection we have with clothes — it links how we feel in our bodies and who we feel we are inside."

“Clothing makes you aware of the edges and boundaries and borders of your body,” Barry says. “So wearing a dress, wearing women’s garments, even in the privacy of your own home, connects you to your body in a way that could make you feel comfortable or uncomfortable with how you perceive yourself.”

As the advice columnist from 1938 pointed out, “We would send a man who paraded the streets in a decollete gown and high-heeled pumps to an asylum for mental observation, whereas a girl who gets herself up like an imitation man goes scot-free.” Not until men can just as freely put on chiffon dresses as women could put on trousers, can we say that we have figured it out.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Friend's Friday - 95 Degrees of Remarkable

Dear Rhonda,   Given your solicitation of info and articles...  Perhaps you would like to include this in your blog: 

By Velma:

Thursday was my first chance to 'go out' this week. We are experiencing a very early heat wave  here in  NC and the temps have been in the 95 range for about a week. The high temps while wearing wig, dress and hose, would be a new and perhaps challenging experience.

I decided on a light and airy violet colored,  patterned dress, and white sandals with pump style heels. This outfit matched a short haired blonde wig, along with pink framed prescription eyeglasses.

Once dressed and made-up, I stepped outside the house, and was amazed that the humidity  was surprisingly low, not typical for the South.  The warm, but cooling breeze through my dress was a delightful experience.

My first stop was at Shoe Show, and after a brief visit --nothing there would fit my size 13 feet--, I left.  Again, the warm, dry breeze against my legs would be the highlight of the day....

My next stop was to Cato Fashions, where I have shopped previously. They know and recognize me there  I noticed an 'oversize'  white oxford cloth 'man shirt' on mark-down sale and the sales lady directed me to the fitting room.  Generally, I ask for direction to the fitting room, but this time, the sales lady took care of matters. The shirt fit in a casual, oversize manner, so I made the purchase.

This trip 'enfemme'  was different, not just the weather,  it was ME.  I was calm, confident, focused and totally aware my my new confident gurl self.  I felt in control and 'I owned it'.  Gone was the residual anxiety and apprehension.

 After Cato's,  by 'Bojangles Iced Tea' needed to make an exit.  Near Cato was a 'Quirk Trip'  convenience  store.  I found the 'ladies' and walked in like 'I owned it'.  No problems.

My last errand was the highlight of the day.   I visited the local   ULTA cosmetics store.   I had driven by the store before,  just to scope out the situation, but was unsure of how a visit would go, so I just kept on driving....

Today, I would enter ULTA, pretty violet dress and all.  I was met at the door by a lady customer who offered me a big smile, while she exited, and I offered her a big smile back....  Things were going well!   Upon entering, I noticed the store was HUGE(!) and dazzlingly over-illuminated.  Just this impact would have caused an anxiety attack, were it another day.

The store is  (over)staffed by dozens of young, pretty girls of all sizes, shapes and colors.  AND and they ALL offered me a  " Hi".  I was apparently not the first gurl they had ever seen in the store and every last sales clerk was totally blase' to the fact I was, well, a guy.  Their relaxed manner caused me to be even more relaxed and confident, I was quite 'at home'.

I had happened upon  the 'makeover' section, and one of the young ladies there asked if I had come for a  makeover.   I said no, I was just trying to match my old color of blush, (my only excuse for going into the store in the first place) as the maker had decided to not offer this specific color any longer. 

 Another friendly, young lady was assigned to help match my blush color, and it took a number of different visits to various manufacturers store displays to find a close match.    During the search, I inquired if she had many male customers, and she said she had 'more than you would expect'. 

We finally found and agreed on a similar shade of blush, I thanked her for her GREAT customer service, and went to the checkout.   This blush, was defiantly not priced like the discount store variety,  but  the blush, along with the experience was worth every penny....

I left the store, back into the summer like heat, and then I realized.... all this heat and sweating had literally sweated my silicone breast forms onto my own skin.  My breast forms were delightfully warm and they moved  and as I moved, literally as if they were a part of me. 

