4. Beauty

B: Does she wear someone's clothes or does she just get them herself?

A: Oh no no no no. She wears her husband's clothes—she goes to the same tailor. That's what they fight about. I've never met a person I couldn't call a beauty.



Every person has beauty at some point in their lifetime. Usually in different degrees. Sometimes they have the looks when they're a baby and they don't have it when they're grown up, but then they could get it back again when they're older. Or they might be fat but have a beautiful face. Or have bow-legs but a beautiful body. Or be the number one female beauty and have no tits. Or be the number one male beauty and have a small you-know-what.

Some people think it's easier for beauties, but actually it can work out a lot of different ways. If you're beautiful you might have a pea-brain. If you're not beautiful you might not have a pea-brain, so it depends on the pea-brain and the beauty. The size of the beauty. And the pea-brain.

I always hear myself saying, "She's a beauty!" or "He's a beauty!" or "What a beauty!" but I never know what I'm talking about. I honestly don't know what beauty is, not to speak of what "a" beauty is. So that leaves me in a strange position, because I'm noted for how much I talk about "this one's a beauty" and "that one's a beauty." For a year once it was in all the magazines that my next movie was going to be The Beauties. The publicity for it was great, but then I could never decide who should be in it. If everybody's not a beauty, then nobody is, so I didn't want to imply that the kids in The Beauties were beauties but the kids in my other movies weren't so I had to back out on the basis of the title. It was all wrong.

I really don't care that much about "Beauties." What I really like are Talkers. To me, good talkers are beautiful because good talk is what I love. The word itself shows why I like Talkers better than Beauties, why I tape more than I film. It's not "talkies." Talkers are doing something. Beauties are being something. Which isn't necessarily bad, it's just that I don't know what it is they're being. It's more fun to be with people who are doing things.

When I did my self-portrait, I left all the pimples out because you always should. Pimples are a temporary condition and they don't have anything to do with what you really look like. Always omit the blemishes—they're not part of the good picture you want.

When a person is the beauty of their day, and their looks are really in style, and then the times change and tastes change, and ten years go by, if they keep exactly their same look and don't change anything and if they take care of themselves, they'll still be a beauty.

Schrafft's restaurants were the beauties of their day, and then they tried to keep up with the times and they modified and modified until they lost all their charm and were bought by a big company. But if they could just have kept their same look and style, and held on through the lean years when they weren't in style, today they'd be the best thing around. You have to hang on in periods when your style isn't popular, because if it's good, it'll come back, and you'll be

a recognized beauty once again.

Some kind of beauty dwarfs you and makes you feel like an ant next to it. I was once in Mussolini Stadium with all the statues and they were so much bigger than life and I felt just like an ant. I was painting a beauty this afternoon and my paint caught a little bug. I tried to get the paint off the bug and I kept trying until I killed the bug on the beauty's lip. So there was this bug, that could have been a beauty, left on somebody's Up. That's the way I felt in Mussolini Stadium. Like a bug.

Beauties in photographs are different from beauties in person. It must be hard to be a model, because you'd want to be like the photograph of you, and you can't ever look that way. And so you start to copy the photograph. Photographs usually bring in another half-dimension. (Movies bring in another whole dimension. That screen magnetism is something secret—if you could only figure out what it is and how to make it, you'd have a really good product to sell. But you can't even tell if someone has it until you actually see them up there on the screen. You have to give screen tests to find out.)

Very few Beauties are Talkers, but there are a few.

Beauty sleep. Sleeping beauty. Beauty problems. Problem beauties.

Even beauties can be unattractive. If you catch a beauty in the wrong light at the right time, forget it. I believe in low lights and trick mirrors. I believe in plastic surgery.

At one time the way my nose looked really bothered me— it's always red—and I decided that I wanted to have it sanded. Even the people in my family called me "Andy the Red-Nosed Warhola." I went to see the doctor and I think he thought he'd humor me, so he sanded it, and when I walked out of St. Luke's Hospital I was the same underneath, but I had a bandage on.

