The Pong Factor

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People are lulled by the glitz and glamor of celebrity. Such fascination can extend to the level that makes the phrase, ‘love is blind’ redundant and kind of reminds me of my high school years and how my friends were infatuated with one George Michael. The fact that he wrote homoerotic lyrics went over their heads and I ended up winning the bet.

Celebrity culture tends to err on the side of convention. Celebrities are portrayed as perfection or, purely heterosexual – and I don’t mean that in such a way as to say that there is something wrong with homosexuality, it’s just that there is a lot wrong with the heterocentric view of the world, and celebrity, but one thing that doesn’t have anything to do with heterocentricity is body hygiene. It’s something that has no boundaries.

When I read recent headlines, during my snotty few days at home nursing a running nose and stuffed sinuses, involving one Johnny Depp and his dislike of regular showers, well…you know…Perez Hilton types one thing and then every news outlet in the word has it, despite the lack of proof and even so, what makes a gossip blogger an authority? But the story did bring my earlier experiences with body odor to mind.

Relationships just don’t pan out well when your date, to put it bluntly, hasn’t heard of body deodorant. The only people who can tolerate pungent body odor are those who have similar habits. I’ve had my run ins and have found that blind dates take more care with personal hygiene than the ‘my shit doesn’t stink’ corporate types who head out on the town after work, thinking that a quick spritz of antiperspirant is going to do the trick.

One of the most difficult things, for me at least, is to tell someone that they really pong. It’s better if you know the person…for years…but when they are a first date, it’s one of those essential deal breakers. Body odor is one of those things that can hit you harder than a backhander. It would probably be a neck and neck race between body odor and bad breath. I don’t know which is worse, but I do know, from knowing a few dentists, that bad breath can be their deal breaker (along with straight white teeth, but dentists naturally border on being oral perfectionists). I recently went shopping with a dentist friend of mine, who detected halitosis on a sales assistant.

As a rule, I don’t go back for seconds after experiencing terrible BO and there are few excuses I’ll accept.

It’s just as well that Johnny Depp is in for a shower sex scene in his upcoming film with Angelina Jolie. According to the script, it doesn’t seem too tame:

“The outline of her naked body is visible in the shower. Frank walks to the shower and opens the glass door. Walking in, he lifts Cara against the glass, clutching at her slithery body, kissing her frantically. She kisses him back with ardour, wrapping her dripping legs around his back.”

There could be worse things than the one off confrontation. Imagine having to work with someone adverse to bodily hygiene, on a daily basis?

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