In conversation with Maxine
As part of our latest campaign, we invited our followers to take part in a shoot for womanhood. As with all our campaigns, all images are untouched.
We chat to Maxine Heron about what womanhood means to her and the journey she has been on.
As a trans woman, every stage of my womanhood had felt like it was dictated to me by those around me. Until suddenly, it wasn't. I had a few really formative experiences in my late teens and early 20's that lead me to believe my womanhood was restricted - a gift, only given to me if verified by those around me. The sad reality is that some feel my womanhood is debatable, simply because of my genetics. I lived with the feeling that my womanhood was conditional, just as long as I didn't dare to mention my history. It was tiring, having my own kind of womanhood be called into question on such a regular occurrence. It was only when I reached breaking point with keeping it a secret that I felt this radical self-acceptance - a gift to me, from me. It was something I'd never had before. Coming out publicly about my history has enabled me to embrace my own womanhood, on my own terms, with or without it being verified by anybody else. My womanhood was a battle, but it's a battle I won. Now, my womanhood is undeniable. Womanhood in 2020 is ours for the taking, and we're each doing it our own way. Why? Because we said so!
It hasn’t been easy, getting to know how to feel good about myself. Only when you truly hit rock bottom on the confidence front do you appreciate what a gift it is to be happy in your own skin. And I’m not entirely there yet, but I will be. There’s a part of me some days that still feels like vulnerable, self-deprecating 13 year old me, hating every second of it. But these moments pass, and more than ever I realise that without the lows, there are no highs. The real glow up wasn’t transitioning, or growing into myself, or being skinnier. The glow up was no longer focusing on how I looked, and switching instead to how I felt. This glow up was finally avoiding bad relationships, staying away from the scales, reminding myself daily that I’m a goddess, and being thankful for a body that gets me where I need to go. I stopped comparing myself. I stopped hoping to find happiness in hunger. And more than anything, I made sure to only give my energy to those who build me up, and they best believe I’ll be building them up in return.
For me, womanhood is ever-changing - it's a bridge that connects your relationship with the ever-changing version of yourself to your ever-changing relationship with life in that moment. Womanhood to me is finding comfort in the present, discovering your resources, and never forgetting your strengths. I ask myself 'what kind of me am I going to have to tap into today - am I a relaxed me, do I need to be bold, am I feeling good? Am I exhausted by everything? Who is going to try me today?' Just in the past year I feel I've gone from being a woman lost, to a woman found. I've been putting myself out there, saying yes to things - stepping out of my comfort zone, even as I did with this shoot. It's been baby steps from a stage of my womanhood which was desperately just trying to make sense of it all - to now entering a new stage of womanhood with a little more courage, clarity, and a whole lot of pride.
Womxn are not free unless ALL womxn are free! Let's talk about the womxn who are left behind sometimes, and stand up for each other when we need it. We're all unified, and it's something we need to embrace and celebrate more - together we have so much power and strength, and we are never alone! Let's realise this, and keep on building each other up - it's our freedom to do so, and it's what we deserve!
Maxine wears the Lonely Delilah bodysuit