In defense of being high-maintenance

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I'm not what you'd call a high-maintenance girl. Not by most definitions. Though I love to be pampered (um, who doesn't?), weekly trips to salons are still just a daydream - #firstworldproblems. At best, I have high-maintenance tendencies. I've never colored my hair and will never visit a waxing salon, but I certainly have a couple of beauty treatments each month. You can chalk this up to whatever reason you'd like, but the fact is I live above a nail salon and two blocks from Drybar.

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

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