When I was a tween, sleepovers were literally the best thing ever. After a night of snacking to B-rated horror movies, one of our parents would drop us off at the mall in the morning to spend the entire day wreaking havoc on all the non-goths that were innocently running their weekend errands. Fortunately, each of our bathrooms had a variety of black lipstick, black eyeliner, and ripped black tights for us to all borrow: In the '90s, most of my straight, guy friends were dripped in more black makeup then I was in the nineties. Of course, as a seemingly normal adult, my new-and-improved sleepovers swap horror movies for sex and candy for wine. Since I no longer date men who dress like Marilyn Manson, I long for the days of my goth boyfriends whenever I'm rummaging through their bathroom trying to find at least one of the 5 items I need to do the walk of shame. That's when I started taking note on all the things women buy that most men don't have to purchase.
Yeah, yeah, I know. Beauty products are optional, but honestly? Even if you don't count mascara and coverup, I can't help but think about how much extra stuff women need to purchase compared to our male counterparts.
Obviously, there must be things that men purchase that women don't need to, right? Umm...let's see here... razors? No, we buy those, and they are usually more expensive. Umm... condoms? Nope. I usually buy those too just to ensure that there is no Tom Foolery. Porn! No, actually that's exactly why I asked Santa for a new laptop. Moving on...
Here's the deal: If you are a straight dude and you purchase any of these items, please don't feel like less of a dude. This is merely an observation of costly or annoying purchases that women need more often then the average man. Ladies? If you don't have to purchase any of these items: I am truly jealous.
Let's start with an obvious one, shall we? As it turns out, I don't actually NEED a bra. Then why the eff am I constantly swooning over the lacy, adorable bras at American Apparel and paying $50 for two flimsy bands of lace that are basically just going to showcase my hard nipples? Because they are adorable, that's why. Most women need bras and end up spending a fortune on them every year to get proper support.
2. Waxing Strips
Chances are if you aren't dating a swimmer you probably won't find waxing strips in your mate's bathroom. Shaving comes with a lot of nicks, cuts, ingrown hairs, and razor burn, and since most of us ladies are constantly trying to keep a large area hair-less, we're spending cash money on waxing strips that are even more painful than shaving.
Obvy tampons and pads are high on this list, because if you are a lady on your period without one? You are in one of the biggest beauty crises of your life. This actually paints the scene of my high school graduation and it was one of only a few times in my life that I wondered why I didn't make more female friends. Fortunately, my guy friends had my back and one of them presented me a tampon just when I was starting to bleed through my graduation gown. They may not have to wear tampons, but they sure are resourceful at getting them!
4. Pantyhose & Tights
The day I met my first crush, he was wearing ripped black pantyhose and a black tu-tu and all I could think was "Damn, those tights look better on him." The men I date now are more into denim and suits, but I still go through plenty of pantyhose every year. The most annoying thing about tights is most of them end up being disposable, leaving you spending an annoying amount of cash throughout the colder months as you collect more runs pretty much every time you step outside. Sure, we could just wear pant suits and jeans all winter, but where would the fun in that be?
5. Nipple Tattoos
Fortunately, there are some great tattoo artists that specialize in performing nipple tattoos to complete reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy. Sadly, they can range up to $800 and not all insurances cover this very necessary step in making your breast complete. Many women I know who have had their reconstructive surgery after breast cancer have stated emphatically that the lack of nipple can be the biggest reminder of their cancer.
6. Bobby Pins
When I dated a man with a bigger afro than me, I couldn't believe how many bobby pins he had. In fact, I would be lying if I said that I didn't find the fact that we could share hair accessories more endearing than his personality. That's how desperate I am for bobby pins all the time. Lots of straight guys have a hair elastic to keep long hair out of their face, but it's the bobby pins that many of us ladies casually drop on the floor only to frantically be searching for that one bobby pin to hold their hair back moments later. Fortunately, bobby pins are pretty cheap, but let's be real: If you need just one bobby pin to leave your house with a cute hairstyle, BUT you have to leave your house to go get it? That's a total beauty catch 22.
7. Birth Control
I went on birth control at the age of 17 for two reasons: horrible, violent cramps that kept me home from school AND a really shameful amount of skin problems. When I was in junior high and well into high school, loads of girls went on birth control to alleviate severe acne. Not only is this an expensive beauty product, but it is definitely something you won't catch your boyfriend running out to purchase.
A few years ago, during the holidays, my family went to attend a black-tie event. When my sister couldn't find her Spanx, our entire house was flipped upside down and we all were on the hunt to ensure she could feel confident in her beautiful, tight-fitted evening gown. My father, always wanting to help, approached me with everything BUT a pair of Spanx. "Kristin...is this a spank?" he said holding up a sports bra. I couldn't tell if he was joking until he came to me again "Is this it?" he asked holding up a pair of leggings. For the love of gawd, Dad! You are just making it worse because you've literally never had to purchase Spanx let alone wear them. Obviously, I had to take him off the case for his own protection because if he brought my sister a denim vest asking if it were spanks, she would've exploded with rage.
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