So I’m High-Maintenance, So What?

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Blair Waldorf

A few days ago, I came across a number of articles on low-maintenance women and how much “better” they are compared to high-maintenance onesand even though I agree to some extent, it’s kind of getting on my nerves already. Why, you ask?

Well, obviously I belong to the latter group—I have all the traits that are the complete opposite of those used to describe a low-maintenance woman, as found online. Let me lay down a list for reference purposes…

  1. There is NO WAY IN HELL that a mere 10-15 minutes would be enough for me to get ready for a day or night out.
    I need AT LEAST an hour to take a shower, get dressed, and do my makeup. I don’t know what kind of sorcery other girls do to be able to fix up and get out of the house in a fraction of the time I take.
  2. I am NOT a light packer in ANY WAY.
    I don’t know how in the world girls who bring a mid-sized backpack’s worth of luggage good for 5 days and 4 nights do what they do and I don’t think I will ever find out, because I damn well can’t even get out of the house without lugging around a (most times unreasonably) big shoulder tote that weighs at least 2 kg!
  3. I can’t NOT go shopping regularly.
    …and by regularly, I mean a ridiculously embarrassing frequency. Sometimes I’m convinced it’s actually a disease. Is there some type of medicine I can take for this!?
  4. I have a room full of clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, and beauty products, but there are still days when I am stumped about what to wear.
    Just a shirt and jeans? Okay, yeah… but I’d have to pick the right accessory for that. Hmm, which bag to use today? What makeup look to pull off? What do you mean, no jewelry!?
  5. It takes a considerable amount of effort for me to be okay with not getting what I want.
    I mean okay, I can manage to deal with it because it’s proper human decorum and I don’t want to be a living, breathing friend-repellant, but… why would anyone be happy without getting what they want? That’s possible? Really?

Okay, that list ended up much longer than expected (although to be honest, I could still go on), but you get my drift. I am the antithesis of the low-maintenance woman, and yes, it grinds my gears that there is so much dislike for “my kind” on websites like Elite Daily and Buzz Feed right now.

Firstly, does it not cross the minds of people who hate on others for being high-maintenance that a person’s overly meticulous fashion sense could actually be a form of a creative outlet, the same way an extensive makeup routine could also be? I know that for a fact, because I do not wear makeup just for vanity purposes. In all sincerity, I thoroughly enjoy the act of putting on makeup; to me, it’s like painting, except the canvas is my face. What about all those highly successful fashion designers and makeup artists, do you think they got to where they are now without reveling in all their high-maintenance glory? I don’t think they would have honed their talents so well if they didn’t spend the extra time, effort, and resources on dressing up and fixing up impeccably from the beginning.

Secondly, what about those seemingly rigid, bossy, self-centered, and go-getter type A personalities—are their life stories and experiences not worthy of being taken into consideration? There are multiple studies on birth order in relation to one’s personality—should that not be given the time of day prior to judgment? I personally am an eldest child and I lived for 7 years as the apple of my mother’s eye, and that’s even in addition to my current living situation of being countries apart from my immediate family and having to make major life decisions on my own. I’d like to attribute my difficulty conceding to those tidbits of my life story, the same way other high-maintenance ladies most likely have major life events of their own that led them to being how they are now.

I absolutely hate that all those points are being disregarded; moreover, that it is being instilled in some people’s minds that being high-maintenance makes one a bad person and that they should be avoided as much as possible when choosing a romantic interest, simply because they are more difficult to be with and presumably also more challenging to please (in more ways than one). Since when did love and romance become a search for the easiest partner to be with? Shouldn’t it be that if you truly love someone, you should accept them completely, flaws and all?

Underneath these so-called superficialities, high-maintenance women are still humans capable of feeling legitimate hurt emotions, too. Women are not categorized into “luxurious” and “economic;” we are not cars evaluated through criteria like mileage, eco-friendliness, and durability, and we most certainly do not act the way we do for the sake of being more preferred by potential romantic partners. How would you like it if someone came at you for being low-maintenance, if someone judged your whole being for not taking the extra time to attend to yourself? For being too “go-with-the-flow” and easy to satisfy? For being the way you are, in general?

I’m not hating on low-maintenance women—being low-maintenance is their thing and I admire them for it, partly because I really don’t know how they do what they do (seriously, what the hell). But this is my thing. This is how I am, and chances are this is how I always will be. Though that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, in the end, as long as you are not stepping on anyone’s rights or being totally obnoxious and insufferable, what matters is how happy you are with yourself—so if anyone berates you for being high-maintenance, tell them to talk to your fully accessorized and manicured hand. They don’t deserve a minute of your precious time (which you probably read from a designer timepiece or an expensive-ass phone, HA).

P.S. All the photos on this post are not mine.

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  1. Sona Ghose

    August 9, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Dear Erika, I run a bizness & lifestyle magazine in Shenzhen city, China. Would you consider contributing this piece for the lifestyle & fashion section in our September issue. with pictures. If yes, let me also know how your name & info should appear as contributor.

