I have no doubt that we could cut our expenses drastically if I felt good about myself.
I’ve added it up recently.
My poor self-worth costs me dearly.
With time comes change, and that applies to my body and clothing preferences. I’ve aged and my stressful lifestyle leaves little time for the gym or for nourishing my body. I can’t eat too little at work as my brain needs food to sustain 12-14 hours of straight thought (imagine sitting an exam for that long each day, that’s how my brain feels).
I don’t fit in some of my clothes I used to wear at 21 and that makes me feel awful. I know instinctively that it’s just a piece of fabric and a label means nothing. But that doesn’t make your gut feeling change.
I find it difficult to go to the gym as I don’t like the way I look in gym clothing. I don’t deem myself acceptable for public consumption. I prefer to hide at home where I’m not judged (except by my spoilt pets).
Sometimes I feel bad about my body. I think “if I wore X my body might look better”. Or I don’t like the way I look in a certain outfit. I’ll buy X online, try it on, get disappointed and then look for the next outfit online.
I can easily spend between £100-£500 per month on clothing.
No item of clothing will fix my body image. No amount of weight loss will heal the negative thoughts which inhabit my brain. I know that. I’m working on it. But the social pressures are huge.
I had clear skin in my teens and early twenties. Bring on long hours, hormone changes, stress and lack of daylight, and my complexion drastically changed. With this change came a frantic obsession with my appearance. Society tells you that you need to have clear skin, and sells you all types of fabulous remedies to solve any issue.
Let’s break it down per month:
Professional Facial: £90 a time (every few months)
Facial products with various promises: £100-£150
Cosmetics and makeup: £50 – £60
Prescription medications: £8
I have paid for laser thread vein removal (£180 a time), hair removal (£270 for a course per area), light therapy (£40 a time) and that’s just this year.
All in all, my insecurity costs me about £6,000 a year.
Time and wasted energy and tears over my appearance: priceless
Note: I don’t pay for haircuts or for manicures or any other beauty treatments other than my skin.
Perhaps that’s the point
No amount of money can make me feel good about my appearance. There’s even a saying for it: “Money can’t buy you happiness”. I’ll have to find that happiness from within. That might take a while. In the meantime, my self-worth is still costing me.