Q Dear Miss Abigail:
I have a co-worker who smells worse than wet mulch. It’s not that she looks dirty, or dresses in dirty clothing or even has a trace of filth on her person. No, it’s just that there seems to be an invisible cloud of BO floating where ever she roams. Before I dropped a bar of Zest her way, I figured it’d be best to consult you.
Breathing Through My Mouth
A Dear Breathing:
I am sorry that I have no real suggestions as to what you could say to this co-worker of yours. But I have compiled some thoughts about cleanliness and body odor; maybe you could print this out and hang it up on your office bulletin board, or somewhere else conspicious? Or perhaps just pose as an Avon lady and deposit free samples of soap in a pretty pink basket near your desk. Maybe she’ll get the hint.
1947: Cleanliness Essential
What are the actual factors which have a good or bad effect upon marriage happiness? There is tidiness, for example. It is doubtful if there is anything more destructive to romance than soiled underwear or body odor. They must be guarded against with the utmost care, and yet one must have a smattering of good judgment too. If the housewife must do her own laundry she may not wish her husband to be overly free with the linen. She may prefer to have him wear his underwear until it is really soiled a bit than to be confronted with a mountain of washing and ironing each week. Possibly her husband would rather have her wear her danties longer than to have her exhausted with the effort to keep herself “as sweet as when she stepped out of her bath two hours ago.” A house, or a wife, or a husband may be so dainty that there is no comfort in living with it, or her, or him. One cannot relax well in a home or with a person who is too nice to get a bit messed up. After all, there is the work of the world to be done, and it is impossible for workers to avoid soil and perspiration entirely.
All of this is a matter for adjustment.
Source: Fishbein, Morris and Ernest W. Burgess. Successful Marriage. Garden City, N.J.: Doubleday and Company, 1947.
~ pp. 193-94 ~
1960: Beauty in Your Tub
The best things in life are free, and one of the greatest gifts is clear clean wholesome water. We are told that all life started in water, that we came originally from the sea. Each of us, we might say, is a miniature ocean enclosed in skin. Even our skins have their salty water content, within each cell and in the fluid-filled intercellular spaces. Water is essential to the life of every cell. It is essential both inside and outside.
If you have thought of your bath mainly as a Saturday night affair, let me tell you that cleanliness is only the first function of your beauty bath. For by changing the temperature and length of your bath, and by adding mineral salts, oils, unguents or cosmetic vinegar, you can make your bath serve a whole spectrum of relaxing and beautifying experiences.
Source: Hauser, Gayelord. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Invitation to Beauty. New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1960.
~ pp. 237-38
1970: Body Odor
Body odors become much stronger in adolescence ~ partly as a result of glandular changes and skin changes, partly as the result of axillary (armpit) hair on which perspiration collects and is decomposed by bacterial action. It is essentially that teenagers, in a society like ours which considers body smells offensive, take a careful soap or shower daily and follow with an underarm deodorant.
Source: Spock, Dr. Benjamin. A Teenagers Guide to Life and Love. New York: Simon and Schuster,1970.
~ pp. 161-62 ~