Okay homestucks we need to have a talk
[TW: Trans* stuff, binding, ACE Bandages.]
I’ve been looking around and I’ve been seeing a lot of art of FTM!Dave or other versions of FTM characters. That’s great that people are including transfolk and that’s super cool that it’s sort of accepted in the fandom. However, that’s not the problem I have because hey that would be fucking horrible.
My problem is this:
[Sorry I didn’t want to use images of people who used this irl or whatever because it felt weird to just take their pictures for this post. This is as close to a stock image I can get for this subject.]
ACE bandages are NOT for binding. But, we see them everywhere in movies, books, shows, art, photography, EVERYTHING. Most transfolk I talk to are completely oblivious that this form of binding can break your ribs, cause internal bleeding, and warp your insides. This is because this method of binding is shown in most movies or any other media where a transperson is involved. It is a common misconception that is hurting a lot of trans* youth and young adults who don’t know any better. They assume the only way of binding is one that hurts and causes them extreme pain because it’s the only option.
This may seem harsh but, when you draw a picture of a FTM character in ACE bandages, you are only HURTING the people you are trying to represent. Good intentions aside, you’re perpetuating the myth and causing yet another individual to start binding with ACE bandages. You’re doing much more harm than you are helping, and you seriously should stop portraying trans* characters using that method of binding.
I’ve done some research around the internet on FTM communities and I’ve heard these reports of damages caused by binding with ACE bandages:
- Internal bleeding
- Ribs breaking/warping
- Difficulty breathing
- Light headedness
- Long term medical problems
“ACE bandages are a bad idea. They are inherently dangerous. The nature of an ace bandage is to get tighter whenever it’s stretched; every time you inhale you’re stretching it, and when you exhale it tightens around your ribcage. Do that all day and it’s quite unsafe, even if you’re not bound excruciatingly tightly the way so many folks do. Breathing problems are par for the course with ACE bandages; coughing up blood is common; broken ribs are not unheard of. They can also cut your skin. Just a bad idea all the way around.”
Chest Binder Reviews did a evaluation on this method of binding, and it revealed some gruesome results. This website IS extremely helpful on showing you methods of binding and the effects they have, though. Chest Binder Review [TW: DAMAGES CAUSED BY ACE BANDAGES; BRUISING]
Seriously, I know everyone has the right to *creative freedom,* but is it worth making a teen hurt themselves so you can represent the ignorant view of how to bind? There are MANY different types of binders you can draw your character in and get the point across. Even better, when they see these binders [that are actually made to do the job] they’ll ask about them. They’ll want to know what they are and where they can get them.
I know you might feel as though portraying trans* characters using ACE bandages is more visceral and raw. Trust me, we have plenty of portrayals of that already. But I’ve never seen a movie that features a trans* character actually using a proper binder. Even adult characters still use the ACE bandage method. So please, if you’re going to try to draw a trans* character, write one, or whatever, refrain from perpetuating this dangerous and horrible myth. You can seriously help people from causing serious irreversible damage.
This post isn’t to call artists out that I’ve seen do this, nor is it to call out fic writers or whatever. I’m not asking them to drag themselves through the mud so they can be “redeemed” or whatever. I’m just asking people to simply be more aware of how dangerous and serious this is, and how you can help it get a little bit better by stomping out the myth yourself.
If you’ve read this far, thanks. Seriously. I’ve been thinking about how to make this post and how to word this post, and I’m just glad I finally said something.
Resources/References for real Binders:
THIS IS A REALLY GOOD POST PLS READ IT
and it really is true because i almost started binding with ace bandages because i saw it everywhere, until people told me the truth and showed me some binders
ace bandages are great for MINOR INJURIES, not for wrapping around vital organs
please don’t hurt yourself or depict people hurting themselves like this
signal boost this shit.. there are so many people that bind on tumblr. please save up money for a real binder.
very important post
last time i binded with ace bandages i had awful bruising
it’s a bad idea, guys.
Yes! Thank you. I’d hate to see a bunch of kids trying to bind with ACE bandages just because they’ve seen Trans*stuck art that depicts FTM/trans-masculine characters using them. This is the reason why I’m so irritated by musicians (Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, I’m lookin’ at you) who make binding with bandages (or even fucking DUCT TAPE don’t EVER do that shit) seem glamorous.
Besides, binders can be pretty sexy and neat-lookin’ as well! Just look at the models on T-Kingdom! Drawing a character in a legitimate binder will NOT detract from your art of trans* HS characters at all!
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