Dina’s Diner 4/1/24

Dina’s Diner 4/1/24

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Sarah Jane Adams

I saw an article about a 60-something influencer named Sarah Jane Adams. Sarah Jane is a jewelry designer, author, and Instagram poster living in Australia. She became internet famous after one of her photos went viral several years ago.

Nowadays it is not unusual to see 60-something – even older – women doing interesting things in (usually) interesting fashions. Many of these women forgo the heavy cosmetizing of professional models or amateurs looking for a glamorous look. Of course, even in the advanced age natural beauty game, the subjects have attractive features as a starting point. Sarah Jane Adams has a good face on a slim frame and seems to favor quirky/funky fashion, others still go for the fashionable upscale look of society women, there are many senior women who go for the all-out sexy look.

Many years ago, even decades ago, I guess, some beauty company had commercials with the tagline “You’re not getting older, you’re getting better.” It was revolutionary at the time and it targeted the women of the baby boom who were now approaching (gasp!) their forties or thereabouts. Now, thanks to the abundance of that demographic and advances in personal fitness and beauty products, celebrity women are often still considered as sex symbols into their sixties. If you’re a gentleman of a certain age yourself, some of the local ladies at the supermarket can still look good even if they are Medicare eligible.

The point (and I keep telling myself this) is that it can work for us crossdressers also. The online photo sites are filled with senior-aged gurls who still have it going on. I just saw an article about a 74 year old working drag queen. There are more of us around just as is true of our cis-sisters. If you feel you’re stuck in a rut (I do sometimes, too), maybe trying a Sarah Jane-inspired funky look will perk you up or give you some new ideas of your own. We’re not getting older – well, alright, we are getting older. But we can also keep getting better.


The New York Times carried an article about Michael Salem who has operated a business catering to crossdresser and trans persons for decades. It was headlined Outfitting Closets When Fewer People Came Out of Them and appeared in the Style section on February 27, 2024.

If you have been crossdressing for a good length of time, you are probably familiar with the Michael Salem Boutique ads that ran in magazines in the years before the internet. I was surprised to learn that “Michael Salem” is a real person and not a fictional figurehead for the business. Mr. Salem is 82 years old and still involved in the world of lingerie, breast forms, high heels, and wigs, according to the Times article.

The paper provided this history of his business:

“Mr. Salem opened his namesake store in 1969 after growing up, as he put it, on the sales floor of his father’s, Salem Hosiery in New York, which sold stockings, undergarments and accessories like breast pads to society types. Mr. Salem, hoping to attract a younger and more adventurous crowd, stocked his own store with racier lingerie and products like custom breast forms made of rubber and, later, silicone. After his store opened, Mr. Salem said, it started to steadily attract a certain type of male customer that he had first encountered at his father’s store. These men, he said, would tell him that they were looking for lingerie for their wives but would leave with garments in sizes that made Mr. Salem suspect the items were actually for themselves.”

The business had an actual retail store in Manhattan but did most of the business via mail order for customers all over the country. The advantage of buying through the Salem Boutique was to avoid the embarrassment of buying women’s clothing and lingerie in person at straight stores. Large sizes were readily available and they carried women’s shoes in 12s and 13s and even larger for an additional charge. The purchases could be shipped to P. O. Boxes (and now to package shipping outlets) discreetly. It seems quaint now but, for timid crossdressing souls in the old days, it was daunting to buy women’s things in person or take a chance trying to guess what women’s size might fit your male frame.

Vintage Salem ad.

Of course, there was a price premium for that combination of choice and discretion. Even on the Salem webpage today, the prices seem a bit inflated compared to what you could find elsewhere. But there you have the trade-off.

The article also made me consider the kind of courage it took to create a business catering to crossdressers and full-time trans persons fifty-plus years ago. It was maybe a half-step above running a porn shop. And, as the article points out, he is still unabashed about it today as he circulates through lingerie trade shows and talks about his business. Today we have Amazon, or even Frederick’s of Hollywood earlier, or literally hundreds of online sellers of straight, or sexy, or kinky, clothing for whoever wants to buy them. But some of our crossdressing forerunners in those fuzzy old photographs in the “transvestite contact” magazines were perhaps wearing stuff they purchased from Michael Salem Boutique.


Hannah McCann

I heard a rerun of a National Public Radio show called It’s Been a Minute and the topic was the Barbie movie of 2023, ultra-femininity, and ‘bimbo’ culture.

