It’s expensive being a woman


It’s expensive being a woman. You can do it on the cheap, of course, but think what you miss out on. Not for you the “enchanting beauty boom,” for instance. What’s an enchanting beauty boom? As Shukan Josei (Sept 4) explains it, it involves everything “from upgrading your makeup and fashion sense to plastic surgery.” Of course, there is an economy class, in this as in most things, but be forewarned: there are no upper limits, and once you start, there’s simply no end to it.

The first thing an enchanting beauty will want is a personal coordinator and/ or a personal stylist, who will take you shopping and make a fashion plate of you. The fee: somewhere around 20,000 yen for two hours. Some personal coordinators make house calls, charging 25,000 yen to 30,000 yen for two hours.

If you hair’s not thick enough, you’ll want to do something about that, and you can. Scalp treatments run at around 54,000 yen for six months, or 92,000 yen for a year. Dental beautification? No problem – 800,000 yen and your teeth will be like new, no one seeing you smile would ever guess you were over 40.

There’s much more than this to the enchanting beauty boom – breast enlargement, face lifts, skin treatments, anti-aging injections and so on, for all of which Shukan Josei provides price options (a face lift, for example, can range from more or less quick-fix procedures costing in the neighborhood of 30,000 yen, to surgery setting you back 945,000 yen).

But since women’s needs go beyond enchanting beauty, so does Shukan Josei’s research. Marriage. More and more people are staying single for life, but marriage has its attractions too, and professionally organized "omiai" parties, where prospective marriage partners can meet, are flourishing. How much are they? That depends. A basic no-frills party can cost a woman as little as 500 yen. If she’s particular about who she’s likely to meet, she might want to spend a little more – 4,000 yen or so for an "omiai" where all the men are government employees; 15,000 yenfor those open only to doctors and lawyers.

Infertility is a major theme these days, as is its corollary, fertility treatment. Here, too, there is a broad range of choices, from professional advice on coordinating sex with the ovulation cycle (1,000 yen to 2,000 yen per session) to artificial insemination (20,000 yen to 30,000 yen per try, with a 60-80% success rate) and far, far beyond – in-vitro fertilization, for example, at 350,000 yen to 500,000 yen, and, if this doesn’t work, surrogate motherhood at 2-3 million yen.

Once you’ve had the child, why not make a star of him or her? Many mothers want to, inspired by celebrities like Fuku Suzuki and Kanon Tani, both 8. Success like that has to be worked at, and paid for. It can cost 150,000 yen just to get a child into a talent school, plus lesson fees of up to 31,000 yen a month.

No woman need succumb entirely to the stresses and strains of responsible wifehood and motherhood. There are releases. Host clubs? Know what you want and plan accordingly. At some, 3,000 yen will buy you all you can drink for two hours. At others, it’s 10,000 yen and no time limit.

© Japan Today

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And who says the J-economy is sinking?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

. But what a life to live for ?? .. Well , enjoy while we can .. If we can afford it , why not ? Coconuts !! Lol !

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I thought this was going to be a useful article but turns out it is just fluff. It really is expensive being a women, especially in Japan when you look at health care. If you want to go to the OB Gyn, chances are that you will have to pay the full bill because it won't be covered by health insurance. Same thing goes for the pill. I had to get my perscription renewed every 3 months at 2,000 and then the price of the pill on top of it. And having a kid doesn't look much cheaper, although I know that the government gives some money, it may not cover the full bill. If anyone has hints on making these things more affordable, I would be happy to hear :)

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"And having a kid doesn't look much cheaper"

I'd tend to think "having a kid" will actually end up quite a little more expensive than the pill ... Kids tend to take up a little more time, energy, and emotional commitment too from what they say .....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yasukuni: Yes, poor choice of wording. I meant it to mean that when someone decided to have a kid, the price of hospital fees are still rather high although this is a country with an aging elderly population that needs more couples having kids. You would think that ALL maternity costs would be covered as an incentive to have children. Of course children themselves cost a lot of money but I was meaning to limit my discussion to the maternal health care.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Host clubs"

Women can rent cute boy toys there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Indeed , Tokyo is full of these " enchanting beauty boom " devotees struting their stuff. Very nice to look at but the poor J sods who fall for their "charms " no doubt end up working their butts off to keep financing their " enchanting beauty " addictions.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It's expensive because they're ripping you off.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

JT, why do you run such crap? It does nothing but feed into the stereotype that women in Japan are nothing but materialistic airheads but spend tons of money on frivolous garbage. Perhaps you could hire a few more writers to write about interesting things rather than translators for gossip rags?

25 ( +29 / -3 )

People care about image sooooooooooo much. sigh~

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The purpose of the Kuchikomi section is to let our readers know about topics that the Japanese are reading in the weekly magazines. It is not crap.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's expensive being a woman

Doesn't seem to keep some men from trying...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's even more expensive being a guy if your GF of wife is into all this delusional enhancements.

Be natural, kind and be yourself. This is true beauty and this is what guys want. We are tired of all the fake additions... You don't need them ladies...

I am sure most men agree with me???

11 ( +12 / -2 )

All of these are choices, and life is only as expensive as you make it in such cases.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Grow old gracefully instead of trying to make yourself look like a mannequin, with a smooth shiny face. Spend the money you save on holidays.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Watching your diet and getting some exercise to keep beautiful is all a gal would need- the rest when they go out, on dates etc, usually its the guy who ends up having to pay everything anyway........

