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Thursday
Nov082007

Someone finally comes clean about the American obsession with deodorant

AS an American myself, I have never been able to fully embrace the national obsession with INCESSANTLY scrubbing, bathing, showering, cleaning, washing and deodorising one's self into a puritanically clean tissy. Maybe said obsession exists because, being the land of the poor immigrant (who was, fair enough, free and probably very brave), we consider cleanliness next to godliness (my youthful Saturday mornings were lost to cleaning rugs with an old-fashioned wire beater). In any event, one thing's clear: we have an unhealthy relationship with the shower nozzle.

Frankly, a good wash a couple times a week (punctuated by a bird bath in the sink and perhaps a sprinkling of dry shampoo) would do the trick. How do I know? Because I'm a card-carrying member of the infrequent showerers club. Plus, the less you lather up with all that alluring tat from the supermarket shelf, the less you'll be using loads of things that aren't exactly great for you (especially in larger quantities), like triclosan and the aluminium additives in so many anti-perspirant brands (no, there's no direct link to breast cancer on this last one but ask someone who has had it what the first thing was the doctor told them to do... it will usually be to immediately stop using their deodorant/anti-perspirant. True story.)

In any event, this is an interesting read on the history of the American obession with body odour.

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