As a beauty influencer, I am approached by a myriad of brands wanting me to try their latest innovations. One trend I am seeing more prevalent is a number of brands are launching their version of a natural deodorant. Being one who rarely turns down a brand, I have yet to say yes to trying one of these products.
It isn't because of some hatred for the Earth, or my lust for more aluminum in my skincare, but really it comes down to my introduction to body odor. Let's just start by saying that publicly shaming children is rarely an effective method of creating high-functioning adults.
In 5th grade, I had a teacher who we will call Mr. Smith. His job couldn't have been easy, working with pre-pubescent tweens who had a penchant for playing hard at recess and not wearing anything to mitigate the stench. We were all children on the cusp of pre-adulthood. We didn't know anything about this subject. His solution to this? Bob Stinky.
Anytime a student came to class and had a certain smell about them, Mr. Smith would silently go up to the whiteboard and draw a cartoon man with stinky armpits, AKA Bob Stinky. As you can imagine, a self-conscious 12-year-old brain such as mine did not want to be caught in the crosshairs of Mr. Smith and Bob Stinky. Typical results of the appearance of Bob Stinky usually consisted of the room of 5th graders hunting down the offending student and publicly shaming them into a lifetime of bromidrophia (the fear of smelling bad).
Fast forward to one fine spring day, I played a rousing game of freeze tag on the soccer field in which I was particularly proud of my ability to go un-tagged. It was all high-fives and laughter as we came back to class. I began to do my arithmetic and had to ask Mr. Smith a question. As I approached his desk, he put his finger under his nose in an attempt to ward off the offending stench. It was a subtle gesture, one wouldn't have even noticed, that is, until he got up from his desk.
Mr. Smith proceeded to go to the white-board. There he appeared. Bob Stinky.
I immediately knew who the culprit was. Me. I was about to go down as the Smelly-Michelley for the rest of my elementary school existence. The immediate fear that coursed through my body could only exacerbate the situation. Once Bob Stinky was on the board, the class knew it was game time.
A hum began throughout the classroom as the other children began to mummer to each other about who they thought the smell-offender was. The hunt had begun. Their noses were on the case. As they approached me I knew my time as a smell-free child was over. My reputation was dust. I was about to go down as the smelly girl from 5th grade.
Just as my grade school future began crumbling before my eyes a girl yelled "it's Mark!" and the class gathered around the poor chap who was seated directly behind me. My stench had wafted into his direction and the class had completely skipped over me in their quest for blood.
I jumped out of my desk and ran to Mr. Smith. I plead with him for a hall pass to leave the class, and once granted, I raced to the bathroom. Of course, I did what any rational person would do. I shoved paper towels under my arms and began crying. Judy Blume had not prepared me for this! Luckily, the school bell rang a few minutes later and I waited for the classroom to empty before I gathered my things and went home.
From that point forward I wore more than deodorant. I was a full-fledged, aluminum-filled, antiperspirant enthusiast. Whatever happened to poor Smelly Mark after the body odor incident is beyond me. I'd like to think he was strong enough to brush it off and move on. But for myself, it was too close of a call.
As much as I'd like to try a natural deodorant, I don't plan on risking it.
(This story is 100% true and meant to amuse).
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