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Facial Feminization Surgery: What Makes A Face Feminine?

Renee Baker before facial feminization surgery. (Photo courtesy of Renee Baker)
Renee Baker before facial feminization surgery. (Photo courtesy of Renee Baker)

Have you ever thought about what makes a face feminine? According to one of the surgeons who pioneered facial feminization surgery, what makes a face feminine isn’t easy to define.

“We hear beauty is only skin deep; it’s not,” Spiegel says. “It has to do a lot with the bones. When we change the face, I need to change the bones. And then the skin is almost like clothing. If a woman puts on a man’s shirt it still looks like a woman…. so the skin, if it sits on the right way on the facial structures, we start to get the right cues.”

As Lauren Silverman from Here & Now member station KERA in Dallas reports, that can make it tricky for people in the transgender community thinking about having surgery. She speaks with Spiegel and Renee Baker, a transgender woman who traveled from Dallas to Boston to receive the surgery.

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