Beauty Inequality is the New Income Inequality

Cynthia Wylie
5 min readMar 12, 2022

Nine times out of ten, show me a woman over forty five who looks fantastic and I’ll show you a woman who has money.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and youth effortlessly holds its own beauty, but anymore, you really need to have money to be beautiful.


Perusing the aisles of my local drug store recently, I contemplated how expensive skin care products have become and how confusing. As I clutch my coupons and scour the shelves for, Buy One Get One 40% Off offers, I shudder at tinted sunscreen that costs over $50. (I bought it.) Tiny little tubes of eye creams cost $25 or more and night cream with retinol (whatever that is) that cost over $30. Even the private label brands cost a fortune. That doesn’t count expensive shampoos and conditioners without sulfates (again, not sure of the harm in sulfates but it does sound ominous), body lotion, body wash, razor blades (and when did razor blades become so expensive that they have to lock them up?), and all of this doesn’t even count cosmetics which I buy at an actual makeup store because, I don’t know, makeup in the drug store isn’t as good? I can easily drop a few hundred dollars at the makeup store. I also look for sustainable packaging and products not tested on animals.


Let’s drill down a little deeper, shall we? Getting my hair cut is crazy expensive. I have a pretty good deal for cut and color at $120 (plus tip) with a friend, but I know the fancy salons in Beverly Hills and other high rent districts can cost five times that. I am grateful that I can go several months without a cut and color. By the way, I’ve gotten my hair cut in many other places from rural Pennsylvania to South America, and it’s expensive everywhere.

Then there are extras like teeth whitening, Botox, and fillers that easily cost $5,000 a year. There are various forms of plastic surgery. I haven’t had that. Maybe when I’m older. I don’t get manicures and pedicures either. I do my own.


In my opinion there is nothing that negatively affects your appearance more than being unhealthy. Eating well and exercising regularly is the foundation to looking good. And I’m not saying you have to be thin to be beautiful, beauty comes…

Cynthia Wylie

Founder of Bloomers Island. Published children’s book author at PRH. Writes about big kid’s stuff like economics & business, too.