A transformation act, like a magic trick, alters everything in an instant. It suggests that a new self is always just ahead, lingering on a mannequin or waiting in the seams of a dress that merely needs to be pulled over one's head for the grand abracadabra moment. So much of the real change that happens in our lives is slow. It takes time, and understanding, and effort. Often it is arduous. No wonder we are enthralled by the idea of immediate access to beauty, or power, or attention.