personal hygiene: having a shower/bath etc.

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tvdxer

Senior Member
Minnesota, U.S.A. - English
So the standard's one shower a day in the Western urban world, or so it seems. But another question is how long it takes a shower in different parts of the world. I am amazed that some people can have a shower in less than 5 minutes, including all the dressing and undressing and so on. I never stay less than 30 minutes under the shower myself.
That's an interesting question.

I grew up (and still live) in an area without municipal water, which means each home has its own well (which is connected to the house's plumbing system, of course). Our old well would often run out of water, most often in the Spring, but the risk was always there. Therefore, I grew up with 5 minute showers being the norm. We have a new well and I can stay in longer, but I doubt it is normally more than 8 minutes. The times I am citing are for actually running the water and bathing alone, not drying off, shaving, getting dressed, etc.
 
  • timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    As others have said, in the US a daily shower is normal and possibly expected. My employer even has a statement regarding daily personal cleanliness in the policy manual. It's part of our dress code. Some of my previous employers have had similar statements in their policy manuals as well. No, they don't check every day for compliance, but I imagine if there were too many complaints about someone's odor they might take some sort of disciplinary action.
    How would they check, and how could they prove if someone hadn't washed or if someone was just more naturally smelly? Sounds like a legal nightmare to me.
     

    jackie22

    Member
    UK, English
    Absolutely right about the bidet - I think it has a lot to do with it. In the UK, people shower once (or even twice) a day. In Italy, where bidets are much more common, I've observed that people will wash the bottom half in the bidet and the top half in the sink, and only shower when they need to wash their hair.
     

    heidita

    Banned
    Germany (German, English, Spanish)
    But in Turkey, every toilet bowl has a device that washes your special part (anus) . I don't understand how come this is not the case in Europe and many other places of the world.
    Interesting, avok, as it IS common in Egypt. I saw this device everywhere, on the airport, even on the boat.
    Here in Spain there is the bidet, in Germany people have to shower, actually baths are still widespread, no bidet or little shower device to clean your "private parts" available.
     
    Interesting, avok, as it IS common in Egypt. I saw this device everywhere, on the airport, even on the boat.
    Here in Spain there is the bidet, in Germany people have to shower, actually baths are still widespread, no bidet or little shower device to clean your "private parts" available.

    I dont know how it is like in Egypt? is it a seperate device? In turkey it is not a seperate device but a part of the toilet bowl like this . But in germany there are zillions of Turks I guess turkish toilet bowl must be known among some germans? It is so practical and clean. I don't know why europeans do not know that :confused: You can never clean your special part with dry toilet paper you need to use water for that! You cant have shower after every time you went to the bathroom. (at work place for instance) so until you find a shower you will walk around with a dirty bottom ...:thumbsdown: Is bidet wide spread in Spain ? but the bidet is not as practical as our bowl, it is another bowl on its own.
     

    jackie22

    Member
    UK, English
    but the bidet is not as practical as our bowl, it is another bowl on its own.
    I disagree. It's more practical. The bidet isn't only for a dirty bottom. It's nice to clean yourself after sex, and not in the toilet!
    Having got accustomed to the bidet in Italy, I really miss is when I'm in the UK. It's so very civilised.
     

    heidita

    Banned
    Germany (German, English, Spanish)
    I dont know how it is like in Egypt? is it a seperate device? In turkey it is not a seperate device but a part of the toilet bowl like this . But in germany there are zillions of Turks I guess turkish toilet bowl must be known among some germans?
    I personally don't know anything about this, avok, as I suppose unless the Turkish people have soemthing like this especiallly installed they will make do with the German toilets.
    I thought toilets like in your description only existed in Japan. Can you find them anywhere (public places too??)?
    Is bidet wide spread in Spain ? but the bidet is not as practical as our bowl, it is another bowl on its own.
    A bidet is found in any household in Spain, also in hotels but it is not normal to find a bidet in public toilets, while the device I am talking about you can also find in public places in Egypt.

    I couldn't find any better image. You can see a device, which is like a small shower hanging beside any toilet I have seen in Egypt. Very useful I must say. Unusual for us, but very useful.
    All the toilets I saw in Egypt were very clean.
     

