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By Society’s Standards, Here’s How Long It Takes To Look Like A Woman

It’s a tough world out there for women, especially in the age of Pinterest.

In the 1950s, keeping yourself beautiful meant styled and set hair, watching your diet and keeping up a basic cosmetic routine. A decade later, beauty standards were even tougher: elaborate bouffants, dramatic eye makeup and more meant plenty of time spent in front of the bathroom mirror.

Thanks to a combination of beauty blogs, social media and celebrity endorsements, more information about glamour is available to women than ever before. In forums like MakeupAlley and specific Reddit threads (here’s looking at you, /r/MakeupAddiction), devotees bond over a shared pastime.

After all, who doesn’t love a new product or polish color?

But, as we go deeper down the beauty troll hole, and as the range of options and increasingly specific products grows, so do our stress levels. At what point do we just give ourselves a break and accept the fact we’re not going to be bionic beauty specimens, from perfectly frizz-free head to buffed-and-manicured toe?

The fact is this: You don’t have to drink a green juice every morning or apply cuticle oil religiously to be beautiful. Pick and choose a few habits that are fulfilling and interesting to you, because no one could possibly accomplish it all.

Just for kicks, though, here’s what the average woman’s morning routine might look like if she followed every beauty tip in the book.

5:00 am: Wake up naturally, without a sleep app.

5:10 am: Apply cucumber slices under eyes to reduce puffiness.

5:20 am: Drink an apple cider vinegar shot, followed by cup of hot water with lemon.

5:30 am: Make green juice with farmer's market kale and handpicked apples. Blend and drink.

6:00 am: Craft Pinterest-style wraparound braid.

6:20 am: Turn on home barre workout video. Rock it without ever breaking a sweat.

7:00 am: Take Instagram selfie of post-workout face.

7:10 am: Prepare to go shower. 

7:15 am: Dry brush entire body.

7:50 am: Brush hair 100 times with boar bristle brush to distribute oil evenly.

8:00 am: Shower on cold, to better close pores.

8:10 am: Exfoliate entire body with natural sea sponge, not mini-beads (because those are bad for the environment).

8:20 am: Shampoo hair with homemade baking soda shampoo, making sure to scrub just the roots (and not anywhere else!).

8:30 am: Condition hair from the mid-length down, using apple cider vinegar for maximum shininess. 

8:35 am: Apply leave-in conditioning treatment.

8:40 am: Begin to shave. That's knuckles, armpits, pubic hair (if it's not already waxed away), legs and errant toe hairs.

9:00 am: Pumice foot soles.

9:05 am: Apply exfoliating scrub to elbows, knees, ankles.

9:10 am: Oil cleanse face.

9:15 am: Apply exfoliating scrub to face.

9:20 am: Rinse conditioner. 

9:25 am: Turn off shower, dry off. Wrap hair in turbie twist.

9:30 am: Apply coconut oil to entire body.

9:35 am: Apply foot cream to feet and elbow cream to elbows.

9:40 am: Tweeze nipple hairs. 

9:41 am: Apply Nair to upper lip and sideburn remnants.

9:45 am: Pluck that one weird hair under chin.

9:46 am: Tweeze eyebrows in preparation for filling them back in later.

9:50 am: Apply moisturizing face mask while towel-drying hair.

10:00 am: Eat organic oatmeal with berries and agave nectar.

10:20 am: Rinse off face mask.

10:21 am: Begin blow-drying hair, using a round brush to straighten out all and any kinks. Don't forget heat protector, shine serum, volumizing spray or blowout cream. When finished, apply anti-frizz spray.

10:45 am: Apply toner to face, followed by moisturizer, under-eye moisturizer and chapstick. Don't forget hand moisturizer.

10:55 am: Apply primer, pore perfecter, concealer, undereye concealer, BB cream. Powder. Contour entire face carefully, adding highlights and blush on top. Fill in brows with pigment, wax, then brush. 

11:20 am: Curl eyelashes, apply primer then eyeshadow. Use tape to create perfect liquid liner cat eye. Coat lashes with mascara. Line inner eyelids with white liner. 

11:35 am: Use concealer to blot out lips, then use lip liner and color to draw them back on, better.

11:40 am: Next, focus on nails. Apply cuticle oil before pushing back the cuticles with a specially designed tool.

11:45 am: Paint a base coat on toes and fingers. Follow with two coats of nail polish, then a top coat. Do nothing until dry.

11:46 am: Realize you’re two hours and 46 minutes late for work, standing naked in your kitchen prepping a hormone-free, free-range, non-GMO tofurkey in your slow cooker while simultaneously contemplating the benefits of a wheatgrass shot this late in the day.

11:47 am: Give up.


So basically, it takes over seven hours to “look like a woman” by society’s standards — and that’s all before you’ve gotten dressed. Good news: We haven’t even gotten to the nighttime ritual… yet.

You can live by society’s rules (and endure a talking-to when you finally get into the office at 4:49 pm, once you’ve finished your breathing exercises and at-home chakra treatment) or you can take down your clippings of Blake Lively, give yourself a break and realize your inside shines more brightly than your outside.

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Emily Arata

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Emily Arata is a Women's Editor raised in the Twin Cities. She graduated from Fordham University in the Bronx and previously wrote for First We Feast. She writes about the unlikely ways in which millennials connect with one another.
Emily Arata is a Women's Editor raised in the Twin Cities. She graduated from Fordham University in the Bronx and previously wrote for First We Feast. She writes about the unlikely ways in which millennials connect with one another.

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