Ever since I was a kid, I remember bathing the night before church – ala “Little House on the Prairie”. Growing up in water and energy conservative household it never crossed our minds that our lifestyle wasn’t normal. A move to city and I found out that daily showers (and shoes – among other things) were a norm here in the city.
Because of our natural lifestyle and homegrown diet, we didn’t have any obnoxious odors, so nobody, not even our friends, would suspect our 1-2 times a week bathing routine. Personal hygiene was our own business, that was until reporters came snooping around asking questions. Nothing like a reporter to bring up things that you hadn’t thought of mentioning because, to us, this is how we’ve always (mostly) lived.
In a recent high profile article, our hygiene was editorialized as “third world.” Oh, yeah? That really made us feel weird all right and I had to sniff my clothes just to make sure – nope, no smell!
Walking the goats one day, we ran into a lady who asked “are you the people that take a baths like once a month?” Once a month? Good grief, now we are freaks! Note to self, keep your mouth shut next time!
Or maybe I should have talked to this reporter!
A recent NY Times article now points to a growing amount of folks who are bucking the norm. Like many Asians and Europeans, Americans too are choosing to forgo everyday showers, citing environmental reasons, natural beauty and health benefits.
Defying a culture of clean that has prevailed at least since the 1940s, a contingent of renegades deliberately forgo daily bathing and other gold standards of personal hygiene, like frequent shampooing and deodorant use.
To the converted, there are many reasons to cleanse less and smell more like yourself. “We don’t need to wash the way we did when we were farmers,” said Katherine Ashenburg, 65, the author of “The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History.” Since the advent of cars and labor-saving machines, she continued, “we have never needed to wash less, and we have never done it more.”
Retention of the skin’s natural oils and water conservation are two reasons Ms. Palmer and others cite for skipping a daily shower. Some have concluded that deodorant is unnecessary after forgetting it once with no social repercussions, or are concerned about antiperspirants containing aluminum
It’s a myth that people need a deep cleaning everyday.”
Ha, so we aren’t weird after all. In fact dare I say more “normal” than hyper hygienistas.
So next time you see us walking the goats I hope to hear, “Hey, aren’t you the people that [you fill in the blank]”
What are your hygiene habits? How often do you take a bath/shower, wash your hair or use deodorant?