    Nanon

    Senior Member
    français (France)
    Here in France, I really miss bidets (they are not found in so many households here) and sinks in the same room as the toilet, to wash hands. Here the toilet is almost always separate, so you have to open and close the door, go to the bathroom, open the door if needed, before you wash your hands. I hate it! :thumbsdown::thumbsdown::thumbsdown:
    If some day I move into a place with more space, I will certainly adopt a more hygienic system.
     
    I disagree. It's more practical. The bidet isn't only for a dirty bottom. It's nice to clean yourself after sex, and not in the toilet!
    Having got accustomed to the bidet in Italy, I really miss is when I'm in the UK. It's so very civilised.
    :) I guess it is wiser to have a shower after sex rather than using the bidet :) Two different bowls for a small bathroom is not practical. If you had sex get a shower, if you had a poo use the device in our bowls to wash your bottom.
     
    I personally don't know anything about this, avok, as I suppose unless the Turkish people have soemthing like this especiallly installed they will make do with the German toilets.
    I thought toilets like in your description only existed in Japan. Can you find them anywhere (public places too??)?

    Yes heidita all of our bowls have those pipes even in public places. I don't know about the japanese bowls but I would not surprise if they are like the ones in Turkey, this is something asian, I guess. I can't imagine myself getting out of the bathroom without washing my bottom through this small (and very easy) device. Otherwise I would be walking around with poo in my underpants even if I clean it with toilet paper.

    A bidet is found in any household in Spain, also in hotels but it is not normal to find a bidet in public toilets, while the device I am talking about you can also find in public places in Egypt.

    I couldn't find any better image. You can see a device, which is like a small shower hanging beside any toilet I have seen in Egypt. Very useful I must say. Unusual for us, but very useful.
    All the toilets I saw in Egypt were very clean.

    Yes, I knew you were talking about this!! Yes this is a different device it is a seperate device but used for the same purpose, I never used it. We dont have it here. I guess they have the same thing in Saudi Arabia and Brazil too. (by the way, in muslim countries you are supposed to wash your bottom, so each country has their own device for that very purpose) But I guess I still prefer our toilet bowls, so you dont have to handle this small shower.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    What an obsessive picture you all portray.
    How on earth did we all survive in the days before showers, bidets, bowls, running water, were all invented.
    I must share with you a section from the panj diary for 17 July 1999. We were on holiday in Whitby:
    Slept well eventually. The room next door was occupied last night. Somewhat after we had gone to bed and I was not quite asleep the Aussies arrive back. Their bathroom backs onto our bedroom.
    Shower, flushing, fan humming.
    Shower, flushing, fan humming.
    Bedsprings squeaking.
    Increasingly violent.
    “Wonderful.”
    Water, flushing.
    Water, flushing.
    Silence.
    I'm sorry, but I find such modern experience of human interaction to be pathetically clinical.
    Where were the pheromones?
    Flushed down the plughole, that's where they were.
    No wonder the whole event lasted less than three minutes.
     

    stanley

    Senior Member
    Germany / German
    I think it differs from family to family. And just from every individual to another individual. Most of the people shower at least every second day, but I personally shower every single day. I even take a bath in the bath tub every single day, even though many people say it's a waste of money and energy. :D
     

    LaReinita

    Senior Member
    USA (Northeast Coast)-Inglés
    Avok, regarding the bidets, do you have paper towels beside the toilet to dry off afterward? The bidet is not a common device in the US. I have personally never seen one. Here they sell wipes, similar to baby wipes, that you can use to "freshen up."
     

    stanley

    Senior Member
    Germany / German
    Avok, regarding the bidets, do you have paper towels beside the toilet to dry off afterward? The bidet is not a common device in the US. I have personally never seen one. Here they sell wipes, similar to baby wipes, that you can use to "freshen up."
    Oh that's funny. I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine. He used to word bidet and talked about a friend who had one. I was like>"what is a bidet" because i had never heard of that word before. It took him a long time to explain me the word but in the end I knew what a bidet was. It's a pretty common thing in expensive hotels in Germany and Austria but I don't know a lot of people who actually have got a bidet at home. It's more common in the new developments rather than in houses which where built in the 60ies etc. I think it's rather needless. You can also wash your feet in there, but to wash yourself after the restroom it's not necessary, I think.
     
