CDS Publications Samples

From Art & Illusion, Vol. 1 & Vol. 2

These are sample pages on contouring and highlighting from Art & Illusion: A Guide to Crossdressing, Vol. 1, and body shaping from Art & Illusion: A Guide to Crossdressing, Vol. 2. The face illustrations show where to apply contour and highlight for different face shapes to create the "ideal" face shape an oval; and the other page is a discussion on the different ways your body can be reshaped into a more feminine form.

Living In A Box

From Sacred Cows Make The Best Hamburger

This piece comes from the November 1987 issue of the Renaissance News. It's one of the first essays I wrote for the newsletter and I still think it's one of the best. The essay was prompted by a news article in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The newspaper carried a story today of an 11 year old boy who was kept in a wooden box by his step-grandmother, because she feared he was brain damaged. The boy was found to be mentally normal.
When I read the story in the October 10th issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer, I almost started to cry. What an ignominious way to live! How has that poor child's psyche been damaged? What will happen to him in later life? The whole thing gave me pause to consider my life.
As I thought about that child, I realized that I, too, at one time, lived in a box. My box was made from a variety of woods; bigotry, racism, sexism and parochialism were a few. The nails holding it all together were fear, loathing, ignorance and despair. The wood was supplied, without charge, by the world around me and I pounded those self-made nails. Yes, my box was nailed shut from the inside. I hid the real me in that box for almost 32 years. The person that walked through the world was only a facade, a shadow-person built out of other people's expectations. Then one day something happened. The nails made of ignorance started to rust away. They were soon followed by those of fear.
Eventually, the nails were all gone and first one side then the other fell away from my box. I let free the real me. I faced the world for the first time and realized that I could be my own person. I could have original thoughts and feelings. I was not a puppet to be controlled.
I knew I could do almost anything I set my mind to and that ultimately, I could control my life. The key was acceptance of myself and acceptance of the responsibility for my actions. I understood that there is a basic human dignity within everyone and that dignity deserves respect. I resolved never to apologize to anyone for being me. And, I would consider carefully any criticism of others.
So, how many of you are still living in your own boxes? Isn't it about time for you to start pulling the nails free? Isn't is about time for you to kick the boards loose? And, isn't it about time for you to face the world and yourself with the truth?
There are no barriers except those you erect yourself, so tear them down. Look in the mirror and say to yourself, "I have the ultimate control and responsibility for my life." Then believe it and get on with the rest of your life. The past is immutable, so why worry over what cannot be changed? Look forward to the future and new goals. You will be amazed at how much you can accomplish if you will only believe in yourself.
There is no one in this world more deserving of your respect than yourself. For, if you cannot respect yourself, how can you possibly respect anyone else? And, how will you ever break out of your box before you mentally suffocate?
JoAnn Roberts

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