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Why Being High Maintenance Isn't A Bad Thing

Women are allowed to be multifaceted, and yes, that includes high maintenance.

Love & Relationships

Twitter can be known as a volatile and politically-driven machine but in 2020, it has become a replacement for social conversation while so many are stuck at home during the pandemic. One topic that's circulated the interwebs for some time is the idea of women, specifically black women, being too high maintenance for men today. It's unclear what source sparked this conversation, but we've seen this narrative play out in pop culture with Birkin bags and in the ongoing conversations surrounding the lack of black women represented in luxurious spaces.

According to Merriam-Webster, one definition of high maintenance, referring to a thing rather than a person, is "requiring a large amount of care or maintenance." The second definition, referring to a person rather than a thing, is "tending to cause problems or demand attention: extremely sensitive, demanding, or temperamental." In our society though, high maintenance has been interchangeable with materialistic or financial desires.

But it goes a bit further than that.

It's a matter of rhetoric. When men are referred to as high maintenance, it's because they have high standards for their life or they require a lot of emotional attention. They are often met with some judgment but overall, it doesn't impact the characterization of him.

When it's used to refer to a woman, it's almost always based on a need for money or materialistic things. It is an attack on her character because women who are deemed 'high maintenance' carry around this scarlet letter of being superficial and weak-minded.

If you let Twitter user @vivawoodlife say it, it is a direct reflection of the insecurities of men and their inability to level up to that caliber of woman. In a thread called "High Maintenance Women & The Men Who Hate Them", he goes on to say that men feel inferior at the title of high maintenance primarily due to their ineptitude to perform at that higher level.

He goes on to differentiate between being materialistic and being high maintenance, a point that needs to be highlighted more.

A woman who values her own standards and has an expectation to be treated a certain way is often treated as a bad thing. This user points to the flaws in the male ego, rather than the flaws within this woman, that lead to the bad reputation of being high maintenance.

For me, being high maintenance is a state of being. It's about accepting exactly what you feel you deserve, and not an iota less. It's about knowing you like a certain lifestyle, whether that's attainable to someone else is not your problem. Women are constantly being berated for simply wanting to be treated with decency and respect, for wanting someone to want them unabashedly and out loud.

For black women, we're constantly told that's not for us; that we don't deserve. As @vivawoodlife stated, "a great and high-quality woman is always affordable to a great man but never cheap. If you think that affordability is simply a money thing, stay for my next lecture."

When someone says high maintenance, what do you think of?

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