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(Smithsonian Magazine)   How advertisers convinced Americans they smelled bad   (smithsonianmag.com) divider line 181
    More: Interesting, Americans, toiletries, Ladies' Home Journal, aerosol spray, sweat, Bibles, entrepreneurs  
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18788 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Aug 2012 at 7:05 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-20 09:53:21 PM  
Before deodorant, people covered up their funk with perfume. The ancient Egyptians had a thriving perfume trade. Anyone who's spent time around hippies knows that no matter how strong the perfume is, you can still smell the BO.

Now we use products which help prevent funk (as well as covering up any that still gets through).

This is called "progress".
 
2012-08-20 09:55:36 PM  
I have a very manly smell that gets too manly after about 12 hours, so I use deodorant to extend the life of my not-too-manly smell. As far as soap, tried many, but my manliness just overpowers whatever meager suppressive properties commercial soaps possess.
 
2012-08-20 09:55:53 PM  
i167.photobucket.com

You should smell them on the inside!
 
2012-08-20 09:58:46 PM  

desertfool: Geezus, I went to India... A certified stink factory over there. The outsourcing company actually has classes for folks coming to the US to teach them how to use deodorant.


My company needs that.
 
2012-08-20 10:03:03 PM  
About 6 months ago, I switched from anti-perspirant to deodorant. I don't have sweat rings in my pits, my shirts don't get crust, and I'm generally happy with it. If I sweat, I smell like Old Spice- now I'm on a horse- so that's pretty cool, too.

But Americans have always been subject to marketing for medicine. "Halitosis" means bad breath, right? Yeah, Listerine gave us that. Of course, Listerine also gave us "always a bride's maid, never a bride".
 
2012-08-20 10:03:46 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Actually, even soap and shampoo are sold to us as if they were in any way healthy or good for us. They are not.

These things strip our bodies of their protective outer layer of oils. By doing this, not only does our skin dry out and hair become brittle and lifeless, but it exacerbates the various odors that the human body will emit in order to recover from this stripping.

Wiping the body with lukewarm water on a hand towel and an occasional rinsing of hair under cool, running water is enough to clean on a semi-daily basis. Any more than that, or using chemicals like soap or shampoo, is unhealthy.


Stinky hippie-like typing detected.

I had you farkied as "gun grabbing troll". Updating that to "stinky gun grabbing hippie troll".

I generally like hippies. But there's always one like you who ruins it for everyone else.
 
2012-08-20 10:12:43 PM  
Sorry but the advertisers, as much as I have a general distaste for them, are right on this one. Many of us in this world do develop BO by the end of the day if we dont put something in the pits. Sure, its not everyone and it depends on how hard you work physically but there is a genuine need for anti-stink products.

Myself I wear my deoderant on weekdays when I go to work. Weekends I do without. Although I do get plenty stinky by the end of the day I just jump in the shower again late in the day, something I cant do at work.
 
2012-08-20 10:13:19 PM  

Ambivalence: I can't attest to shampoo, but being a hobbiest soapmaker I can attest that a good bar of handmade soap is NOT drying at all.


You know what else I hear about homemade soap?

www.availableimages.com
 
2012-08-20 10:27:23 PM  
phaseolus

Aw, shucks! Beat me to it.

I was not aware that Odorono actually existed. I did know that Heinz Baked Beans do, however!

/Medac?
 
2012-08-20 10:27:58 PM  
Pardon the accidental emboldening of my entire text. Fail.
 
2012-08-20 10:28:31 PM  

phaseolus: Primitive Screwhead: [odorono jersey.jpg]

[upload.wikimedia.org image 500x500]


TRIUMPHANT!
 
2012-08-20 10:28:32 PM  
getting a kick out of these replies
 
2012-08-20 10:31:08 PM  

Calmamity: I have a coworker who refuses to use deodorant because it's not natural or it would be selling out to the Man of some such bullshiat.

Trust me, Americans do stink and deodorant is a good and wonderful product.


Done in three. SWEAT STINKS AND IS UNCOMFORTABLE.

