Illustration by Sofia Bews.

Illustration by Sofia Bews.

Hello, do you know what’s not fair? (Besides THE WORLD, ho ho ho.) What’s not fair is how much it costs to be female-identified and maintain the grooming standards THE PATRIARCHY has imposed on us (or maintain the standards that we ourselves like).

What I’m saying is: being clean, neat, good-smelling, and perhaps hairless in select areas ain’t cheap. But it’s a helluva lot cheaper for guys to be clean, neat, good-smelling, and perhaps hairless in select areas.

Over the years, as I’ve strolled through my local drugstore, I’ve noticed something interesting. Grooming products “made for men” cost less than the ones for women. You’ve probably noticed it, too. It’s a phenomenon called the “pink tax”, and it means that because something is marketed toward women, it costs more than a v v similar product marketed toward men. Ew. Plus, here’s something else I’ve noticed: the men’s products work the same, and sometimes better.

No joke. I never found a deodorant that worked for me until I tried men’s deodorant. The literal first one I bought on the boys’ side of the drugstore aisle was so effective that I never even bothered trying anything else. And men’s razors? DON’T GET ME STARTED. You know all those ads about how such-and-such a razor is “designed to glide around a woman’s curves” and so you shell out big bucks for it? Well, guess what else has curves? MEN’S FACES. Men’s faces are also curvy, with weird bumps and angles. Men’s razors cost less and give (me, at least) a closer shave. Men’s shaving cream is cheaper. Plus it smells classically barbershoppy, meaning a clean, non-fruit-sunset smell. What giiiives, marketing??

Check it out:

Women’s shaving gel: $3.99 for 7 ounces, and *bonus* the scent is “Flirty Mango.” YOU MUST ALWAYS BE FLIRTING EVEN WHILE SHAVING YOUR LEGS AT 6:45 AM.
Men’s shaving gel: $3.69 for 7 ounces. Basically the same product. Except no one is feeling flirty, which is weird, step it up guys.

Women’s deluxe disposable razors: $17.19 for six razors with three blades each and a moisturizing strip.
Men’s deluxe disposable razors: $14.21 for…EIGHT razors with three blades each and a moisturizing strip.

Women’s Dove deodorant/antiperspirant: $5.99 for 2.6 ounces. Also, your pits will smell fetchingly of pomegranate.
Men’s Dove deodorant/antiperspirant: $3.99 for 3 ounces. You get more, and your pits will experience “clean comfort.”

Isn’t this fun? I could go on, but my head is starting to pound in a very familiar, rage-y way. Next time you walk through a drugstore, see for yourself: We’re being had in tiny, almost unnoticeable ways. Over the years this adds up to HUGE MONEY for corporations that are—you guessed it—mainly run by men! If you really like the scent of Flirty Mango, that’s one thing. But if you just need the product? Keep your eyes peeled, bb. There is almost always a better value for what you want in the “men’s” section. ♦