Caitlyn Jenner feels like a million bucks.
After the world met the woman formerly known as Bruce Jenner Monday, Vanity Fair magazine published extended portions of her conversation with contributing editor Buzz Bissinger Tuesday. How did she think the world would view the photo shoot? "Honestly, I think the reaction will be, 'Holy crap!'"
"I mean these pictures—[Annie Leibovitz], Vanity Fair, spared nothing doing it right, and the wardrobe, everything involved with it were just...the people were just great. It was, you know, two of the best days of my life. The pictures came out over-the-top great, you know, and I think people's reaction when they see it...I was always worried—you never wanted to look like a guy in drag. You never wanted to look like a guy in a dress, OK? If you're going to do that, come out, you really have to look the part. You have to look very feminine, you have to be able to, what I call my presentation is extremely important because it puts people at ease. And if you can do that, OK, people are at ease, they're just comfortable being around you," Caitlyn said. "And Vanity Fair, I think that when they see the pictures, the images, and all that kind of stuff, learn your name, people will probably go, 'My God, why didn't you do this earlier?'"
(With the release of her Vanity Fair cover on June 1, Caitlyn has chosen to publicly identify as a woman and E! News will refer to her using female pronouns. In stories published prior to this date, Caitlyn was referred to as Bruce and male pronouns were used.)
Doing the photo shoot moved Annie to tears, and Caitlyn also became emotional.
"I had this one time where I had not had a mirror behind me and they put this mirror up behind when I was doing this shoot," Caitlyn, 65, recalled. "I had this rocking black outfit on, formal outfit, and I kind of, from a distance, looked in the mirror and I felt, 'Oh, my God.' That's the first time I'd ever really seen an image of me, of who I am. I mean over-the-top better than I thought it would ever be, especially at my age. You know, you think it's kind of over with at that age. And seeing that image was powerful to me, you know, powerful. And I kind of looked at it and said, 'You know what? This is going to work. We're going to be OK with this, you know?' So yeah, we move forward. I am so excited about the future."
Now that the big reveal has happened, what will Caitlyn do next?
"I'm just going to go live life. I'm going to go enjoy life. I have nothing left to hide. I am kind of a free person, a free soul," she reveals. "[Up] to this point I would wear, you know, Bruce would wear, you know, sweatshirts with hoods on them so paparazzi can't get pictures and all that kind of crap, and I didn't want them to see if my fingernails were polished or, you know, on and on and on. It was just hell."
"To be able to wake up in the morning, be yourself, get dressed, get ready to go out, and just be like a normal person—that's a wonderful feeling to go through life," she tells Vanity Fair. "I've never been able to do that; it's always been confusion, it's always been, you know, I've got one side [with] boy clothes, the other side's women's clothes. It's like I cleaned the whole closet out—the boys stuff is gone."