Sunday, October 21, 2012

Body Odor

I was thinking about the way people smell and how that seems to translate, depending on the culture. Generally I think it's pretty gross (with a few notable exceptions, both male and female) If I can smell someone's armpit, or that greasy hair smell, it makes me want to gag. But, I have to wonder how much of that is societal.

From an evolutionary standpoint, it would make sense that we like the smell of other people, particularly people of the opposite sex. That usually isn't the case - why? Our sweat and sebum could be compared to the savory smells of cheese which wet our appetite. And why is it preferable that we smell like a flower and not like a human being?

Perhaps our repulsion is in line with evolution, maybe the things we smell under others' arms are the result or residual bacteria, or the the expulsion of toxins, neither of which are sexy or appetizing, they can be downright hazardous. It could be a territorial thing, we are often put off more by other peoples' stench than by our own- the same goes for other peoples' poop and fart smells. Don't act like you don't know.

Like many digressive thoughts, this could be pointless, I fail to see how exploring this would propel the scientific community into a series of studies which would objectively better the standard of living for mankind. UNLESS we discover that we can train our brain to like the smell of other peoples' unwashed skin, and find that is boosts the immune system, reduces insulin resistance, prevents the re-uptake of serotonin, and kills cancer cells...but I find that very unlikely - actually I don't know, how common is cancer, diabetes and depression in the middle east?

Until that discovery is made however, I will continue to launder wash and deodorize. I hope y'all will do the same.

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