I came across a New York Times article , “The Great Unwashed,” last week (via Corporette) and it was quite an eye opener. Apparently the mandatory daily shower or bath is not so mandatory! And neither is deodorant. The article discusses how some people believe that bathing less and smelling more like your natural yourself is a fabulous idea.

Well ladies, here’s my deal on the bathing side of things. It will probably sound normal to some and completely excessive to others, but I shower TWICE a day and wash my hair daily. Here are the reasons:

  1. I grew up in the tropics. When you commute on foot in a tropical country, you get hot and sticky. You need a couple of showers a day just to feel “normal” and it’s quite the done thing. Despite the changes in climate as I moved around the world, the habit stuck with me.
  2. A morning shower, which includes wetting my head, wakes me up and kick-starts the day.  I feel refreshed, alert and ready to rock and roll.
  3. Bathing is just as much about about nurturing my body and soul as it is about scrubbing clean. Spending 5 minutes longer under the shower is therapeutic and one of the ways I like to unwind.
  4. I also feel a lot more relaxed when my body is warm and tingly after a shower. It helps me get to sleep.

Nothing in the article makes me want to alter my own bathing patterns, but it did make me think about the social norm. I’m pretty sure that from a medical point of view you can be adequately clean with more than 24 hours between bathing. So for that reason alone, bathing daily is not essential. The question is whether you can be stylish and professional.

Tricky one. We have been socialized to believe that bathing daily is an integral part of basic hygiene and that natural body odour is a bad thing. Others beg to differ. What are your thoughts?