So, I was ringing up an order yesterday and the woman said to me, “I hate buying toilet paper, it’s like, so embarrassing.”
Pretty sure I gave her this look:
What I wish I had said:
“Oh, my God that is so true. I mean what could be more embarrassing than having a complete stranger know that I—gasp— wipe!”
It has since occurred to me that her comment derives from a far more serious issue. Our economy relies heavily on selling people products that they don’t actually need. (No, I’m not including toilet paper on this list, so bear with me.) To get us to buy personal care items they must first convince us that there is something horribly wrong with our bodies in their natural state. For example, we should never, ever emit any odor that has not been created in a laboratory, packaged in plastic, and put on a store shelf for purchase. Well, not unless we naturally smell like this:
Before the beauty industry existed people were far more accepting of their natural odors. I recently read that in Elizabethan times women would place a peeled apple under their arm- pit, and after it had fully absorbed their odor, share it with their suitor. Yum. (Please understand, I’m not suggesting we return to this practice.)
And then there’s the subject of hair. If you are a woman it is no longer acceptable to have hair anywhere other than the top of your head.
Unless of course, it’s here:
Arm -pit hair bad. Eyelashes good.
“What? You still have hair down there? Oh, my God that is so disgusting! I know a nice woman who will gladly apply a wax strip and tear that shit right off! Here’s her card, don’t forget to mention my name, I get a discount for every hairy crotch I send her.”
Done? Great. Now we are one step closer to everyone looking like this:
Of course, we have heads. And if you’re female you’d better being using a whole lot of this:
And if you are male you should look like this:
Oh wait, that’s Johnny. How did he get in here? Sorry, guys.
So, um, moving on, my point is that we are constantly being bombarded with the message that we must do this:
So that we will never return to the days of this:
And a result, some people have become so detached from their own bodies, and all the ‘gross’ stuff that goes on in it every day, that they can’t even admit to doing this:
It’s not that I think we should freely discuss our bathroom habits at the dinner table, or in the checkout line (God no, please don’t do that) but I do think people should be more aware of the messages we receive hundreds of times a day, and where they come from. The beauty industry, the porn industry, etc. We should stop letting marketers shame us into despising our own bodies.
We all pee, people. (Some of us far too often, but that’s another story.) And poop. Yes, even you dear customer buying the jumbo pack of TP. And we all know you do it. (Insert evil laugh here.)
So, it’s Wednesday again, and you all know what means.
Happy Hump Day Everyone!
(Unless you work in one of those industries where days of the week mean nothing, and this is actually your Monday or your Friday, and there is no hump to be getting over, in which case I’m wishing you a happy whatever day.)
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