    Avok, regarding the bidets, do you have paper towels beside the toilet to dry off afterward? The bidet is not a common device in the US. I have personally never seen one. Here they sell wipes, similar to baby wipes, that you can use to "freshen up."
    Of course, to dry your bottom :) and you know, women use toilet papers even after pee unlike boys so we use as much paper as you do. Yes, I know the wipes, while I was in France I used those wipes that I brought with me from Turkey. But here, those wipes are not used just for babies, any one can use them. And it is not used to freshen up but to clean the poo off your bottom. But here in Turkey we dont use bidets we have our own bowls for the same purpose.

    Oh that's funny. I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine. He used to word bidet and talked about a friend who had one. I was like>"what is a bidet" because i had never heard of that word before. It took him a long time to explain me the word but in the end I knew what a bidet was. It's a pretty common thing in expensive hotels in Germany and Austria but I don't know a lot of people who actually have got a bidet at home. It's more common in the new developments rather than in houses which where built in the 60ies etc. I think it's rather needless. You can also wash your feet in there, but to wash yourself after the restroom it's not necessary, I think.
    Yes bidets might be expensive that's why I said they are not as practical as Turkish bowls like this or like this . Why do you think it is unnecessary to wash yourself after the restroom?

    For example, you walk on the street and a bird makes a poo on your head, would you clean yourself with a paper towel or with water? I guess a paper towel would not be enough.
     

    Chaska Ñawi

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    […]

    Moving from the topic of bidets back to the original question (well, a different tangent from the original question), how much money do the purveyors of raspberry-scented douches and peach-scented body mists make from convincing us that our natural odours are offensive?
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Linni

    Senior Member
    Czech Republic; Czech
    It's a pretty common thing in expensive hotels in Germany and Austria but I don't know a lot of people who actually have got a bidet at home. It's more common in the new developments rather than in houses which where built in the 60ies etc. I think it's rather needless. You can also wash your feet in there, but to wash yourself after the restroom it's not necessary, I think.
    I find this conversation very interesting... I never knew that bidets are used so much in other countries!
    Well, my grandparents live in a terraced house and they have a bidet. I remember that when I was small, I never understood what it was good for (which I still can't understand too well) - I just washed my legs there once or twice.


    I myself don't know anyone else who has a bidet at home. I think it is a very uncommon "device" in the Czech Republic.
    Moreover, I can't imagine I would use it in the way you described. It must be very uncomfortable. A bathtub is much better.
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    I myself don't know anyone else who has a bidet at home. I think it is a very uncommon "device" in the Czech Republic.
    Bidets are very uncommon in Germany, too. Currently, some bathroom suppliers try to push them into the market, but not very successfully. I regard them as utterly non-essential. Well, every country and culture has its specialties...

    Kajjo
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Bidets are standard in Portuguese households, although this was certainly not the case a couple of generations ago. They are not usually found in public restrooms, however. (In fact, it shames me to say it but Portuguese public restrooms tend to be rather uncouth.)

    I am fascinated by the other devices that were mentioned in this thread. They seem quite practical, although I must wonder how long they would survive in good condition in a public facility, in a culture that isn't used to using them. :( :eek:
     

    stanley

    Senior Member
    Germany / German
    Bidets are very uncommon in Germany, too. Currently, some bathroom suppliers try to push them into the market, but not very successfully. I regard them as utterly non-essential. Well, every country and culture has its specialties...

    Kajjo
    That's true. But it's still very common in hotels.
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    Hola,
    to come back to the original question: It is probably true that many
    Central Europeans growing up in the latter half of the last century
    dont feel much of a 'cultural' or emotional need to shower every day during reaonably cool weather.
    Neither did I, although in the US I had to adjust to the fact that even faint 'BO" was offensive pretty universally.
    In a hot climate, like the tropics, all that is irrelevant: You'd feel so sticky without getting the sweat off one way or another that you couln't sleep at night.
    When not going out, I feel that showering in the morning is futile: as soon as you step out or do any kind of work, you'd sweat right away anyway.
    I don't have a water heater (rarely heat up some in pot); for the most I find a cold shower more refreshing now.
    saludos
     

    Tezzaluna

    Senior Member
    US English and Costa Rica Spanish
    Good heavens!!!
    would it be rude to ask what you do all that time?

    Judging from comments in this thread, i'd say we should address a message of congratulations to the advertizers who, in less than 30 years, have succeeded in persuading the wealthy parts of the world that natural human skin is offensive, that we cannot possibly appear in public without making use of hectolitres of hot water and innumerable chemical products at inflated prices.

