1. Progressively more intense forms of hair removal.
First it was shaving, and that was manageable. But then they wanted more of the actual hair shaved, and that necessitated a fancy-ass razor whose blade refills are somehow more expensive than the initial razor itself. But then it was about waxing, and that’s a real investment (both financially and emotionally, if you are not the type to make light conversation with a strange woman as she unceremoniously rips hair from your grundle). And now it’s like, just go to a doctor’s office and get them to take it all off FOREVER with what I can only assume is the same laser they use to fix your vision. It’s all too much, especially considering it’s only a matter of time before the hairy 70s European porn look comes back and everyone’s gonna want you to scotch tape back all the hair you had professionally singed off.
2. Luxury hair stylists.
I didn’t even know what a blowout was until recently, and all I know now is that I can’t afford it. I’ve already spent egregious amounts on the actual haircut, I’m not floating in from time to time to pay 70 dollars for you to flat iron it slightly better than I could myself. In fact, I don’t even want to be getting the fancy haircuts in the first place. But the problem is that, if you are a girl who doesn’t have the world’s most naturally-flawless, easy-to-work-with hair, you can’t just blindly walk into a Hair Cuttery and ask for the Cosmetic School-Freshman Special, no matter how cheap you want to be.
3. Quality makeup.
You want to trick people into thinking you are naturally beautiful? You want makeup that doesn’t slowly strangle your skin from within and leave you with a markedly worse complexion than when you started? You don’t want weird little black pieces of despair falling from your mascara-laden eyes like the world’s saddest face dandruff? Welp, you better invest in some expensive-ass makeup, girl. Sorry, life isn’t fair.
4. Photoshop-level skin.
Speaking as someone with chronic skin problems, this one may be the Sisyphean ordeal with which I have been cursed to deal my entire life. But even for people with pores that aren’t more prominent than the actual skin part of their face, keeping everything moisturized and flawless is a struggle. If you were just to let things go au natural in the dead of winter, you’d be left with the chalky, flaky, red skin of someone who is in the premature stages of the Black Death. And yet, when you spend the money on exfoliation and proper hydration, you are suddenly vain and high-maintenance. It’s a war you just can’t win.
5. Sexy shoes that are impossible to walk in.
As if the idea of wobbling around in the kind of heels which somehow support the weight of a grown human body on the diameter of a generous toothpick wasn’t insulting enough, it’s not uncommon to pay more for these shoes than many people do for rent. The great physical sacrifice you make in the name of beauty must, at some point, be compensated by elegant leather and cushioned soles that slow the slow degeneration of your foot cartilage. Of course, eventually, you’re going to need that bone-filing surgery to get rid of the sexy corns that have developed as what I imagine is a last-ditch effort on the part of your body to combat the damage of the heels, but that comes later. For now, just focus on how much money the shoes themselves cost.
6. Classy-yet-cute-yet-durable work clothes.
I’m not even going to get into the great debate that is “Dudes just throw on a suit or a button-down with khakis and they have solved about 99 percent of all work-related sartorial conundrums,” because that’s just a cruel aspect of life. But can we talk about the Cormac McCarthy-esque dystopian journey through Banana Republic that is The Search For Quality Work Clothes That Don’t Look Like Costumes From Designing Women? To be a sexy, put-together professional woman these days, you need all manner of colorful shift dress, Michelle Obama chunky necklace, and sensible heel that keeps you comfortable without transforming into Janet Reno. You can’t be wearing the kinds of Forever 21 jersey sacs that pill into oblivion within two hours of wearing them. You have to be flawless, and that costs money.
7. Sexy underwear.
Sexy underwear doesn’t just happen. It is a process that requires planning, coordination, skill, and a hefty amount of disposable income. All of the panties within a decent price range usually come in hermetically-sealed packs of three, and start to get those weird balls of thread on the elastic within a few wash cycles. The ones that are made of delicate lacy materials, and lift the cheeks with world-class artisanal skill, cost a pretty penny. Have a matching bra to go along with them, and we’re talking easily in triple digits for the set (because, lest we forget, decent bras are made of diamonds and unicorn tail hairs, which completely justifies their astronomical price points). Everyone expects the magical underwear, but no one wants to pay for them.