Soooo..... 'this' is what 'they' would feel like......  Remarkable! 

What a great, and wonderful day!   I write this note a day after my venture out, and 'the afterglow' is still lingering.  Quite an afterglow......  



Velma - I am so sorry it took so long to get this posted.  Thank you for submitting this article and please do again.  Next time it will not take me so long to get posted.   Escapes are wonderful. Rhonda 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

First Transgender Actress To Star In A Film at Cannes

Leyna Bloom
This is another positive story showing that we will not cower under pressure and persecution from political conservatives.  We are artists, economic successes and intellectual forces. Stories like the one following state to the world, that we will and can flourish

By AMY KAUFMAN MAY 19, 2019 

Leyna Bloom turned up at the Port Authority bus terminal at 17 with one red suitcase and nowhere to put it. She’d saved up a little money working part time at McDonald’s and Starbucks on the South Side of Chicago, the place she’d left behind 22 hours before. But it wasn’t enough to pay rent, so she spent her first few weeks sleeping on the train, traveling between SoHo and Chelsea and Alphabet City, surviving on $1 slices of pizza.

She’d come to New York City in the hopes of being discovered. She felt she needed to take her life into her own hands after dropping out of the Chicago Academy for the Arts months earlier. When she was granted a scholarship to the prestigious dance program in her sophomore year, she’d already transitioned. But the school would recognize only the gender she was assigned at birth. She wanted to be a dancer, and feared this could be her only shot. So she shaved off all of her hair, bought boy’s clothing and started presenting as a male.

“I slowly started to fall into pressure, but I wasn’t living my most authentic self,” Bloom, now 25, recalled. “I was living my life for people saying, ‘You are a boy.’ I was like, ‘I don’t fit this.’ I’m gonna do pas de deux as the male? I’m the woman, I’m the soloist, I’m the princess! Life is too short to be someone who someone else wants me to be. I don’t want to be stashed away. I want to be living out loud and proud.”

Life is too short to be someone who someone else wants me to be.  Leyna Bloom

So when the academy refused to allow her to dance as a female — or even transfer departments to, say, musical theater — she decided to head to the Big Apple. She trusted, she said, that “the universe will never put you in a position you can’t handle,” and she was right.

Slowly, in between waiting tables, she started to gain traction as a model. In 2017, she appeared on the cover of Vogue India — the first transgender woman to do so. She landed an international advertising campaign for H&M and Moschino. She strutted on the runway for Tommy Hilfiger during Paris Fashion Week.

And on Saturday, she became the first transgender actress of color to star in a movie at the Cannes Film Festival. The film, Danielle Lessovitz’s “Port Authority,” bears eerie resemblance to Bloom’s own life. Produced by Martin Scorsese, it follows a young Pittsburgh transplant (“Dunkirk’s” Fionn Whitehead) who turns up at the bus station with nowhere to stay. He soon crosses paths with Wye (Bloom), a fixture on the Kiki ballroom scene, and starts to fall for her. But when he realizes she’s transgender, he becomes unsure of whether he wants to continue their romance.

... walking the red carpet at Cannes, where she said numerous high-profile designers offered to dress her. She ultimately went with a mirrored silver gown by Alberta Ferretti that she felt evoked her black royalty —- the goddesses of Egypt, Nefertiti, Cleopatra — because she wanted to depict a trans woman as a “princess or a queen — a beautiful, ethereal creature to be revered.”

“Did you hear they’re making a movie about Cleopatra? I want to play that character,” she said. “I want to keep having those historical moments. I want to be a Bond girl. I want to be in the ‘X-Men.’ I want to do things that have never been done before.”

Bloom poses in the Dior Suite in the Majestic Hotel during Cannes. (Stephanie Cornfield / For The Times)

Read the whole article: How Leyna Bloom became the first transgender actress of color to star in a film at Cannes

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Superman Is Always Right

This Superman poster from the '50 is pretty awesome!(Thanks MJ) 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Don’t Hate Me Because ...