They don't put you to sleep but they spray frozen stuff all over your face from a spray can. Then they take a sand-paperer and spin it around all over your face. It's very painful afterwards. You stay in for two weeks waiting for the scab to fall off. I did all that and it actually made my pores bigger. I was really disappointed.

I had another skin problem, too—I lost all my pigment when I was eight years old. Another name people used to call me was "Spot." This is how I think I lost my pigment: I saw a girl walking down the street and she was two-toned and I was so fascinated I kept following her. Within two months I was two-toned myself. And I hadn't even known the girl—she was just somebody I saw on the street. I asked a medical student if he thought I caught it just by looking at her. He didn't say anything.

About twenty years ago I went to Georgette Klinger's Skin Clinic and Georgette turned me down. It was before she had a men's department and she discriminated against me.

If people want to spend their whole lives creaming and tweezing and brushing and tilting and gluing, that's really okay too, because it gives them something to do.

Sometimes people having nervous breakdown problems can look very beautiful because they have that fragile something to the way they move or walk. They put out a mood that makes them more beautiful.

People tell me that some beauties lose their looks in bed when they don't do the bed things they're supposed to. I don't believe those things.

When you're interested in somebody, and you think they might be interested in you, you should point out all your beauty problems and defects right away, rather than take a chance they won't notice them. Maybe, say, you have a permanent beauty problem you can't change, such as too-short legs. Just say it. "My legs, as you've probably noticed, are much too short in proportion to the rest of my body." Why give the other person the satisfaction of discovering it for themselves? Once it's out in the open, at least you know it will never become an issue later on in the relationship, and if it does, you can always say, "Well I told you that in the beginning."

On the other hand, say you have a purely temporary beauty problem—a new pimple, lackluster hair, no-sleep eyes, five extra pounds around the middle. Still, whatever it is, you should point it out. If you don't point it out and say, "My hair is really dull this time of the month, I'm probably getting my friend," or "I put on five pounds eating Russell Stover chocolates over Christmas, but I'm taking it off right away"—if you don't point out these things they might think that your temporary beauty problem is a permanent beauty problem. Why should they think otherwise if you've just met them? Remember, they've never seen you before in their life. So it's up to you to set them straight and get them to use their imagination about what your hair must look like when it's shiny, and what your body must look like when it's not overweight, and what your dress would look like without the grease spot on it. Even explain that you have much better clothes hanging in your closet than the ones you're wearing. If they really do like you for yourself, they'll be willing to use their imagination to think of what you must look like without your temporary beauty problem.

If you're naturally pale, you should put on a lot of blush-on to compensate. But if you've got a big nose, just play it up, and if you have a pimple, put on the pimple cream in a way that will make it really stand out—"There! I use pimple cream!" There's a difference.

I always think that when people turn around to look at somebody on the street it's probably that they smell an odor from them, and that's what makes them turn around and on.

Diana Vreeland, the editor of Vogue for ten years, is one of the most beautiful women in the world because she's not afraid of other people, she does what she wants. Truman Capote brought up something else about her—she's very very clean, and that makes her more beautiful. Maybe it's even the basis of her beauty.

Being clean is so important. Well-groomed people are the real beauties. It doesn't matter what they're wearing or who they're with or how much their jewelry costs or how much their clothes cost or how perfect their makeup is: if they're not clean, they're not beautiful. The most plain or unfashionable person in the world can still be beautiful if they're very well-groomed.

During the 60s a lot of people I knew seemed to think that underarm smell was attractive. They never seemed to be wearing anything washable. Everything always had to be dry-cleaned—the satins, the sewn-on mirrors, the velvets—the problem was that it never was dry-cleaned. And then it got worse when everybody was wearing suedes and leathers, and those really never got cleaned. I admit to having worn suede and leather pants myself for a while, but you just never feel clean, and it's degenerate, anyway, to wear animal skins unless it's to keep yourself warm. I'll never understand why they haven't invented something yet that's as warm as fur. So I went back to bluejeans after that degenerate period. Very happily. Bluejeans wind up being the cleanest thing you can wear, because it's just their nature to be washed a lot. And they're so American in essence.