    Unfortunately, the less wealthy parts of the world will soon be following the same path, until we run out of water or the energy to heat it.

    MS
    In Costa Rica, and now in the United States since 1981, showers have always been a daily thing. And hair washing, too, a daily ritual.

    Even if I try, I cannot get out of the shower in less than 20 minutes. That includes using shampoo, hair conditioner, regular soap, face wash, femenine soap, and a good body brush. And my shower takes 5 minutes longer if I have to shave my legs. Next comes the body oil after the shower and before towel-drying.

    Then comes the anti-frizz hair serum, the facial moisturizer, the body moisturizer, the deodorant, the toothpaste, the perfume and the cosmetics. And I will not even consider leaving the house unless I've done all of this. Only on the weekends, if I'm staying home, will I dispense with the cosmetics.

    It is true that there is an aversion to anything that might remotely be considered natural body odor. At least it has been true in the places I've lived.

    TezzaLuna
     

    Etcetera

    Senior Member
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    Avok, regarding the bidets, do you have paper towels beside the toilet to dry off afterward? The bidet is not a common device in the US. I have personally never seen one.
    The bidet isn't a common thing in Russia, either. But my relatives have one - they live in a newly-biult luxurious house.
     

    Palcan

    Member
    Canada (English)/(Arabic)
    In most of the Middle Eastern countries, if not in all of them, bidets are used. Cleanliness of our private parts is very important since most of the occupants in the ME are Muslims and they have to be completely clean while performing their daily 5 prayers. There are usually two kinds of bidets use; one like the one Avok talked about, and the other like the one Heidita talked about.

    I live in Canada and I can tell you we don't have bidets in either houses or public places. However, I actually do have one in my house. If I have to go to public washrooms, I use a water bottle or a water cup :) If none available, then wet toilet paper (though it doesnt give me the same satisification).
     

    Bonjules

    Senior Member
    German
    Even if I try, I cannot get out of the shower in less than 20 minutes. That includes using shampoo, hair conditioner, regular soap, face wash, femenine soap, and a good body brush. And my shower takes 5 minutes longer if I have to shave my legs. Next comes the body oil after the shower and before towel-drying.

    Then comes the anti-frizz hair serum, the facial moisturizer, the body moisturizer, the deodorant, the toothpaste, the perfume and the cosmetics. And I will not even consider leaving the house unless I've done all of this. Only on the weekends, if I'm staying home, will I dispense with the cosmetics.
    Tezza, your post demonstrates nicely a big problem and this is not meant
    to be a personal criticism.
    Our obsession with long showers and soaps. Not only a huge expense of
    drinking water (most places have only one system), but also, from a dermatological standpoint an unnecessary and probably dangerous habit.
    Our skin is naturally lubricated, which keeps it smooth and pliable and protects it. Water is a great liquid and a good solvent for almost anything
    that could be found on the skin :sweat, dust etc. Heavy grease might need addtl. soapy action, as a few spots on the body might benefit, although even for those, water would be just fine.
    By soaping the entire body you just create the need to replace the oils, with commercial products. This is not only a great waste of time and expense, you are also exposing yourself to a great number of ingredients which might be quite harmful, since none have been tested in long-term studies. Same for shampoos, since the scalp is especially absorptive ( I just use plain -'Castile'-soap when washing my hair, works fine).
    Consider this, given the world-wide water shortage towards which we are heading: You can easily get the sweat and dust off you with a couple of gallons of H2O, wisely applied.
    saludos
     
    And also when you soap yourself, for instance your face, so frequently, the natural grease of the face decreases hence the face produces extra grease to replace the decreased grease and you end up with silly acnes.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    In the summer, I would take a lot of showers. If I don't go out and stay home under the airconditioning I would have an avarage of 4. However, I only use soap once and don't wash my hair unless I really need to.

    When I go out you just add another two for everytime I go out. If you have 4 to 10 showers a day you learn to get in, pour water on your body, then get out again so it does make 5 min together with undressing and dressing (especially that you do not even dream of heating the water) - I don't use a lofa every time I shower, once a day is enough. Plus, I wash other parts of my body several times a day; both private (using the small shower, bedete or any other device) and other.