    • Erika

      August 9, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      I will be thinking about it. Thank you very much for your interest! :)

  2. azsyerrah

    August 9, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Nice post. I can relate especially #1 and #2. Lol 😀

    • Erika

      August 9, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      Thank you! :)

  3. nekoknight

    August 11, 2014 at 8:56 am

    I think you and the article you are responding to misunderstand the meaning of high maintenance and low maintenance. They are not the difference between “glamorous and expensive” vs “plain and utilitarian”. Everyone should try to be “low maintenance” because the amount of “maintenance” you require is how much of a burden you are on other people. Most of the habits you list for yourself are not necessarily things that make a person “high maintenance”. You like shopping and having an expansive wardrobe? Good, but do it on your own dime. You take a long time to get ready or need to pack a lot? Fine, but prepare far enough in advance that you aren’t inconveniencing the people waiting on you. No matter how you slice it, “self-centered, uncompromising and inconsiderate” are not virtues. Things that make a person high maintenance are, by definition, character faults and make you a less desirable individual. People who think that that world needs to accommodate their character faults are assholes.

    • Erika

      August 11, 2014 at 11:30 am

      Thanks for your opinion, but even though I agree that “(some) things that make a person high-maintenance make a person a less desirable individual,” I’d have to disagree with a lot of your other points.

      Being high-maintenance woman to me, in addition to being more flashy than simple, entails that one requires more to make her happy… not just from a material aspect, and not necessarily as a burden on other people (she could be self-supporting yet still be high-maintenance). Yes, from some points-of-view it could mean that she’s more selfish than usual (I never said otherwise, the same way I didn’t say high-maintenance women *cannot* compromise—it just takes more effort for them to), and the more selfish a woman is, the more difficult she is to be with, but you failed to see my point. Not once did I say that the negative points of a high-maintenance woman’s personality are virtues to be upheld. I merely asked for more understanding and the cessation of basing a woman’s worth on the level of maintenance they have, because each person has their own story behind who they have come to be.

      I also didn’t say that whatever “character fault” a high-maintenance woman has should be condoned by the world. What I said was that the berating of it by strangers who do not even know why a high-maintenance woman is how she is is unnecessary; leave that task to those who know the woman completely, and even then, make sure constructive and polite criticism is used.

      Lastly, “character faults” are subjective. What you may find faulty in others seem perfectly okay to some, and you can’t blame them for that because everyone is entitled to an opinion. You shouldn’t judge someone entirely based on your perspective of them—there is almost always more than that.

  4. anoukschurink

    August 12, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Hi there, I’m an upcoming beauty blogger. I was wondering if you could maybe check out my blog sometime?
    lots of love,

    • Erika

      August 14, 2014 at 10:49 pm

      Sure, I will! Thanks for dropping by! :)

  5. Kimmy (Beauty Isles)

    August 13, 2014 at 2:31 am

    I absolutely loved this post and you laying it out there! Found you on I Am Serenel :-)

    • Erika

      August 14, 2014 at 10:49 pm

      Thank you! I appreciate it! :)

  6. Milenka

    August 21, 2014 at 1:19 am

    I loved this post! I came across ‘Why Low Maintenance Women Aren’t Getting The Love They Deserve’ on Elite Daily and found the negativity towards high-maintenance girls quite offensive and ridiculous. Whose place is it to say how we should be anyway?! Thank you for defending us high-maintenance girls and showing that it’s fine to be either way!


    • Erika

      August 21, 2014 at 1:20 am

      That article is exactly why I wrote this. I’m glad you agree with me! Thanks for reading! :)

  7. Quin

    August 26, 2014 at 2:08 am

    I really enjoyed this post. I’ve always thought it would be hard to get high maintenance girls to be honest with themselves about how long it takes them to get ready, how much they pack…etc. But then I realized, I AM high maintenance in the grand scheme of things. And who determines what “high maintenance” is anyway? Isn’t accepting that you have I have an excessively long makeup routine just part of my personality and as long as my husband and friend love me just the same despite that I might make them 10 minutes late to a party, then who cares!

    People are people. Women are women. Each is different. And who long it takes you to get out of the shower, shuffle some clothes on and get to work in the morning doesn’t have anything to do with what type of a person you are on the inside. Habits and traits are constantly growing and changing! Thanks so much for you post!

    • Erika

      August 29, 2014 at 2:46 am

      I agree; we are all different individuals, and being different does not mean one is any less of a person. Oh, and just to clarify things (this blog post was also featured on Thought Catalog and a lot of people misunderstood), my point is NOT “I am high-maintenance and it’s my way or the highway,” okay? My point is more of “I may be high-maintenance, but that isn’t all there is to me.” :)

      It makes me happy that you appreciate this post, Quin! It means a lot to know others can relate to me. Thank you very much.

  8. algonquinblogger

    September 10, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I absolutely loved this!

