The Price of Being a Female

It’s 7:00AM on a Tuesday. You roll out of bed after turning off the blaring sound of your alarm and shuffle to the bathroom. As you start brushing your teeth, you rub your tired, crusty eyes and glance up at the mirror. WHAT THE HELL? You move closer to the mirror and zoom in on the patch of brand new zits on your forehead. You quickly rinse and spit, so you’re able to use both hands on the demolition task you’ve just been assigned.

After successfully making your skin red and blotchy, you mosey back into your bedroom to get dressed for work. WHY DON’T I LOOK GOOD IN ANYTHING I OWN? You think to yourself as you throw another fitted dress onto the floor. You settle on something baggy enough to cover up the apparent 10 pounds you gained overnight. Flustered and feeling disgusted at yourself, you make your way out the door just in time to catch the bus.

Fast forward 6 days. You feel less disgusting and more like yourself. It’s lunch time and you find yourself eating dessert first. YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, RIGHT? About an hour later, you’re hit with a stabbing feeling in your gut. It’s almost like someone with sharp, french-tipped nails is using your insides as a stress ball. DAMMIT. You know this feeling all too well. You’re too busy at your desk to run to the restroom, plus cramps usually start awhile before you bleed. You dig out some Midol from your purse and swallow a couple down with your iced coffee.

1 hour later and you feel that dreaded ooze downstairs. SHIT! As you run down the hall to the restroom, you realize that you’ve forgotten a tampon. Luckily, you have 75 cents in your pants pocket to get one from the machine. After assessing the damage (on your favorite pair of underwear, of course) you glance into the mirror as you wash your hands. THAT EXPLAINS THE BREAKOUTS AND LOW SELF-ESTEEM. DUH.

If you were born with a uterus, you can probably relate to this chain of events. Every month, we wonder why we are so disgusted with ourselves and then one week later, like clockwork, we are reminded again that it’s all caused by hormones. Every month we shell out an excessive amount of money on tampons, pads, panty liners and pain killers. Why is it so expensive to simply exist as a female?

Let’s have a little run-down, shall we? On average, this is how much we spend on period products:

-1 box of 36 tampons, $7

-1 package of 44 pads, $6

-1 package of 100 panty liners, $6

-1 bottle of Midol (40 count), $7

-1 bottle of Pamprin (40 count), $7

According to Pandia Health, a lifetime supply of tampons at the price listed above would cost $1,773.33. Let’s say you work full-time at a minimum wage job. You’d make around $15,000 a year, according to USA Facts, so my calculator says that’s $1,250 a month. That means you’re spending more than a month’s wages on something you NEED, that males don’t have to buy. On that note, there’s actually nothing that males HAVE TO buy on a regular basis. Razors? Not a necessity. Deodorant? Toothpaste? Ok, but women need to buy that stuff too. Also, you can argue that those things aren’t exactly a NECESSITY.

Let’s look further into that dollar amount. What can $1,773.33 buy you today?

  • 1 brand new Apple Macbook Pro AND a brand new Ipad AND an Apple Pencil
  • A decent used car
  • 14 monthly unlimited subway cards in NYC
  • 3 8-day passes to Burning Man WITH parking passes
  • A first-class plane ticket from NYC to Bangkok with only one layover
  • 7,092 rolls of Cottonelle toilet paper

Need I go on? I could, but I think I’ve made my point.

Today I read an article that Scotland has unanimously voted to make all period products free for all those who need them. Schools and universities will provide tampons and pads for free in the restrooms, and the government will provide those things for free elsewhere.

Don’t you think the whole world should follow Scotland’s example? I think free period products are a right. Period.

Social Media: The Wild Frenemy

Social media is wild, absolutely wild. It’s a force of nature that we treat as the annoying storm that never passes, but really, it’s a waking tsunami filled with inspiration, motivation, and community. It’s indubitably the ceaseless war between left and right, positivity and negativity; it’s your side, my side, yet is it ever the truth? Social media has the power to grow the smallest of feats and the ability to take down even the strongest of foundations.

Social media is everyone’s frenemy.

It’s that person you keep close to you out of fear of what will happen when out of sight, it’s the person that sometimes when you let your guard down with them you find they’re actually not that bad, but it’s also the person that you do let your guard down with… and it’s exactly what you expected: your words get twisted and shared, your meaning lost, and your venting rant falls into the ears of a snake, it’s now something that can never be erased… the way others view you now tainted.

I grew up in a weird transitioning stage of technology. My first phone was a Cingular flip phone, with no camera, I had a trove of VHS tapes, portable DVD players were the shit, and I got a Facebook when I was in sixth grade (2006) then a Myspace the following year – oh, was my mom mad about the socials.

In these early years of social media and multimedia messaging, parents and teachers alike were quick to preach to us all, “What you post and what you text lives on the internet forever, be careful!” As we grew up, ‘be careful’s morphed into, “Your job looks at your social media as much as they look at your resume, think about your future!”

So, I’ll say it again – social media is wild.

It has single-handedly fired up civil rights movements, kept these movements relevant, and it’s created community. Everyone can find a community on social media, they can learn about causes they never even knew to care about, they can find an account to follow with the right inspiration they’ve been looking for. Across the board between Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, the limit does not exist with how you can shape, reshape, and reshape again, what your feed and what your personal brand looks like.

If you feel your socials are one note, or too political, or too this, or too that… change up your algorithm.

Go through the accounts you follow, the people you’re friends with, and follow/unfollow – get things off your feed that don’t bring you happiness, advance your knowledge, or aid in personal growth.

Instagram was an easy cleanse – I unfollowed a lot of the random meme accounts and celebrities and then asked myself what I wanted to see, what I needed to see, during moments throughout the day when I take my IG scroll breaks. Do I want to see what food people are eating? Or how about the same dumb meme with knock-knock-joke level humor shared one million times across like 10 accounts? Heck, no! I wanted some finer scrolling content, thank you.

