Revolution Starts in Your Boyfriend’s Wife’s Bedroom
Glamour requires beauty. Ironically, beauty is typically one of the first aspects to be deemed unnecessary when life gets hard, like we live in some kind of gray dystopian society. But why? In the Renaissance, beauty and art were considered important, and you were very likely to either die of plague or childbirth. When modern society talks about being “an ever increasing violent society,” it’s hard not to laugh. Elizabeth Báthory was only told to stop bathing in the blood of virgins when she started picking off princesses.
Public executions often happened in town squares for what would be considered either lesser crimes or not crimes at all by modern standards. Land war that would destroy your home as collateral damage was an aspect of daily life. And this was in the “civilized” societies. I digress. Life for most people has always been difficult. The world has been ending since it started. Why is it then that we are so quick to trivialize beauty in modern society? What are we living for if not for the beauty?
Glamour Looks Like You
When we start to discuss the external accoutrement of glamour, it’s easy to get bogged down in what you think glamour should look like. Bond. James Bond. Joan Holloway, Queen of the Secretaries. While glamour does sometimes look like that, it’s an oversimplification to constrain the whole of glamour Craft to the whims of the media. She is also equally proud to be Dr. Frank N. Furter, Motormouth Maybelle, Carrie Black, Lloyd Dobler, Megan Beals-Botwin, Myrtle Snow, Hermione Granger, Hiro Nakamura, Clarice Jones, and Lafayette Reynolds.
Glamour is a demanding Craft to serve, requiring you to present your most exciting, beautiful self as often as possible, both to yourself and to the rest of the world. It takes a lot of work and dedication to be willing to do that. It takes courage to be willing to seduce yourself. If you can’t beguile yourself, how do you expect to lure others into assisting you in your Great Work?
You deserve the opportunity to fall in love with yourself. Once you begin to consistently treat yourself like someone you love, beauty stops being optional. Would you deny your beloved beauty? A concert that sends her heart soaring? A book that spills tears down his face when you read it aloud to him? The most perfect cup of tea and lovely scones that makes them kiss you passionately when they see the table you laid out for them? Of course you wouldn’t. Who doesn’t feel reciprocal joy when their lover experiences beauty? Who isn’t given a tiny gem of glamour from that shared experience?
So why do you forsake yourself, my love?
The concept of treating yourself like someone you love may sound like yet another half-assed post-feminist (No. No. No.) attempt at making you buy Dove products, but it’s a critical part of your revolution. We’ve discussed that we are Other. We also need to face that as Other, we are told that our worth is lesser every day in big and small ways. Don’t identify as a gender? Outsider. Are you a person of color? Outsider. Is your body different than what your culture defines as beautiful? Outsider. Are you part of the QUILTBAG? Outsider. Oh, your socio-economic status is difficult? Outsider. Are you disabled in any way? Outsider. Are you a Witch? Outsider.
You are not One of Us, thus you will never be beautiful and of worth. You will never be welcomed at the table, you will never be good enough. Ever. If you were, you would fulfill your culture’s standard of beauty. You would be white, of course. You would be born into wealth. Your spirituality would have a proper place of worship—preferably four or five houses in your denomination—in your town for you to be seen in. You would love the opposite gender. You would have an opposite gender. Your body would be perfectly shaped in every way. If you were meant to be allowed at the table like an actual person, you wouldn’t ask so many questions and would do what was expected of you by your family, your spouse, and your culture. You would sit down and shut up.
How much have you internalized this toxic waste dump that we all have been stewing in together on a daily basis? Real glamour, real beauty comes from being firmly rooted in your power. It comes from knowing who you are and what you’re worth, especially as Other. Beauty is fearsome and terrifying. It’s not meant to be accessible, it’s not meant to be linear. If beauty was something that could be easily defined and quantified, we wouldn’t be so messed up from trying to achieve what’s considered beautiful for a hot second in time. It’s a waste of everyone’s time and simply irritates all parties involved. Heroine chic is in for a couple years and then it’s curves as far as the eye can see to be fashionable. Your body can’t do both of those things. Your body shouldn’t do both of those things. But yet we are told that we should, and so we twist and contort ourselves, trying to manage to fill other people’s expectations of how we are supposed to look and just how much space we are allowed to occupy on a physical and energetic level.
Anne B. Focused on the Big Picture
Getting back to our Renaissance women as examples of how to overcome glamour-related issues in this modern life, Anne Boleyn is a great example for dealing with not meeting her current societal expectations of beauty. Instead she focused on her wit and her glamour to move from a mere unroyal lady-in-waiting to the queen who overthrew the Catholic Church and gave a new religious movement power and authority.
Prior to becoming Queen Catherine of Aragon’s lady-in-waiting, she was becoming the It Girl in France with her sister, Mary, who was a famous royal mistress. Anne became known for her experience in the game of courtly love, as well as being known for her prowess in literature and music, and her talent as a dancer, all things that were highly prized in her time.
When she moved back to England, she set her sights on Henry Percy, who had fallen in love with her. He was to become the Earl of Shrewsbury, a very powerful position in England at the time. Unfortunately, the betrothal fell through when no one would give permission for the marriage.
