PDA

View Full Version : Why do Americans bathe daily?


jtnewsom
10-05-2006, 03:21 PM
I understand that we do it so that we smell good and so we do not offend others. But this is more of a recent development. It can't be because we have indoor plumbing now because the Germans have that, yet, many bathe once a week. I have thought that it may have come from Asia where some folks bathe more than twice a day. I've also heard that it came from the plague in Europe causing those who did not bathe to die out leaving the ones who bathed. If that's the case, it looks like Darwins theories kicked into high gear.

Best Regards
Jon

Shagnasty
10-05-2006, 03:27 PM
Water is cheap here and most homes have modern plumbing with large water heaters. That isn't true for some European homes.

I think you may need to turn the question around and ask why everyone that can doesn't? I skip days showering sometimes and I can't go more than one day before I must find a bathing facility and get rid of the oily, scaly, itchy feeling. Lots of people are neglectful and lazy about just about everything else in their lives but I don't know any able-bodied person that doesn't bathe at least every other day. The compulsion is a strong one once you get into the habit.

Marley23
10-05-2006, 03:31 PM
I've also heard that it came from the plague in Europe causing those who did not bathe to die out leaving the ones who bathed. If that's the case, it looks like Darwins theories kicked into high gear.
This has nothing to do with Darwin unless you are suggesting that there's a genetic component to frequent bathing.

ouryL
10-05-2006, 04:00 PM
I think my professor credited this to several factors:
1)the World Wars- GI's were all taught basic hygiene
2)young men's organizations(YMCA,Boy Scouts)/health clubs(Dr. Kellogg's)- which stressed excercise and "cleanliness is next to godliness"

Caffeine.addict
10-05-2006, 04:00 PM
Why do Americans bathe daily?

Because we can.

CalMeacham
10-05-2006, 04:21 PM
I don't, but if I don't shower at least every three days, then my hair gets incredibly oily, and I start to feel very uncomfortable. This may have had suervival value at one point, but I;m considerably easier to be around and to look at if I'm washed at least that often.

Jackmannii
10-05-2006, 04:22 PM
Spread of the plague in Europe was due to poor public sanitation (wretched waste disposal practices, large numbers of rats and plague-spreading fleas), not poor individual cleanliness.

Ximenean
10-05-2006, 04:33 PM
Many Germans bathe once a week? :dubious:

jjimm
10-05-2006, 04:44 PM
I was brought up in the 70s to bathe once every two days. At the time, heating costs were very high - and my and everyone else's parents had post-war rationing thrift - so we shared bathwater, in rotation. Nowadays I feel disgusting if I don't shower once a day.

bordelond
10-05-2006, 04:47 PM
Could climate have something to do with it? Here in humid Louisiana, you can get pretty sweaty from just a few minutes spent outdoors from about March through October.

Also, from a physiological standpoint ... people differ quite a bit in, well, natural body odor. Some are more blessed than others in that department.

Enola Straight
10-05-2006, 04:51 PM
I shower every day because I am a very stinky man.

;)

Seriously, though, I work in the casino industry and come into direct contact with customers. As a valet driver, I run around a lot and can get sweaty, fumigating the cars I park. I must remain clean and deoderized everyday.

Beware of Doug
10-05-2006, 05:09 PM
Germans may bathe weekly, but I doubt they wash weekly. There's such a thing as a spongebath in Europe; here it's a lost art, unless you're hospitalized.

jjimm
10-05-2006, 05:12 PM
There's such a thing as a spongebath in Europe; here it's a lost art, unless you're hospitalized.Oh yes, I remember now, we used to do that too when I was a kid. And then there's the "French whore's bath"...

Lightnin'
10-05-2006, 05:26 PM
I don't bathe every day, unless I'm bored. :)

I tend to bathe every other day, or roughly 3 times a week. I don't have a lot of oil in my skin, so I tend to really dry out if I bathe every day.

Sometimes, of course, I'll bathe every day- but that's if I'm doing a lot of sweaty outdoors stuff. Normally, even after three days, I don't stink- I just don't sweat that much in my job.

enipla
10-05-2006, 07:09 PM
I am a very structured person when it comes to my morning routine. I shower every work day, right around 5:17am. Same thing for the last 10 years or so.

