Altering yourself physically to improve self image

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 01, 2008 9:15 PM GMT
    I have been doing research the last two years on a procedure called a Thyroplasty.
    The surgery is performed in an outpatient setting under general anesthesia. After you are asleep, a one to two inch incision is placed parallel to, or in a skin crease of your neck over the Adam’s Apple. A strip of cartilage is removed from one or both sides of the voice box and the new edges sutured together.
    There are some specific risks which may include not getting exactly the pitch you want (lowering it too much or not enough)and there may also be some reduction in overall vocal range.
    I have been mistaken on the phone for a woman for as long as I can remember.
    My voice also reflects me as a man.
    I want to have a lower more masculine voice, but training hasn't helped at all.
    I am afraid of surgery, and especially since I would have to travel to Portland to have it done.
    I am secure with my mannerisms etc, but I want to SOUND as much like a man as I hope to look from working out!
    Any thoughts?
    The link to this procedure on the doctor's website is:

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    Mar 02, 2008 1:35 AM GMT
    Try talking in a lower pitch, it sticks after a while icon_wink.gif

    I was a bit of a fairy myself in hs, but now I sound like a subwoofer and in no way effeminate
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    Mar 02, 2008 1:39 AM GMT
    I think you should do what makes you happy and don't let anyone give you shit about it! Everyone needs to find happiness in their own way! icon_wink.gif
  • Sirkit

    Posts: 182

    Mar 02, 2008 1:45 AM GMT
    It sounds like any other kind of superficial surgery. Unnecessary for physical reasons but possibly necessary for psychological ones. See a psychologist first to see what they think about it as they can often offer insight that you are missing yourself.

    Generally simply incorporating the undesirable attribute into your self image can save on costly surgery. Also often times a particular attribute is scapegoated and after surgery the person is still not satisfied. They then proceed to have more surgery's to solve what is a psychological rather than physical issue.

    If after being checked out this is not the case and it won't brutalize your financial situation, go for it. It'll be about as painful as getting a wisdom tooth removed.
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    Mar 02, 2008 2:01 AM GMT
    I went through a fairy-flamer phase for little over a week in middle school. It was easy to switch back and forth from a high to a low pitch, since my singing range spans a few octaves, and I've got good control. I know that it may be hormone and gene related. Meaning, you're born with a natural higher pitch voice; and that keeps your hormones from making you sound like Barry White.

    This isn't advice to go out and Abuse some steroid... but I myself have eaten of those woman's chocolate estrogen things for a week and a half before a performing in a choir in Colorado. It helped to tighten my larynx just enough to make it easy for me to control. I haven't eaten anything, other than soy products, with hormones in them since. But, what I'm saying is, that a little bit of the Proper hormone will help lower your voice. Speak to your doctor first. Mine didn't advice me to abuse any hormones, but did tell me to do so with caution. So you should too.
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    Mar 02, 2008 2:04 AM GMT
    I'd be willing to bet the doc will recommend hormone therapy over the surgery... probably a lot safer and you won't need to take time off for "vacation". Side note: this means you'll be on testosterone, aka *evil, blood-dripping voice* StErOiDs!
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    Mar 02, 2008 2:20 AM GMT
    It's probably worth speaking with your General Practitioner about this. They'll be able to refer you to a speech therapist or a speech pathologist. I remember a speech pathologist coming to speak to us at school, and her first job had been to teach a transsexual man, with the deepest voice she'd ever heard to speak with a higher pitch. It's very likely that they can help you speak with a deeper pitch also.

    It's also worth recording yourself to see what you really sound like.

    The other option is learning to love yourself as you are. I don't know what it's like where you live, but around here, younger gay guys have embraced stove-pipe jeans and makeup - it might be the beginning of the end of the straight-acting fad.
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    Mar 02, 2008 2:23 AM GMT
    While the vocal cords can be trained to expand to great ranges, this is almost always upper range. I have done alot of research on the voice and sing myself. Basically your vocal cord size determines how low or high your voice is, the bigger your vocal cords the lower you will naturally sound and the smaller the higher you will naturally sound.