    In the winter the number of showers can be as scarce as twice a week. In all cases I never wash my hair more than twice a week unless I really need to, it's not good for the hair to wash it too often anyway. My hair drys up if I do (I have dry hair).

    Regarding body odor, for me, BO is offensive only if it's "old". I can tell if the BO is the guy's sweat from walking in the sun till he got here or if it is from his workout three days ago - the first one, although annoying, is not offensive while the second is.

    To sum up, although I have a lot of showers in the summer I don't judge people who don't. I think that people who wash only parts of their bodies daily and shower less often are not "dirty" or "unhygine", if they don't need a shower then why waste the water?
     

    alisonp

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I was wondering how long it would take for someone to come up with the idea of a good old-fashioned thorough wash using a washbasin! Page 3, I think it was. It uses far less water than some of the other suggestions. (Incidentally, it's perfectly possible to have a shower using only a bucketful of water (10 litres?) - you just wet the body/hair, turn the water off, shampoo/soap, and then turn the water on to rinse. Ditto if you're shaving your legs. Can be very quick.

    Anyway, I don't think any of us can really answer fully for our own cultures, but I'd say that in the UK we're starting to get rather obsessive/excessive about showering and various other aspects of personal hygiene (except for the odd person you encounter on the train in the morning who obviously isn't, and who you wish *would* be!). As water shortages increase, we're going to have to do a rethink.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    (Incidentally, it's perfectly possible to have a shower using only a bucketful of water (10 litres?) - you just wet the body/hair, turn the water off, shampoo/soap, and then turn the water on to rinse. Ditto if you're shaving your legs. Can be very quick.

    I'm surprised, isn't that how everyone has a shower? Why would you keep the water flowing if you are not using it and it's just going down the drain?
     

    Mate

    Senior Member
    Castellano - Argentina
    I'm surprised, isn't that how everyone has a shower? Why would you keep the water flowing if you are not using it and it's just going down the drain?
    No, it isn't.

    Where I live most of the population has running water at a very low cost. In the cities, running water is usually subsidized by the municipality. It's considered as a service. Crazy as it may sound, we don't pay per liter but per month.
    In the countryside we usually dig a well and pump out water at a very low cost: the wind.
    Where I live water is still seen as an abundant, endless resource.

    Oil is not :).
     

    Tezzaluna

    Senior Member
    US English and Costa Rica Spanish
    I'm surprised, isn't that how everyone has a shower? Why would you keep the water flowing if you are not using it and it's just going down the drain?
    Mahaodeh,

    In some places, water conservation efforts suggest to keep a bucket in the shower to catch the water (the clean water) for other uses, like watering the plants.

    Also, here in the northwestern United States, we do let our lawns turn brown and go dormant in the summer in a effort to conserve water. Also, it is recommended to not wash our cars too often.

    In some places it is tantamount to temple desecration to let a garden go dormant. It all depends on the community priorities.

    Tezza
     

    Tezzaluna

    Senior Member
    US English and Costa Rica Spanish
    Is the water really so rare or is it a political issue?

    Kajjo
    I don't know how to answer that. Western Washington, especially Seattle, is world-famous for the amount of rain that falls. Two winters ago it rained, literally non-stop, for 34 days.

    Personally, I don't think water is rare, but sometimes it's politically/environmentally correct to conserve. A brown lawn is a public declaration of conservation correctness.

    Tez
     

    Tetabiakti

    Member
    Dutch
    how much money do the purveyors of raspberry-scented douches and peach-scented body mists make from convincing us that our natural odours are offensive?
    But what exactly is the definition of 'natural'? Many if not most people will agree that our body odor becomes progressively stronger the longer we postpone washing - what may have been barely noticeable in the beginning may turn into an overpowering stench in the course of time. Plant-eating animals like cows smell a lot nicer than unwashed humans, at least in my opinion. ;)

    In many Indo-Dutch homes, the botol cebok is still used on a regular basis. This is a bottle of water which people use to clean their bottoms after doing # 2 and sometimes even after doing #1. This custom may hark back to their Indonesian Muslim ancestors whose culture taught them to keep their private parts scrupulously clean, using pure water.
     

    Etcetera

    Senior Member
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    No, it isn't.

    Where I live most of the population has running water at a very low cost. In the cities, running water is usually subsidized by the municipality. It's considered as a service. Crazy as it may sound, we don't pay per liter but per month.
    In the countryside we usually dig a well and pump out water at a very low cost: the wind.
    Where I live water is still seen as an abundant, endless resource.

