Beauty IRL: Get Ready For Work In 6 Easy Steps

1. Wake up, because your alarm has gone off three times and it is time to rise. Your phone is on the floor, perhaps because you threw it on the floor, or because your cat knocked it off the bedside table. You need your glasses, but your hands are just fine. Your phone will not cease until you wake up Your roommate has slammed the door to the bedroom adjacent to yours, because your alarm has been making noise since 7am. This is not your problem. Find it. Shut it off. Put both feet on the floor and rise.

2. Find your scale, tucked into the corner of your room, amongst well-worn sandals and a pair of clogs you bought optimistically one afternoon but have never worn. Its face, anodyne and benign, gleams in the morning sun. Consider stepping on it, just to see. Put one foot tentatively on its surface, watch the needle rise.

The number is a number you know intimately, a number that you turn over in your head from time. It is the number that is on your driver’s license. It is the number your doctor reads to you at your sort-of annual physical, which you think you are due for again, but lack the energy to navigate your insurance’s website. You have a number in your head, and you think it’s the right number, so you step on the scale with trepidation, an eye squeezed shut, body tensing against the truth. You open your eyes, suck in your stomach, and peer down. The number is fine. It is just a number. You feel fine. You feel great. Your stomach grumbles.

3. Consider your stomach under the stream of water in the shower. Remember that you read somewhere that your bellybutton contains multitudes, bacteria blossoming in impossibly beautiful patterns under a microscope, and clean it. Your finger sinks in. Wonder to yourself if this is an accurate representation of your body’s overall fitness. Does your best friend, she of the flat stomach and the yoga habit, lose as much of her index finger in this tiny hole in her body as you do? Make a note to Google “belly button depth fat” on your way to the train. Tell the person knocking on the door that you’ll be out in a minute. Shave your legs quickly, a swipe on either calf, and find yourself hyper-aware of the way your side creases, in three neat sections, as you bend. Wonder if this is a bad thing, if this means you should do more squats or attempt to hold a plank for longer than three seconds. It’s time to get out of the shower.

4. Revel in the quiet sensation of not wearing any clothes while the shades are open. Notice that the guy across the street is pacing in his living room, barrel-chested and hairy. Check your email while still naked, sitting at your desk which looks into this man’s window. Conduct your morning ritual of staring at the people on the street to see what the weather’s like. When you see three women stroll by in pants and a blazer, but one woman in sorts nd a crop top, check the weather on your phone instead. You could get dressed now, or you could wait until you absolutely have to. Spend more time with your nude self, not in a come-to-Gaia-yoni-appreciation way, but like a normal person. Sit on the bed, and scroll thru Instagram. KonMari your underwear drawer.

5. Your closet bears the fruit of a thousand shopping trips to H&M and Old Navy and Forever21, floaty cheap sundresses and pill-y sweaters. Stare at each item and consider the guide you read the other day on that website you kill time on about “How To Dress For The Job You Want.” You wonder if there’s anything in there that says “person who is mostly left alone but is paid handsomely and with good benefits.” You settle on the same thing you always wear, because getting dressed for the job you want is a patently ridiculous notion, suggesting that the clothing you chose to wear on your body directly influences your chances at getting a new job.

You have a job and you have performed the duties of your job while wearing the clothes you own. Still, you entertain the notion. Maybe a dress with a defined waist suggests ambition, you think, but it constricts the soft flesh of your midsection and makes you feel as if you’re playacting at adulthood. Perhaps pants as a balm against the fact that most of your day is spent emailing and eating Cheez-its while Gchattig your friends. Perhaps the same thing you wore yesterday, but with a shirt over it. Perhaps that dress that used to fit last week, but might not fit today. Perhaps whatever it is that makes you feel fine.

6. You are dressed. You are ready. Leave.