    When I tell the “low maintenance” girls around me that it is a 2 hour ordeal to get ready in the morning they gasp as if I am telling them that I rip my kidney out each morning!!
    Yes, I am a high maintenance girl too, lots of men may find it a pain in the ass to date girls like us. But fortunately I have found a man who is patient and will wait as long as I take to get ready, slow down every time I look in a mirror, and takes all of my justification on why I just HAD to buy that top! These men do exist 😉 Thank you for speaking up for us ladies!!

    • Erika

      September 23, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Thank you! I appreciate your feedback. And it’s true, it takes a special kind of person to be able to see through our superficialities and truly appreciate what’s beneath the layers, you know? It’s why I wrote this—because I was really fed up with people who think that being high-maintenance is simply what it is, that once you are high-maintenance, that is all you will ever be. I’m so happy you have found your person! :)

  9. Rae

    December 13, 2014 at 1:08 am

    As you can tell, I’m backreading 😛 Please don’t get creeped out, haha. Haven’t had time to read blogs lately.

    Anyway, I know it doesn’t seem believable but I’m pretty much low-maintenance (as in, VERY low maintenance in terms of physical upkeep). I have a capsule wardrobe that I rotate every two weeks. I take 10 minute showers in the morning and 20-minute prep time, that includes coffee, makeup, and dressing up. 30 minutes and I’m out the door.

    THAT said. I’m still a mess. I don’t get enough sleep. I don’t have my shit together. I sleep late and I wake up late, I’m all over the place and I’m always in a rush.

    I admire high-maintenance people. I’ve mentioned this once,before, in my blog, that people who have the time to get dressed up, apply makeup, and appear decent everyday is a sign of self-discipline. The ability to set aside time to do all of these things is quite awesome and it doesn’t automatically mean you’re a burden to others. Many high-maintenance ladies in my life, including my mom, are quite disciplined in other areas of their lives.

    Here’s a quick story, I traveled with a high-maintenance friend once. She takes at least 2 hours to get ready. You know what? She wakes up 2 hours earlier than me so she could take a bath and have time to do everything she needs to do. She was never a burden. I never had to wait for her. In fact, she even once had to wait for me…

    It’s actually really attractive. Sorry long rant. I don’t understand high-maintenance upkeep, but I can’t take the generalizations and the stereotyping.

    • Erika de Jesus

      December 13, 2014 at 1:32 am

      Hahaha I’m actually flattered that you’re taking the time to go through my blog! Thank you! :)

      I’ve been told countless times that I’m high-maintenance, but I never thought of it as something I had as an edge over other people, contrary to the wrong impression a bunch of readers got (this post was also published on Thought Catalog—check out the horrible comments here hahaha). If anything, like you, I feel like the other side is the greener pasture in one way or another. I can never understand how low-maintenance people live their lives and I find their lifestyles admirable because it’s something I don’t think I’m capable of. Sometimes I try, but I always end up caving in to my old ways.

      I was really frustrated (and I still am) with the generalizations and stereotyping, though. I absolutely hate that just because I’m high-maintenance and I acknowledge it, a lot of people automatically assume negative things about me without taking the time to get to know me. Just because I’m fond of makeup and shopping doesn’t mean I’m an insubstantial bimbo who’s all about herself, the same way I’m quite sure a lot of other high-maintenance people like your friend and mom aren’t. Kudos to you for thinking of them in a rational manner and not just labeling them as maarte, BTW. The world needs more reasonable people like you. 😆

      While I was writing this, I realized in the end that it wasn’t just about defending high-maintenance people anymore. It was about objecting to how high-maintenance and low-maintenance people were being set against each other, when the truth is people should just live and let others live.

      • Rae

        December 13, 2014 at 1:45 am

        Haha, I’ll read that later.

        I think I would never understand that kind of thinking. I used to work in an auditing firm and many of the female Partners (aka owners) seem high-maintenance, like tipong, imeldific hair and dressed to the nines. Every single day. Parang may salon sa bahay.

        My doctors are high maintenance-looking as well (if that means full-face of makeup and looking like a million bucks).

        I’m pretty sure they are FAR from having an empty space between their ears. They are some of the smartest people I know!

        Just do what you do, girl. Sometimes it’s ok that people look down on you for a moment tapos magugulat sila how bad ass you are 😀

        • Erika de Jesus

          December 13, 2014 at 1:26 pm

          Now, if only everyone thought that way, the world would be a better place (LOL at Imeldific hahaha). Speaking of salons at home and doctors… I know a doctor who bought her own airbrush makeup equipment for DAILY USE. It must take so much patience to use that everyday before going to work. 😆

          Anyway, I agree. I did a “personal social experiment” like that in college. I would show up in class late regularly, fully made up and dressed up considerably more than the average student. It got to a point that even the professor thought I was a complete slacker… only to be surprised with my work output. He was even more surprised that I was part of the first honors’ dean’s list, which meant I had unlimited cuts so he couldn’t fail me due to my tardiness. It was a pretty rewarding feeling, proving people wrong like that. 😀

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