/god bless degree
 
2012-08-20 10:36:23 PM  
The Roy Clark link yesterday prompted me to Google Sabicas, the great flamenco guitarist. One story told about his concert with another guitarist, who was a ladies' man. He excused himself from their company to get even more cleaned up, which made it clear to everyone in the room that Sabicas had very smelly feet. His dad said "Son, wash those dogs." Sabicas replied "But my fingernails!!" Because wet hands mean soft, easy to break, fingernails, the bane of all flamenco guitarists. So the dad washed his son's feet again.
 
2012-08-20 10:36:28 PM  
I can't imagine just being used to the terrible smell some people wander around with. I've never understood how people don't notice how terrible they smell?
 
2012-08-20 10:40:04 PM  

Rich Cream: You think that was marketing? Try Housitosis.


How can you live unless you have some of these? At least one for every room. Maybe two or three in the bathroom and where the cat litter box is. You just never know. I'm not having any damn odors in my house.

2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-08-20 10:42:06 PM  

laid back w/bud light: Off topic slightly. Had a friend try to get busy with a girl in the back seat of his car back in high school. Once her panties came off he had to crack a window. Many laughs.


Wow, reminded me of a high school girlfriend...

/Daily antiperspirant user
//new shirts every few weeks
 
2012-08-20 10:53:12 PM  

Spawn_of_Cthulhu:
My grandmother did this the last few years of her life and she smelled terrible and looked filthy. We could not convince her to take a proper bath or shower and use soap--any kind, even handsoap. I always felt a little bad for the nurses in the hospital who would scrub her down when she was admitted for something but she'd come back home clean. Grandma didn't have dementia; she just decided she wasn't taking any more baths or showers, ever.


My mother was scared that she'd break her hip in her last few years, and she had this farked-up round tub in her bathroom, instead of a walk-in shower. She almost quit taking showers at all, she was so scared that she'd fall.

Then she finally got her walk-in shower, and she died six months later. But she got to enjoy her showers for six months.

Oafmeel: We, the colonists, hereby do declare that we like our deodorants and foil with aluminum. To preserve freshness.


I'm not using any aluminum deodorant, it will give me Alzheimer's. So I might stink, but you guys will all have Alzheimer's, and you won't even notice.  Or you will notice, but you won't be able to do anything about it. Mu-hahahaha.
 
2012-08-20 10:59:50 PM  

cryinoutloud: Spawn_of_Cthulhu:
My grandmother did this the last few years of her life and she smelled terrible and looked filthy. We could not convince her to take a proper bath or shower and use soap--any kind, even handsoap. I always felt a little bad for the nurses in the hospital who would scrub her down when she was admitted for something but she'd come back home clean. Grandma didn't have dementia; she just decided she wasn't taking any more baths or showers, ever.

My mother was scared that she'd break her hip in her last few years, and she had this farked-up round tub in her bathroom, instead of a walk-in shower. She almost quit taking showers at all, she was so scared that she'd fall.

Then she finally got her walk-in shower, and she died six months later. But she got to enjoy her showers for six months.

Oafmeel: We, the colonists, hereby do declare that we like our deodorants and foil with aluminum. To preserve freshness.

I'm not using any aluminum deodorant, it will give me Alzheimer's. So I might stink, but you guys will all have Alzheimer's, and you won't even notice.  Or you will notice, but you won't be able to do anything about it. Mu-hahahaha.


I counteract my deodorant's aluminum through a strict anti-Alzheimers regimen of a nice sativa-indica blend taken on a constant basis. My studies indicate this is the safest way to maintain a professional smell and attitude.
 
2012-08-20 11:10:28 PM  
SPOILERS: You do smell bad.
 
2012-08-20 11:12:17 PM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: I use deodorant, but I won't use an antiperspirant after I got a really nasty infection under my arm that I'm pretty sure came from all the aluminum clogging up the natural pores. Now I just use Tom's of Maine deodorant and am happy with how well it works.


Been there. No antiperspirant works for me except those "holy shiat my pits are on fire oh my god kill me now!" uh, "clinical" APs. Works great for a while, but after a few weeks of use I started developing what could only be described as chemical burn: bad rash, major pain. Only way to make it stop was to thoroughly scrub the area with a rag soaked in rubbing alcohol. I figure the cause was using it too often (every-other day was too much!). However, unless I've got a serious social engagement I am not going near the stuff again. Plain old "clear solid" deodorant is good enough.

