You read that correctly: I’m talking ‘scents’ in a world clearly lacking sensibility.
This is a personal update post (puppy pictures included) and I’m going to get personal – personal hygiene that is. Fun fact: I don’t particularly like ‘smelling like a girl’ and having to use ‘feminine’ deodorants, shower gels, and body sprays simply because I’m a girl. Yes, I am a female and I do identify as such. At the same time, I don’t always want to smell like “spring roses” or “lavender & lilacs,” but that’s the expectation. Girls smell like girls, boys smell like boys. Right?
Notably, yes, I do realize there is a biological difference between men and women (shocker, I know), but that’s not what I’m trying to address here. I’m talking about gender expectations and buying products explicitly assigned to a certain gender.
I don’t have to smell “pretty” to be pretty. Similar to my take on food, (“it’s my body and I’ll eat what I want”) it’s my body and I will wear and smell how I please.
I think it’s wrong hygiene products continue to assign and reinforce gender stereotypes, particularly to young adults (I’m talking preteens and teenagers), those who are just entering the (scary) world of personal hygiene. At such a young age, they’re told they need to smell like this and use that. Just look at today’s shower gel advertisements and perfume/cologne pitches! They’re made to seem so seductive, like ‘using this cologne will get you this’ –> insert picture of some dude with his arms draped over a couple of supermodels. ‘Ladies, you can get the man of your dreams with a simple spritz of this’ –> insert some overpriced, chemically-enhanced perfume. They’re gendered, heteronormative, and in my opinion, wrong.
To that, I am in no way saying you should stop using deodorant or shower gel because it reinforces gender roles and stereotypes. I’m simply saying, in the end, what you choose to use (and smell like) is your choice. After all, it is YOUR body. Man, woman, boy, girl, and everything in between: you can smell ‘pretty’ if you want. You can smell ‘tough’ if you choose. You can wear “men’s” deodorant and “women’s” perfume. You’re not wrong.
I personally enjoy using my lemon verbena hand soap and ‘swagger’ scented shower gel. I think deodorant ‘made for men’ and advertised as such works better. Plus, I like the smell. I wear the products I like and smell they way I want – No media advertisement or product label is going to change my mind.
I do hope this all makes scents. (Pun intended). To that, I’d like to think society today is becoming a bit more open and accepting of different sexual orientations and gender identities. I am seeing more gender neutral options, and people are pushing for change. Still, I think we have a lot of work to do.
What can we do? We can start by simply being ourselves.
No matter what gender you identify as, it’s your body and your decision. Use the products you like, and don’t worry about what’s ‘expected.’ If YOU like it and it makes YOU happy, use it. ♥