Last week the media was all in a storm about women not showering every day. Apparently, they did a survey, and 80% of them admitted to not bathing daily. I must admit – I was shocked. I genuinely thought that everyone had a shower by way of habit as part of their daily routine, and I’d never really thought much more of it. I believed, perhaps naively, that everyone was like me, and hadn’t stopped to consider any alternatives.
It’s probably worth mentioning I almost had a full blown shower OCD as a teen – for example, one summer, I showered up to three times per day. Even though I think baths are relaxing, even they’re not cleansing enough for me – I like a full body shower to wash away the dirt and grime and prepare me for the day. If I can be bothered with a bath on a rare occasion, I’ll often shower the morning after the one the night before. To me, not showering has always made me feel dirty, not fresh, and I’ve only ever skipped one when I’ve been super sick (read: hungover). In fact, I can count on one hand the times this has actually happened, because in those cases, it actually wakes me up.
So, this week I had an awakening of a different sort, this time from the media. I’m not actually in the majority after all.Now, I absolutely, categorically want to point out that I am not EVEN FOR A SECOND judging, or shaming other women. I am a feminist, and trying to affect the personal choice of others kind of goes against my beliefs. But I am entitled to an opinion, I guess. Whilst I think everyone should have a little wash, not everyone is going to be as fussy about this as me. I’m sure some women would raise an eyebrow at things like my skincare routine (or lack thereof…) so you know, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, and all that.
I’m not one for blindly believing the tabloids, so I took to my Facebook feed to get their views. It was much more mixed than I had expected, with lots of my friends admitting (I say ‘admitting’ like it’s a shameful secret…) that they only shower every two days. Some said it was because they hadeczema. Now, that’s something I’d never thought of, and something the media didn’t exactly shout about either. Yet more evidence why you should form your opinions based on real life, and not spin! Other girls said they were conscious about the environment, or that they simply didn’t have the time (especially women who were mothers). Again… I am one of the busiest people I know, but I’ve never thought about sacrificing that part of my life! My American friends in particular said they thought every 2-3 days was normal, but everyone else seemed to have their own personal views and habits.
I guess that’s the key here – they’re personal habits. I’m probably never going to change my ways, and whilst that’s fine for me, I don’t think anyone else should have to, either. Plus… why is this just women? Isn’t this just another thing that people are making us self-conscious for not doing? I think people (men and women) should take responsibility for themselves. Yes, they should be clean, but that means something different to everyone. I still believe a daily wash at the very least is for the best, but then I don’t know everyone, and unless you’re personally offending the air I have to breathe, I shouldn’t really care what you do. My mantra is: “do what you like, as long as it doesn’t hurt others” and again, while I will keep my opinion, I don’t have any need to change or belittle others.
Besides… take a look at these stats. If you want some truly odd, weird showering facts, this is where it’s at. Look at that! Not a single gendered fact in sight.