By Anna Murphy
New York, NY, USA
Things cost more in New York City. It’s a fact. From monthly rent to a drink at a bar, there is a significant price to pay for living in the Big Apple. So, as I’ve mentioned before, I have not entirely, but noticeably, let myself go by allowing certain things to fall by the wayside. It costs too much to be blonde, when I’m not naturally…so I nixed the highlights. And, a $120 for a monthly spray tan pass? I’d rather be pasty and pale, than pretty and poor.
But even with pinching pennies on appearance upkeep, it still costs an arm and a leg to be a girl here - especially a girl my age. As every other 26-year-old understands, our weekends are spent (and will be spent for approximately the next 5 years) attending weddings and the occasional baby shower.
During the months of October and November, I had three weddings and my best friend’s baby shower to attend. I revel in the fact that I get to dress up and celebrate someone’s life milestone with them. However, I also want to look good while doing it. And it’s not like any of these occasions involve the same people. But for some reason, I have to buy new (brand name) outfits and/or (designer) shoes. And then a piece of simply fabulous, but very impractical jewelry that was the perfect match for said outfit and shoes. And, I might need to curl my hair, so inevitably I will require a top-notch (read: expensive) barrel iron. And none of this takes into account travel costs and the gift-giving tradition of these events.
But even when there’s no special occasion, all of us girls are trying to keep up with the Joneses (or Janes or Julies or Jessicas) on a daily basis. For example, every time I receive a paycheck I have a list of non-negotiable “me” errands. I get my eyebrows waxed, treat myself to a pedicure and pick up my favorite $50 self-tanner (yes, I spray myself). I also pay $89 a month to work out at NYSC (even though I often end up running outside) and will accidentally drop $200 at Sephora (really it just happens behind my back) so that I have the supplies to look decent when I face the world of commuters, coffee baristas and colleagues every morning. Even with all of the above, I can confidently say that I’m a low-maintenance anomaly amongst my female cohorts.
I’m not writing this to get sympathy or a lend-out, but more-so to spread awareness. When you see a girl who looks put-together, just think about how much time and effort (and money) goes into maintaining a composed appearance. It’s hard being a girl, so just give us a little credit. And even though I am just sporting the ombre look because I let my hair grow out - know that most people pay for that “unkempt” ‘do…and that it costs us a lot to look this
Anna Murphy enjoys long runs along the Hudson River, live music, vegan cookies and the Florida Gators.