I wanted quality, inspirational, powerful content. After each scroll break, I wanted to feel rejuvenated and ready to take back on the world. I wanted girl power content, I wanted spiritual content, astrology out the ass content… I followed accounts like The Female Hustlers, Black Female Therapists, Oh That Witch Again, and Taurus Scopez.

With Facebook, I felt a bit more conflicted on how to cleanse as I’m not typically one to randomly delete people – which is the standard way to cleanse these days. I generally feel that deleting people isn’t really erasing the problem, and I also think it’s important to try to put yourself in other’s shoes whenever possible. So by not deleting people, I get to do this, attempt to somehow see the world through their eyes – what they come across on their timeline, decidedly resonate with, and then go as far as to share onto their own platform… it says a lot about them. What one shares on social media is very telling about how they are as a person.

FYI this is me lowkey admitting that I psychoanalyze what most everyone posts 😉

Ultimately, my Facebook solution was to actively go through and make sure I was following, like actively going to profiles and hitting the follow button, those friends who have a good rep in terms of posting a wide range of content. My second solution was to find private groups to join. My top favorite groups that keep my Facebook feed filled with Grade A quality content are The Solo Female Traveler Network and Road to 100 Countries. Both pages keep my feed adequately filled with people’s personal travel stories, their tips, and overall inspo to get out, travel, face any fears and knock down any barriers.

So as wild as social media is, I think we must face that it’s something you can’t really ignore or pretend doesn’t matter in this day and age. You just can’t. So, take this frenemy by the horns and own it – make it what you want, because while you can’t ignore it, you can certainly tell it what to do.

. . .

Side note – with a post about social media I feel I should throw in that I hope you’re following PKC on Instagram & Facebook 🙂

Playlist Fiend: The Future is Female

My name is Emily, and I’m a serial playlist maker.

Road trip to Montreal? I gotta playlist for that.

In the mood for some incredibly sad songs that help you justify your tears for the ultimate cathartic release? Yeah, I got a “Feels” playlist obvi.

How about a playlist for that one mood that always happens on the same day every week and you need a playlist to get you out of the funk? Do you doubt me? Of course I have a playlist for that as well.

I’m ultimately obsessed with the power that music has over a situation – don’t even get me started on movie scores (Twilight has the best soundtrack of all time COME AT ME.)

Early on into the conception stage of Peachy Keen Collective, I was desperate to create a playlist that embodied what we were trying to create here. So I dove into massive research and read numerous articles trying to find “Women Empowerment Songs” that also were the right vibe. And honestly I never even found one article that had all the answers, and most articles really only had one song that I was keen on being in our “Playlist Mood Board.”

But alas, this playlist fiend hath created what she believes a worthy playlist.

Below are some songs that made the cut:

JULIANNA CALM DOWN BY THE CHICKS

“Put on, put on your best shoes / And strut the fuck around like you’ve got nothing to lose”

No one likes being told to calm down, but with The Chicks always following up with a “We know…breath. It’ll be okay.” It’s easy to feel that they’re giving advice from a place of deep understanding and “been there” experience. They’re not coming from a condescending place of, “You’re overreacting, chill.”

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I WAS AN EAGLE BY LAURA MARLING

“I will not be a victim of romance / I will not be a victim of circumstance / Chance or circumstance or romance, or any man

If you are unfamiliar with Laura Marling, I would go as far as to compare her to a darker Joni Mitchell. All of her songs have this whimsical story telling to them that’s simply captivating. What really makes this song stand out is the whole premise of “I was an eagle, and you were a dove” ~ go listen and you’ll feel what I mean.

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GOOD KISSER BY LAKE STREET DRIVE

“If you’re gonna tell them everything / Tell ’em I’m a good kisser / Tell ’em all the things you told me / In your desperate whisper

This upbeat jazzy ballad screams PKC – if you’re gonna tell the truth you better tell the whole truth and not just the parts that make you seem better.

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MOTHER’S DAUGHTER BY MILEY CYRUS

“Don’t fuck with my freedom / I came back to get me some / I’m nasty, I’m evil / Must be something in the water or that I’m my mother’s daughter”

I’ll admit, I know full well that Miley is hit or miss for a lot of people. But this song hits the spot. It’s about freedom, openness, & rolls well on a road trip to anywhere – and ain’t that just the ultimate vibe?

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GIRL CAN’T BE HERSELF BY ALICIA KEYS

“In the morning from the minute that I wake up / What if I don’t want to put on all that make up? / Who says I must conceal what I’m made of? / Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem

Alicia Keys is vibes on a million levels, and this song just puts her up even higher in my books. The minute she dropped the Maybelline brand name I was like “Same girl, same.”

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GRIGIO GIRLS BY LADY GAGA

“On the Pinot, Pinot Grigio girls / Pour your heart out / Watch your blues turn gold / All the Pinot, Pinot Grigio girls / Keep it real cold / ‘Cause it’s a fired up world”

Lady Gaga’s album Joanne is straight fire and arguably one of the most beautiful albums she’s put out. I’m not into Pinot Grigio (more of a Sauv Blanc gal) but this song had me striving to find a Grigio I enjoy just to even more directly relate to this song *sigh*

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F E M A L E BY SAMPA THE GREAT

“Big bold women, round of applause / Get-my-goals women, round of applause / Know-my-roots women, round of applause”

Honestly those first few lyrics speak for themselves, so just listen to the song, vibe along, and feel that boost coming your way.

Full playlist here!

I’m sure there are songs you’re in shock that I didn’t include – why don’t you link your jams in the comments so I can take a peek??