Occasionally, I will wait till later in the day if Iím just hanging at home, and working on the house.

But, for myself, to be on the road to work at 6am I almost need to shower to get the whole thought process ďIím up and awake, letís do itĒ going. And I would feel like shit warmed over if I didnít shower and had to sit at work all day.

Crafter_Man
10-05-2006, 07:21 PM
According to comedian Tim Wilson, it was due to intense marketing campaigns by a couple soap companies at the turn of the century. They wanted to sell more soap, naturally, so their ads extolled the virtues of daily bathing.

John DiFool
10-05-2006, 07:41 PM
I don't, but if I don't shower at least every three days, then my hair gets incredibly oily, and I start to feel very uncomfortable.

Me too, plus the fact that the shower in the morning helps wake me up (I don't drink coffee).

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
10-05-2006, 07:54 PM
There's no way I couldn't shower every day. I work out nearly all weekdays, so that kind of requires it right there. I've organized working out into my weekday routine so that the post-workout shower is the same shower I'd be taking anyway.

Also, I like to wear jeans more than once between washings, and that'd be pretty hard to defend if I didn't shower daily.

Lissa
10-05-2006, 08:12 PM
For me, it's because my hair looks like hell unless it's freshly washed. (Well, it actually looks like hell anyway, but if it's freshly washed it looks a mite better.) Spritzing it with water doesn't work, and damned if I'm going to stick my head in the sink. The only way to fully wet it is to get into the shower.

Sonia Montdore
10-05-2006, 08:47 PM
Many Germans bathe once a week? :dubious:

No, they bathe daily. I'm an American with an intimate knowledge of Gemany, having studied at a German university, married a German citizen and lived and worked over there for years. Although I'm back in the States now, I keep an apartment in Germany. I'm here to tell you that that the Germans are fanatical about bathing and personal cleanliness.

Hostile Dialect
10-05-2006, 08:50 PM
Can you please not screw about with the font in the future? Thanks.

I have thought that it may have come from Asia where some folks bathe more than twice a day.

I don't know how often they bathe there, but people from many Asian nations don't stink when they sweat, and I've known Japanese international students who were completely befuddled by the notion of deodorant--it wasn't available in their hometown because it wasn't necessary (assuming there weren't many gaijin in their hometown, that is). Take a ride through Arizona, though, and you'll find plenty of people who shower 2-3 times a day because they work up that much of a sweat.

I've also heard that it came from the plague in Europe causing those who did not bathe to die out leaving the ones who bathed.

1. If you think Europeans don't bathe much now, you shoulda seen 'em back when the plague hit.

2. Native Americans were using soap regularly to wash their bodies and their clothes before anyone else really caught on to the idea majorly, IIUC. That alone could have influenced American culture enough to make a lasting difference.

3. Your plague theory seems to rest on a specific chain of events:

a. Plague hits. People who don't shower die. People who shower live.
b. Europeans keep showering for years and years and years, because the fear of the plague is so ingrained into their culture.
c. European settlers come to America and keep showering, and sometime after the colonization of the Americas, the folks back home become disinterested once again in daily bathing.

Sounds dubious. Why would showering pick up during the devastation of the bubonic plague, and then last significantly longer, but arbitrarily stop sometime after the colonization of the Americas? Then again, AFAIK the last place in the world where the bubonic plague is even remotely active is New Mexico. But if you live in New Mexico you've got lots of other reasons to shower a couple of times a day.

Some people may feel nasty after not showering for a couple of days, but I am nasty after not showering for a couple of days, especially when I live in hot climates; I sweat a lot. I had to shower at least twice a day when I lived in Arizona, and I absolutely must shower daily here (east of San Diego) in the hot months or else I'm sticky and nasty and nobody wants to be around me (although I could've pulled it off when I lived in the city proper, which is on the water and has a more moderate clime).


Also, I like to wear jeans more than once between washings, and that'd be pretty hard to defend if I didn't shower daily.

