FEMALE MIMICS - ISSUES #1-12
New York: "Selbee Associates, Inc/Health Knowledge, Inc.
Female Mimics was the first ever gloss-cover crossdressing photography periodical, a departure from the digest-sized publications that once populated the genre. This standard magazine size became commonplace but was pioneered by Female Mimics; Ladylike Crossdressers Quarterly and Transformation followed suit. Female Mimics was the society pages for the scene - focussing on fashion and lifestyle.
Female Mimics was published for 16 years; early issues were printed in limited quantity and carried at Lee Brewsters Mardi Gras, as well as smaller shops throughout the country. It served a devoted group of professional impersonators and nightclubs. One important issue features "drag kings" like Elle et Lui, and the Paris clubs: Le Monocle, Chez Moune, and Froude’s Cabaret, “Where Women do the Man Bit.”
The informality and earnestness of Female Mimics' publishers make it a special publication. Its raw pictorials, largely favoring apartment interiors, or candid shots at nightclubs and drag-balls over studios, extends a moving authenticity.
"Female Mimics has provided an introduction to the novice, publicity to clubs and entertainers, pride to homosexuals, flattery to the vanity of its models, fantasy and at times even reassurance to heterosexual crossdressers."
The documentation of "drag balls," which took place in hotel ballrooms where performers were often unaware of being photographed, deserves recognition (anonymous transvestites were labeled “amateur impersonators” in the earliest issues).
"The early 1970s was a period of blatant exploitation, portraying the models as anonymous objects of fantasy. Finally, a post-Stonewall consciousness did emerge and, while it did not fully satisfy our desire for positive self-identification, it provided the transgendered community with some degree of affirmation. However, this was always tempered by the necessity of including material which used transgendered people as objects of exploitative fantasies."