I hate antiperspirant

I hate antiperspirant.  I can’t understand why it exists.  I can’t for the life of me fathom why anybody would make such a nasty, vile, disgusting substance.  And I can’t understand why any God-fearing, apple pie-loving citizen would paste such a substance to their underarms.

little white globs
When I was in high school, and still experimenting with my newly emerged adult body and the odors my new body could produce, I played around with antiperspirants for a while.  Back then I understood that body odors were slightly less-than-optimal in social settings (which here means settings involving girls), and so I wanted to curb those odors.  The nuclear option seemed appropriate, so I bought a stick of antiperspirant and unleashed holy fury on the little odor-causing beasties.

What I didn’t realize is the the white stuff cakes to your underarm hairs.  I was transporting little white globules under there.  Flakes floated out of my shirt onto whatever I was doing.  And once the guys in the locker room caught sight of the spectacle, I was doomed.  Let’s just say I was very careful to keep my arms down after that.  How many times does a scenario like this need to play out before a young man decides maybe his future doesn’t lie with antiperspirants?  In my case, exactly once.

we’re supposed to perspire
Another thing I learned in high school – in biology class (see, I was paying attention) – is that the human body has sweat glands.  These glands produce sweat, which is secreted through the skin, and helps to cool us and clean out our pores.  What, exactly, is antiperspirant doing to our sweat glands to make them stop sweating?  What unnatural method does it employ to stop these glands from performing the pure and natural function for which they were designed?  Having a squeamish stomach, I decided I didn’t really want to know the answer to that question, but whatever the case, it couldn’t be good.  I’m better off not knowing some things.

All this doesn’t mean I like the odors.  I’m certainly not above using reasonable means to ensure I don’t immediately clear any room I enter.  And having been around a fair number of people who are, evidently, not aware of the malodorous offenses of which their bodies are capable, I’m a big proponent of deodorant.  Plain deodorant.  Not the kind coupled with antiperspirant.

For the love of all that is decent and good, please use deodorant.

This article originally appeared in the August 20, 2008, edition of the Greenhorn Valley View.

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