Miranda Mesteroma is a 23 year old woman who’s currently studying biology at the Univerity of Wageningen. But aside from being a student, she is also an alternative model! I met her at a queer kink party, she fascinated me a lot, especially when she suddenly climbed the stripper pole with an unexpected amount of elegance and sensuality. Oh, she also is transgender. And considering today is Transgender Day of Visability, I felt like there would be no better time to interview her than today!
- These images are shot by me, and thus are my personal property. If you wish to use them, please contact me about it.
1. You are a transfeminine model. Do you believe being trans makes you different from cisgender women in the modeling industry?
Most definitely! Even as a new, starting model, I can already tell that… there isn’t a lot of opportunity for me. Most, if not all modelling calls request XX-chromosome individuals. Especially paying assignments! Even if it’s been said that there is an “androngyny” hype, it barely reflects on XY-chromosome people who out themselves in a feminine manner. Most of the few assignments that I can apply for have a fetish background and even there people generally want “the female package”. I was very lucky to find a few artistic photographers who share my interests and I’ve done several lovely shoots with them, but finding new photographers is difficult. And even when people like shooting with me, some find it very hard to register me as feminine, rather than “male”…
2. How do you view gender in modern society? Do you think there’s still a necessity to change the mainstream’s view?
I’m very glad to live in a time in which Gender-boundaries are softening. The binary is opening up more and more. It took me this long to figure out I was trans because I lacked any kind of representation. I didn’t see what I felt reflected anywhere. All I knew about “transgender” for years was porn… And that just wasn’t… “me”. Only when people like Laverne Cox and Carmen Carrera started showing up and the Wachowskis came out as sisters (specifically Lana) up did I start realizing that there was a human behind the “transgender”. This concept was solidified when I found transgender people on the internet who dared to come out. These were people that liked all the things I liked (aliens, dragons, games, film, etc.), which are not typical “girl” things and were still proud to be fighting towards their womanhood. I basically realized I could be who I want to be without having to sacrifice any component of myself that I liked!
That said… all this exposure to the gender-forms outside the binary was hard to find. It remained relatively hidden to the broad public and quite niche. Big time TV programs here like ‘Hij Is Een Zij’ [He Is A She in English] started changing that a bit and was highly instrumental in explaining my parents what I was going through for example. Still it felt restrictive and very binary-focused… I really hope that Ryanne van Dorst’s (Elle Bandita) ‘Geslacht!’ becomes a smash hit because they really broke the binary to the public…
So yes. We still need change. There are still people out there who view my being as something perverse, either through misinformation or willful ignorance. I still need to explain what I am and how the gender component of me works to every second person I meet… And those things are tiresome and scary. I rarely feel safe and until that changes I’d say none of us are done fighting misinformation, prejudice and ostracization. We need more representation so people know we’re human just like them, and we need more protection until disproportionate violence against people like me is pushed back.
3. What does modeling mean to you and how do you combine it in your day to day life?
I love creating things! That’s my motivation for doing most things, the urge to create. It doesn’t matter if it’s text, sculpture, an experience or a photo! The entire process from concept to finished photo is a lot of fun and offers constant learning experiences. Another element for me is… I spent more than a solid decade being unable to even see myself in the mirror… Now that I’m growing more familiar with my body, having found a sense of identity, I just love seeing my body through someone else’s vision. The photographer sees a different person that I do, and they can draw that person out, which is amazing! No two shoots are the same and with every single one I see and discover new facets of what and who I am. Of course I also hope to someday make a living from modelling! As far as combining it with daily life goes… I usually shoot in the weekends! With a bit of planning I can find the time for most types of shoots. I actually struggle more with finding the time to publish the photos I get returned.
4. If there’s one thing you could change about the world, what would it be?
I’d just love it if there was a general tolerance for those who fall outside the norm. Obviously I’d love to just… not live in fear constantly. If I’d feel safe I would instead wish to see a return of the dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures!
If you want to follow Miranda, you can!
Again a friendly reminder that these photo’s are my property, if you wish to use them please contact me.