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Woman's revelation that she doesn't shower every day ignites polarized personal hygiene debate

While some were horrified, others were of the opinion that not showering every day is not something that needs to be treated as modern-day horror.

Woman's revelation that she doesn't shower every day ignites polarized personal hygiene debate
Representative Cover Image Source: (L)Getty Images/Zero Creatives; (R)Mumsnet

Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 19, 2022. It has since been updated.

 

People have strong opinions about personal hygiene. It became quite evident when a mom revealed on the popular parenting forum Mumsnet that she didn't shower every day. People were seemingly divided over how frequently one must shower. The woman—who appropriately chose the username 'grosstonotshower'—turned to the Am I Being Unreasonable? forum to enquire whether she was "disgusting" for not showering every day. She explained that she had first admitted this to a group of friends (many of whom are moms) without realizing that her showering schedule isn't the norm.

"Ok, so I'm having a few drinks with friends last night. We are all female, a mix of parents and non-parents. One friend mentions she is struggling to find time for a shower every day since she had her baby. I said 'well, I don't shower every day without a young baby.' All of my friends looked at me in horror," the woman wrote. "Apparently even the ones with kids shower daily. Full disclosure I have two [daughters] one under five and I work part-time. I shower on workdays, plus one extra day, so usually three times a week. My days off usually consist of playing at home, walking the dog, school run and maybe the park."

"I would shower extra if exercising/having sex/on period etc. I bathe my dc three times a week," she added. "My [partner] works out every weekday so he does shower more than me. AIBD? (Disgusting)." While some commenters on Mumsnet agreed with grosstonotshower's friends, others were of the opinion that not showering every day is not something that needs to be treated as a modern-day horror. "Sorry, I’m a shower everyday person too. There might occasionally be a day where I don’t have a shower but that would be the exception rather than the rule," wrote DropYourSword. "The only time I don’t shower every day is when I’m depressed. Then I can’t find the energy for it. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t shower every day," commented thecapitalsunited.

"Personally I think 3 times a week is pretty grim, sorry. I am a shower everyday person. I can’t get going in the morning without one, to be honest," wrote WaystarRoycoCEO. "Shower when you want to? If you stink then yes, shower more. If not, who actually cares just how much time you spend washing? I have a shower every day but that’s because I’m a manky person who tends to smell super quick! I’d love not to be though haha," commented lilikiki, while ShowOfHands shared a similar opinion, writing: "There is nothing wrong with showering 3 times a week if you don't need a shower on the in-between days."

According to an article published by Harvard Health Publishing, "experts suggest that showering several times per week is plenty for most people (unless you are grimy, sweaty, or have other reasons to shower more often). Short showers (lasting three or four minutes) with a focus on the armpits and groin may suffice." The article explains that the widely embraced norm of showering daily is more about "habit and societal norms than health" and that there might even be some drawbacks to frequent showers. "Daily showers do not improve your health, could cause skin problems or other health issues—and, importantly, they waste a lot of water. Also, the oils, perfumes, and other additives in shampoos, conditioners, and soaps may cause problems of their own, such as allergic reactions (not to mention their cost)," it states.

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