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.