Abstaining From the Shower: Not Just for Hippies Any More!

What Women Really Think
Nov. 1 2010 6:28 PM

Abstaining From the Shower: Not Just for Hippies Any More!

/blogs/xx_factor/2010/11/01/the_new_york_times_points_out_more_and_more_people_are_abstaining_from_deodorant_and_daily_showers/jcr:content/body/slate_image

Tilt your nose up and take in a gentle whiff of air. That smell? It’s the unwashed. The New York Times wants you to know that these people walk among us shamelessly contaminating our sterile, Glade-scented surroundings with their "personal perfume." Take Tara Freymoyer, 26, a property manager in Birdsboro, who gave up using underarm deodorant when she started dating one Mr. Merkel, a fellow deodorant abstainee whose battle cry to shocked friends and family is, "Smell me! I don’t care." Alice Feiring, a wine writer in Manhattan, says her mother just doesn’t understand her four-times-a-week shower schedule. (Personal disclosure: I shower four times a week and my mom’s reaction today to this information was, "So?")

Despite the somewhat overblown "Look at this new unacceptable thing people are doing!" aspect of the article, apparently there are good reasons to shed the shackles of WWII-era aseptic hygiene. According to Dr. Richard Gallo, chief of the dermatology division at the University of California-San Diego, showering too often rids the skin of the good bacteria that "produce their own antibiotics that kills off bad bacteria." And the skin can lose critical oils, especially in the winter. Also, there are more stylized perks. One deodorant-defiant young man, Blake Johnson, 25, mentions this bonus: "Right now it’s cool to appear like you don’t care about what you look like." It’s like a trend story within a trend story, this piece.

Advertisement

Photograph of former hippie by Mario Tama for Getty Images.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.