Granted, deodorant doesn't do anything for those alky-sweat odors that come from all over your body, but we have to choose our battles.
 
2012-08-20 11:13:15 PM  

cryinoutloud: Spawn_of_Cthulhu:
My grandmother did this the last few years of her life and she smelled terrible and looked filthy. We could not convince her to take a proper bath or shower and use soap--any kind, even handsoap. I always felt a little bad for the nurses in the hospital who would scrub her down when she was admitted for something but she'd come back home clean. Grandma didn't have dementia; she just decided she wasn't taking any more baths or showers, ever.

My mother was scared that she'd break her hip in her last few years, and she had this farked-up round tub in her bathroom, instead of a walk-in shower. She almost quit taking showers at all, she was so scared that she'd fall.

Then she finally got her walk-in shower, and she died six months later. But she got to enjoy her showers for six months.

Oafmeel: We, the colonists, hereby do declare that we like our deodorants and foil with aluminum. To preserve freshness.

I'm not using any aluminum deodorant, it will give me Alzheimer's. So I might stink, but you guys will all have Alzheimer's, and you won't even notice.  Or you will notice, but you won't be able to do anything about it. Mu-hahahaha.


Weeeeeeeeell, the way I see it, the diabeedus will get my foot first.
"Do I stink? Oh, I'm sorry. Here, smell my stump instead. I'm sure that's much fresher."
 
2012-08-20 11:16:24 PM  
I didn't RTFT or TFA, but they didn't, advertisers have been selling us stuff to either smell more like men (You do wanna be manly right) or more like a women (more feminine) for a long while.

/Whatever-
 
2012-08-20 11:27:52 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Actually, even soap and shampoo are sold to us as if they were in any way healthy or good for us. They are not.

These things strip our bodies of their protective outer layer of oils. By doing this, not only does our skin dry out and hair become brittle and lifeless, but it exacerbates the various odors that the human body will emit in order to recover from this stripping.

Wiping the body with lukewarm water on a hand towel and an occasional rinsing of hair under cool, running water is enough to clean on a semi-daily basis. Any more than that, or using chemicals like soap or shampoo, is unhealthy.


i enjoy light use of soap every other day - if i'm not biking. When I'm riding 20 miles in the morning before work....I.....I.....I need to lather up.
 
2012-08-20 11:43:33 PM  
Every person who has ever told me they don't need deodorant or don't need shampoo has been...stinky. Sometimes just a little stinky, sometimes a lot stinky.

And I'm a biker. After three days on the road without a shower *I* smell better than those f***ers do.

/must be the synthetic oil I use or the diesel fumes from passing trucks
 
2012-08-20 11:45:15 PM  
24.media.tumblr.com
 
2012-08-20 11:47:07 PM  
I cover up my daily BO with a steady supply of paint peeling farts
 
2012-08-20 11:51:37 PM  
You cool bros do not want to hear my cool story but I'm gonna tell it anyway. A long long time ago I was in the peace corps in bumfark Africa. When we showed up in the host country for language training we all noticed that our fastidiously groomed African language teachers reeked of BO. Through the months we all ran out of deodorant ourselves. after a while we noticed something... nobody stunk anymore. Not them, not us. Now all these years later social norms have me back on the speed stick but I'm as sure a I'm sitting here that it's a needless product. If we could somehow endure a two month worldwide deodorant shortage none of us would need it anymore. That's what we farking smell like and it doesn't make a got damn bit of sense that the natural smell of our own species would offend us.
 
2012-08-20 11:52:54 PM  
This may sound like hippie nonsense, but before I moved to Vancouver i stunk like hell. Living in the South, I had a very typical Southern diet high in meat, fried, and more fried. Moving to Vancouver, I've adopted the local veggie-friendly diet, and since doing so have no longer needed to use deodorant. I literally no longer smelled...like anything. My wife was astounded, as she was closest to my stink (God bless her heart).

tl;dr: changing my diet made me stop stinking.
 
