2 June 2015

Excuse my hashtag, but it's kind of significant for this topic.

Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, in a photograph by Annie Leibovitz on the cover of July's Vanity Fair.

"Call Me Caitlyn" is perhaps the most famous cover line on a magazine right now. The long-awaited revelation of Bruce Jenner final transition process has been finally revealed in the latest issue of Vanity Fair.

Bruce' odyssey to be a woman has been in public eye or sometime now, recalling that Bruce was, and now Caitlyn is, a part of the Kardashian clan. Every move, every word, and every action is recorded, shared, and talked about, partly thanks to our generation's crave for fame, including anything crazy and whimsical this family is known for. Not to forget tens of millions of follower they acquire across multiple social media platforms. And now, what is the impact of this overly brushed up imagery taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, with a village of glam squad applying shades and concealer before the photoshoot?

#CaitlynJenner is trending, and her Twitter account @Caitlyn_Jenner gathers one million followers in a mere four hours, faster than @POTUS. Talk about #breaktheinternet ...

People's reaction in online media is mostly positive, that finally another human being can be true to herself, and with the power that she has with the gargantuan coverage following this revelation, Caitlyn is putting an important milestone for many people.

I remember few years ago, sitting in a train station in Surabaya, Indonesia. There were some transgender street musicians, or banci kaleng as they were known, were called names, teased, and even thrown with garbage. Being second-class citizen was a daily struggle. Getting a formal job was unthinkable. And as I read online, it also happened in many other parts of the world. Transgender people have been pushed not to show who they feel they are, making them repressing their true identity and living in lie. With an Olimpian star coming out as transgender, whose the whole process is on the eye of public, this kind of brave act has a major impact, probably not to the govenrment, but to society, which in some extent, way more important.

Imagine two decades ago, homosexual people were sent to jail, slaughtered and beheaded by official, just because they were pursuing their happiness by loving people who happened to be the same sex. Even  though it still happens (we are watching you, Arabian countries), the undestranding and consciousness of the society have been raised. We are now more aware that transgender people exist, even the last person we think would be.

And yet, putting an example of male-to-female transgenderism by appearing on a glossy magazine cover, shot by celebrity photographer, wearing thousand of dollar outfit, and brushed with a store of make-up leaves question. What is to be a woman? Is it enough to put some lipstick on, having breast implant, and wearing desiner dress? What about ever-changing hormones during puberty? The feeling of having to be pregnant as 'the role given by almighty mother nature'? The multi-tasking duty as to be strong yet sensitive? Is it enough by 'buying a new body' to be a woman?

Some people see it as not more than carefully orchestrated pablum, oil for machine of selfishness, vapidity, and vanity. The way the Jenner and Kardashian family monetise themselves deserves a series of marketing lecture for itself. They are everywhere, and they seems to be able to collect cents from everything they touch. There is even a software to prevent your internet showing anything Kardashian, as  their reach is so wide, which make some people wonder if Caitlyn's intention to be in public with her major transormation is sincere. But again, a transformation journey is very personal. If you ask many transgender people, you won't see a pettern, for every one of them is a different story. Maybe it's the right thing for Caitlyn. As Bruce had been in public since decades, Caitlyn perhaps felt the need to be in public as well, for her most important event in her life, battling to be a champion, even though there's no gold medal to win this time.

Caitlyn, #bless_her ...