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Do you smell that too? The Personal Hygiene Hiatus

Do you smell that too? The Personal Hygiene Hiatus

By Amrita Lit

Picture this – you’re in your weekly yoga class. The dim lights and peaceful environment has you feeling relaxed already. You set up your mat, take a sip of your water, and sit down in your first pose – legs crossed and eyes shut. And then you hear it – a woman near the front of the room grumbles “God it STINKS in here! Why can’t these brown people learn how to take a shower?”
Your eyes shoot open and you scan the room looking for what small-minded individual could make such a crass and racist comment. But then you pause, take a deep breath in, and realize – oh man it does stink!
You look to your left and right and realize it could be anybody, heck maybe it’s even you.
Of course one cultural group isn’t genetically wired to have more body odour or unhygienic tendencies than another. But perhaps the necessity to put this at the top of our priority list isn’t exactly there.
According to certain Indian religions we are meant maintain our bodies in the same form as we are born. A part of this means the lack of removal of body hair. Sure this makes for some awkward stares in locker rooms and other public places in which you might bare your arms or legs but it is the right of the woman to keep herself this way. It is considered a sign of strength to not care about whether or not the world perceives your outer shell to be flawed in accordance to societal constructs. Plus, a little peach fuzz never hurt anybody.
However, this does NOT mean one should completely abandon their due diligence to take pride and care for ones body. Meaning: paying attention to the importance of regular showers, applying deodorant daily, and maintaining a generally clean and proud appearance.
If we don’t take pride in how we look, no one else will appreciate what we have to offer beneath our exterior. A first impression is often a last impression and this is why it’s so important to ensure self care is at the top of our priority list.
This article is not intended to offend or further marginalize ethnic minorities but rather bring to light certain occurrences which we may be currently overlooking.
So instead of giving others a chance to point out how less than pleasant you may smell – please take a moment to assess what image (and scent) you are putting out to the world.

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