2012-08-21 12:01:01 AM  

notatrollorami: I use flushable wipes. I've been told this makes me an old man. WTFever. My bung is clean and most everyone else's is not.


Unless you're planning on having someone eating out of it, how clean does it HAVE to be. It's where shiat comes out. It's goign to be dirty no matter what.
 
2012-08-21 12:14:18 AM  

Ambivalence: notatrollorami: I use flushable wipes. I've been told this makes me an old man. WTFever. My bung is clean and most everyone else's is not.

Unless you're planning on having someone eating out of it, how clean does it HAVE to be. It's where shiat comes out. It's goign to be dirty no matter what.


I like to keep mine clean because I store my spare change in there.
 
2012-08-21 12:20:34 AM  

thoughtcancer: This may sound like hippie nonsense, but before I moved to Vancouver i stunk like hell. Living in the South, I had a very typical Southern diet high in meat, fried, and more fried. Moving to Vancouver, I've adopted the local veggie-friendly diet, and since doing so have no longer needed to use deodorant. I literally no longer smelled...like anything. My wife was astounded, as she was closest to my stink (God bless her heart).

tl;dr: changing my diet made me stop stinking.


I haven't used soap or deodorant in over a year. About 18 months ago I changed my diet to organic, grass fed, free range... yadda, yadda, yadda, hippie bullshiat terms.

Anyway, these days I eat real food, mostly plants.

After about 6 months of not using those toiletries, I started asking real friends, the kind that will call me on my bullshiat, if I stank. The answers ranged from "Not at all" to "Hold on, let me sniff you... Your pits smell a little bit like Cumin."

So yeah, I agree with your anecdotal statement that eating proper human food instead of processed crap gets rid of pretty much all of the stank.

/IME, 98% of people don't really smell much at all.
// 1% farking reek.
/// 1% smell really farking awesome.
 
2012-08-21 12:26:58 AM  
Perhaps that witch from BGW's former Corkscrew Hill ride was right about our "stink".
"Haven't got any Irish Spring over there?"
 
2012-08-21 12:53:50 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Wiping the body with lukewarm water on a hand towel and an occasional rinsing of hair under cool, running water is enough to clean on a semi-daily basis. Any more than that, or using chemicals like soap or shampoo, is unhealthy.


Methinks hygiene isn't the biggest problem in your life. It's the lack of painfully honest friends with functional noses.
 
2012-08-21 01:28:04 AM  
They didn't - They got them to buy a product, since people were dousing their "emerging stink with perfume" before "http://Advertisers-Convinced-Americans-They-Smelled-Bad-164779646.ht ml /" (don't click, its wasn't my point).
 
2012-08-21 01:29:39 AM  

WordyGrrl: AverageAmericanGuy: Wiping the body with lukewarm water on a hand towel and an occasional rinsing of hair under cool, running water is enough to clean on a semi-daily basis. Any more than that, or using chemicals like soap or shampoo, is unhealthy.

Methinks hygiene isn't the biggest problem in your life. It's the lack of painfully honest friends with functional noses.


Naw. I take a shower every day because I love taking showers. But he's right. if you haven't done anything out of the ordinary - and that will vary of course - then there's no health based reason to get all sudsy every 24 hours. Wash your hands and face of course.
 
2012-08-21 01:36:04 AM  
Oddly I've found switching from anti-perspirent to plain deodorant has resulted in my pits being less sweaty.
 
2012-08-21 02:00:21 AM  
Is this the thread full of people who swear up and down that they "don't wear deodorant" because they "don't smell bad"?

Because I swear we had the same thread this past weekend.

/you stink
//trust me
 
2012-08-21 02:18:36 AM  
Showering and deodorant are great things, and I am glad most people around me agree. But then pouring on perfume and cologne and body spray and scented laundry soap and air freshener is not good. In fact, it is literally killing my wife, who can no longer be in public because the reaction to perfumes burns her lungs.

Clean and fresh = good. Don't fark it up with a ton of artificial lavender and lilac.
 
