The Cost of Being a Female

Last night, I sat at my laptop staring at my budget trying to figure out a way to cut some costs to have some extra dinero. As I was looking, one part of my budget popped out as cut-worthy: the “Misc” category. This category is my catch-all account for whatever little things might pop up. I considered it for a minute, thinking about how I mainly have used it this month for eating out (bad Tejana!). 

But wait.

You eyeliner is about to run out.

And you’re getting a little low on hairspray.

Ohh and your hair clip just broke, you’re definitely going to need another one.

My life is just so problematic, right?

Ladies, have you ever thought about how much money we “blow” on making ourselves presentable to the world? I don’t consider myself extremely high maintenance (I mean, I could live without the hairspray and hair clip… although the eyeliner is a non-negotiable).

But seriously, it’s expensive to be a lady. Now, we could forgo all makeup, hair products, jewelry and nail polish, but it’s widely known that women are seen more credible and “put together” when do indulge in those things. Take a post like this one, where statistics show that bosses actually discriminate against women who don’t wear make up and take time to fix their hair. Or this one, from the New York Times where one professor at UT Austin (shout out) agreed that the idea that makeup makes women more likeable because “we conflate looks and a willingness to take care of yourself with a willingness to take care of people”.

In graduate school, I took a course called “The Psychology of Women and Gender”. In the class we reviewed numerous studies which all came to the conclusion that appearance does have an effect on our lives, whether we like it or not. As men get older, they are considered more “prestigious looking” and gain respect while as women get older, they just start to look, well old. Not more prestigious, not more respectable, just old.

So unfair, right ladies? Well, before we all burn our bras and stop shaving our legs, let’s face it. You don’t have to agree with it, but the fact is that wearing makeup (and even being attractive) helps you make friends, gain more respect at work and seem friendlier to others. Please don’t confuse this for me saying that this is not achievable if you don’t do your hair and make up each day, it is just “easier” when you do.

I started wearing makeup at 15 and have worn it consistently since. I’m comfortable going without makeup, but I prefer to put it on, so you better believe I’ll get my butt up an extra 15 minutes early to make sure I have time to put it on and another 15 to straighten/curl/pin my hair. Not only, but I’ll carve an extra $50 out of my budget to pay for those items. Call me superficial but it’s what I choose to do. Your choice may be different- and that’s great too.

**I realize that this is only just scratching the surface on this topic and by no means does it justice. I did not want to rewrite my term paper from Psych of W&G, but just wanted to write a small rant about it. You might have very strong views about the topic, and if so I’d love to hear so below!  

 Ladies— what do you think? Do you believe that you are seen as more professional and open when you wear makeup/do your hair? Do you feel better/prettier when you wear make up?

Gentlemen– what are your thoughts? Do you believe that women are taken more seriously when we wear makeup or make sure our hair is done?



Femme Frugality