Glamour isn’t Pretty

posted in: glamour | 6

As many of you know, Jow and I take our shop, The Mermaid & The Crow on the road, primarily to Pride events and Punk Rock events.  While there are winsome Ladies of Certain Age with their silver hair dyed in glam unicorn pastels and young families with children with spiky hair and capes, the primary group of people who attend these events are Youngs.  More specifically, Young Women most often.  We’ve been doing these events for years now, so I’ve become accustomed to seeing these two legged gazelles with perfect skin romping in rompers like some kind of crazy rite that Pan would be thrilled to have.  They are lovely and, I think, lovelier than I was at their age because now everyone has Invisalign, a dermatologist and a far better diet.

Here’s the thing.

That’s not the point of glamour.  Pretty and young does not mean glamour – it doesn’t exclude the pretty and the young certainly, but those two factors in and of themselves do not glamour make.  So many people have said to me lately, oh glamour isn’t me.  Really?  There’s nothing about you that’s interesting and exciting?  Nothing?  Anywhere?  And before you get excited about that definition that it’s something I somehow made up in the ether of Spare Oom, read a book.  

One of the people who said it to me was one of the most glam girls in high school I knew, she could talk anyone into anything and make them super excited to go on the ride with her.  Was she a high femme in high school?  No.

But that’s not the point.

Listen!  Being glamorous has very little to do with what your facial symmetry.  Being conventionally pretty isn’t the point of glamour.  Glamour certainly isn’t Just One Thing.  Glamour isn’t just Marilyn Monroe and the girls at Sephora, though they are part of the collective.

Repeat.  After.  Me.

Glamour.  Is what makes you interesting and exciting to others.


Glamour. Is a completely artificial concept.

Pretty is the Kardashians.  In a couple generations, we’ll probably see some glamour out of them like with the Vanderbilts.

Glamour is that person you can’t take your eyes off of and can’t figure out why.  Glamour is that person who is completely owning the space they stand in.  Glamour is the person who knows what they are worth.  Glamour is the person who has style.  Glamour is the person who is comfortable in their own skin.  Glamour is the person who isn’t chasing after an ideal that’s out of their reach.  Glamour is the person who knows what’s interesting and exciting.  Glamour is looking forward, not behind.  Glamour is being present with your present and your presence.

Glamour isn’t a specific ethnicity, a specific identity, a specific gender, a specific size.

Style isn’t conforming to a specific gender ideal.  Style isn’t about following the latest trend.  Style isn’t buying designer clothes.  Style is finding what’s you in clothes, accessories and cosmetics (if you do cosmetics, if you don’t you can still have plenty of style.  No one is frog marching you to the Mac counter) and looking well in them.  That’s it.  It’s such a big and such a little thing.

So, since glamour is completely artificial, why wouldn’t you want to play with it?  Play with the aspects that make you interesting and exciting until you are deeply rooted in them.  Play with your style.  Play with your hair, your beard and your face.  If you want to get hung up on the falseness of glamour, do it with false lashes, fun hair color, pretend hair, more boobs, corsetry and cosmetics.  Really get in there and embrace the joy of not being constrained by genetics.  If you are like, ZOMG COSMETICS = THE PATRIARCHY, cosmetics were given to us by fallen angels.  Give it a whirl and if you don’t like it, you’re not going to feel the hot breath of Azazel on the back of your neck for not putting on gloss in the morning.  And I mean all genders should give it a go.  Skin care, some eyeliner and some under eye concealer is magic.  We are living in an exciting time where many of us can walk into a shop and have A (gender neutral) Girl fix our situation.  Don’t know your bra size?  Don’t know your suit size?  Don’t know what looks good on you?  Don’t know what skincare to use?  Don’t know how to apply highlighter or other cosmetics?  Ask.  See how it feels.  But for lordess sake, give yourself some space to play.

Princesses are pretty.

I don’t need to be pretty.

#QueensInExile are glamorous.  I intend to be glamorous and as radiant as the sun.

Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  


6 Responses

  1. I’ve struggled for so many years to find comfortable, supportive bras. I finally got fitted by someone who does not work at a very well-known lingerie store that gives everyone ill-fitting bras and it makes such a difference. I like that everyone gets to define glamour for themselves.

  2. I like your focus. I’m moved to Elvis my eyes again. You’ve earned a new follower.

  3. Just what I needed to read – though the things that friends apparently find fascinating about me are usually the things that scare me about myself.

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