GET READY WITH ME!
Woke up and thought
ok time to become beautiful!
adaptogenic mushroom tincture in my coffee
smoked salmon on rosemary crackers
ginger shots and mixed juices
scrubbed my hair in the bath
the dr hauschka conditioner smells like chai
the weleda cleanser smells like citrus
the snail gel recovery hydration mask smells like
it’s supposed to stay on for thirty minutes
so I listened to the creator has a master plan
while I let the slime soak in
I am engaging in ritual purification inside and out! I said
I told Kate I like baths more than showers
that’s very European she said, and I said what?
and she said I guess I just mean that’s weird
I put on my calvin klein boyshorts and bralette
I AM Nastassja Kinski I said to the mirror.
I put on a button down
I AM Shiv Roy I said to the mirror.
I put on my pink faux fur coat and some eyeliner
I AM Margot Tenenbaum I said to the mirror.
I took the coat back off
My date’s not for eight more hours
I’ve gotta return the bottles
Answer the emails
Sweep the floor
Take the walk
Plan the talk
Write the pages
Draw the tarot
Shake off the jitters
GET READY WITH ME! PT. 2
Woke up and thought
ok time to become beautiful!
It’s not easy to become beautiful!
But it’s a necessary step for the rest of the plan to work
Started making a matcha and of course the adaptogenic mushroom tincture, thirty drops, the next step was supposed to be meal prepping salmon wakame lunch while I did the laundry it didn’t happen I got overwhelmed and was running late sour stomach false head being beautiful is too hard!!! I keep furrowing my brow in pain or confusion and I’m developing eleven lines!
Hung the laundry on the drying rack abandoned the kitchen wandered in circles like a sim whose
directive has been deleted midway through the task!
Okay try again. Try again. Washing my hair in the bath and then adding the two part kniepp pack with a fragrant turquoise oil on one side and a coarse sea salt on the other
I’m going to be late!
That’s the price of beauty though and no one at work cares what I do. I need a real job all I do is labor labor labor and there is NEVER a KACHING! It’s the same as when I was a singer songwriter, all this work to be beautiful and in the end the only compensation available is exposure!
Anyway! Back to the task at hand! Try again. face hair body washed I used some of Cansu’s repair shampoo which smelled like honey conditioner applied to ends wet combed down
weleda body lotion and nivea on the face (German nivea is a la mer dupe! Alleged). Gua sha out of the skincare fridge and along the sinus on both sides then scrape under the jaw.
Does this do anything?
For real is any of this doing anything?
Brush teeth scrape matcha green off with the Ayurvedic tongue scraper floss examine the real estate of my body, resent it, aha, black panties! You don't buy black lingerie unless you want someone to see it being beautiful is about the insides as well as the outsides and I don’t just mean the matcha and the adaptogenic mushroom tincture and the abandoned salmon plan I have to think the right thoughts in the right order and tame my ugly overgrown mind I need to wash this brain clean until the wrinkles are smoothed out and it’s no longer acting against me I need to be happy and in order to be happy I need to not know the truth about most things instead perceive my immediate surroundings as a true, inevitable and unchanging reality and the ephemeral beauty of existing within it and perceiving it happen around me so I play the wellerman club remix extended version and jump and kick and punch because I really can’t dance but joyful movement is joyful movement and of course when no one else can see you is when you are the most beautiful of all you don’t know you’re beautiful that’s what makes you beautiful and it just is and is not a question of work or effort or anything really it’s just a question of swallowing a shining energy like a silver ball and you open your mouth and the glow comes out and everyone wants to get closer to the warmth and light
I am SO late but there is of course more joyful movement to be had on the walk to the train and at work we can continue to learn to inhabit beauty The trick is to work hard but make it seem like you didn’t. The trick is confidence. The trick is the new haircut. The trick is to make him think one thing when another is the truth.
Wikihow’s first step to becoming beautiful is to get plenty of sleep impossible, next task 2L of water a day okay again not going to happen but maybe I’ll have a tea now and a seltzer at lunch might help the headache anyway bathe and shower everyday well agree to disagree there but this morning the dirt has been scrubbed away and the dead skin cells too I’m moisturized my nails are clean my hair is brushed and it’s cut the way it looks best I put on the sage and mint organic deodorant that might not do anything anyway isn’t it a hormone thing that your lover is supposed to think your sweat smells good nothing else to do about it at the moment continuing I’ve already completed much of the checklist my teeth are brushed and flossed though I dearly need to see a dentist and do a proper cleaning which I’m fearful of because I haven’t since 2020 so I just don’t stand upright well I can try until I forget and slump back down my clothes are clean I threw out those supreme boxers when I got period blood on them even though period stains on my supreme boxers is the lana del ray album title of the lana del ray album I’d make really wikihow CONSIDER GETTING A MAKEOVER is on the list of instructions? What the hell would you call this if it’s not one already? Practicing confidence, smile, act nice, believe in yourself, okay okay okay. When I opened the tiktok I repeated along affirmations until I got to “I’m the luckiest girl in the world” made an inadvertent choke sob wheeze I’m very lucky don’t get me wrong except for the ways in which I am really not and those ways are arguably fairly major the luckiest girl in the world would be beautiful already she wouldn’t have to work this hard
But I can go on instagram and click on my close friends story and do a loving kindness meditation for each of those viewers my close friends literally I mean sometimes not literally but in this context I go name by name through the ranks and think how we’re connected to each other how I wish them well and they wish me well and we care and I’m glad instagram is a bad app but I’m glad to know these people I’m glad they know me as far as they do
see now that thought was beautiful was it?