Yup, same here.

cerberus
10-05-2006, 08:54 PM
The sponge bath has two major non-hospital applications: in the field, and at home in the absence of a working water heater.

susan
10-05-2006, 08:56 PM
Capitalism. In the 60s and 70s everyone I knew showered every other day at most. Now almost everyone I know showers every day. We use a huge number of shower/bathing/"hygiene"-related products that we did not use until the mid-80's. Men did not formerly put "product" on their hair or skin. There was no such thing as "hair gel," just pomade, which was not a female product.

Shagnasty
10-05-2006, 09:03 PM
I'm here to tell you that that the Germans are fanatical about bathing and personal cleanliness.

How does that mesh with all the kinky scat stuff we all hear about over here?

:)

glee
10-05-2006, 09:08 PM
Well it's not necessarily a topic of conversation, but since the 50's everyone in England I know of bathes or showers daily.
If I have friends over, there's an amicable discussion whose turn it is next.
In the old days, you might have to wait for the boiler to heat the water, but it was still standard.

So where did the OP get the idea about European habits?

susan
10-05-2006, 09:09 PM
How does that mesh with all the kinky scat stuff we all hear about over here?See, they wash after.

Walloon
10-05-2006, 09:20 PM
Men did not formerly put "product" on their hair or skin. There was no such thing as "hair gel," just pomade, which was not a female product.Don't know what your definition of "product" or "pomade" is, but American and British men have been regularly putting stuff in their hair since at least the 1890s. Example: Cary Grant (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Dap0036.jpg).

The dry look didn't become popular among men until the 1960s and early 1970s.

Murdered "Bog Men" Found With Hair Gel, Manicured Nails (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/01/0117_060117_irish_bogmen.html).

Sonia Montdore
10-05-2006, 10:04 PM
How does that mesh with all the kinky scat stuff we all hear about over here?

:)

Not into into that and have no information or opinion.

susan
10-06-2006, 12:21 AM
The "stuff" was pomade. They didn't use gel, blow-dry (and therefore need dry-hair conditioner), moisturizer, etc.

Enter the Flagon
10-06-2006, 12:57 AM
Glad you asked. I've found that if I don't bathe/shampoo every day, my pillowcases rapidly discolor.

So I do it to save money on pillowcases.

Fish Cheer
10-06-2006, 01:15 AM
See, they wash after.This gets downright hilarious if you take into account that "after" is the German word for "anus".

chowder
10-06-2006, 01:35 AM
Well it's not necessarily a topic of conversation, but since the 50's everyone in England I know of bathes or showers daily.
If I have friends over, there's an amicable discussion whose turn it is next.
In the old days, you might have to wait for the boiler to heat the water, but it was still standard.

So where did the OP get the idea about European habits?

Mainland Europe perchance.....yanno that place where female armpits are hairy :eek:

susan
10-06-2006, 01:56 AM
Plenty of hairy armpits right here on the Dope, my friend.

ignoramus
10-06-2006, 03:27 AM
Chalk up another European (Brit) for daily showers.

Now if I could only understand why people think it's a good idea to bathe in the evening...

jjimm
10-06-2006, 03:37 AM
Now if I could only understand why people think it's a good idea to bathe in the evening...I had this conversation with a Chinese friend, as many Chinese only bathe in the evening: "You must feel dirty during the day," I said. "Yes," he replied, "but you must have a dirty bed."

Kyla
10-06-2006, 04:36 AM
Trust me, there really are plenty of Europeans who don't bathe daily. Maybe not in Germany, but they exist.

Nava
10-06-2006, 04:41 AM
Mainland Europe perchance.....yanno that place where female armpits are hairy :eek:

Where have you been living, dearie? Not my mainland Europe... I'll admit to seeing hairy female armpits when the weather's crazy (we've been known to have heatwaves with temperatures over 30C in December) but not when we've had time to wax, nosiree.

Or maybe Spain's still Africa and the guv'mint's been lying to us.

Kyla
10-06-2006, 04:49 AM
Or maybe Spain's still Africa and the guv'mint's been lying to us.

Editing by moi.

Spain was part of Africa? I think I missed that memo.

jackdavinci
10-06-2006, 06:03 AM
This has nothing to do with Darwin unless you are suggesting that there's a genetic component to frequent bathing.

Darwin didn't know about genetics, just inheritance of traits and natural selection. Which is something that happens in memetics as well as genetics.

