To be made over as a woman by professionals at Miss Vera's finishing school for boys who want to be girls.
State your hypothesis in the form of a prediction that can be verified by the results of the experiment.
I've always imagined that, given a bit of time and effort, I'd make a relatively attractive-looking female. I'm somewhat small, not some hulking hairy-ass dude. I don't have any prominent facial scarring or tattoos. And not to blow my own horn although God knows I've tried I've got really pretty eyes. Enrolling as a student at Miss Vera's Finishing School for Boys That Want to be Girls would give me the opportunity to confirm my suspicions once and for all. It would also provide me with immunity from friends thinking that I'd become fruitier than Carmen Miranda's most ostentatious headgear. "Dudes," I could casually complain as we looked over a Camaro engine, "You would not believe what they've got me doing at work . . . "
Please list all the materials required for this experiment (including, if applicable, how they were obtained).
Makeup (three lbs., approx.)
Woman's clothing (various)
Gold lamé genital restraint (one)
In this portion of your report, you must describe step-by-step what you did in your lab. It should be specific enough that someone who has not seen the lab can follow the directions and recreate the same lab.
Miss Vera's cross-dressing academy is, according to her website, the only one of its kind in the United States. Blokes who want to get dressed up as women drop some serious bling-bling on courses ranging from "Sudden Beauty" a $600, two-and-a-half-hour session that offers help with wigs, makeup and clothing to "Femme Intensive," a two-day tutorial that'll set back a prospective transvestite at least four grand. I signed up for one day of instruction on makeup, body shaping, voice training, wiggery, walking in heels and "taxi training." Before class started, however, I had a little prep work to do.
Initially, I was just going to shave my legs, but in the interest of science (and to satisfy the whims of the sadistic bastards in the Nerve office), I booked myself a full leg waxing. I went to a lovely spa in Soho where the staff is smiley, they offer you snacks and they barely bat an eyelid when you announce you need your hairy-ass yams waxed. I was shown to a small room containing a table, a seasoned waxer and a trainee who could barely contain her amusement. Marrying professionalism and ruthless efficiency, the waxer coaxed me onto the table, asked me to pull my robe up to my groin and scanned my lower body. "It's just like pulling off a Band-Aid," she lied in the same way that a doctor tells you to expect a scratch when he's about to plunge a needle into your vein.
Both the trainee and Nerve photo editor Virginia tried to stifle a giggle as the nice lady smoothed hot wax over the tops of my feet and ankles and pressed on a strip of fabric. She put her left hand on my shin and transferred her weight onto it as she yanked the strip off with a sickening rip. I created a vacuum in the room by inhaling through pursed lips with superhuman force. Pain. Unspeakable pain. The agony seemed to increase as she worked her way waistward. As more hair came off, my skin felt extremely tingly and sensitive. When it was over, the three ladies stood above me, complimenting my incredibly girly legs. Almost instantly, a million tiny welts surfaced, and my legs looked like some ghastly reptile's belly. "Is this normal?" I asked my tormentor. "Hmmm, you've really come up," she said. "Don't worry; that should calm down within forty-eight hours." Bugger! I was due at Miss Vera's academy in twenty. Wanting to ensure that my legs were silky smooth, I took a small handful of antihistamines, got on the subway and zonked the fuck out, regaining consciousness several hours later somewhere near Coney Island. Zombified, I found my way home.
I awoke the next morning and set about shaving other areas that could compromise my believability as a hot chick. Arms, pits and chest were all mowed bare. I looked in the mirror at the body of an overgrown twelve year old. Thankfully, my legs had healed. Before going to Miss Vera's, I popped into a nail salon for a pedicure. No big deal for a guy these days, but heads turned when I dramatically prevented the nail lady from applying clear polish. "Unh-uh!" I cried, wagging a finger and selecting a shocking pink color from the rack. "This one!" Clients and employees exchanged quizzical glances as the man with the Grizzly Adams scruff and the smooth legs wiggled his freshly painted toes in the air and sprayed them with enamel. I returned to the office and gave myself the closest shave I could muster without lacerating my face. I was now ready to be educated in the ways of women.
Veronica Vera is a real stickler for details. She insisted that I bring three things to the session: my payment, in a pink envelope only; a mascara wand; and a pink or red candle in the shape of a woman. "You know, the kind they sell in bodegas," she told me over the phone. What on Earth was she talking about? With Virginia and Joey, our cameraman, in tow, I arrived at her Chelsea studio, which was painted a garish pink and decorated with portraits of previous students. "Welcome, welcome," Miss Vera enthused as she ushered us in. She relieved me of the pink envelope and the candle (which was not in the shape of a lady, but in a glass tube with a woman's picture on it). "What's this?" she asked, holding the little mascara wand an inch from her nose. "This is not what I asked you to bring." She sounded quite cross. The significance of the wand and exactly what I did wrong remains shrouded in mystery to this day.
A diminutive man gave us Styrofoam cups half-filled with tepid water. He politely asked us to not damage the cups, as they were the only ones they had. He then promptly left the apartment. Seconds later, Shannon, the "dean of makeup," appeared at the door looking quite flustered. She wore a bandana in her hair and a pronounced black Z the mark of Zorro on her left cheek. Miss Vera placed the unlit candle on an altar, grabbed my shoulders and spun me around. "Repeat after me," she instructed. "I dedicate myself . . . to releasing all of the juicy female energy . . . inside of me . . . I place my trust in Miss Vera . . . and the deans of the academy . . . and I thank myself for this gift. What is your name?" she asked me. "Gretchen," I replied. It was the closest thing to "Grant" that I could think of. It's also the most matronly, hard-sounding, ugly name in the book. It was to set the tone for my look.
Miss Vera told me to take off my shirt, then put me in a nightie in front of the makeup mirror. A week earlier, I had filled out an application form that detailed exactly what kind of female look I wanted. I asked for "college senior/East Village rocker chick." In other words, something low maintenance, natural and relatively believable.
I knew something was awry when Shannon began applying a thick layer of beige pancake makeup to my face, shoulders and upper chest. I asked her if it was really necessary and was informed that my skin had too many imperfections to use any less. Once the thick foundation was applied, Ms. Vera took me into another room to try on my gaff. "If you need to pee, now would be a good time," she suggested. A gaff, I learned, is the garment a crossdresser wears to reduce the prominence of male genitalia in clothing. It's a triangular piece of material with elastic straps that you wear much like an athletic supporter. But unlike a jockstrap, this particular undergarment was made of gold lamé. Miss Vera stood there, hands on hips, watching me get naked. She then pulled the gaff up around my thighs and cheerily said, "Now, pop your balls up inside yourself." That's easy for you to say, I thought. Miss Vera looked at me as if I, as a male, should innately know how to do this. After an uncomfortable thirty seconds of juggling, I managed to push my testicles inward. "Right," she said. "Now, pull your dick between your legs and pull up the gaff." I did so, and marveled at the now-flat area where my unit used to be. Miss Vera paraded me around the room in front of Shannon, Virginia and Joey, who were respectively proud, repulsed and aroused by watching my powdery beige frame strut around in little more than a gold tea bag. "Where did it all go?" asked Joey. I motioned skyward. "Ooof," he offered sympathetically. I took only the tiniest sips of water. The thought of pulling my rig out to pee filled me with foreboding.