A girl should be two things – classy and fabulous.
– Coco Chanel
Now I know this very much a first world problem but I have really started lately to take stock of the high cost of being a chick, both in terms of time and money. Being a woman in western society is likely to be draining your funds, as well as making a huge impact on your calendar entries.
While I am most definitely a feminine chick, I don’t consider myself to be really high maintenance. I see some women (whom I look upon with great fascination) who are really well put together with immaculately coiffed hair every day, their faces painted to perfection like intricate china dolls. Their finger and toe nails are always glossy and their eyebrows are expertly shaped. Some women, it seems, just have a knack for this sort of thing.
For those of us not so blessed with the time, money or the inclination, it is still quite an expensive exercise being a chick! It’s no secret that there is a massive industry dedicated to the insecurities and vanities of women!
I have a precarious relationship with waters. They of course rips out my hair, leaving my bits all smooth, and in return I pay her for the privilege of that painful exercise. I am a little blessed to be quite fair, and not particularly hairy. I tend to get my waxer to look after my eyebrows, top lip and my pubic hair.
Interestingly, waters will tell you that the more you wax your pubic area, the less it hurts to do so. Hmmm, well I am yet to see any evidence of it because believe me, it bloody hurts!
The entire time also, while they are bringing tears to my eyes, they will be chatting away about kids or week-end plans, apparently completely oblivious that my legs are all askew and they are staring at my vagina.
Of course everyone is different and of course the cost of waxing will alter accordingly. For example, there are various versions of the bikini wax. You can have the sides taken off (traditional bikini) or you can have a bikini and undercarriage removed (generally called a Bikini & G-string wax) or you can have a Brazilian (often called a XXX wax) where all hair is removed, front, sides and back. Of course the more you take off, the more it costs. Just to have a smooth vagina you could pay anything from $45 to $80, depending on your waxer.
To have a full Brazilian you are also looking at 30 – 45 minutes of your precious time and you can expect to have your legs all over the place and in ways that might even make your lover blush (again that would depend on your lover). Of course what I struggle with is letting it all grow out enough to actually be able to wax again – I really don’t like stubble, so I am often prone to being naughty and impatient – I will break out the razor!
I happen to shave my legs, and my underarms (much to the annoyance of my waxer), mainly because I don’t have a lot of hair to contend with and it’s easy to maintain in the shower – but most of my friends wax their legs and their underarms. I also have friends who are from Indian, Middle Eastern and European descent (my daughter has also inherited her father’s European genes), and they of course have darker hair, which tends to be courser. Waxing is much more effective than shaving or hair removal creams.
My lovely friend, the Grecian was just lamenting over coffee the other night that being a Greek chic was sometimes a pain in terms of how much time is spending getting rid of unwanted hair. I have a gorgeous friend, Of Indian descent who waxes just about all of her being – full leg, bikini, stomach, arms, under arms. The price of such smoothness? $120 – $140 every visit to the waxer (that’s not including her eyebrows!). She is a naturally dark and exotic beauty but she swears it takes a lot of upkeep. Bare in mind the time it takes and the pain involved with all of that too! Ouch!
So why do we put ourselves through the endless and sometimes painful regime of plucking, waxing and shaving? Possibly because it is more socially acceptable for chicks to be hairless and smooth, but also because most men like it. As I have chatted about previously in my post “Love me, love my vagina”, there are men of course who prefer their women to have a bit of hair.
One friend who had been taking it all off for years was quite shocked when she started dating a guy who had a preference for pubic hair and was relieved when she grew it back. Everyone has a different preference and no one should need to justify how they prefer their pink bits to be!
Let’s talk about the expense for a chick going to the hairdresser! I certainly don’t go to the hairdresser as often as I should, because I am hard pressed to find the four hours to just sit still in a salon chair. Choosing to be a red-head is hard work, between regrowth and colour fade! In between colours I tend to either get a tint, or I apply a colour mouse (which I buy from my hairdresser) to bring back the colour a little.
It’s expensive to go to a salon these days. I have friends who pay anything from $120 to $300 for a cut and colour, depending on how many colours and treatments are used – and the type of cut and/or blow wave or style.
You can of course colour your own hair – and I’ve done so in the past. I have friends that religiously touch up their own hair. Packet colours will actually save you a bundle of money and a lot of time, costing as little as $20. Half an hour and you’re done. When you get an age where greys start to tear their head, this is a great savings!
