An ode to B.O.


Tatum Shore-Fitzgerald

art by Tatum Shore-Fitzgerald

Malcia Greene, entertainment editor

I get it. You’re a teenager, you’re angsty and you’re stressed. Hey, it’s normal. Puberty is a pain in the butt to begin with and your mother nagging you to “freshen up,” even when your pits smell just fine by no means makes matters any less irritating. But when it gets to a point that every time you open your mouth during a conversation one’s eyes begin to water from the stench coming out, sis, it’s time to talk.

I’m sorry, but how can I possibly be expected to take you seriously when you’re talking? I’m far too fixated on the 3-month-old muck under your fingernails. Lord only knows what else is under those talons. And wait, one more thing; just a quick PSA to my foul-smelling fellas carrying around the nauseating aromas who believe showering is optional or rather an every-other day recommendation, let me tell ya: Honey, you’ve got a big storm comin’.

Now now, have no fear, the hygiene police are here. Lucky for you, I have compiled some of the most simple yet effective remedies in regards to improving your own personal hygiene. Below are the top five recommended measures you may want to consider taking in order to live a healthier and happier lifestyle.

#1: Bathe on a daily basis
While washing away all of the unwanted bacteria and germs may seem like common sense to the vast majority of the student body, there are without doubt those who believe, “Hey, I showered yesterday, I’m good for another day.” WRONG. Hopefully, I am not the first to be the bearer of bad news, but for the love of God, take a shower. Not only for those around you, but for yourself. It’s true, cozying up in bed with clean hair and a moisturized face post bubble-bath will leave you feeling relaxed late at night, and kickstarting your morning with a cold cleanse has been proven to rejuvenate senses for what the upcoming day may bring. Just because your hair is only supposed to be washed every other day is no excuse for your body not to be clean. Rinsing off can even be as quick as a five-minute scrub for any odors to deteriorate down the drain.

#2: Keep up with your oral hygiene
Maybe it’s just me, but bad breath is both my biggest fear as well as number one pet peeve. I know brushing your teeth twice a day will do the job of keeping your smile in tact, but will it really cut it after dinner when your Tinder date leans in for the kiss only to endure the garlic lingering in your breath from those Middle-Eastern hors d’oeuvres? Maybe if you had a piece of gum or a little bit of breath spray, but God forbid. You’re too cocky for those Lifesavers that could have quite literally saved you. My friend, it’s not that deep. Keep some Listerine Mint breath strips in your wallet, a pack of Orbit Spearmint gum in your car or some citrus Tic Tacs in your backpack and you’ll be set. Oh, and of course do not forget to brush, floss and rinse for the triple-threat trifecta.

#3: Apply antiperspirants every morning
Name a feeling worse than sitting in your second hour thinking, “Who the hell around me smells like an onion farm?” and then realizing it’s you whose scent has taken a toll on your now tingling nostrils. Spread that stick of Old Spice Fiji, spray that can of Dove Pomegranate or rub just a spritz of your favorite perfume across your wrists for a little somethin’ extra. But please–and yes–I’m talking to you boys, whatever you do, do not douse yourself in Axe to cover up the cold sweats you got last night in your sleep. Nobody wants a repeat of middle school. I always say it, but a little goes a long way. Save your armpits the trouble of your profuse sweating during public speaking, or at the very least make those pits smell like a tropical rush of fragrances. After all, let it be known that those who smell good are scientifically proven to be more attractive (hint, hint).

#4: Always wear clean clothes
Ladies, I understand that we sometimes tend to wear the same pair of leggings as we did the day before, which is no biggie. And gentlemen, I’m no Einstein, but do you like the Kansas City Chiefs? Just a wild guess considering I’ve seen you wear that sweatshirt five days in a row now. Again, no hate. I know everyone reading this could come together and admit that they have at, at least in one point in time, worn the same clothes multiple times. It’s OK. But do you know what’s not just “whatever?” Mentally preparing for the new stain that will without doubt appear on your lab partner’s crewneck as he enters the room. It’s not that I choose to think about your mustiness, it just happens to be in the form of 135 lbs. sitting next to me during English. Microorganisms can fester in dirty clothes, and wearing clothes with these microorganisms can lead to potential infections. I hate to break it to you, but the days of you wearing your “signature hat” to hide the grease in your hair have come to a close.

#5: Maintain good hand habits
“Hand habits? What are those?” you may be wondering. Hand habits may range from properly washing your hands with warm water for the at least twenty-seconds, cleaning the gunk out from underneath your nails and pumping enough Germ-X (or any preferred scented pocketbac from Bath and Body Works if you’re more into that) which are essential for staying away from viruses and other grimey substances. Because we our hands and fingers are arguably the limbs we use the most on a day-to-day basis, it’s vital to remain sanitary as often as possible. You have no idea what kind of person typed on the keyboard at the library before you. Or when the last time they washed their hands was. Or how long it’s been since they had to change a poopy diaper from their 6-month-old’s sweet potato surprise. The key message here is to consistently keep your hands in tiptop condition.

Well, my work here is done. If you’re not smelling as delicious as a daisy on a warm summer day by tomorrow morning before class, then I have failed you. However, this shouldn’t happen as long as you follow these simple steps (some of which I pray you already take part in).