LIFE An of­fer­ing at the al­tar of Queen Bey. By Tara Hen­ley

The true power of pointy pumps...and more.

ELLE (Canada) - - Insider - BY TARA HEN­LEY

if you want to know where you stand on the sub­ject of glam­our, all you re­ally have to do is have a colonoscopy. A few years ago, I found my­self in ex­actly that po­si­tion, and what I dis­cov­ered is too use­ful to keep to my­self.

There I was in a car park in Toronto, propped up by my friend Chris­tine. I was feel­ing very ill, hav­ing spent the past 48 hours pre­par­ing for the test by drink­ing litres of a spe­cial fluid to clean out my sys­tem. It was clear that I might well get sick be­fore we reached the clinic, and it was h

prov­ing dif­fi­cult for me to stand, let alone walk. My friend shook her head. “I thought you might do this,” she said. She was eye­balling my ex­cep­tion­ally high wedge heels. “I was go­ing to call you this morn­ing and ask you to wear flats.” She sighed. “I sup­pose you’ve taken Bey­oncé’s ad­vice to heart.” I laughed. In­deed I had.

Some months be­fore, I had flown to New York to in­ter­view the im­pos­si­bly gor­geous pop star for a fra­grance launch. Bey­oncé, you should know, is one of the few peo­ple I’ve met who eman­ates pure good­ness. Aside from com­pli­ment­ing my scarf and bathing me in the warmth of her smile, she of­fered a very prac­ti­cal tip that I’ve never for­got­ten. “I just love putting on a nice pair of heels,” she said. “When­ever I’m feel­ing re­ally ex­hausted, I’ll make more of an ef­fort to look good. Then I feel like ‘I’m okay; I’m good.’ It re­ally helps on tough days.”

Since then, when­ever I find my­self feel­ing tired or sad or sick, I strap on a pair of pointy pumps, paint on some bright lip­stick and get the hell on with things.

B shared other tips that day: Pick one fra­grance and stick to it so that your loved ones as­so­ciate the scent with you; fill your house with can­dles and flow­ers (she favours vanilla and or­chids); take time out to sit in the park. But it was more than what she said; it was how she said it. She seemed to lux­u­ri­ate in be­ing femin­ine—to rel­ish, as she put it, “feel­ing like a woman.” And on the days she didn’t, she faked it ’til she made it. It made me want to do the same.

Lest you get the im­pres­sion that I am one of those shim­mer­ing be­ings who emerged from the womb wear­ing lip­gloss, I will con­fess that glam­our does not come easy to me. As a teen grow­ing up on the West Coast, I didn’t give the topic any thought. And in my 20s, as a mu­sic critic for an in­de­pen­dent news­pa­per, I didn’t have much money for clothes. Even if I had, it’s not like I would have had any­where to wear them—peo­ple in Van­cou­ver favour the out­doorsy look. This is a po­lite way of say­ing hood­ies, yoga pants, pony­tails—and wellies when it’s rain­ing out, which is most of the time. A big, wet dog is the ul­ti­mate ac­ces­sory. (Not that I don’t adore big, wet dogs.)

So I’ve had to work at glam­our. And I work at it still. I take ex­tra time with my hair. I buy three-minute pol­ish so I can paint my nails in a pinch. I wear a lot of makeup in or­der to look like I’m wear­ing hardly any. I save up for wildly over­priced hand­bags. I hunt down lip­sticks in ev­ery hue of red.

As it turns out, this phi­los­o­phy— Bey­oncé’s phil­os­o­phy— is most fruit­ful on the days when life hap­pens. Like when I’m fed up with the dusty, loud con­struc­tion in my neigh­bour­hood. Or I’m star­ing down 40—or, not un­re­lated, the dreaded colonoscopy. Or when I’m just in­con­solably blue. Or so tired that I can’t imag­ine how I’ll drag my­self out the door to meet some­one across town, let alone make chip­per small talk.

On days like those, I know that my job in life is sim­ply to suit up and show up, go where I am sup­posed to go and do what I am sup­posed to do. Which, as it turns out, is a whole lot eas­ier when you are wear­ing pretty shoes. There was an en­tire episode of Sex and the City ded­i­cated to this very premise, but that doesn’t make it any less true. n

She seemed to lux­u­ri­ate in be­ing femin­ine— to rel­ish, as she put it, “feel­ing like SMOOTHa woman.” And on the days COLOURshe didn’t, she faked it ’til she made it.

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