In defense of being high-maintenance
Though I'm not exactly a salon regular (yet), it's really discouraging to see women in an environment where we have defunct relationships with our beauty habits. It's so easy to dismiss the work that goes into our morning routines, lest other women find it ridiculous - and judge us accordingly. What's the real consequence here? We are expected to meet certain standards of appearance, especially in the workplace, but simultaneously feel like we can't be allowed to acknowledge the effort it often requires to look that way. Women are ashamed to be considered high-maintenance. It's an "I see dead people" situation, where we regularly see ghosts but can't talk about it. Yes, I went there.
Can a beauty editor be a feminist?
There are two sides to this argument. The high-maintenance girl will claim, "I have to do these things. I have to keep up my appearance for my job." The critic will respond, "Your extreme makeup and grooming tactics are regressive. You're keeping women from taking the social and professional steps forward by prioritizing your appearance." Though both sides certainly make valid points, the latter has a fatal flaw: It is not our aesthetic maintenance that keeps us from progressing, but it's comments like these from other women. To quote the ever-applicable Mean Girls, "There's been some girl-on-girl crime here."
Sick of the negative connotations around being high-maintenance? I'm here to reclaim it.
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Illustrated by Isabelle Rancier, Courtesy of Refinery 29