My Boyfriend Has B.O.!

blighted romance and social ostracismQ Dear Miss Abigail:

I really hope you can help me, because this is driving me up the wall. My boyfriend, who I love very much, has no idea of personal hygiene. He stinks, yet isn’t bothered by it. How can I kindly persuade him to wash before my nose runs away?


A Dear Lydia:

I once had a high school teacher who stunk, but knew it. He warned us on the first day of classes that he had no sense of smell, and that we would just have to deal with the impending odors. We put up with it, but never did understand why he didn’t try just a bit harder to keep clean.

No matter what the reason, this bit of advice from Dress and Grooming, which is Unit Two of Estelle Hunter’s “Personality Development” series might be helpful for your less-than-fresh friend. And if you can’t come right out and say something to him about it, print this page out and subtly leave near a stack of newly purchased shower supplies. Yeah, that’ll work.

1939: Cleanliness the First Essential

The beginning of good grooming is personal cleanliness. Careful bathing is important as a hygienic measure, but it is even more important from the standpoint of personal attractiveness. It is regrettably true, however, that many persons are careless about their bathing. A daily bath with plenty of soap is the minimum essential.

You may laugh at the advertisements picturing the loss of business opportunities, blighted romance, and social ostracism by ‘B.O.’ (body odor), but be sure that you do not offend in this respect. If the hair in your armpits holds perspiration, apply a deodorant and remove the hair at least once a week. If your skin is sensitive, do not apply the deodorant at once, however, as to do so may cause a painful under-arm eruption.

Nothing is more attractive than a clean, healthy-looking skin. The care of the skin is discussed in the section on health, but a word should be said here about the need for using plenty of soap and water.

If the skin is oily, the face should be washed several times daily with warm, but not hot, water and soap. Great care should be taken in selecting soap. Since many soaps disagree with certain skins, everyone should experiment until he finds the soap that agrees with his skin. Following each application of soap and water, the face should be rinsed thoroughly and dried. Finally, a good astringent lotion should be applied.

Skin eruptions are a source of embarrassment to the possessor. Often they indicate some internal disorder. Eliminating them is then a matter of discovering and correcting the source of the trouble.

Source: Hunter, Estelle B. Personality Development, Unit Two: Dress and Grooming. Chicago: The Better-Speech Institute of America, 1939.
~ pp. 115-16 ~