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Skipping daily showers in hot South Florida? Experts say yes. I say absolutely not.

This stink tank of experts already has a base of support from the estimated one third of Americans who don鈥檛 shower daily, according to a Harvard Medical School report published three years ago.

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There鈥檚 an alarming campaign out there trying to get you to accept unspeakable things.聽No, it has nothing to do with Donald Trump for a change. It has to do with your armpits and other fragrant parts of your anatomy.聽

I鈥檓 talking about the anti-showering movement. There is a small but persistent group of academicians, researchers and stank advocates who keep quietly insisting that daily showering habits are unnecessary, environmentally wasteful and maybe even harmful to something called your skin鈥檚 鈥.鈥澛

This stink tank of experts already has a base of support from the estimated , according to a Harvard Medical School report published three years ago.聽

The smell-tolerant messaging seems to find new life particularly around this time of year, when the temperatures outside start rising and the need for showering becomes more apparent. Yes, at a time of year when we should be bombarded with public service announcements reminding people to hose themselves off, the opposite message is being pushed.聽

Why are we conjuring misty glorifications of 19th century funk?

A third of Americans don鈥檛 shower daily, according to a Harvard Medical School report published in 2021.

Instead of coming up with catchy sayings like 鈥淲hen in doubt, scrub it out,鈥 we鈥檙e conjuring misty glorifications of 19th century funk.聽

Recently, a feature story from the BBC entitled, 鈥,鈥 kicked off the latest round of B.O. advocacy. The author of that story, Matilda Welin, professed to showering three times a week if she doesn鈥檛 exercise.

鈥淪ome of my friends shower as little or even less 鈥 a few just once a week in winter, occasionally because of skin problems or a dislike of having wet hair,鈥 Welin wrote.

The cicadas are coming.Frustrated Americans should join them by screaming, too.

Call me a conspiracy theorist but I suspect that Big Deodorant may be behind this.聽聽

A day after the BBC story ran, The New York Post followed up with a story entitled, 鈥 and have no real health benefit, experts insist.鈥

You see what鈥檚 happening? This is starting to seep into our consciousness like the arrival of an infrequent bather on a crowded public bus.

For the record, as an upstanding citizen of South Florida for the past 40 years 鈥 arguably the sweatiest, smelliest region of the United States 鈥 I find these 鈥渄on鈥檛 shower鈥 stories to be nearly as alarming as the annual gathering of the Florida Legislature.

There鈥檚 no such thing as 'good bacteria' when you smell

The OG of the anti-shower gang is Donnachadh McCarthy, an Irish environmentalist who pines for the good old days when as a child he got one weekly soak in the family鈥檚 bathtub.

鈥淲e do need to wash our hands frequently, for obvious hygiene reasons. But our skin has its own natural cleansing mechanism and it is generally only our armpits, feet and privates that produce any odours if unwashed,鈥 McCarthy wrote in a piece entitled, 鈥. Here鈥檚 why you should too.鈥

First of all, trying to take off the table some smell issues with feet, armpits and crotches 鈥 as if this is something we can ignore 鈥 is like making an assessment of the Miami Heat basketball team .

It鈥檚 just not a full assessment of the team.

Especially here in South Florida, where I鈥檓 pretty sure that if a voter referendum was proposed that would criminalize aggressive non-showering, it would pass with more than 80% approval.聽

One of the big arguments of the anti-shower faction is that shampoos, conditioners and body soaps remove the body鈥檚 natural oils and 鈥済ood bacteria.鈥

I would like to go on the record to say that there鈥檚 no such thing as 鈥済ood bacteria鈥 emanating from those within sniffing distance at the bank, supermarket, mall or restaurant.聽If you have to wonder if that Parmesan scent is coming from your pasta or some other diner鈥檚 armpits, well, you might just want to get takeout.

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I would also observe that my 鈥渘atural oils鈥 seem to always make an amazing comeback every time I step into a hot car, even when it鈥檚 just minutes from my last shower.

As for the environment, if we here in South Florida have to make a choice between using fresh water for daily showering or using it to keep our lawns green during droughts, it鈥檚 time to say goodbye to St. Augustine grass and hello to Japanese rock-garden landscaping.

And there are ways to take showers that are less wasteful of the water. For example, so-called Navy showers use far less water by turning off the shower while soaping and shampooing and only using the water while doing a quick pre-rinse and then the removal of soaps.

McCarthy writes that daily showers should be replaced by deploying a washcloth over the body鈥檚 big stink zones while standing at a bathroom sink.聽I know what that looks like. It鈥檚 what homeless people do at public library restrooms.聽

And as an effective defense against body odors, the washcloth at the sink is like relying on a Yorkie to be a junkyard watchdog.

So, please, read these anti-shower stories with caution.

There鈥檚 an alarming campaign out there trying to get you to accept unspeakable things.

Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino

Frank Cerabino is a news columnist with The Palm Beach Post, where this column first published.

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