Have you ever wondered what all those posh scientific beauty and hygiene words mean or how we got to the way we bathe, brush our teeth, strip body hair, use deodorant or put on make up?
How much of how we clean and paint ourselves is a result of over hyped marketing based on some achievable beauty standard or medical malady that we never even knew existed until we saw a prime time TV ad that sent us into a panic sprint to the shop in order to ward off toenail odour before it spread to our eyebrows?
The silliness of it all, if you stop to think about it, is kind of embarrassing really.
The beauty myth still rages on, but at least it is increasingly discussed, debated and debunked. The hygiene myth however seems to be strengthening it's grip on our psyche, even as we know some of it is actually making us sick.
The truth is that most so called hygiene products have really only appeared in the last 60 years or so and selling them to us has become a fine balance of emotive aspiration (get the girl / gorgeous guy) and threat. Choose between getting sick from lurking germ infestation or becoming a social pariah because of your bad breath, smelly underarms, hairy legs or sagging face.
Our assured line of defence against sickness or social pariahdom is a steady diet of chemicals to un-smell, disinfect and wash ourselves into germless, stinkless, hairless presentability.
But what if you could present equally well, very simply? What if you discovered your true defence was much simpler than all those overhyped, overpriced, overpackaged promises? What if it was true that you could be healthy, stinkless, bad breathless and beautiful using simple deodorants and toothpastes, skin healers and picking up more glasses of water?
Now, I acknowledge that some of these ideas might be a simplification too far for many people, but maybe give just one a try and you might be surprised at the result. Your body might thank you as much as your bank account.