Flushing Out The “Pink Tax”

Flushing Out The “Pink Tax”

There's more being taxed than just razors and shampoo.
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Gender equality may not only be a social issue but an economic one as well. And it’s not a reference towards the gender wage gap—men earning more than their female counterparts for the same job. It’s come to light in the past few years that women are being charged more for their products and services than men. This is the “pink tax.”

A study in 1994 by the State of California concluded that women are spending about $1,351 more than men for the same products and services.

The New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs conducted a study which concluded in December 2015 named, “From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer.” The study showed female consumers are charged more from birth to death by investigating in depth 35 categories with about 800 products.

The “pink tax” is usually associated with female products such as razors, but it applies to much more. The study went in depth by investigating clothing used through women’s lives starting from birth. Clothing for baby girls, more specifically shirts, cost up to 13 percent more than they do for boys. This gender pricing gap exists throughout all children's clothing, from onesies, to shoes and underwear.

The same gender pricing gap extends to children’s toys which cost 11 percent more for girls than boys. This gap exists for a scooter. The study found a red scooter marketed towards a boy costs $24.99 while a pink scooter marketed towards a girl cost $49.99. The only difference between the scooters are the colors and gender labeling.

Women continue to pay the “pink tax” as they mature into adulthood. Women pay 15 percent more than men for shirts. A men’s shirt labelled “Classic One Pocket Shirt” costs $48 while a women’s shirt labelled “One Pocket Boyfriend Shirt” costs $78. There’s a reason I steal my boyfriend’s clothing – to save money.

Even when caring for clothing, there’s a “pink tax.” According to Listenmoneymatters.com, dry cleaners charge women more than men for the same service. While a man’s shirt can be cleaned for $2.86, a woman’s charged $4.95. Although NYC has laws against gender-based pricing, it still happens.

Referencing back to the New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs study, the “pink tax” on hygienic products is evident. Women are charged 48 percent more for shampoo and conditioner. The only real differences between the shampoo and conditioner marketed to men and women are the scents, and packaging. The same can be said about razor cartridges, razors, and lotions whose cost are increased 11 percent for women.

These hygienic products are used by both genders and there’s no way around them. Razors are essential to both genders, but in the summer women are the ones constantly using razors to shave, and applying lotion for smooth, hydrated skin. It’s a well-known part of society which advocates hairless women and essentially helps feed the gender pricing gap.

Women have to deal with menstrual cramps by buying overpriced ibuprofen, pads, and tampons. A 2010 study conducted by Consumer Reports found Walgreens charging 50 cents more for Excedrin Complete Menstrual than Excedrin Extreme Strength. Both products have the same ingredients. This isn’t fair for female consumers, especially women who suffer from menorrhagia (abnormally heavy bleeding) and have to resort to other methods, like alcohol, to relieve severe cramps.

Even after menstruation, the “pink tax” doesn’t abandon women, following them into old age. Personal urinals marketed towards female senior citizens are 21 percent more expensive. Adult diapers cost 7 percent more for women. Female senior citizens have to pay 12 percent more for canes on top of paying 15 percent more for braces, and support.

Whether the gender-hiked prices are solely based off of marketing for female beauty or women are seen as second-class citizens who are forced to pay a “pink tax” isn’t the real concern. The main takeaway is that women are being exploited because of their gender, and change needs to happen.

Despite being a woman paying the “pink tax,” I don’t want my potential female offspring to pay it as well. Parents can’t naturally control the gender of their children, but they can advocate for a world that accepts both genders equally. Without the “pink tax.”

Cover Image Credit: Charee Magazine

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Everything You Need To Know About BANG Energy Drinks

Say goodbye to your favorite pre-workout drink.
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BANG energy drinks from VPX Sports are the hottest new products for athletes everywhere. On every can, you'll find their catchphrase "Potent Brain & Body Fuel" and it gives you just that. Clean energy, laser-sharp focus, and no sugar induced crashes are just a few of the reasons these bad boys are flying off the shelves faster than retailers can keep them stocked. Haven't heard of them? Sound too good to be true? Let me answer your questions.

What is it? It's an energy drink that's kind of like your typical Red Bull or Monster. It's a perfect substitution for pre-workout supplements or coffee.

Who's it meant for? Anyone! A better question to ask is, "Who isn't this drink meant for?" On the can, you'll find a recommendation for no one under the age of 18 to consume the drink. You also may want to steer clear of it if you're sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

What's in it? BANG energy drinks contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. But what you can find are BCAA's, CoQ10, creatine, and copious amounts of caffeine. These are things athletes often take as supplements.

What are BCAA's? BCAA's are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are known to stimulate protein synthesis, increase muscle function, decrease your soreness after a workout, and even aid in repairing damaged muscles.

What's CoQ10? Coenzyme Q10 is found in the mitochondria of your cells and sparks energy production. It helps produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. People often take this as a dietary supplement when they feel tired or lethargic.

What's super creatine? Creatine does a great job in enhancing athletic performance by aiding growth of lean body mass (AKA muscle). When you take creatine orally, the amount in your muscles increase and helps regenerate ATP more efficiently. According to the nutrition label, this so-called "super" creatine is bonded to Leucine to make Creatyl-L-Leucine. On SupplementReviews.com, a VPX Sports representative allegedly said the following about the Super Creatine in the drink:

"The creatine in there is actually something very special...it is the world's only water stable creatine. It is Creatine-Leucine peptide. Think of this...if you mix creatine in water, it sinks and if you mix leucine in water, it floats....if you combine the two into a peptide, it creates a water soluble and water-stable form of creatine. It also has a fatty acid chain that makes it easier to cross the blood brain barrier. The focus of the super creatine is not for muscle function, but for cognition...by combining this form of creatine with caffeine, it works synergistically for mental focus."

How much caffeine is in one can? In one can of BANG, you'll be blessed with 300mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent to over three cups of coffee.

Is that even safe? Yeah, it is. In order for the caffeine in the energy drink to be lethal at any capacity, I would have to drink 30.7 cans.

So, what are the downsides? There are two things that come to mind. One is that consumers have no idea how much BCAA's, CoQ10, or creatine is actually in the drink. It could very likely be trace amounts too small to do anything beneficial. Two, BANG energy drinks do not go through the FDA approval process.

Is it really that good? Well, out of 113 reviews of the product on Bodybuilding.com, there's an average 9.6 overall rating. Most reviews comment on the quality of the energy, the cognitive focus, and the non-existent crash once the drink wears off.

What kind of flavors can I get? There are currently eight BANG energy drink flavors on the market: Black Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Sour Heads, Star Blast, Blue Razz, Champagne Cola, Power Punch, and Lemon Drop.

Where can I buy BANG energy drinks? You can find BANG energy drinks at Amazon, your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe retailers, Bodybuilding.com, VPX Sports' website, some gas stations, and privately owned retailers.

How expensive are they? This depends on where you make your purchase. The cheapest place to purchase your BANG energy drinks is at Bodybuilding.com for about $2.00 per can. You can find similar prices on Amazon and at your local retailers. The energy drinks are most expensive through the VPX website where you'll pay about $2.75 per can.

How does BANG compare to other energy drinks? I'll give you some data on nutrition facts and you can make your decisions based on that:

16 oz. BANG: 300mg caffeine, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar.

16 oz. Monster Energy (regular): 160mg caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

16 oz. Red Bull (regular): 160mg caffeine, 56g carbohydrates, 56g sugar

16 oz. Rockstar (regular): 144g caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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