Beauty really has to do with the way a person carries it off. When you see "beauty," it has to do with the place, with what they're wearing, what they're standing next to, what closet they're coming down the stairs from.

Jewelry doesn't make a person more beautiful, but it makes a person feel more beautiful. If you draped a beautiful person in jewels and beautiful clothes and put them in a beautiful house with beautiful furniture and beautiful paintings, they wouldn't be more beautiful, they'd be the same, but they would think they were more beautiful. However, if you took a beautiful person and put them in rags, they'd be ugly. You can always make a person less beautiful.

Beauty in danger becomes more beautiful, but beauty in dirt becomes ugly.

What makes a painting beautiful is the way the paint's put on, but I don't understand how women put on makeup. It gets on your lips, and it's so heavy. Lipstick and makeup and powder and shadow creams. And jewelry. It's all so heavy.

Children are always beautiful. Every kid, up to, say, eight years old always looks good. Even if the kid wears glasses it still looks good. They always have the perfect nose. I've never seen an unattractive baby. Small features and nice skin. This also applies to animals—I've never seen a Dad-looking animal. Babies by being beautiful are protected be-cause people want less to hurt them. This applies also to all animals.

Beauty doesn't have anything to do with sex. Beauty has to do with beauty and sex has to do with

If a person isn't generally considered beautiful, they can still be a success if they have a few jokes in their pockets. And a lot of pockets.

Beautiful people are sometimes more prone to keep you waiting than plain people are, because there's a big time differential between beautiful and plain. Also, beauties know that most people will wait for them, so they're not panicked when they're late, so they get even later. But by the time they arrive, they've usually gotten to feel guilty, so then to make up for being late they get really sweet, and being really sweet makes them more beautiful. That's a classic syndrome.

I'm always trying to figure out whether if a woman is funny, she can still be beautiful. There are some very attractive comediennes, but if you had to choose between calling them beautiful and calling them funny, you'd call them funny. Sometimes I think that extreme beauty must be absolutely humorless. But then I think of Marilyn Monroe and she had the best funny lines. She might have been a lot of fun if she'd found the right comedy niche. We might be laughing at skits on "The Marilyn Monroe Show" today.

Someone once asked me to state once and for all the most beautiful person I'd ever met. Well, the only people I can ever pick out as unequivocal beauties are from the movies, and then when you meet them, they're not really beauties either, so your standards don't even really exist. In life, the movie stars can't even come up to the standards they set on film.

Some of the very beautiful film stars of the past decades have aged beautifully and some have aged not-so-beautifully, and sometimes you see two stars together today who were once beautiful together in the same movie a long time ago, and now one of them looks and acts like an old woman and the other still looks and acts like a girl. But all of that doesn't matter very much, I think, because history will remember each person only for their beautiful moments on film—the rest is off-the-record.

A good plain look is my favorite look. If I didn't want to look so "bad," I would want to look "plain." That would be my next choice.

I always think about what it means to wear eyeglasses. When you get used to glasses you don't know how far you could really see. I think about all the people before eyeglasses were invented. It must have been weird because everyone was seeing in different ways according to how bad their eyes were. Now, eyeglasses standardize everyone's vision to 20-20. That's an example of everyone becoming more alike. Everyone could be seeing at different levels if it weren't for glasses.

In some circles where very heavy people think they have very heavy brains, words like "charming" and "clever" and "pretty" are all put-downs; all the lighter things in life, which are the most important things, are put down.

Weight isn't important the way the magazines make you think it is. I know a girl who just looks at her face in the medicine cabinet mirror and never looks below her shoulders, and she's four or five hundred pounds but she doesn't see all that, she just sees a beautiful face and therefore she thinks she's a beauty. And therefore. think she's a beauty, too, because I usually accept people on the basis of their self-images, because their self-images have more to do with the way they think than their objective-images do. Maybe she's six hundred pounds, who knows. If she doesn't care, I don't.