Hostile Dialect
10-06-2006, 06:06 AM
Didn't mean to be snippy about the font, jtnewsom. To expound on this, don't think you did anything against the rules or "wrong" per se--but many Dopers frown upon the use of non-default fonts, colors, sizes, etc. and find it annoying because it breaks from the clean, organized appearance that sets us apart from most other message boards. Again, I apologize for being a bit of a prick about it.

Guinastasia
10-06-2006, 06:27 AM
I had this conversation with a Chinese friend, as many Chinese only bathe in the evening: "You must feel dirty during the day," I said. "Yes," he replied, "but you must have a dirty bed."


I take my shower in the evening-it's easier because then I go to bed feeling all nice and clean, and I can get ready quicker in the mornings. I wash up in the mornings, of course, but I take my full shower at night.

Plus, I always feel really grimy after a long day-sweaty, tired, and just in need of a nice, hot shower.

chowder
10-06-2006, 07:01 AM
Where have you been living, dearie? Not my mainland Europe... I'll admit to seeing hairy female armpits when the weather's crazy (we've been known to have heatwaves with temperatures over 30C in December) but not when we've had time to wax, nosiree.

Or maybe Spain's still Africa and the guv'mint's been lying to us.

Dearie? Dearie?

I'm a bloke avec hairy pits I'll have you know :p

SanVito
10-06-2006, 07:05 AM
Trust me, there really are plenty of Europeans who don't bathe daily. Maybe not in Germany, but they exist.

Perhaps this is an example of that recurring problem of lumping some 30 countries under the banner 'Europeans', like we all went to the same school of hygiene or something.

glee
10-06-2006, 08:06 AM
Perhaps this is an example of that recurring problem of lumping some 30 countries under the banner 'Europeans', like we all went to the same school of hygiene or something.

Indeed.
I blame the Eurovision Song Contest for letting Israel in (my only objection is geographical!).

August West
10-06-2006, 08:43 AM
Born American here, and I shower when I need a shower. Sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon and sometimes in the evening. I probably shower 4-5 times a week during the summer and 3-4 in the winter. I guess I don't produce a lot of natural stink or oil.

butler1850
10-06-2006, 08:50 AM
I shower every day for work, and most of the time on the weekend. If it's hot, every day. If it's cooler, or I've not done any work that has caused me to work up a sweat, then I might skip a Saturday or Sunday shower out of lazyness.

If I'm hunting that day, then it's not just a shower, but one with scent free products.

AncientHumanoid
10-06-2006, 08:50 AM
There are two types of jobs. Those where you shower before working, those where you shower after.

I would say office work, sales, things where image is important, fall into the first catagory. Construction, service industry, things where one gets dirty or sweaty while working fall into the second. If I didn't shower after work (construction), my bedding would reek, my skin would break out, my sinuses would suffer...

I also shower before a date, going out with friends, going to church, etc... I like smelling and feling fresh.

BTW, you probably won't be able to get one definitive answer here. Seems more like an opinion poll.

Ludovic
10-06-2006, 09:04 AM
We like to keep our hair spotlessly clean. We wash it at least once every two weeks. Once every two weeks!

Jackmannii
10-06-2006, 09:08 AM
Not singling out anyone in this thread, but there is plenty of subjective evidence suggesting that some of us are clueless when it comes to evaluating whether we possess objectionable bodily odors.

Maybe bathing/showering is overrated. Rasputin hardly ever did, and he got plenty of babes.

August West
10-06-2006, 09:11 AM
I trust that my wife would tell me if I was a stank-ass! :D

Johanna
10-06-2006, 09:11 AM
The Mongols at the time of Genghis Khan followed a shamanistic religion which believed that water was a magic substance used only by sorcerors. Getting rained on while riding horses was the only "bath" Mongols ever got.

When they conquered Islamic lands and found people constantly bathing and making ablutions with water several times a day, the culture shock must have been considerable. All those sorcerors running around loose...!

susan
10-06-2006, 09:12 AM
This time of year I have to shower in the evening. My shiny new students are at their shiny new community placements working with children, who have all just gone back to school and are busy transmitting diseases. I sometimes change clothes in the garage after work so my germ-infested garments can go directly into the wash.

