Chatter: High vs Low Maintenance

Recently, I came across a BuzzFeed article titled 29 Freeing Truths of Being a Low Maintenance Girl. The thumbnail I saw before clicking the article was a table with a makeup collection laid out on it with a caption, “this is your personal HELL.”

Up until that point, I considered myself low-to-medium maintenance. Despite this blog and its content, I’m not someone who goes the whole nine yards every day. Shoot, not even every other day. I don’t give enough bothers for all that. I can and do look presentable without being made up – but this doesn’t stop me from using and enjoying makeup when I so please. So what do they say about being high vs low maintenance?

According to the post, you’re low maintenance if:

  • You wear old, baggy tees as PJs.
  • You use no more than 3 things in the shower.
  • You panic at the thought of Ulta or Sephora and a medium-sized makeup collection is, “hell,” for you. You don’t bother with makeup, and when you do it is minimal.
  • You don’t do anything with your hair except wear it down, wear it in a ponytail, or wear it in a bun. You don’t go to salons much, and aren’t bothered by bad haircuts.
  • You don’t polish or do/get manicures.
  • You get dressed quickly and don’t have/wear a ton of jewelry.
  • You don’t enjoy shopping. (for clothing, which is what this article implied)
  • You don’t care about brands/labels, but sometimes you’ll get something nice for yourself. But not heels!
  • You’d rather stay in for a Netflix night than dress up and go out. If you go out, nbd.
  • You like beer and simple food.
  • You can get by with a single packed carry-on.
  • You aren’t picky.
  • You don’t dig drama.
  • You’re confident.

Wow, nailed it, right? If you do or like anything that contradicts this, you’re high maintenance! Bzzt, wrong. Evidently, I fall somewhere in the middle because I don’t enjoy shopping for clothes but I think Sephora is like a candy store! That’s fine.

The implication that you are high-maintenance because you enjoy makeup is annoying. I’m not the person that refuses to leave the house, “without her face on,” or without her hair perfectly coiffed. Au freaking contraire. Yeah, there are some people like that. It isn’t even the majority. Liking to take time and get, “done up,” if you would, does not mean you lack confidence. And not doing so doesn’t mean you are confident.

It got me to thinking – many of us have been conditioned to think that being high maintenance is a negative quality, right? Though I personally do not desire to be the person that takes 1-2 hours to get ready every day, why is it suggested that this is a bad thing? If it isn’t negatively impacting her life (i.e., if she isn’t spending money that should be for rent on beauty stuff), why do you care? Some people get ready for the day with three cups of coffee. Some go for a run. Some like to paint their face. All are peachy.

I guess what I don’t really understand is why there is such negative rhetoric regarding beauty – but it is perfectly acceptable to be high-maintenance in other things. Your car, for example. Your house (though not maintaining your home, I think, is silly and negligent). Those things are fine (and they should be), but a woman who likes to express her femininity by doing things like taking the time to style her hair or put on makeup every day is a jerk? Does not compute.

The only thing that should be sad or concerning about such situations is if the person doing it isn’t doing it for themselves, but instead to try to win the approval of others. Otherwise? Pipe down. There isn’t a right answer, and choosing one lifestyle over the other doesn’t make anyone superior. There shouldn’t be some weird high vs low maintenance struggle.

Readers, what do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments, I’d love to gain more perspective on this.