In 1986, we debuted the campaign, “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful.” Six words that reject hate through individual beauty. 30 years later, in honor of World Pride, we’ve transformed this campaign to celebrate beauty in every form. Because even in the face of hate, all love is beautifuLGBTQ+. Show us how you make the world a more #beautifuLGBTQ place.

Also see CYRSTI'S CONDO Blog "POOYA!" for additional information on one of the beautiful models. 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Feminine Differential - No Boring Shoes

There is no need to wear boring sport shoes when, with just a little effort, you can up style any casual outfit. Did you notice someone give you a look and smile?  That is the fun part!

These are my four casual shoes and the Sketchers are my everyday go-to jeans/shorts shoes. All of there are comfortable and add just the right amount of flair - "Feminine Differential".  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Moon Landing - 50 Years

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin steps down the ladder to become the second man to walk on the moon. [Photo taken by Neil Armstrong]

The moment that Neil Armstrong spoke the words "one small step..." I knew that this would be one of those indelible moments you would always remember.  Just a few months earlier I had purchased my first color TV, however the fact that the images from the moon were grainy and black/white did not matter. Try to think of another time when the entire world witnessed history unfold real-time.

Walter Cronkite speechless
The Lunar Landing (CBS News)
Earlier that day I watched as mission control reported the nail-biting landing while a collective nation and world held its breath. Even veteran CBS newscaster, Walter Cronkite for several moments became speechless as Neil Armstrong's voice crackled from the speakers at NASA's Mission Control in Houston. He said simply, "The Eagle has landed." 

About ten years later I was at a friend's home in Palm Beach and after dinner, he asks would we like to see some slides from his vacation. I said please as he got out the old Kodak carousel  projector and I set up the screen in his den. Even the kids stop playing and came to watch. This was not a typical vacation slide show. Dr. Edgar Mitchell was showing us photos he took on the moon during Apollo 14. He was telling us points you would only hear from someone that was there. Like moon dust was everywhere and got into everything. Ed was a very interesting man. He passed in 2016 on the 45 anniversary of his lunar landing. 

For a while so many of life's imponderables and difficult project were punctuated with, "Well, we were able to send a man to the moon.." - A time when nothing seemed impossible. As we looked back on that momentous event of now 50 years ago, let's return to a time when everything seemed possible. 


The Tampa Bay Tribune in a recent article put some of the irony of what has transcribe since in prospective. "We went to the moon and discovered something about ourselves":

Of the estimated 109 billion humans who have ever lived across the tens of thousands of years — and most of them assuredly have gazed at the moon in wonder — only 12 have ever walked there. And none have done so in generations. Right now, the United States can’t even send astronauts into space on its own, relying for the time being on the Russians to transport them [astronauts] to the International Space Station.
...And if you need a reminder, peek at the moon, and remember how the moon missions taught us to look up. Neil Armstrong’s footprints could well outlast humankind itself and are a testament, as the lunar plaque says, that “We came in peace for all mankind.”

Friday, July 19, 2019

Friend's Friday - July '19 Meetup

My July "Second Sunday Mixer" was well attended this past weekend.  We had between 40 and 50 in attendance at the Raindancer Steak House, West Palm Beach. This Sunday was special, with a professional piano player (Wayne Hosford) entertaining on the restaurant's white baby grand and a book signing "Fred Heagerty - Solving the West Palm Beach Murder". The book is written by local author Graham Brunk.

This group has been going for a number of years in various Palm Beach area venues, and I stumbled upon it a few years back.  I help the host with greeting, photography and inviting. If ever in the Palm Beach area, it is a monthly event.  All are welcome.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Is “Gender-Fluid” The New Cross-Dressing?

Absolute declarations -
Like painting yourself into a corner.
I remember my early day of venturing out as Rhonda in the early '80s. Attending support group meeting and conventions were a critical element in building confidence. On evenings when I was not well put-together I was asked:  “Are you transitioning?"  On good presentation evenings, I was asked: “How long since you transitioned?”