Guinastasia
10-06-2006, 10:29 PM
Maybe bathing/showering is overrated. Rasputin hardly ever did, and he got plenty of babes.



Yeah, and look what happened to him!
:D

justqwerty
10-07-2006, 08:18 AM
It's like the old cowboy joke- I take a bath once a year, whether I need it or not.

monstro
10-07-2006, 09:35 AM
Chalk up another European (Brit) for daily showers.

Now if I could only understand why people think it's a good idea to bathe in the evening...

I don't understand showering only in the morning.

You live during the day, right? Living involves sweating, being sprayed by diesel exhaust and people's sneezes, and tolieting. The idea of taking all of the day's grime to bed is repulsive. I don't sleep well when I'm dirty. And I hate the idea that I'm soiling my sheets every time I lay down.

I know some people sweat a lot while they sleep. I don't, since I sleep with a fan. So upon waking, I can jump out of bed and dress. I save 5-10 minutes by saving my shower for the night.

Walloon
10-07-2006, 10:12 AM
All the day's grim, if any, lands mostly on the hands and face, maybe arms. The rest is covered with clothing.

monstro
10-07-2006, 10:49 AM
All the day's grim, if any, lands mostly on the hands and face, maybe arms. The rest is covered with clothing.

But a person sweats all over his/her body, correct? And what about your butt and genitals, arm pits, and other moist, funky areas? Don't you feel all sticky and gross?

Psychologically, showering at night makes the most sense to me. I get to wash away all the day's stresses and problems, properly closing out the day before I go beddy-bye. Seems to me that going to bed with the day's dirt on you is also like taking the day's burdens with you to bed as well. I admit this is a strange way of looking at it.

Jake
10-07-2006, 12:04 PM
I used to shower morning AND evening, but my skin got so dry and flakey I cut the shower back to just morning. And I feel just as clean.

Hostile Dialect
10-07-2006, 07:36 PM
I know some people sweat a lot while they sleep.

I do. A lot. And I can't run the fan, because it's cold as shit when I go to sleep, this time of year. I know it'll heat up before I wake up (I'm an unemployed student, so I usually get up in the afternoon), but I can't leave the fan running because I'll be too cold to get to sleep in the first place. So I change my sheets every day, sometimes multiple times if I wake up in the middle of the night after sweating a lot, and I shower in the morning because showering at night seems pretty pointless.



But a person sweats all over his/her body, correct? And what about your butt and genitals, arm pits, and other moist, funky areas? Don't you feel all sticky and gross?

No, not during this time of year. I'm sure you do, because you live in freaking Miami. But I only feel sticky and gross during the summer, and even that only because I live in East County, not within 15 miles of the ocean like I used to.

Sonia Montdore
10-07-2006, 07:41 PM
Yeah, and look what happened to him!
:D

Kinda fitting that he ended up in the river.

Walloon
10-07-2006, 10:24 PM
And I can't run the fan, because it's cold as shitShit is cold? Better see a doctor ó you may be dead.

Eve
10-08-2006, 12:18 AM
All the day's grim, if any, lands mostly on the hands and face, maybe arms. The rest is covered with clothing.

Lately, I've been grim all over.

Mister Rik
10-08-2006, 12:26 AM
Re: men's hair "products" - I suspect the "dry look" become popular around the same time that daily bathing/showering did. I have no doubt that infrequent hairwashing was the whole reason for putting that stuff in your hair in the first place.

And I can remember my mom using those "5 Day" deodorant pads. Do they even make those any more?

Me, I can't even get moving in the morning without a hot shower. It loosens up my spine and relaxes the back muscles that have tightened up while I slept.

Obsidian
10-08-2006, 02:07 AM
My mom has very, very dry skin, and doesn't seem to sweat. She washes her hair in the sink twice a week, and takes a bath with bath oil on Sunday. She's done this my whole life, and she's never smelled bad. She has hand soap and shampoo, but has never owned body soap. Open her hamper and it still smells like clean laundry. My father, on the other hand, has a freshness capacity of 24hrs, tops. Usually, he showers twice a day because he's been to the gym. There's a whole range in between their two extremes, I would imagine.

