Have you ever really paid attention to all of the products you use on a daily basis — and how much they cost (hello, pink tax)? With the constant pressure to look younger, brighter, smoother, healthier, better, I lose track of all the things I’m *supposed* to be putting on my body and face each and every day. From washing my hair with fancy shampoo and conditioner (to keep away split ends and frizz, while also perpetually smell like a flower, of course) to keeping up with a multi-step facial care routine (to stave off wrinkles and dry skin, minimize zits, and maintain my youthful glow), I never realized how much money I was actually spending on “taking care” of myself until I started crunching the numbers.
As if the fact that there’s still a 20% wage gap (or more for women of color) between men and women isn’t depressing enough, I’m here to remind you that literally just existing as a woman is pretty damn expensive. From the “optional” expenses such as makeup, clothes, and hair products (though I’d like to see the look on men’s faces if we all just decided to run around bare-faced and wild-haired — legs and pits included — in nothing but potato sacks) to the price we pay for simply owning a vagina, the gender gap goes way past the disparity between our paychecks. Not to mention, the “pink tax” that we pay for the exact same products that men have just because they look prettier (ex: razors/shaving cream, shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, etc.).
Here’s a look at the list of things most women pay for throughout the course of a year. While not everything on this list is technically a “necessity,” they’re still things that society has taught us that we need to be considered “feminine” — and most are so normalized that we don’t even notice.