Beauty Can Be the Beast / Beauty and a Beat – A Poem by Joyce Chung


lets drape our faces with glimmery CC cream
and deck our eyes with shimmery mascara
and color our lips a deep deep luscious red a la T Swift
because shes feeling 22 and we’re feeling 22
and the night is young ooh-ooh yeah yeah , ooh-ooh yeah yeah

lets cover each crevice wrinkle scar freckle because sizzle-crackle-pop
neither: our boyfriends ain’t no Drake rapping “sweatpants, hair tied,
chillin’ with no makeup on, that’s when you’re the prettiest”
nor: are we as lucky as X-Tina whose man loves every curve,
every inch of her skin –LovingHer4Her

lets botox detox retox
wear faux fox fur and diamond rocks
leather jackets and silk socks
and unbreathable form fitting body hip waistline emphasizing frocks

lets snip and scissor
and tape and taper, fill and fillerup
augment and compress
and lift up uplift implant transplant
suction reduction punctuate accentuate so we no longer function

lets count calories and track nutrients macros and micros
and watch every morsel of food that enters our (now T Swift red-stained) lips
lets eat quinoa drink kale be paleo follow the dukan diet
(nothing that satiates)
be like Princess Kate
eat this not that
gluten free / non-GMO / only good fat
(sugar is the devil)
obsess and obsess again and obsess again and again
overexercise and under-hydrate because Adriana Lima.

lets curate a beautiful life
and take our starving bodies to brunch
avocado toast and coconut oil acai bowl
side of wheatgrass with a slice of orange
don’t forget to instagram that shit
because if you didn’t take a picture
did that beautiful moment even ever exist??

lets sweep away our magic
lets hide away our pain
lets take whats unique and cover it up
lets be easy, breezy beautiful
perfect hair perfect smiles perfect everything all the time (don’t forget we’re doing it for the insta)


lets wine away our sorrows and struggles
scratch that.
we’re still on a low-sugar lifestyle (“LSL”)
vodka soda. tequila on the rocks.
scratch that.
screw the LSL
it’s a shitty day. bourbon. on. the. rocks.

lets nurse or rather slurp this drink
lets cry a little or wail a lot
because we desire connection, partnership,
unity, union,
something, anything,
the ties that bond, the things they carried

we are wired for relationship

lets pretend, no, think that beauty, the pursuit of beauty and being beautiful facilitates that,
fulfills the desire to be known
and don’t you know that what you think you believe and what you believe you do
thoughts become beliefs become values become actions
out of the overflow

lets sit quietly in a space of solitude
(with maybe another drink)
(or two)
and cry a little
and wail a lot
and process

lets ask ourselves: where does your identity lie where is your heart how do you see yourself
do you know you are a nebula a nimbus a vapor of sundust and starshine and moonbeams,
unique, purposed, so very alive??
identity informs how you discern and perceive beauty
paradigm shift
no longer: if I am beautiful, people will see me want me call me define me fill me love me.
but in the words of Bruno Mars and I hope they reverberate
way deep into the recesses of your heart
and make your soul soar
way up
above the valleys and the mountains and the rivers and the lakes

you are beautiful / amazing


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