All About That Fat
(You sang it, didn’t you?)
It’s true, and though a broader sentiment perhaps a more accurate one. We ay debate on amount and proportion, but it is a key element of that which is considered a classically feminine body. Notwithstanding lady bodybuilders, even the most athletic of women need some of it in certain places, and many of us – note the “us” there – are on the opposite end having too much in too many places. But even we certainly don’t want to be without ANY and we may well want some of what we have in different places. Especially if you are trans.
Among the many cursed characteristics of the testosterone influenced body (alongside bone structure, unwanted hair, and so forth) is the pattern in which the body retains fat. Most notably, the places which most directly say to the observer “female” are the last places a male-gonad body will park it’s fat. The first place, is the belly. And while some cis-women do struggle with belly fat, a relative few of them pile up body fat in the absence of oversized breasts and backside. One of the surest ways (next to heavy musculature) to bust up a feminine body image is to be pushing a disproportionate mound of belly fat in front of you.
Dieting/exercise is, of course, the front line of defense against that outcome but that defense having fallen, it is a much harder task for it to reclaim the belly from the fat cell invaders. If the situation gets far enough out of hand, other methods come into play. I don’t need to tell you some resort to costly and invasive surgical options. If you have struggled with belly fat you are certainly aware of the various options there.
But here’s the thing, even then you are only reducing (in theory) the unwanted fat in bad places, not increasing it in preferred places. The job is, at best, only half done. Meanwhile, it’s true that HRT does – in the right dosage – tend to promote female-patter fat distribution (though it doesn’t MOVE existing fat) so some of us, depending on the vagaries of genetics, do okay in fleshing out breasts and backside and even hips. But those who see significant results there are rare. There’s a reason the veteran transitioners caution the newby not to get to hopeful about those things, most are disappointed.
So again, the problem: too much fat where you don’t want it (for some of us) and too little where you do (for many of us). All too often these problems overlap in the same person (Like, ya know, me for instance).
Here’s the thing that’s only recently come to my attention though, which has renewed my hope. Surgeons preforming liposuction procedures are now, fairly routinely, re-purposing that extracted fat cells to fill out other places on the body. For example, a surgeon might extract 600ccs of belly fat and divide it between the breasts, or divide it between the two hemispheres of the backside or hips. Once the tissue is removed, it’s purified and re-injected in the desired location, shaped, and then the patient goes home with shape-wear to hold it until the graft “sets” and instructions not to compress the new tissue too soon (for instance, if the breasts have been augmented don’t sleep on your belly for several days. One such technique is called “aqualipo”.
Since this is all natural tissue that actually becomes part of you in the new location, it is not nearly as dangerous as implants and “pumping” (not to say implants are dangerous, but obviously artificial inserts carry some risk) and it doesn’t have any long term risk of moving around or (as with saline) deflating. Obviously, like any other tissue it is subject to gravity and the variations of weight loss and gain Also, if you don’t have the unwanted “donor” fat to use, this technique isn’t for you. Still, it’s an intriguing solution for those who have the finances and the situation to make it work. It’s certainly on my “to do” list.
Photo via: Torch Magazine