Pink Tax

The “WTF” moment when you realize your paying more for pink frills.

The decor at Pietro Nolita just screams how we should all feel about Pink Tax.
Photo by Kaye Liautaud

A gender based pricing known as “Pink Tax”, is a surcharge toward women for the same hygiene products used by men. While floral scents and packaging colored in different shades of pink distinguish women’s hygiene products from men’s, the price tag is also a major difference. Razors, body wash, hair shampoo, and specialty sized clothing will cost women a significantly higher percentage than men. It isn’t exactly clear when Pink Tax started but chances are women have probably been charged since birth. Throughout my research I found that even identical children’s toys with similar functions are priced higher for girls than boys. This discriminatory tax is only excluded in 12 states. 

In a study of gender based pricing done by the New York City Department Of Consumer Affairs in 2015, the agency found that women pay seven percent more for similar products than men. According to the DCA, about 800 products of male and female versions were compared from two dozen New York City retailers online and in store. The study of comparing products included: children’s toys, adult personal care products, home health care products, and clothing. The DCA specifically found that girl’s toys cost seven percent more than boy’s toys, 13 percent more for personal care products, and eight percent more for clothing. 

A clear example of gender based pricing in a study done by Jezebel, which was a comparison of a children’s self-riding car being sold by the company Fisher Price. This article was surprisingly accurate. Fisher Price sold their Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler self-riding car at $206.54 for the blue Hot Wheels version for boys and the pink Barbie version for girls at $214.88. Both of the toy cars have the same functionalities. The cosmetic difference is where the consumer gets an increase in price. According to Jezebel, product marketing director at the consumer data firm Index Jenn Steele says “If you’re finding consistently that pink sippy cups are more expensive than the exact same sippy cup in blue, then the marketplace could be putting pressure on sellers to drop the prices of the blue ones more.”

Business Entertainment/ Entrepreneur/Educator, Ebonie Jackson find told me that she, like many other women, deal with Pink Tax. Jackson told me that she does notice a change a difference in taxes for things like shaving cream, razors, shampoo, and lotion. Jackson said, “The ones that are geared toward women are a lot more expensive than the ones that are geared toward men, even though they complete the same function.” Jackson told me that feminine products are essential items and are not luxury items. I’m sure plenty of women like Jackson, would agree that they shouldn’t be paying more for items that are essential.

Deal News did a comparison of men and hygiene products. In the study a woman’s razor from Walmart cost $4.49 while a man’s razor cost $4.27. Their study also showed that women’s body wash from Olay cost $0.33 per ounce while men’s body wash from Old Spice cost $0.23 per once purchased from Target. 

Jackson is also the mother of two teenagers. I wanted to know if they were ever instances where she had to refrain from buying pink packaged items when it comes to her daughter. “I have two teenagers at home. One’s a boy and one’s a girl. We all use the same stuff.” Jackson told me that her daughter wants the pretty pink stuff and the packaging but it doesn’t make sense financially.

I spoke with Brianna Daquin, a recent graduate from Stoney Brook University who says she’s always stealing her boyfriend’s razors, literally. Daquin says that she purchases her Gillette razors from Amazon to save money a broke college grad’s budget. She shares her Amazon account with her boyfriend and noticed that the cost of his razors were lowers than hers yet, they were purchased from the same company. “I feel like I use more razors than he does. Just because men can skip shaving sometimes it isn’t fair that they get to pay less than we do,” said Daquin. I wanted to know if Daquin has an alternative to paying higher prices for women’s hygiene products. She said “From now on I’m buying all my razors and body washes in the men’s section. I don’t care about smelling like a man. It actually smells better to me” she said laughing.

Pink Tax certainly feels like punishment. The crime? Being born of female gender. All women should have the freedom to live unapologetically as females. As far as the pink packaging on women’s essential items; the the Pink Tax needs to be removed without a doubt but, the packaging should still remain pink as fluff.

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Kaye

I’m an actress habituated with train delays in my favorite heels, and proud of it. I use fashion as my script. Wearing contrastive styles gives me a chance to perceive an unfamiliar character. If putting on a new pair of shoes and adding new styles to your wardrobe makes you feel more confident, then you’ll revel in my blog!

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