“Why Are Transvestites Better Than Women at Making Women Beautiful in Mandalay?”

September 30, 2008

The Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies presents “Pirated Transnational Broadcasting: The Consumption of Thai Television Soap Operas Among the Shan Community in Burma,” a talk by Anthropology Associate Professor Ward Keeler.

Monday, October 6, 12-1pm
E. P. Schoch building – EPS 1.128
University of Texas at Austin

“Many Burmese friends in Mandalay have told me that male to female transvestites are better at making women appear beautiful than women are. They attribute this to the dual nature of the transvestites’ gender and therefore understanding of what is attractive. In believing this of transvestites, Burmese sustain a view of them as being particularly capable of crossing boundaries: in the past, they were employed primarily as spirit mediums but now they cross the boundary between the local and the international in the matter of cosmetics and style.”


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