It seemed I could not escape, "The Question".  

Back then you were either a cross-dresser or a transsexual and transitioning bridged the two.  Everyone had to fit into either of those categories. There were support groups, of that day, that discriminated and excluded you from attending if you were transitioning or transsexual.  

Several groups that I attended were never comfortable with my presentation/attending and my not declaring which category I represented.  That is why the two groups I founded were open, allowing anyone to attend. No declarations needed.

As these two, “must-fit-all", terms finally fade into obscurity I personally like the transgender descriptor. We have all come to understand that gender is truly a spectrum and what may work for someone today, may not be best for tomorrow. Situations and desires change.  

I never thought I was a true transsexual (born in the wrong body), but always knew I was not just cross-dressing. My need for expression, acceptance and interaction runs much deeper than erotic relief.  

So is “gender-fluid” the new cross-dressing? 

Dictionary.com gives us insight into the etymology of gender-fluid.  

Gender-fluid is a non-binary gender identity that’s not fixed and is capable of changing over time.
The mid-1990's into the early 2000's was when trans identities, like gender-fluid identities, were finding their footing. Online communities, because of their private yet communal nature, were safe places for LGBTQ people and are where many first encountered the word gender-fluid.

The late 2000's and the 2010's were when the term truly began to be noticed, venturing somewhat out of online forums, especially in academic literature. This was also the time when millennials, of whom 12% identify as non-cisgender, were beginning to come of age. By 2011, gender-fluid had 37,000 hits on Google. In 2018, this increased to a staggering 2.3 million.

Social media has begun to catch up with the changing understanding, and growing acceptance, of non-binary gender. In 2014, Gender Fluid and gender-fluid were added as gender options to Facebook and OkCupid, respectively.

A person isn’t considered gender-fluid just because they like to wear typically masculine clothing one day and feminine clothing the next day—that is considered a form of gender expression. To be gender-fluid is chiefly a question of internal personal identity, and is, therefore, a psychological phenomenon.
Does "gender-fluid" fit for you? What is your opinion?  

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Would You Wear It? - Fashion Layouts

Seventy-five percent (75%) of the respondents to my survey said they like my “Fashion Layouts”.  I try and make then age-aware and conservative enough to be worn without attracting undue attention - "Blending" as a goal. They are fun for me to put together, either from my closet or items I purchase/see that I personally like.    

Being active and out, I make every effort to represent our community with a positive appearance. For many years I was casually inept, with most of my Rhonda outings being professional or event related. Life is more than “dress-up”, so being appropriately dressed in casual Florida can be challenging at times.  

Today I found a cute tag for my fashion layouts, “Would you wear it?”  I value your opinions and all readers will benefit from your "yes/no" comments.  

Also as a side note - I have kept the survey going and value your reactions/comments. The survey is short and it helps me know what you like/dislike. If you have not already clicked on the “Survey” tab above, please do.  Maybe your opinion has changed, so feel free to use it any time to express yourself. Your opinions can be anonymous (e-mail address is completely optional) and all comments are confidential.  Thanks.  


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

4 Year Blog Anniversary

My First Blog Post 

Rhonda's Escape started 4 years ago today, July 16, 2015.  I never imagined keeping it going this long with daily post. As of today there have been 1,531 post.  Another surprise - I enjoy writing - well, my definition of dyslexic enhanced writing. Thank you for your support, comments and patience. 

Above all else, what I stated in my very first post, still holds true:

"I love being a girl."

Monday, July 15, 2019

Cruise Wear Formal Night - The Fairy Tale

Cruise Ship Photographer's Photo
After observing that "Formal Night" really entailed all aspects of dressing to the nines*, I decided to make my last formal night special. What came to mind was Julia Roberts as Vivian in Pretty Woman - “I want the fairy tale.”

I like the feminine nature of the off-shoulder bodice and the fact that there is not a male equivalent.