    Basically the vocal cords stretch and eventually zip up to achieve very high pitches this is what can be trained, infact a very lower bass man can go just as high as Mariah Carey's whistle notes and higher with extensive training.

    However for the voice to achieve lower pitches, the vocal cords must relax themselves and not stretch in order to vibrate. This is why you can train urself to go as high as u want, but you are basically born with your low end range. Since you can only relax your vocal cords so much, eventually it just becomes a clicking sound.

    If you had a clip of you talking I would help you better determine whether you could sound more low or masculine, or if it really was just your vocal cord size.
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    Mar 02, 2008 3:46 AM GMT
    I had the same problem in high school. Everyone thought I sounded like a woman. Once my Math teacher, in an effort to paraphrase a question I had posed, mistakenly referred to me as a 'she'.
    I was so determined to do whatever was necessary to make my voice deeper (crossing out only surgery from the list -not that I could afford it anyway) when I got to college.
    I tried out the "Ding Dong" exercise; it worked to some degree. The exercise requires you to loudly vocalise the words 'DING DONG BING BONG KING KONG' consecutively for ten - fifteen minutes, while lying flat on your back. You are to start the exercise at your normal voice pitch, but to gradually deepen it every other turn. Do the exercise 2-3 times a day for about 2-3 weeks.
    Note: I am not very sure about the details (2-3 weeks, 2-3 times, 10-15 minutes, etc); don't kill yourself doing this exercise. Always pause to inhale. Your breathe grows shallower with every other turn.

    So...Overall, I think the exercise may relax your vocal cords to some extent. It may enable you to attain the pitch close to the one you desire. You will however discover one thing: that the voice you use in conversation is a habit, if you will. While my voice pitch is reasonably high during casual chats with friends, i've managed to condition myself to speak with a deeper and more affirmative pitch, when answering questions in class, or in a professional/work related environment.
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    Mar 02, 2008 5:16 AM GMT
    But basically, at the heart of it. I believe that the issue of self image is quite the opposite. It the idea that I have accept my self image as it is first, and the person I am on the inside, before I go foward with any lifestyle changes or invasive surgery.

    Think of it as a varied preemptive strike on low self esteem or the regret from a nonreversable situation. It's harder than actually going through with the surgery, and takes more time, effort and patience, but in the long run you may not question yourself as you do now.

    If it means anything, there are guys out there who are attracted to your kind of voice, and other whom see it as irrelevant to being in a relationship with someone; as I do. As for those whom find you less attractive because of this, I wouldn't concern myself with those kind of guys anymore. If someone doesn't like you for who you are, than what good could come from being with them?
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    Mar 02, 2008 5:29 AM GMT
    I say go for it. You've stated that training hasn't helped and if you feel that the surgery will help you feel better, go for it. I've actually considered it myself. My normal speaking voice tends to be all over the spectrum. It can be high enough to be mistaken for woman on the phone or very low and raspy. When I laugh I sound like Pikachu on crack one second and James Earl Jones the next. I've been told I should do voiceover work, but I wouldn't even know where to begin.
  • art_smass

    Posts: 960

    Mar 02, 2008 5:34 AM GMT
    RBY71I've been told I should do voice over work, but I wouldn't even know where to begin.

    Well, maybe they're still casting that Smurf movie...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 02, 2008 5:45 AM GMT
    RBY71I've been told I should do voice over work, but I wouldn't even know where to begin.

    art_smass saidWell, maybe they're still casting that Smurf movie...

    I can do Azrael really good.

  • MisterT

    Posts: 1272

    Mar 02, 2008 5:49 AM GMT
    I'm the opposite, deep voice naturally but I frequently raise the pitch of my voice to people hear my clearly, otherwise people say my voice resonates too much and I rumble, lol. Because of that and my masculine mannerisms people think I'm straight and many times guys won't approach me, say I'm intimidating or something, I don't get it.

