I’m not alone. In fact, there’s a growing trend, according to the NY Times (“The Great Unwashed”), of bathing less frequently and abstaining from deodorant too! No, we’re not turning hippies or going Euro. It’s that some people are realizing that our bodies aren’t these wellspring of yucky smelling germs waiting to exude at a moment’s notice. Instead, our bodies have all different types of bacteria, a lot of which ought to take their natural course to keep our bodies in their optimal states. Think about the fairly recent recognition of the role of good bacteria in digestive wellness. In the case of skin, “good bacteria are educating your own skin cells to make your own antibiotics” according to Dr. Richard Gallo, chief of Dermatology at U.C., San Diego.
As I’ve brought up in other posts, this trend marks a larger and more exciting shift in our culture. Thanks to an influx of Eastern philosophy, a greater number of immigrants and better biological understanding of our bodies, we’re less inclined to see our bods (sweat, germs, mucus, periods) as potential sources of shame and more likely to embrace them for the harmonious systems that they are. And as a result, maybe we’ll start to treat our own bodies and those of others with the respect, admiration, and love they deserve.