0 ( +0 / -0 )


And having a kid doesn't look much cheaper, although I know that the government gives some money, it may not cover the full bill.

Depends on your address. Some cities refund the entire amount, some don't.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's almost worth creating a few sockpuppet accounts to +1 tmarie's comment ;)

Actually, tmarie, I think the mods are right. That doesn't mean I think you're wrong though!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

None of my girl friends do any of those things from the article.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

if it is expensive to BE a woman it therefore has to be expensive for guys to GET a woman.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is expensive being a woman if you insist upon conforming to commercial expectations and societal pressures to show your status and worth through material goods. I can say with absolute certainty that there are women world wide who choose to define their self and social worth based upon personality, intelligence, capability, humanity, kindness and her own unique qualities. This is what women should be aspiring to.

Any person can don expensive make up, a nice bag and an expensive outfit. All it takes is money, which is not a defining factor in the value of a person as an individual. But not every person can go out into the world with a personality and set of qualities that will define her to anyone who meets her.

If Japanese women put more effort into personality and individuality and less time into conforming to fashion magazine expectations, the country would be far better off and the progress of Japanese women would take leaps forward.

My wife is an artist, musician a talented technical worker and one of the most kind people in the world. She rarely wears much make up, has no brand bags and dresses like she wants and not how anyone expects her to. She is a wonderful example of someone who is widely known and respected for what she believes and things and not what she buys. And if I have a daughter in the future I hope she will follow in her mother's footsteps and not the shallow vain herd that are only as interesting as the limit on their credit cards for shopping.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

borscht: I am happy that some cities do refund the full amount but I wish that ALL cities would pay the FULL cost up front. I know that my city covers almost all, but I will still be about 100,000 yen out for maternity services even though I pay in to the health system monthly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ladies, it's not expensive if you master the art of manipulating your " patrons " .......................

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It’s expensive being a woman.....if you choose it to be.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It’s expensive being a woman.....if you choose it to be.


0 ( +0 / -0 )

It’s expensive being a woman

This title should read, "It's expensive being a woman if you want to spend (waste) the money on trying to be eternally youthful"

Seriously though, women are like fine wine, they get better as they age!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Tokyokawasaki is right.

It is expensive, and sure there are pressures to be pretty when looked at that men don't always understand, but in the en participating in that crap is your choice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That`s a selfish and immature view, it is actually MUCH more expensive to be a man , cause we are the ones mostly paying for all the above crap.

And even if not tied up yet, we meant to foot the bill in outings etc... Only very rarely ,specially in Japanese society women is proposing to split the bill.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The title doesn't go with the article.

Dental beautification? Does that even exist in Japan?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Yes, it is expensive being a woman. Despite some 'bills' are taken care of by the man. I don't want to tell him that I've spent a huge amount of money for cosmetics, hair salon, nail salon, massages etc. Of course apart from wanting to look great to him, I also have a job that requires me to look good. So there's really nothing wrong in spending lots of money on myself. .

So it's not just about image it's also about keeping my rice bowl and my lifestyle. I work very hard to maintain my expensive taste and good lifestyle. And I am sure many J women do the same. And I don't believe that's an image of materialistic airheads...!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Decades back I was lucky enough to read Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth. She details the gazillions of dollars that women are sucked into spending in order to be ___ enough. (You fill in the blanks with just about anything: pretty, skinny, sexy, whatever.) Women's insecurities are well known and manipulated by marketing and advertising. We should worry more about filling our minds with things worth knowing, surrounding ourselves with people worth cultivating, and living the very short lives we are given fully. The rest is vanity and delusion.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It’s expensive being a woman, but the bill is payed by us... :-DDD

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

There's more to being attractive than make-up.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

once you start, there’s simply no end to it

So don't start.

How much are they? That depends. A basic no-frills party can cost a woman as little as 500 yen..... 15,000 yenfor those open only to doctors and lawyers.

Go for the doctors and lawyers...better value.

Infertility is a major theme these days, as is its corollary, fertility treatment.

If you have kids, there will be no time for the beauty treatments. Forget this.

No woman need succumb entirely to the stresses and strains of responsible wifehood and motherhood. There are releases.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )


No woman need succumb entirely to the stresses and strains of responsible wifehood and motherhood. There are releases.

This isn't resposible wifehood and motherhood. Avoid it.

There, that wasn't so bad, and look at all the money you saved.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It's expensive being a woman, is it? Well, guess what? It's Tokyo. It's expensive being alive.

It's less expensive if you stop weeing your money away on crap you don't need.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The mention of infertility treatments here, among the fripperies of hair, makeup, appearance, has really annoyed me. Why has the author chosen to make this connection?

Is bearing children the sole responsibility of women? Does infertility affect only women? Is wanting to be a parent an indulgence which only women dabble in?

A very backward piece of writing.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What expenses? A little stick deoderant, and powder on the crack and you should be in business!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I feel sorry for women, but god I LOVE THEM! Keep up the good work!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )


A little stick deodorant, and powder on the crack

Is that where they put it?? I always thought it was powder on the face....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

None of my girl friends do any of those things from the article.

Well that would explain why they are still single JapanGal. Just kidding! Man I should do stand up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

it's expensive to be a materialistic woman... nuns don't have that issue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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