    In the end you should do what makes you happy with yourself. You're an attractive guy, and I hope you get the body you want, although the one you have looks great to me so far.
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    Mar 02, 2008 6:48 AM GMT
    When I was in high school, my singing voice was a low baritone to bass range, and my speaking voice was fairly high-pitched and feminine sounding. I had a vocal coach at the time, as I sang alot then (and still do), and I have nodules on my vocal chords that can make my vocal chords swell and my voice sounds raspy if I over use it or use it improperly. I've been advised to have surgery, but there's a real risk I'd never sing again.

    Anyway, my vocal coach helped me learn to speak in the proper vocal range and sing in the proper range. My speaking voice now is relatively deep, but not overly, and my vocal range when singing is a low tenor with a falsetto to mezzo soprano. I've learned to take care of my voice and if I over use it, I'll even take several days where I don't speak at all to let it rest. I would never want surgery on my vocal chords... too many things can go wrong. For an example, think of Julie Andrews... same surgery they've advised me to have, and they all but destroyed that beautiful voice of hers. She says she's able to sing some, now... but that she'll never have the voice she once had...

    I'd advise exhausting all the alternative, non-invasive options before doing surgery, because once they cut, you're pretty much stuck with what they create.

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    Mar 02, 2008 6:53 AM GMT
    A couple of years ago i met a Transexual here who was a friend of a friend and he had that op' and wanted his voice higher than his deep voice and really he sounded funny like like the girl in Will and Grace Mullaly?
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    Mar 02, 2008 7:12 AM GMT
    Honestly, I don't know. There's no way of knowing if the outcome will be what you want or make you happy, or whatever it is that you want from it -- generally our expectations of such sugeries and procedures are much greater than what they can produce which tends to make people dissatisfied, and not that the surgery is a failure or bad, but that there are discrepencies between what can be achieved and what is desired from the end result.

    I guess think long and hard, and don't pin all your hopes on a surgery as there's no guarantee that if you aren't happy with your voice and by an extension youself now that you will be after such a surgery. There's a fine line between what surgery can do to enhance ones self esteem and what is fundamentally wrong with the basis for that self esteem. Yes, a well done surgery can enhance your self esteem, but it can't make something out of nothing, and there are may who become addicted to it to surgery as means of trying to trying to provide a self esteem or self worth that they have failed to obtain otherwiese, or something that cannot be found in the physical alterations alone.

    But what is best for you is something only you can decide.
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    Mar 02, 2008 12:14 PM GMT
    I think that the issue has been touched on by both boiwunderkind and wrerick.

    Since you refer to this as a self image problem, the issue seems to be less about the literal aspect and more about the personal perception. I think that you have to learn to accept yourself and focus on the things you need to be happy in your life.

    While I'm not saying that you shouldn't do it, I am saying that this is the type of thing that leads to a slippery slope of continuous external 'improvements'. The type of thing that gets people addicted to cosmetic surgery.

    The easy way to tell is if you are genuinely happy in every other part of your life. Relationships, job, home life, personal accomplishments, etc. If you can attribute any lack of success in any of these (or other areas that you designate) to your voice, then you are definitely doing it for the wrong reason. If that's the case, you need to alter your self image first and not your self. Otherwise, you'll never be happy in spite of what you do to alter yourself.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 02, 2008 3:16 PM GMT
    When I was younger I felt my voice was too high so I started speaking lower and now I sound like Barry White on the phone.
  • Joeyphx444

    Posts: 2387

    Apr 30, 2013 11:04 AM GMT
    Geez the OP and half the people on this thread are gone or hiding icon_razz.gif
    So I am bringing it back lol

    I too have this problem and am trying some of the exercises and programs out there. I started on Sunday and it has been so far so good. I can kind of feel a small difference in my normal voice. However, I still have to make some effort to speak lower. I do notice that it does take some effort to go high or to where I would normally speak in social situations. I have yet to try it there though. I know it's only been a few days but I can tell it is working and I am excited.
    Maybe I'll get enough courage and post on that audio thread icon_razz.gif