Monday, November 17, 2008

I Smell Toxicity and Plastic


I got an interesting memo at work recently. It was a general memo, intended for the entire team. It mentioned that "hygiene" was an issue and that some people stink and need to wear deodorant to work.

I have a problem with this.

I shower daily, I wear essential oils, I wash my clothing. I don't smell like anything other than how a person is supposed to smell, maybe even a bit better considering I don't eat meat. I have a real problem with our way of categorizing natural human smells as bad, especially when they are smells coming from a female.

Women are regularly subjected to the idea that we stink, especially our vaginas. We are sold items that are supposed to eliminate or cover that musky va-jay-jay scent. Even sexual aids that are sold to us ostensibly for "pleasure," are designed solely to make us smell better for our assumed male partner.

Scents tell us things, about emotions, about health, how we smell tells us if our bodies are functioning properly.

The products that we are sold to make us smell less human can be linked to significant health problems.

If given the choice between smelling like I should, not slathering on or inserting chemicals, and possibly offending people with my scent, or covering myself in caustic chemicals so as not to offend the delicate, brainwashed sensibilities of some random idiot and potentially giving myself a health problem in the process, I'd rather stink.


  1. Anonymous9:10 PM

    I half-agree with you here.

    If I had to guess, the hygiene memo was probably about people who smell much worse than you do, because you don't sound that smelly at all. There are some really unhygienic people out there, and my gag reflex doesn't much care whether the twice-monthly-shower smell is natural or not. Nobody I know really cares (or knows) whether people use deodorant or not, as long as they don't smell like composting meat.

    When it comes to subtler smells, though, I don't see the deal. A little bit of people-smell is to be expected, and being offended by the smell of healthy vagina just baffles me. The vagina is a GOOD thing, like fresh apple pie. Who gets offended by the smell of apple pie? Whoever decided that the vagina naturally smells bad must've been on something. (I bet it sure does smell bad once one gets infections from the douching, though! Douches have got to be one of the most counterproductive inventions of all time.)

  2. No, the memo was about me...its complicated as to how I know, but since it is my personal life, and I'd rather not go into details, just trust me on that one.

    I'm also not suggesting being unhygienic. Bathing regularly is healthy, and a good idea. I am more discussing the idea that we are trained, by so many things around us, to regard any smell that comes from a human, subtle or not, as categorically "bad" which is problematic at best. Some smells are bad, like say, an infected wound will smell bad, someone who is ill will smell bad, etc. The smell is not the problem, the underlying condition creating the smell is. By treating any and all smells as a problem, and perfuming them away, we only address symptoms, and not causes, and in some cases, cause other problems in our quest to rid ourselves of the smells.