Sunday, 29 May 2011

It costs me a lot to look this average

I need to ask a question. When did personal maintenance start costing so much money? There was a time when I knew nothing of beauticians, deep conditioning treatments, anti-aging eye creams or waxing. I miss the days of not knowing about waxing. They were a happier time.

And the thing is, I know that as I get older it is only going to get worse/ more expensive. Men don’t have to worry about this. Ok, they might go bald, but unless they know a wig-maker or believe in miracle re-growth creams, they just need to learn the art of acceptance.

As a woman I dread to think what I will spend in the years to come trying to defy the passage of time, regain my youthful looks and turn back the clock. Should I be saving now for the face lift?


The amount of time and money spent on my hair is frightening. Not that you’d know. I am sick to death of washing and drying it - every damned day. Although I do have a confession, if I am feeling particularly lazy, a fringe wash will just about suffice.

People spend an hour a day, seven days a week, washing and blow drying. This is 365 hours a year. I’m not sure I’m willing to make that kind of commitment.

And which shampoo should I be buying? Shelf after shelf of multi-coloured bottles. How bad does my hair have to be to qualify as ‘damaged?’

And then what happens when greying forces you to colour it? A cut is expensive enough. I can’t cope emotionally or financially with greying. And that isn’t taking into consideration the time commitment. Hair needs colouring 6 weekly to avoid unsightly and age-revealing roots, takes 3 hours, and requires a remortgage.

The hair no-one wants.

At present I do not have a moustache. I have very dark hair, so it will come in time. Women are not meant to have moustaches, and thus are forced to either bleach it (unwise and unsightly), wax it, thread it, or laser the little blighter off.

Our eyebrows are expected to be neat, shaped and not meeting one another on our nose. So to avoid a Gallagher look we pluck, wax, or pay a skilled professional to thread. We endure the pain and eyes watering for the smooth and pristine result that is left. Until it grows back 48 hours later.

As for the hair of the lady garden, well ladies, what a hard time we have. Oh, lady gardens, what a bother they are. It's not like you can let them run wild, or even leave them for a few months to see what comes up in the spring. It’s Brazilians and Hollywoods and landing strips. Why do we need to shape our pubic hair like topiary? And don’t even get me started on vejazzling.

Staying trim

I wrote about my latest exercise experiences here. You should read it. After you finish reading this post of course.

I know people who are literally superheros in the exercise stakes. They get up at 5am. They run marathons, lift weights, and are so self righteous I wish to smack them clean in their very slim chops.

I have recently started swimming before work to stay in shape. Goodness, I’ve gone to the dark side of self-righteous exercisers. However, this righteousness is slightly offset by the water that then rattles around my head for the rest of the day. It’s torture. Have you ever had it?

Exercise is definitely overrated. In the history of civilisation, exercise is a rather late arrival. Until around 1910 people exercised all the time, but did not think of it as this, it was life itself. And then, along came cars. Cars are the reason people now have to go the gym and walk on a stationary conveyor-belt.

The good news is I don’t own a car. Maybe I can stop exercising?


I have a lot of lotions and potions. The boyfriend, whose idea of a beauty regime is a wash with a bar of soap, thinks it is hilarious. I know in my heart that all these potions are the same, and are designed to make vulnerable women shell out ridiculous sums for useless products; but I won’t be using foot cream on my face – just in case.

I worry that I am only a few hours a week, (and a fair amount of cash) from looking slightly homeless. The frizzy mop of hair I would have without my shampoo for damaged hair and most prized straighteners. The pot belly I would develop if I ate just half of what I think about eating and gave up the gym. The grubby nails, moustache, bushy eyebrows and worse.

I know that it’s only going to go downhill as the years go on, but at least I can console myself in the fact that I’m probably not going to go bald.


  1. Yep, much cheaper and easier to be a bloke - but then I'm bald and, as you said, you wouldn't want that!