Glamour As Armor


I am not a subtle person.
I have rather eccentric taste in clothes. (I inherited that from my mom.) I don’t do the preppy look. It depresses me. Nor am I a huge fan of understated elegance. Quite the opposite: If an item of clothing is sequined, sparkly, velvet, angora, feathered or faux-fur trimmed I will gravitate toward it. I love red lipstick, metallic boots, rhinestones and fake eyelashes. My closet looks like drag queens live in it.

I think I love “glamorous” accoutrements because glamour is the democratization of beauty. Beauty is something you’re born with. If you have long legs or great cheekbones or delicate fingers, you haven’t earned that beauty. It was bestowed upon you by the genetic lottery.

But glamour is achieved through creativity and strength of personality. If you take a mousy, unattractive woman and put her in a pair of sweat pants, she’s simply a mousy, unattractive woman in sweat pants. You put that same woman in a sequined jumpsuit, dark sunglasses and snakeskin heels and POW! She’s glamorous.

Say you’ve been in a car accident and have to use a cane for a month or two. If you hobble around with a standard issue cane, people may pity you for your plight. Well, just hot glue some rhinestones on that cane and you’ll no longer be pitiable. You’ll be fucking fantastic. That cane is no longer just a medical necessity. It’s a glamorous accessory, you sexy minx.

Glamour is how a clubfooted writer named Lord Byron became a sex symbol.
Glamour is how short, plump Mae West maintained her screen goddess allure well into her 80s.
Glamour is how a strange man with white hair and bad skin named Andy Warhol ruled the New York art scene for decades.

Glamour is a way of saying “fuck you” to people who lecture you with dreary clichés like “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it.” Sure I will. As long as that bed has purple satin sheets. I love the Wizard of Oz but I never understood why Dorothy was so damn desperate to go back to drab Kansas when she could stay in Oz, dazzle the crowd in Emerald City with her cool friends and wear those incredible ruby slippers.

More than anything, glamour is armor. It’s protection against the mundane and a belief in our right remake ourselves into something extraordinary, even if the illusion evaporates at the end of the night.

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