Here is how the It’s Been a Minute podcast website summarized the show: “Host Brittany Luse sits down with Hannah McCann, a lecturer at the University of Melbourne who specializes in critical femininity studies. They discuss how both Barbie and real-life bimbos are criticized for being bad role models, and yet their carefree, maximalist, hyper-feminine approach might actually be a little subversive.” Real life bimbos are the women heavily made-up, with surgically enhanced breasts, botox lips, etc, etc. And it’s a thing if you want to Google it.

I found a site called BinaryThis.com where Ms. McCann writes and she had an essay about the Barbie movie where she explained her positive take on the movie that many (who took it at face value) thought contained unliberated tropes of old femininity. She writes:

“On the one hand, Barbie has been abundantly critiqued as an emblem of unrealistic and patriarchal beauty standards. On the other, people have pointed out that she’s done every occupation, and is the ultimate girlboss (eww). On the third, and much more interesting hand, the way people have actually played with Barbies, remixing their hair, outfits, personas and sexualities, reveals Barbie as the GOAT bimbo icon: a blank slate, a fantasy of femininity. She is spectacular plastic with nothing, and thereby everything, to say.”

At the risk of paraphrasing McCann’s thesis, in the beginning were the feminists who did all the heavy lifting of ‘women’s lib.’ Then came the post-feminists who took feminism as “done and dusted” (using Hannah’s words) and saw a place for femininity and sex appeal within the women’s movement. She points to the film Legally Blonde as an example where beauty plus brains win out. Now, she sees examples of “Critical Femininities” that sees expression of femininity as acceptable given that it is not a product of patriarchal coercion. In other words if you want to be a bimbo that’s okay as long as it’s your choice and not a response to a man’s wishes or male cultural expectations in general. She points to another author’s example of the Spice Girls as “drag queens” for self-directed femininity as a means to success.

Whew, that’s a lot of deep thinking about femininity here at the Diner. How about a slice of pie, doll? I can put a drop of brandy in that coffee for ya, too, honey.


I saw an article about a popular British yoga instructor whose breasts started to re-grow after breast reduction surgery. The article appeared on the F2FAfrica.com website on March 6, 2024.

Echo Elliott

According to the online piece, Echo Elliott, a 28-year old Instagram Yoga enthusiast had breast reduction surgery eight years ago. Her breasts before the surgery were 30KK. (I tried to find a conversion to US sizing but it was, pardon me, a bust). Needless to say, the breasts were large and the girth of the KK cup size caused Ms. Elliott much consternation at the unwanted attention attracted by her stupendous endowment.

After the breast reduction, she observed her bust size increasing within a few years of the surgery. She eventually went through another breast reduction procedure. Medical professionals say that regrowth of breast tissue after reduction surgery is not unheard of. The article reported, “While none had encountered a case like hers before, they agreed that genetic and hormonal factors could potentially explain such occurrences.” A specialist told the reporter, “One reason could be that a woman, for genetic reasons, has very hormone-sensitive breast tissue – I have seen this in younger patients who have had reductions and then experienced some regrowth. Nothing to this degree, but it can happen.”

Life on earth is a great big crapshoot. We have women who are getting breast implants and others getting breast reductions. And that is trivial compared to all the other chance variables that determine our lives. But for our purposes here at the Diner, let’s stay focused on breasts. They got ‘em; we want ‘em. And some have too much while others have not enough. And somehow we’re always on the outside looking in.


New baseball pants.

Just as the preseason was getting underway there was a flurry of news articles about Major League Baseball’s new uniforms. According to some players and observers, the uniform pants were somewhat transparent. The New York Times reported “people cannot stop talking about the league’s new uniforms, specifically the pants, which leave little to the imagination. The issue of fabric so sheer it seemed transparent cropped up in late February when players began having their photos taken at spring training.”

The uniforms and the problematic pants were designed by Nike and manufactured by a company named Fanatics, a big name (apparently) in team clothing. The parties to the controversy claim that “the pants, it should be noted, are made from the same material as they were last season.” The Times speculated, “A popular theory online is that the transparency may have been enhanced by the bright lights used on team picture days.”

It’s not as though the pants are sheer but the material shows the tucked-in shirt tails and seems to hug the thighs in such a way that it gives the appearance of opaque transparency. In the 1980s, some of the NFL teams’ football knickers appeared transparent (at least to me while I watched the games) with jockstrap bands being clearly visible under the skin tight stretch material. I don’t remember any controversy over it but that was before the internet. For what it’s worth, football knickers don’t seem as see-through anymore.

One online commenter joked that he was “buying my wife Fanatics baseball pants instead of lingerie.” Pants – whether transparent or not – are not high on the list of crossdressing fashion wish lists. Maybe some of you sports may want to try them out. Beware though: you might be signaling that you’re easy to get to first base.

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Category: Transgender Fun & Entertainment


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