I, aggrivatingly, inherited my mother's skin but by father's sweat glands. I've become I big fan of sponge bathing/selective washing with a hand sprayer. All the rest of me ever needs is a rinse. And a lot of moisturizer. Only if I've done something to get myself dirty, or if it's really hot, will I take a full-on shower. (As someone said above, how often you bathe and how often you wash can be two different things)

Quartz
10-08-2006, 05:37 AM
Now if I could only understand why people think it's a good idea to bathe in the evening...
A long soak late at night is relaxing, and you get to go to bed clean. Just don't fall asleep in the bath!

Kyla
10-08-2006, 05:48 AM
Perhaps this is an example of that recurring problem of lumping some 30 countries under the banner 'Europeans', like we all went to the same school of hygiene or something.

And now we're gonna be in the EU, too! Hahahaha!

Sonia Montdore
10-08-2006, 12:58 PM
Don't know what your definition of "product" or "pomade" is, but American and British men have been regularly putting stuff in their hair since at least the 1890s. Example: Cary Grant (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Dap0036.jpg).

The dry look didn't become popular among men until the 1960s and early 1970s.

Murdered "Bog Men" Found With Hair Gel, Manicured Nails (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/01/0117_060117_irish_bogmen.html).

Men in past centuries put pomade and other unguents in their hair. A little trivia: the word antimacassar, meaning a doily attached to a chair back, is derived from men's hair oil. In the 19th century, many Englishmen used a popular product called Macassar Oil in their hair. This left stains on upholstery, hence the invention of the antimacassar to protect the furniture.

Aunt Flow
10-08-2006, 09:00 PM
I absolutely have to shower every day. My hair looks disgusting if I don't. It because a stringy, greasy mess almost 24hours on the dot. And I have to do it in the morning. For some reason, if I shower at night and then don't the next morning, I'll start feeling (and looking) dirty and greasy about halfway through the day. It's a pain in the ass to not be able to skip a day. Or least it was until I discovered the joys of bandanas :D

Wallenstein
10-09-2006, 07:13 AM
Wot's wrong with showering twice in a day??

Nice hot shower in the morning - especially if the missus has been feeling frisky the previous night and everything's kinda, you know, sticky ;) - and then a quick shower when I get home from work (office job).

Doesn't use much water - especially in the early evening when it's just a quick sluicing down prior to unfolding the ol' bow-tie and tails and getting dressed for dinner.

(What... surely you Americans still dress for dinner right? Right...?)

Chefguy
10-09-2006, 09:25 AM
Editing by moi.

Spain was part of Africa? I think I missed that memo.

Historically, the Iberian Peninsula was often shown major disrespect by the rest of Europe, who considered it uncivilized and not really a part of Europe. The Spanish are often darker complected, and the Portuguese downright swarthy. Then there was that pesky Moorish occupation. Oops, I mean Moopish.

While most Europeans bath as often as anyone else, deoderant use is somewhat spotty. If someone from Europe smells bad to you, it's not because they haven't bathed, it's probably because it is almost impossible to remove armpit funk from clothing, regardless of repeated washings. That said, I lived in Europe for eight years and seldom experienced the "Euro-funk" problem.

Foxy40
10-09-2006, 09:43 AM
Wot's wrong with showering twice in a day??

Not a darn thing. I've been doing it since I was an adult. Shower once in the morning for a quick wake up sudsing, rinse and shampoo. Once in the evening for a more thorough shower, shaving, loufah, hair conditioning, other lady cleansing as needed. Oops. Perhaps too much information.

ouryL
10-09-2006, 02:42 PM
Capitalism. In the 60s and 70s everyone I knew showered every other day at most. Now almost everyone I know showers every day. We use a huge number of shower/bathing/"hygiene"-related products that we did not use until the mid-80's. Men did not formerly put "product" on their hair or skin. There was no such thing as "hair gel," just pomade, which was not a female product.

pomade is just richman's vaseline :p

Sutremaine
10-09-2006, 11:48 PM
I'd be a dedicated evening showerer if I were less of a night owl ("Hey, it's getting a bit late, maybe I should... oh, it's 1am. Crap"). This time of year, showering in the morning means leaving a warm bed for a cold room and travelling to the (cold) bathroom, where I take off whatever I'm wearing and then expose myself to the cold yet again when I step out from under the water. If I must wash in the morning, without having the time to wake up properly beforehand, I'll run some water into the sink and do only the essentials-- that way I get to keep my socks and bathrobe on. :D

Maastricht
10-10-2006, 12:13 AM
I third that the OP's assumption is wrong, in that most Dutch men and women I know shower every day. Although many (barring sports) also do it once every two days.

