This place matters

This place matters

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Here's my whole problem with historical romance: people in olden times stunk. Maybe I'm to literally minded, or maybe my imagination works just a little bit too well, or maybe I'm just the only sane person alive but I tell you something. Cowboys smelled like horse crap. Just think about how all the rotting teeth in dreamy Captain Jack Sparrow's head would smell. And didn't people in Elizabethan England keep on the same clothes for months at a time, or did I make that up? Regardless, you know Romeo hadn't showered in a good five years when he met Juliet. A rose by any other name would smell like a pile of dirty sweat socks. And think about every character Bogey ever played. I mean, remember when smoking was still allowed in bars, how your hair would smell after a night at the bar? That's what Rick Blaine of Casablanca smelled like all the time.
But with Dove's Go Sleeveless campaign, it's possible we've taken the whole personal hygiene thing a little far. So it's this thing where if you use their deodorant for a week, your armpits will cease to be hideous wastelands of filth and you'll finally have the courage to show those ghastly things to the world. Aww, man, my armpits were the last part of my body I wasn't afraid to show in public. Now I find out that they're gross too?
I just read this article about the history of ads that play on women's fears about their bodies. Apparently, Listerine popularized the expression often the bridesmaid, never the bride with their ads that explained to women that they couldn't find a man because their breath smelled bad. Although I think Slate's case about the phrase itself is a little overstated - the saying three times the bridesmaid, never the bride has been around a lot longer than mouthwash.


Anonymous said...

I'm with you. I always wonder about vampires. Excluding the fact that there's some sort of magical/mystical thing going on there, wouldn't they smell like rotting, decaying flesh?

Things to Do said...

I majored in marketing during undergrad and there was this one class where we have to take non beauty/aesthetic products like silverware, bread, and jello and market them using fear marketing method. Lack of jello in a diet can be quite intimidating when it wants to be.