To bathe or not to bathe, that is the question.
Here at TreeHugger we’ve been known to talk dirty. We’ve talked no soap and unwashed jeans, soiled vegetables and deodorant liberation. And last year, Katherine and Margaret brought the Internet to its knees when they posted the results of their 31 days sans shampoo.
There’s a certain beauty in giving up the addiction to cleanliness. Not to be unhygienic or anything, but how satisfying not to buy the hype foisted upon us by the corporations that make the things with which we clean ourselves. As Gizmodo noted recently, from mouthwash to deodorant, “most of our hygiene products were invented in the past century. To sell them, the advertising industry had to create pseudoscientific maladies like ‘bad breath’ and ‘body odor.’” And just like that, we were nudged into a world of stink-shaming and the unnecessary products, chemicals, packaging, pollution and water waste that come with it. Oh, for the dirty old days!
Thoughts of 1950s Listerine ads got us pondering hygiene in general and how the rest of the world thinks about these things. Is cleanliness an American cultural obsession? As it turns out, as far as bathing goes at least, we’re not the only ones.
A poll conducted last July by the research company, Euromonitor, asked some 6,600 consumers from countries around the world about who’s showering, who’s bathing, and who’s dabbing themselves with a sponge. The results, as described in the report, “Personal Appearances: Global Consumer Survey Results on Apparel, Beauty and Grooming” show that Americans are actually quite average in their proclivity for cleanliness.
Out of the countries queried – Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Middle East (Saudi Arabia and UAE), United Kingdom, and the U.S. – Americans revealed that while they take more showers than people in China, Britain, and Japan, they don’t take as many as those in Brazil and Colombia.
More juicy tidbits to take away? People in Indonesia, Japan and India are the most frequent takers of full baths, and Indonesia scores again as the place where most people take sponge baths. Who knew?
Here's how the other countries stack up:
How about you, do you shower daily?