Mary was soon ousted as King Henry’s mistress, and Anne stepped forward while still serving Queen Catherine of Aragon, which is a brilliant and stone-cold maneuver. Oh hi, Queen Catherine. Totes boning your husband. I’m going to steal him out from under you and marry him, which is a nearly impossible task, but one I feel up to! Good talk. Ready for me to dress you?
Then, Anne Boleyn managed to be crowned as a titled aristocrat in her own right (given to her by King Henry) when she was made queen, despite the general populace hating her face for being nouveau riche and not Queen Catherine. She would throw down with Cromwell when needed and was known to be a power behind Henry VIII’s throne. She gave birth to Elizabeth I, who was the first queen to rule in England without a king.
Naturally, since she had what could liberally be called “a problem with authority,” that got her exactly where you would expect it to get her (a head shorter), especially since she had not produced a male heir. Trumped up charges about adultery and incest with her brother got her locked up in the tower for treason, though it is incredibly doubtful she was actually guilty as she was crazy like a fox and it seems very unlikely that she would have intentionally done anything to lose both her head and the throne.
Lessons from Anne B.
Now that you have the basics down about her, let’s get to how this matters to you. One would assume that she must have been the height of what was considered beautiful during her era to have so impressively turned the Establishment upside down, especially if your primary source material is the television show The Tudors, where she is portrayed by Natalie Dormer, who is also the epitome of what our current society considers beautiful. Naturally, much of the documents of Queen Anne’s time were full of reports of how hideous she was, but Anne had a … tumultuous relationship with most diplomats so they were a bit biased against her. Then of course, there were reports from people who wanted to be in favor with the king so her beauty was extolled to conventionally beautiful heights of her time.
The truth like with most truths is likely somewhere in the middle. Queen Anne was likely no great beauty; she was likely fairly ordinary looking with brown hair and olive skin, neither of which were considered beauty traits of her time. Her eyes were said to be compelling and she was known to be fashionable and clever. No doubt she made the most of what she had in both arenas, creating a glamour about herself that lives on to be continually part of our literary and dramatic landscape to this day.
Now, all this having been said, do you think that it was more important for Queen Anne to be conventionally beautiful for her time or for her to convince King Henry that she was the greatest beauty he had ever seen by using her glamour, her wit, her cleverness, and flirtation?
Occupy the Space You Stand In
It is incredibly difficult to take up space when you are Other. We are taught to shrink ourselves and apologize for being flawed, aged, not a certain size, or any other many reasons you can think of. But that’s exactly why we need to take up space. You are entitled to the space your body occupies but more than that, you are entitled to define beauty as you want to define it and not apologize for either of those things. Once you can really become comfortable with internalizing those statements and synthesizing them on a body level, you will be able to understand that the true underpinnings of glamour aren’t about how symmetrical your face is and how committed you are to your culture’s standard of beauty but becoming present in your body in its current form and using glamour to shape how you present yourself to the world at large.
Esoteric Experiment No. 7
Objective: Lessen your baggage about external
beauty and enchant beauty into yourself.
Select a ritual space that has a sink. Arrange your ritual objects. A large ornate bowl. Your best chipped teapot full of hot water. Your softest towels. A beautiful vintage scarf. A cauldron with Epsom salt and alcohol. A small stack of joss paper and a black marker. Matches. An eyeliner pencil in your color of choice. A plate that once belonged to your showgirl great-aunt heaped with dried hibiscus, chamomile, and rosemary. Beeswax taper candles in mismatched holders. A small jar of cocoa paint you have created. A paintbrush. Graven images of your goddesses and spirits. A large mirror.
Seal your space by placing salt over the threshold of the room and then pressing your tongue to your index finger and pressing it to each wall in the room with the intention of creating sacred space.
Purify yourself by writing or inscribing any damaging thoughts you have about your physical form on the joss paper. Light your cauldron fire. Let it all burn away. Focus your intent on the fire purifying yourself from these unhelpful thoughts.
Take your clothes off. Sit in front of the mirror gazing at yourself. Continue to stare at yourself past the point of comfort. Continue staring at yourself until you only have kind words and intentions for yourself. Use the eyeliner pencil to inscribe your mirror with seals and symbols that are sacred to you and your path to your desperate yearning. Gaze upon yourself through the inscribed mirror until you feel your power rising within yourself. If you need an extra push to get into a sacred headspace, chant, visualize, or imbibe an intoxicant until you get there.
Pour the water into the bowl and put a drop of your saliva into it. As you pour the water, also pour your intention into the bowl. Breathe on your herbs until you feel them stir with life and add them to the water. Shroud yourself over the bowl with your scarf or towel, focus your intention on taking beauty into yourself as the perfumed water enters into your skin.
Scry using the water until you see how to use your beauty as a tool to obtain what you have been longing for. When you know the answer, seal it into your body by painting words, glyphs, sigils, and illustrations onto your body with your cocoa paint and brush. Sit with your intention until you feel you know what actions to take both magically and mundanely. When you are ready, wash the paint from your body.
RITUAL COCOA PAINT
1⁄4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon quick oats
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon honey
Mix everything together.