It takes an average teenage girl approximately an hour and a half to get ready for the day. As she grows older, the statistics of her getting ready is subjective to her individually.
Every morning, I take about an hour and forty minutes getting ready. It’s the same routine. Outfit, hair, face – all of this is just products and clothes. It should be a simple task to get ready in the morning, but somehow, I still take an average of two hours.
Like many other twenty year old girls, I have fallen prey to the over-consumption of makeup products and seasonal fashion fads. I spend half my paycheck on that little tube of glitter highlighter for my cheekbones (contouring, oh the wonder of sculpting myself into a bronzed-up Greek goddess) and that cute messenger bag I had to have from Zara.
When trying to justify why I so desperately had to spend a whopping $200 on myself immediately, my loved ones ask me the same question.
“Does it make you feel better about yourself?” Almost always I quickly answer,“Yes, It does.”
Of course, my reply is soaking in my pride. As a young woman balancing school, internships and a job with demanding hours, it’s only right that I pride myself in spoiling myself. I work hard.
However, my own reasoning sets in and then the humiliation comes. A concluding moment of self-reflection hits me as I glance at my disintegrating bank account. The following questions instantly pang at me:
1. Why did you need this? Because it makes me pretty like Vanessa Hudgens.
2. Is it because you want to be like her? No, just look like her.
3. Why can’t you just stop comparing yourself to others? Is it wrong to want to look like someone so beautiful?
4. What will you do when you actually become broke? I would never let myself be broke.
5. What if you didn’t buy any of this? Would you be happy? I’ve got to think that one through.
6. Are you happy? Not yet.
7. Are you happy with yourself? No.
8. Why aren’t you happy with yourself? I don’t know.
And, there it is: the answer to my over-buying and my long mornings. I’ve grown to be extravagant because maybe I’m not too happy with myself. Retail therapy, perhaps, is very real.
Initially, I believed my case of mistaking products for happiness was a rarity. However, statistics have shown that 1 in 4 women within their twenties become prone to spending at least one full paycheck a month on personal vanity. Could it be that we intensify our vanity from our pre-teens into college? Why are college girls spending more money on makeup, clothes and such as opposed to books?
It’s all about having self-worth and being aware of our own self-worth. While I’ve become an expert at weighing the value of the different products by my room’s mirror, I have yet to weigh my own value. I’m sure many other young women on campus feel the same way about themselves. In the age of social media and a hypersensitive communications generation, women are not just filtering themselves on Instagram, but also in real life.
While makeup and clothes often successfully compensate for a crappy day, I myself am working on minimizing my need for material happiness. As opposed to needing something tangible to lighten up my day, I’m trying to focus on the production of my own character. Morning routines have transitioned from makeup, hair and face to prepare, exercise and meditate.
With that said, it’s time for young women to separate themselves from a magnifying mirror and focus on magnifying their strengths along with their self worth.