Recently, I participated in an article in The Sun –
To be honest, I knew that the focus which was on washing habits was going to be swayed towards not frequently washing is a bad thing and that we, the unwashed, are in fact filthy hoes. The comments are hilarious and are mainly men suggesting that they wouldn’t want to perform oral sex on an unwashed women, and then moves on to how unattractive are, we, the all female cast of participants.
(You can treat yourself to the full gamut of comments here)
It’s an interesting conundrum really because the inference is that women should clean our houses daily, change bedding once a week, wash bras daily and shower a minimum of once a day. The lack of men in the piece presents obvious bias in the perception that women have a daily duty to keep an orderly clean house and be frequently washed.
But also lets consider the ecological impact of this incessant cleaning, as the world is literally drowning in plastic – most cleaning products, domestic and for personal hygiene, are sold in plastic bottles. Oh yes, bleach is bad so really we need to keeping our houses clean with lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda. Washing machines and tumble dryers on constant use consume vast amounts of energy and then cause pollution when they disperse the dirty water. I wash four loads of washing a week, which is plenty and ensures that everyone has enough clothes to wear clean clothes everyday. Clothes can be worn more than once unless they smell unsavoury, apart from knickers they are only worn once.
On average I shower 2-3 times a week, and let’s say for argument’s sake this is Friday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday etc but it’s not prescriptive because if I needed to shower then I would. I cleanse, tone and moisturise my face daily and wear deodorants and will even have a quick wash if on the hop. I wash my hair once a week and it doesn’t smell. I actually have dry hair and dry skin and so my body benefits from the time to regenerate more much needed moisture, which in turn reduces ageing. Oh yes, lest us not forget that women also must not age, or gain weight either, whilst we are on the subject.
The notion that we have to shower daily or more is absurd. The human body has many self cleaning elements and a bit of dirt is good for the immune system. On the one hand, we are berated for not giving our kids freedom to play in the mud and then on the other hand we are chastised if we don’t adhere to ridiculous personal hygiene and domestic standards.
It is also possible to survive without daily washing as anyone who has been camping, served in the military, or travelled the world will know. Further, there are many places in the world where survival occurs without daily washing. Yes, some of these countries have terrible health records but I don’t think we can compare not washing daily to living in slum conditions.
Shirley Conran said ‘life is too short to stuff a mushroom’ and I think it’s important to keep a sense of perspective on personal and domestic cleanliness. I have a dishwasher, a washing machine, a tumble dryer and vacuum cleaner and as I said in the article my house is cleaned for 3 hours once a week. It is more than enough to ensure sanitary living conditions for me and my family. As to whether I’d let the trolls of The Sun comments section go down on me or not – well that is as good as reason as any not to wash to avoid any solicitation from those revolting creatures.
Clare Macnaughton; a modern military mother; a feminist, British military spouse, and lifestyle journalist, writing about real life adventures.
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