The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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Lets talk about personal hygiene

Riley Shankman

Let’s be honest. Teenagers stink. 

I am what you call a “super smeller”- I have a heightened sense of smell. 

So you can probably guess that all musty scents hit me harder than it would to the average person. 

High school is the epitome of diversity: unique people and, unfortunately, unique smells. Some student scents are personal, making them recognizable. However, body odor, which is part of an adolescent’s biological trajectory, becomes a problem when people refuse to maintain hygiene. Maintaining personal hygiene, in my opinion, is etiquette. 

During passing periods, the halls become congested with clusters of students. Everyone is cramped, and occasionally, you can feel someone’s arm hairs against yours. It is in this space where I smell a multitude of scents: Victoria’s Secret perfume, Axe Body Spray, A Thousand Wishes perfume, and, of course, intense body odor. 

A sour, pungent smell that resembles an athlete’s foot if it manifested itself into a human. The body odor somehow overpowers every one of these fragrances in the hall — it’s as if I am trapped in a bubble with the smell. 

And, of course, as a super smeller, body odor –quite literally –makes me convulse. But my main concern is not necessarily the smell but more of the fact that there are students who are obviously not taking their hygiene seriously. 

I understand that there are circumstances in which hygiene is the last of people’s concerns, but I firmly believe that necessary measures must be taken to ensure that students are maintaining good hygiene and keeping their mental health in check. Oftentimes, it feels as though a bath is a “self-care routine,” even though showering is the most basic form of hygiene. 

Personal hygiene is an undervalued topic of conversation. In my view, hygiene is the key to everything. Washing your hands after the toilet is a must, and so is showering after a run on the treadmill. These sanitary measures are the standard! 

No, dry shampoo won’t fix your greasy hair in the long run. No, that deodorant is not a substitute for a shower. 

Good personal hygiene is also a way to maintain good health. By washing your hands, showering, flossing, and brushing your teeth, you reduce the chances of spreading or catching a disease. 

Not only that, good hygiene guarantees that you will not be avoided by your peers. We all had those moments when plugging our noses seemed like the only option when conversing with someone. I’m not so mean to the point where I will name-drop, but I can definitely sense which one of my classmates skipped a few showers.  

Now, I don’t want this to be some sort of admonishment. In any case, I want this to be a proclamation, an address by a representative of the student body. However, I want some students to see this as a warning that, yes, we (especially me) do smell your two-day-old sweat residue. 

No person should have to plug their nose while rushing to class, but no person should feel ashamed of their naturally occurring smell. Body odor is inevitable, yet it can be solved by one thing: hygiene. 

So, with that, a reminder to all: please keep your hygiene!

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