2012-08-21 02:40:28 AM  

Kiwimann: It's a mineral salt stick and acts as a deodorant, not an antiperspirant. You'll still sweat, but you don't smell because the salts prevent bacteria from growing. One application right after I shower each day lasts me fine until the next day whatever I'm doing.


I'll look into that, thanks. I've been using rubbing alcohol for many years and it works, but only for 5-8 hours at a time.

super_grass: Going to work up a sweat? Be all means do it.

Smell like fermented fish assholes sitting in a climate controlled room after taking the morning shower? Get a doctor, not more Old Spice.


It's pretty well studied that diets cause most reek - alcohol, spice (garlic, onions, curry, pepper, all the good stuff), red meat (due to B1/thiamin - supplements will also cause it), sometimes sweets depending on your pit flora - and that disciplined vegetarians on average smell better. If that doesn't help, then get a doctor, sure, but if you don't want to eat like a monk there's no point in wasting a doctor's time. He'll tell you the same thing and make you feel bad about your gut, too.
 
2012-08-21 02:51:59 AM  

Oafmeel: Weeeeeeeeell, the way I see it, the diabeedus will get my foot first.
"Do I stink? Oh, I'm sorry. Here, smell my stump instead. I'm sure that's much fresher."


My grandpa-in-law died the night before his amputation surgery.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

/The foot still haunts us
 
2012-08-21 03:26:09 AM  
More like "How Advertisers Convinced Americans to Do Something About the Horrible Stench Instead of Covering It Up"
 
2012-08-21 03:40:20 AM  
The bottom line - if you stink you're not gonna get laid.
 
2012-08-21 03:41:25 AM  

jvl: When I was 18, my sister informed me that I needed to use anti-perspirant.

Best. Sister. Ever.


Yeah, I know.
 
2012-08-21 05:40:17 AM  
spidermilk but McDonalds worker makes me gag.

That is because they are hung like horses.
 
2012-08-21 05:56:14 AM  

gopher321: I smell like teen spirit.

/oblig


Why was that comment obligatory? Have there been a plethora of deodorant threads I've missed where that's a common meme or did you just think that your joke was clever enough that it was mandatory?
 
2012-08-21 05:58:02 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Actually, even soap and shampoo are sold to us as if they were in any way healthy or good for us. They are not.

These things strip our bodies of their protective outer layer of oils. By doing this, not only does our skin dry out and hair become brittle and lifeless, but it exacerbates the various odors that the human body will emit in order to recover from this stripping.

Wiping the body with lukewarm water on a hand towel and an occasional rinsing of hair under cool, running water is enough to clean on a semi-daily basis. Any more than that, or using chemicals like soap or shampoo, is unhealthy.


You sound smelly.
 
2012-08-21 06:01:38 AM  
I live and work in China, one of the hottest cities in the country. Deodorant and anti-perspirants are not to be found in the shops, unless there's a TCM woo-based thing I haven't heard about. Chinese guys just don't wear it, apparently.

Getting on the bus at 6:00 is always a treat, let me tell. I get my stuff sent in from the US so I don't turn into a sweltering mass of stench in average 95 degree heat.
 
2012-08-21 07:03:03 AM  

relcec: FarkinHostile: relcec: , corn husks for toilet paper,

Another great example of the topic. Toilet paper is farking gross and dirty. Would you pick up a pile of shiat with your bare hands, then use dry paper towels to wipe off the shiat, then think your hands are clean? Yet we do that to our assholes everyday, and walk around with shiat crusted to our bungs, and think we are hygienic. Pffft!

If you don't have a bidet, wash your ass or use baby wipes after you poop, you got a dirty browneye. Who the fark came up with dry paper alone to wipe?!

This is one area the french are more advanced than we are.

flushable wipes. but a bidet should be code.


No.

Adding a bidet means you have shiatty water sprayed everywhere.


Your ass, unlike your hands shoudl be faitrly smooth. Dry paper works fine, if you are running with a dirty brown eye you aren't wiping enough.
 
2012-08-21 07:36:06 AM  

Gullyborg: In fact, it is literally killing my wife, who can no longer be in public because the reaction to perfumes burns her lungs.


Seems to me your wife might have some other issues she might want to look into. But don't take my word for it IANAL and IANAD.
 
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