Habits are in­grained. After years of do­ing things one way, it can be hard to learn a different way.
This piece from Upworthy (posted by a friend on Facebook) is an interesting TEDx presentation by Tracey Spicer in which she speaks about the hours (which amount to hundreds of days in a lifetime) we women spend every single day on grooming ourselves to be on par with society's (somewhat unfair) standards of how an acceptable woman should look.

This talk by Spicer conjured a few thoughts about what standards of grooming I have for myself, and what magnitude of time it takes up for an average woman walking down the street, and how this all adds up to the other things we could have been more productive in.

Personally, I don't think my standards of grooming is that high (I take less than 10 minutes after the shower for everything else outside the shower), mostly due to my lack of patience, but I think even this adds up to the amount of time lost doing other more productive things.

She has a point to it, in that society's unreasonable expectations about how a woman should look is playing into the could-haves of a woman's achievements. I concur. Then again, we all have some 'could-haves' in life which we may regret later on. But I digress.

I think the point is.... it's a matter of balance.

I personally think that grooming is important, up to a certain extent. Everything beyond that is optional and doesn't help that much further. Some people have to groom themselves for hours every week because it's a job requirement (think female flight attendants, models) but I don't think this makes it universally acceptable nor required. Being clean and neat is a good benchmark, and not having to be perfect.

I'm not sure where I'm getting at with all this, especially since I can think of so many well-groomed women who seem to have successful careers and being able to balance both work and family and personal grooming well enough that they put women like me to shame. They set pretty high standards, so I'm not sure if they themselves set the bar high for female grooming, or society at large plays a bigger role (which includes the male gender group). I don't know, but Spicer does put things into perspective as to how many frivolous things we perform everyday which could really be better spent elsewhere, like reading a book, or working out, learn a new skill like sewing, to name a few.

The point is, I believe that we musn't lead our lives anxious/insecure at the thought of how we appear. Learning to be comfortable in one's own skin isn't about caring little (or none at all) about our appearance, or shunning the comments of others who are sincerely concerned, but rather feeling confident of who you are wherever you go, keeping healthy and staying positive.

I admit that I have trouble feeling good about myself and living in my own skin occasionally, but I'll take a lesson from this video and learn that there are other things that I do good at which I can concentrate my time on, because that certainly makes me feel good about myself.