But if you do watch your weight, try the Andy Warhol New York City Diet: when I order in a restaurant, I order everything that I don't want, so I have a lot to play around with while everyone else eats. Then, no matter how chic the restaurant is, I insist that the waiter wrap the entire plate up like a to-go order, and after we leave the restaurant I find a little corner outside in the street to leave the plate in, because there are so many people in New York who live in the streets, with everything they own in shopping bags.

So I lose weight and stay trim, and I think that maybe one of those people will find a Grenouille dinner on the window ledge. But then, you never know, maybe they wouldn't like what I ordered as much as I didn't like it, and maybe they'd turn up their noses and look through the garbage for some half-eaten rye bread. You just never know with people. You just never know what they'll like, what you should do for them.

So that's the Andy Warhol New York City Diet.

I know good cooks who'll spend days finding fresh garlic and fresh basil and fresh tarragon, etc., and then use canned tomatoes for the sauce, saying it doesn't matter. But I know it does matter.

Whenever people and civilizations get degenerate and materialistic, they always point at their outward beauty and riches and say that if what they were doing was bad, they wouldn't be doing so well, being so rich and beautiful. People in the Bible did that when they worshiped the Golden Calf, for example, and then the Greeks when they worshiped the human body. But beauty and riches couldn't have anything to do with how good you are, because think of all the beauties who get cancer. And a lot of murderers are good-looking, so that settles it.

Some people, even intelligent people, say that violence can be beautiful. I can't understand that, because beautiful is some moments, and for me those moments are never violent.

A new idea. A new look. A new sex.

A new pair of underwear.

There should be a lot of new girls in town, and there always are.

The red lobster's beauty only comes out when it's dropped into the boiling water . . . and nature changes things and carbon is turned into diamonds and dirt is gold . . . and wearing a ring in your nose is gorgeous.

I can never get over when you're on the beach how beautiful the sand looks and the water washes it away and straightens it up and the trees and the grass all look great. I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own.

The most beautiful thing in Tokyo is McDonald's.

The most beautiful thing in Stockholm is McDonald's.

The most beautiful thing in Florence is McDonald's.

Peking and Moscow don't have anything beautiful yet.

America is really The Beautiful. But it would be more beautiful if everybody had enough money to live.

Beautiful jails for Beautiful People.

Everybody's sense of beauty is different from everybody else's. When I see people dressed in hideous clothes that look all wrong on them, I try to imagine the moment when they were buying them and thought, "This is great. I like it. I'll take it." You can't imagine what went off in their heads to make them buy those maroon polyester waffle-iron pants or that acrylic halter top that has "Miami" written in glitter. You wonder what they rejected as not beautiful—an acrylic halter top that had "Chicago"?

You can never predict what little things in the way somebody looks or talks or acts will set off peculiar emotional reactions in other people. For instance, the other night I was with a lady who suddenly got very intense about a person we both knew and she started to tear apart his looks—his weak arms, his pimply face, his bad posture, his thick eyebrows, his big nose, his bad clothes, and I didn't know what to say because I didn't see why she would be seen with me if she wouldn't be seen with him. After all, I have weak arms, I have pimples, but she didn't seem to notice my problems. I think that some little thing can set off reactions in people, and you don't know what it is in their past that's making them like or not like somebody so much and therefore like or not like everything about them.

Sometimes something can look beautiful just because it's different in some way from the other things around it One red petunia in a window box will look very beautiful if all the rest of them are white, and vice-versa.

When you're in Sweden and you see beautiful person after beautiful person after beautiful person and you finally don't even turn around to look because you know the next person you see will be just as beautiful as the one you didn't bother to turn around to look at—in a place like that you can get so bored that when you see a person who's not beautiful, they look very beautiful to you because they break the beautiful monotony.

There are three things that always look very beautiful to me: my same good pair of old shoes that don't hurt, my own bedroom, and U.S. Customs on the way back home.

3 commentaires:

  1. Although this one was not as enjoyable as the previous three chapters, I will fully acknowledge that it is the book and not you. Here's to hoping that as it progresses it will give you more ins for good riffing, even if the content doesn't become less disturbing.
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