This was a last minute packing decision and I saw this dress online at Macy's just a few days before leaving. I do not think I would have ordered this " X by Xscape" gown if it were not in petite, lacking time to get a regular length hemmed. It was the perfect length with heels and fit beautifully just as designed. The slit leg was not a look I had ever dared before, but also worked - stunningly!

That evening I put it on with a strapless bra and minimal under things and I felt alive, elegant and incredibly feminine. I walked slowly down the long cabin hall, down the stairs and into the main dining room at the front of the ship. The maitre d' that I now had come to know from already having eaten there four nights, gave me the up-down look and smiled. As I was walked slowly through the whole front of the dining room to my table, I took in every look. The attention that a red dress garners is electrifying and not for the faint-of-dress.   

Never before had I ever worn anything that attracted so much attention - an Escape to cherish!  

Here is what I wore the other evenings for dinner on the cruise.   

Staircase on the Promenade Deck 


Happy Anniversary Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. No celebration is complete without a little cake!  A Main Dining Room after dinner treat.  

*Term etymology: Dresed to the nines - "to thine eynes - to the eyes"

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Political Cartoons 7-14

The real 4th of July Fireworks!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Handstand In Heels

Katelyn Ohashi stunned on the red carpet as she launched into a handstand while wearing heels.

Former UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi dazzled fans once again on Wednesday as she launched into a handstand while wearing heels on the 2019 ESPY Awards red carpet. 

Ohashi, who was nominated for Best Play and Best Viral Sports Moment, became a household name earlier this year when her flawless floor routine became an internet sensation. The routine earned her a perfect score from judges.

The ESPY Award for Best Viral Sports Moment, which Ohashi won, was announced on the program’s pre-show. The gymnast called the award “an honor”...


For those of us mortals who just want to walk in heels, here is an excellent article "How to walk in heels: 12 tips and tricks from experts". 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Feminine Differential - Shopping/Gathering

Several Saturday ago I had some time to kill  between getting my hair done and heading to an evening wine tasting. With my hair done I felt good about how I looked and upon entering the mall immediately felt drawn to do some serious looking/shopping.

After a wonderful stop at Talbots and finding several item that I adored, a calm sense of accomplishment came over me. No buyers remorse yet and as I carried my multicolored very feminine shopping bag to the car, I ask why this sense of accomplishment?

I long ago accepted the premise that there is a strong feminine component to my personality. In some ways this allows me to understand some of the fundamentals of being what I am (inner-self) and how I relate to many female activities. i.e. I have a sensitive nature; in some situations I am less dominant; and love to shop

Psychology Today in an article written by Steve Taylor Ph.D. noted that "Men Don't Like Shopping and (Most) Women Do - These are the origins of our attitudes toward shopping."  

For hundreds of thousands of years, until around 8,000 B.C.E., all human beings lived as hunter-gatherers — that is, they survived by hunting wild animals (the man’s job) and foraging for wild plants, nuts, fruits, and vegetables (the woman’s job). I learned a lot of surprising things about the "hunter-gatherer" lifestyle in my research. Interestingly, women were the main breadwinners in hunter-gatherer groups. Anthropologists estimate that women’s gathering provided around 80-90 percent of the groups' food...

And this brings us back to shopping — because these instincts may show themselves in our shopping habits. When most women shop, they are in more of a 'gathering' mode — browsing from tree to tree (or shop to shop), looking for ripe and nutritious fruit. They spend a lot of time examining the food, checking its freshness and edibility, and they discard quite a lot of it. At the end of the trip, they return home laden with a wide variety of food stuffs (or shopping bags). 

In 2009, anthropologists Kruger and Byker found very clear similarities between modern men and women's shopping habits and our hunter-gatherer past. They found that women were more inclined to spend extended time browsing around shopping malls, while men more inclined to buy what they needed and then leave straight away.* 

A very interesting concept - So my successful gathering trip a few weeks back has historical justification.  That is my story.....  


*Daniel Kruger and Dreyson Byker. 2009. "Evolved Foraging Psychology Underlies Sex Differences in Shopping Experiences and Behaviors." Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 315-327.