As we brace ourselves for the tailspin of our metabolisms and compulsively question the perkiness of our breasts, we realize that this life is fleeting. By “this life,” I mean the glory days that are our early twenties.
We’re not young enough to pull the cards we could in college, and the only people who take us 100 percent seriously are the ones who put in our orders at the drive-thru every Sunday. So, as an independent woman who was raised by the sweet sounds of Destiny’s Child, I will tell you that there are ways to develop ourselves into independent women, so throw your hands up at me.
1. Good Lipstick
If there’s anything that throws me into a panicked frenzy more than losing a tube of Chapstick, it’s losing a tube of lipstick. The days of thickly applied eyeliner are over, unless you’re going for the Ke$ha circa 2010 look, that is. If your mom is anything like mine, she told you no lipstick until you were a grownup, because lipstick is for hookers. Well, now you’re a hooker. Kidding, but you’re old enough to dress yourself, and part of that means finding a lip color that doesn’t make you look like a girl named Maria Valentina who wears hoop earrings and hangs out in the back of a barber shop in Harlem.
2. A Back Pocket Dance Move
You are by no means required to morph into a Latina princess when your pinky toe crosses onto the bar’s dance floor, but try to develop a go-to move aside from twerking on a dude’s crotch. When in doubt, heyyyy Macarena!
3. A Coffee Pot
Hey all you accountants, what’s two times 365? I don’t feel like practicing multiplication right now, but that’s a pretty big number and it’s also the amount of money you could save on ready-made coffee if you learn how to brew your own. Oh, you don’t like coffee, you say? Unless you’re ready to invest in a healthy relationship with crack three times a day, good luck staying awake past 11 a.m. Learn to love your own coffee.
4. A Kissing Style
Find your “thing.” Do you suck the bottom lip? Are you a tongue poker? Don’t be a tongue poker. Be that girl that he remembers making out with, not fucking. Well, that, too, but it’ll come with time.
5. A Gym Membership
My mom gives me a lot of stupid advice, and most of the time I tune it out because she’s my mom. But when I moved out of the house, she told me not to lose my figure and I think that’s pretty sound advice. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of how the media influences our standards of beauty, and everyone is entitled to maintain whichever weight he or she wants. That being said, if you don’t feel good about your weight, then you’ll likely find yourself in a downward spiral in many aspects of your life. A gym membership has benefits aside from getting in shape. There’s the endorphin rush, the hot trainers, and a place in the community, too.
6. A Dish You Can Cook Without The Recipe
Be a lady in the street and a freak in the kitchen. Know this meal like the back of your hand. Use it to woo your man into the bedroom (or wedding) and impress your friends with it at dinner parties. This dish can be whatever you want it to be as long as it doesn’t involve premade, canned food for the prep, like SpaghettiOs.
7. A Fall Coat
Back-to-school season is upon us, and as tempting as it is to rock the hoodie with leggings look, we should really leave that look to the TSM girls. Hoodies are great and I’m all for sweats, but if we’re trying to be taken seriously here, then elastic waistbands and stained, grey zippies should remain in our dressers until it’s time to slip into something a little bit more comfortable. I’m willing to bet that the only hoodies you own are ones that you stole from your dad, or worse, a college boyfriend.
8. A “Usual” Order
Honey oat, double turkey, lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, pickles, extra chipotle. Eat fresh, bitch.
9. A Magazine Subscription
You’re not forced to crack open overpriced books anymore, but you should probably maintain the reading level of a first grader. If not a book, immerse yourself in some type of reading material that holds your attention for longer than the Kardashians can. Also, heads up: if you purchase tickets through Ticketmaster, you can get a free, one-year subscription to Rolling Stone.
10. A Super-Flattering Pair Of Jeans
Fuck the little black dress. The perfect pair of pants is way more practical. Nobody goes to cocktail parties, and college bar attire is still suitable for a night out on the town.