Wikipedia says beauty is the quality of objects which makes them pleasurable to perceive. As a positive aesthetic value, it is contrasted with ugliness as its negative counterpart. One difficulty in understanding beauty is because it has both objective and subjective aspects it is seen as a property of things but also as depending on the emotional response of observers. Because of its subjective side, beauty is said to be "in the eye of the beholder" I am looking at myself and it’s okay but are we there yet are we there yet are we there yet
I will write I will write I will check my email I will check in with Costanza about the opening video music I will drink my coffee black I will not have lunch unless it is soup in the work caf and maybe not even that I will think good thoughts I will be different I will make a dinner reservation I will finish filing my taxes I will take the train home I will reapply my maybe not working bio deodorant I will cultivate a rich full compelling life and everyone will be like wow you fill the days so well you’re so esoteric and your whole deal is so unique and I just want more and more and I’ll calmly smile and accept the compliment I will eliminate sadness and weakness from my wheelhouse I will slip the thrifted backless dress over my head and connect the strings of pearls that hold the back straps together I will take out the recycling I will flick my eyeliner up at the corners like it’s 2014 and I’m on tumblr learning cat eye off tutorials I will be exactly on time for dinner neither early nor late I will trip forward into the candlelit restaurant in my olive green thrifted chloé ballerina flats laced and tied in twin bows I will smile effortlessly with a winning charm I will kiss him hello I will be knowledgeable I will shine bright like a trophy I will shine bright like a diamond I will clink my champagne flute against his in the opera foyer and then once I’m beautiful he’ll have no choice but to fall in love!
GET READY WITH ME! PT. 3
At this point I think you all know the drill
In order to become transformed I engaged in ritual preparations I.e. cleaned my house and my self (spring cleaning purification rite etc) long bath, face mask, clean sheets, fresh laundry, new underwear, morning workout, shower with fancy conditioner and serum, moisturizer, body balm, hair combed and blown out, trash taken out, bottles returned, groceries purchased, playlist selected, I swept and vacuumed and scrubbed and in this way I said choose me back and also created the simulacrum of beautiful woman/functional being though temporarily
Then things happened I’m a little in my flop era I’m being sort of dumb in a few ways I let the dishes pile up I didn’t do laundry I was running late I got two different grant rejections I wondered how other people do it I drank white wine while watching real housewives of Atlanta I went to the hobby shop for a notebook and also got mosaic supplies and there is dirty water and drying plaster and a nasty sponge left out in the living room I didn’t take a shower my hair was kind of gnarly I had crust in my eyes and flakes of dead skin in my eyebrows despite the days passing it was still TOO COLD and I went to get on the train without making coffee or stopping for one just drinking free work coffee black and some days someone brings in a little cookie box but not this Friday there is just the apple cinnamon yfood nutritionally complete beverage in my backpack and frankly I do not want it
At this point I think beauty has failed and it’s hard to think of what is salvageable. If I write a cover letter draft an abstract draft and two emails I can go home early and take a shower thus having less gnarly hair and if I put in my hair oil it will be alluring and smell nice too and I can make air fryer salmon for dinner with seaweed salad I got from my new favorite store the goAsia in the basement of the wedding Karstadt maybe become unstressed and enjoy Siavash’s Bach recital and Costanza’s birthday and go home fairly early on in the club night of it all which will leave Saturday wide open during the day to rest and recover and do the kind of beautification stuff I should like go to the sauna and do a face mask and get bone broth and chia agave lemonade at daluma and yeah do my laundry actually
What would it take to be deserving of love or money or stability or a pretty solid day to day with the expectation it would continue thus unless until interrupted
A much higher threshold than what I am giving now
So I’ll keep working on my self improvement
GET READY WITH ME! PT. 4
Woke up and god it’s hard it’s all too hard clawing back from entropy and how are you supposed to be beautiful when it’s a battle to get to neutral why is it all this way I can’t breathe I can’t look at the news I dropped my phone and shattered the screen every day I’m afraid every day I’m sorrowful I can’t can’t can’t breathe
But it was time to become beautiful!!
And I didn’t feel ready I was just in a daze
And I didn’t have any coffee or any tea or any food or any adaptogenic mushroom tincture or any vitamins
I drank some water
I washed the dishes
I took out the bottles
I got in the bath
I repeated the same things I always do
Listening to music and scrubbing my hair
A beautiful person smells good
A beautiful person has skin like oranges
And hair like honey and cinnamon
And armpits like mint and sage
And breath like anise and mint
A beautiful person has soft hands
A beautiful person has soft hair
A beautiful person has soft eyes
A beautiful person has a loud loud laugh
And a light smile
And a comfortable, calm presence
A beautiful person draws others out
A beautiful person makes the people around them beautiful
Reflected in the beauty of their vision
Can you be beautiful when you’ve been in the house three days wearing socks?
A beautiful person would have taken out the trash by now
A beautiful person wouldn’t be running so late
“Please submit this abstract as a pdf” reads the email
Which is a reminder that in addition to beauty
Brains might be a useful asset to attempt and cultivate
Hannah Judd (she/her) was born in Philadelphia and lives in Berlin. She is an ethnomusicology PhD candidate at the University of Chicago, where her work focuses on archives, public memory, and digitization. Her work has been previously published in hot pink mag as well as the anthology “Ways of Walking.” Twitter/Instagram.