Poo-Pourri And Clinical Strength Deodorants: The Problem With Trying To Smell “Prim And Proper”

November 5, 2013  |  

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By LaKrishia Armour 

There are plenty of products keeping us smelling good: Expensive perfumes, arsenals of Bath & Body Works seasonal hand lotions and $8 clinical strength deodorants in pretty packaging.

Add to that the new product Poo-Pourri. You might have seen the commercial. A proper, British woman perched on a toilet listing reasons why women are, or should be, embarrassed that their poop stinks. The commercial was compelling and hilarious enough for me to click the ad to go to the company’s website.

With over four million units sold, I obviously wasn’t the only person interested in this product. The stuff seemed like a miracle. Poo-pourri is a scented spray that layers into the toilet before pooing the poo (aka, having a bowel movement) and traps odors beneath the surface of the water, affording a clean getaway. No more waiting it out in the stall, and definitely no more wishing your boyfriend didn’t use the bathroom right after you came out from a lengthy visit to the porcelain potty.

It doesn’t end there. There’s also an underwear brand called Shreddies with a carbon-lined back panel that protects the wearer (or perhaps the general public?) against the after affects of silent but deadly farts. That means, the wearer can rip away while on the train, in an afternoon meeting or in the comfort of an office cubical with no noses victimized.

Sounds good right? But really, what are these products trying to tell us? We know there’s a double standard when it comes to men’s bodies and women’s bodies, but this reinforces the notion a man can be a Neanderthal (it is Movember) while a woman must remain prim, proper and untainted by the scent of the enchiladas and refried beans she ate for lunch.

Why are we saving men from the “awfulness” that is our normal bodily functions? While Shreddies are unisex, Poo-Pourri is specifically marketed to women. We’re painting too rosy of a picture for these guys. We’re letting them think that the only thing we do in the bathroom is shoo them away while we take eight minutes too long to improperly apply a false lash strip to our left eyelid. Or worse, that we’re in there slowly and seductively shaving each leg with the shower curtain slightly ajar for his homemade Peeping Tom-esque enjoyment.

Um, no.

I poop. And I fart. You do too, and it’s natural. You know this. I know this. He knows this. Everyone emits unpleasant odors during the day. I’m tired of hiding the fact that sometimes I want to take the September issue of Vogue into the bathroom with me. Or, that I want to lift my right cheek to let the wind out (I don’t though–at least, not in public).

We let men walk around with wavy smell lines radiating from their collective armpits, groins and feet—and love it because at some point they’ll mush our faces into a post-basketball-game-with-the-homies-afflicted armpit—while we pray to the heavens they wait a full 45 minutes to enter the bathroom after we’ve done our best to erase all evidence that we gave the toilet bowl a workout. Yet, they’ve got no shame at all. None. I know you’ve seen that smug look of accomplishment when a man emerges after successfully melting the porcelain with their own Napalm bomb.

Ladies, we have got to take back our right to handle our business (including pooping, passing gas and more) and be okay with it. It doesn’t mean we’re disgusting, it means we ate food, aren’t bloated and worked out at the gym. Look, we’re already stuck with lower pay, unattainable beauty standards, plus a good chunk of the household chores while these men out here are free to revel in feeling their own funk. Don’t let the poo be another stronghold. Give us us free.

I say let ‘em rip, ladies. You know, as long as you’re wearing your pink Shreddies.

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