This shaming has to stop!
Recently, this abomination came up on my Facebook feed. Then again, then again, then again. When I first saw it, I calculated my score and felt bad about myself. Damn, I’m high maintenance.
Then I stopped.
Why did I feel the need to give this my time? A man clearly wrote this list. None of the items on this list represent terrible qualities or choices. The bottom should have said, “If you got 2 points or more, congratulate yourself on your self-care.”
The comments on this post were almost exclusively women, somehow downplaying how high maintenance they were. “I only wear runners,” or “I used to dye my hair,” or “I only paint my toenails.” We should not apologize! We make choices for ourselves, and there is no need to score ourselves against others. Comparing implies that either my choices are wrong, or yours are, and neither is true.
As for the phrase High Maintenance, it has become so commonplace and acceptable, we barely even register it as an insult anymore. But it is an insult. If society accepts that my legs have hair, grey is great, that treating myself to something with the money I earn is acceptable, then the phrase high maintenance disappears. Why is it fine for men to have all these things and not be labeled? Because we stand for it. We answer these stupid quizzes, feel less about ourselves, and justify.
I am done with this shaming bullshit! This was my wake-up call and I plan to take stock of my self-care. I would be sad if one of my children felt so little about themselves that they conformed to some societal ideal instead of being who they want to be, so I will not accept that for myself. And I will not accept it for you.
So get that massage. Buy that handbag. Paint your nails and apply lipstick. Or don’t. You are not less than for choosing what makes you happy or makes you feel good about yourself. And your neighbor is not less than for choosing something different for them.
No one should feel unworthy for doing anything that makes themselves feel good. I wish I did more of these things for myself. My goal for February is to challenge myself to more self-care. I hope each of you will do the same in whatever form that looks like for you. Love yourself. Don’t apologize. And, do not keep score.