If there is a reason, it might be the climate. Over here, we have cool summers and lukewarm winters, and it is hard to work up a sweat from the weather alone.

Only in the time of my grandparents (early sixties, rural Holland) was it common to bathe only on Saturday. A tubful of water would be heated on the stove, Mom would go first, then dad and all the kids. The last one got the dirty bathwater.
On the other week days everybody back then would wash their hands, faces and armpits with washcloths,while standing at the sink or at the washtable. On the washtable would be a " lampet-kan" (http://www.volkerskrant.nl/AmateurKunst/EigenWerk/Persoonlijk/web/1.html) a bowl and vase filled with warm water that would be brought in the bedroom.

Green Cymbeline
10-10-2006, 12:10 PM
She washes her hair in the sink twice a week, and takes a bath with bath oil on Sunday.
Especially for women, I think you need to take a shower every day in order to wash your crotch region. I would feel so nasty down there if I didn't wash it every day. Between all the peeing and pooping and moisture down there, you have to wash it every day!


In college, my German teacher told us she was shocked at how Americans took a shower every day. She said they bathed only a few times a week (and she would wear the same outfit two days in a row... Monday & Tuesday: outfit A; Wednesday & Thursday: outfit B... so on and so forth).

Cat Jones
10-10-2006, 12:36 PM
(and she would wear the same outfit two days in a row... Monday & Tuesday: outfit A; Wednesday & Thursday: outfit B... so on and so forth). Now that's just silly - it should be Monday - Wednesday outfit A, Tuesday -Thursday outfit B - Friday pot luck, whichever is cleanest ;)

Rubystreak
10-10-2006, 07:07 PM
I bathe every day, in the morning. When I was a kid, I had eczema on the back of my neck, and if I didn't shower in the morning, there'd be flakes on my clothes. Not acceptable. That got me in the habit and now, I can't deal without a shower.

I also have an acute sense of smell, and I can smell myself if I don't do the daily ritual or washing and deodorizing.. Maybe other people don't smell themselves, or really don't have any body odor. They are very lucky.

The thing that's annoying is, my hair looks better if I don't wash it every day. It's much smoother and less frizzy. I use all the appropriate conditioners, etc., but it still doesn't look as good as it does if I don't wash it.

Nature's Call
10-10-2006, 10:42 PM
Um...sticking my neck out... I don't know how it happened, but in recent years my showers have dwindled to once/twice a week. I must wash my hair every morning: even a 15 min power snooze leaves me with bed-head to rival an Exxon duck. But my skin feels clean, I don't smell (my wife assures me), to see me you'd never know my -ahem- dirty little secret.

I've also discovered I can wear my slacks to work and only launder them after three or four wearings, much to the dismay of my dry-cleaner.

Maybe those cynics above who blame marketing-manufactured hygiene taboos are correct?

Obsidian
10-11-2006, 01:59 AM
Especially for women, I think you need to take a shower every day in order to wash your crotch region. I would feel so nasty down there if I didn't wash it every day. Between all the peeing and pooping and moisture down there, you have to wash it every day!

You know, I've never actually discussed crotch-washing with my mom. I assume it's not a serious problem, the parents have been happily married for 35 years now.

You can wash the girly bits perfectly well without shower, anyway.

Maastricht
10-11-2006, 03:22 AM
You can wash the girly bits perfectly well without shower, anyway. That (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidet) what bidet (http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/spratt/bidet.jpg)were invented for. I've seen bidets mainly in French hotel rooms, and they allow you to freshen up down there without getting your hair wet.

Wallenstein
10-11-2006, 04:31 AM
The thing that's annoying is, my hair looks better if I don't wash it every day. It's much smoother and less frizzy. I use all the appropriate conditioners, etc., but it still doesn't look as good as it does if I don't wash it.
It's possible to shower without getting one's hair wet... I just lower the showerhead to neck-height if I don't want to get my barnet soggy.