Why Vanity Keeps Us Poor

Wanna save an extra $5,000 a year? Become a man!

Seriously, I could be rich (or at least get richer faster) if I gave up my beauty routine. Currently, my daily self-prepping involves the following: shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, face wash, toothpaste, body lotion, face moisturizer, blusher, a bit of glimmer for my cheeks, eyeliner, mascara, lip gloss, and perfume. And I’m a basics kind of gal. Most American women also add in regular salon and spa stuff like spray tanning, waxing, highlights, haircuts, manis, pedis, microdermabrasion and Botox.

When I asked a few men about their morning beautifying rituals, the picture was slightly different: Deodorant, for sure. Shampoo, lotion, and shaving cream, most likely. Hair gel, maybe. Even the most metrosexual of men spends a fraction of what women spend to just bathe and beautify. It’s no wonder women — even corporate-climbing women with male-equivalent incomes — are more financially unstable than their male counterparts. Of course it’s important to note that men still make more on average, than women, but the women most likely to be shelling out a lot for products — that is, urban professionals — are also the ones closest to parity with their male counterparts.

Quite simply: It costs more to be a woman.

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Rocker Jennifer Herrema Talks Love, Bands, and Gut Feelings

Jennifer Herrema was in a kick-ass rock band with the man she’d loved since she was 15. But while on tour one day, she started to feel redundant, stuck. So she did what anyone would do: broke up Royal Trux, separated from her husband, Neil Hagerty, and moved to rural Virginia, well out of the public eye. With a voice that sounds like she’s gargling gravel, the born rocker and RTX front woman explains how she could walk away from her rock-and-roll lifestyle – and how her gut led her right back.

When Neil and I separated and Royal Trux dissolved in late 2001, everything changed. Neil and I had lived together in New York from the time I graduated high school at 16, and we were the tightest of friends and collaborators. But at a certain point, I needed to know what it was like to be on my own. Having just turned 29, I didn’t want to wonder for the rest of my life what it would be like if I could dictate everything without it being couples, where my own sensibility might run things. I just wanted to be able to let shit go, get wide open. It wasn’t about the band or Neil – I loved Royal Trux and I still love Neil to death, but I just was like, “I gotta bust out,” and that was the only way I could figure to do it. I still don’t know that Neil actually understood it at the time, ’cause it happened on me really suddenly – boom! – this epiphany. It might have seemed quite reckless to some of the people around me at the time, but it was like, God, it was so necessary.

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