If you have your hair professionally chemically straightened (there are treatments now to do just that), you might be paying up to $400! Oh, and there are a lot of women paying for hair extensions these days.
Now if you are one to have pedicures and manicures, you might be spending an additional two hours or more a month in a nail salon – more if you have acrylic nails as they require regular refills. I will occasionally shout myself to a pedicure in summer and I am rather fond of shallac nail polish.
Sitting in a nail salon having your feet and nails done can be quite relaxing but it is also going to cost you. For a pedicure and manicure using shellac polish, you may be looking at $70. Baring in mind that nails grow, if you want to keep up the shellac polish on your nails, you might have to hit the salon fortnightly to monthly. What I personally found when I wore shellac for too many months was that my nails became soft and brittle. So I’ve gone back to painting my own – it’s time consuming to be honest but my nails are much healthier.
Add to this the high cost of make-up, which for me is essential. I think I might get a little twitchy at the thought of not having any foundation or mascara! On the week-end, I am more than happy to tie my hair up and not have any make up on, but if I step out the front door I will at the very least be wearing a tiny bit of tinted moisturiser (unless of course I was camping)! Despite what the movies would have us believe, I sure as hell don’t wake up in the morning with painted lips and a highlighted cheeks…this takes work! Just thinking about my basic make up bag (I carry it around always), there is a moisturiser, a base cream, foundation, eye liner, lash fibres (I swear by these), mascara, eye brow pencil, lip liners, several lipsticks and a lip gloss.
That doesn’t take into consideration the eye shadows and blushes, brushes and other lipsticks I have sitting in my bathroom at home! This is of course why women simply love to receive perfume as a gift! Perfume is a thoughtful and intimate present, but it can also be a pricey commodity depending on your favourite scent.
I for one am mad for Classique by Jean Paul Gautier, but tragically Chanel No. 5 is wasted on my skin.
Then there are cleansers, toners, eye creams, anti-wrinkle treatments, moisturisers, sunscreen and do it yourself self-tanning lotions! There are also hair products to add to the list – shampoos and conditioners and hair spray. I have friends who have curly hair who use products to protect their hair from constant straightening, and anti-frizz treatments if they feel like wearing it au natural.
Oh and what about birth control, ladies? The average birth control pill costs anywhere from $25 to $110 for 3-4 months supply. Some contraceptive pills are not government subsidised, although most are. There are IUD’s that cost in the hundreds, and some that cost as little as $15. Not to mention the cost of condoms – the pill will stop you getting pregnant but it won’t stop you from contracting an STD!
What men possibly don’t think about is the added costs women carry simply for having a menstrual cycle! Pads, tampons and panty liners are certainly not subsidised despite them being essential to most females aged from 12 – 55 (of course ages vary greatly on either side of the spectrum!). While some may be uncomfortable speaking about the nitty gritties, it’s a necessary expense!
I would have to devote a whole blog post to the cost of clothes, shoes, bags and accessories that women purchase. We all have favourites but damn, there is an endless supply of things that women can drape and adorn themselves in. We women tend to be hoarders too. Just how many clutch purses can a girl own?
We all have our fetishes though – some women would sell their first born for killer shoes (I kid of course), some buy bags, some buy coats, some have drawers of lingerie…I have a real thing about chunky dress rings. I feel quite naked without one, although even while naked, a dress ring can make a statement!
I have found that being a single woman tends to come with a higher price tag, if for no other reason than a woman who is out in there dating tends to go out more and the price of entertainment is high. Have you seen the costs of cocktails?! Which reminds me – don’t get me started on the cost of lingerie (though I do love to shop for it). Of course we could, as women, choose not to wax, pluck, shave, apply, paint and blow dry ourselves. We are grown-ups and we have free will. I’m not really comfortable with that alternative for myself however. There are always cheaper and more expensive options available in all of the above categories, but it still remains a fact that being a modern chic requires some effort and can end up putting money in the bank for the endless hairdressers, Beauty therapists, clothing boutiques, make up and perfume companies!
I am a huge believer that beauty does come from within, absolutely, but I’m pretty happy to help mother nature out just a little bit! Lights, camera, action baby! Looking pretty in the modern wold might take too much time and money but this Good Girl is not quite ready to give up lingerie or lip gloss!
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