    Oil is not :).
    Quite the same in Russia - water isn't expensive here (although we pay not per month, but per litre, but the price is quite low). So people let the water run while they're soaping themselves.
     

    alisonp

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Would anyone care to return to the thread topic?
    The thread topic was actually changed to
    How often do people shower or bathe in your culture?
    quite early on :)

    Given the above, it'd be interesting to note whether cultural differences on this matter are affected by a) the cost/availability of the water and b) whether you pay per litre or pay a bulk sum. In much of the UK, we still pay a flat rate for water and sewage, although metering has been coming in for a while. Metering certainly seems to make people more aware of how much water they're using, although I'm not sure they would necessarily reduce their showers/baths because of it.
     

    Kajjo

    Senior Member
    Metering certainly seems to make people more aware of how much water they're using, although I'm not sure they would necessarily reduce their showers/baths because of it.
    I am sure they would be more aware of their usage. In Germany all houses and most flats have metering and the water is not so cheap anymore. People are more vigilant with regards to their water consumption.

    Whatever you teach about ecology, the only body part that really cares is the purse.

    Water prices in Germany:
    Fresh water in rural areas costs approx. 1 Euro per cubic meter.
    Fresh water and sewerage in cities costs approx. 5 Euro per cubic meter.

    I would be highly interested to learn some prices of other countries.

    Kajjo
     

    lizzeymac

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I shower every day in the winter. I take a long soaking bath about once a week. In the summer New York City is usually humid and the air can get pretty dirty so I usually take second quick shower when I get home from work. I wash my hands quite often during the day - I am not a germ freak but I work with many different people in several locations every day and am just statistically more likely to catch any colds or flu that are going around.
    I am careful about what I touch in a public restroom. Toilets aside, you turn on the faucet with your dirty hands, wash your hands, and then turn off the same faucet with clean hands - picking up the same gunk you just washed off. I always carry sanitary wipes.

    As to cost of water, I live in a rented apartment in a medium-sized building in Manhattan and tenants do not pay for water at all. And yes, I believe that many tenants who have only lived in these circumstances waste water because we don't pay for it and don't have an awareness of how much we use. We do pay a fuel surcharge that covers both the cost of heating the building (steam radiators) and the cost of providing hot water. As far as I know, tenants of rental apartments are not charged for water in all of New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island). Commercial buildings, single or two-family houses, and owners of coops and condos pay for their water either quarterly or monthly, but I don't know what the current water rate is - it differs for each type of building, the location, and the quantity used.

    There is a movement to reclaim and re-use "grey" water for watering gardens and lawns, etc. - water from sinks and dishwashers, not from sewage lines. Using grey water is technically illegal in most municipalities but several environmental groups are lobbying for changes in the laws and some people are already making use of grey water covertly.
     

    Linni

    Senior Member
    Czech Republic; Czech
    As to the bidets, I realized that there is also a restroom with a bidet in a building of the university at which I study! (Maybe there are more of them but I don't go to the toilet so often so I don't know yet.)
    Anyway, I can't imagine anyone using it!
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Personal hygiene is a very delicate matter, and not at all 'only' culturally defined. In historical times, hygiene as we know it now simply did not exist - about 200-300 years ago it was considered 'noble' to perfume oneself whereas washing was considered a nuisance.

    As for Austria, where I live, having a shower each day is considered normal. (And me I'm taking at least a shower each day in the morning and if I'm riding on my bicycle after work then surely afterwards too.)

    But I know for sure that not whole population in Austria is showering once a day, and I am wondering if this were true for the whole of the Czech Republic (or Germany, or Slovakia, or France, for that matter, and so on ...).
    There are differences concerning age, and there are social differences.

    In some rural regions, about 50 years ago, it was not very common to wash regularly - more like once a weak (if that!). But there wasn't any running water at the time, in the regions of which I speak: and there was no warm water.
    If you wanted to have a warm bath or shower you first had to warm water on the oven. In cities it was different, though in the lower classes probably not by much.
    This has changed now, of course.
     

    michimz

    Senior Member
    US English
    It is a cultural and sub-cultural issue as well. In college, showering was NOT a priority! Nor was getting dressed, really. People would go around all day in their pjs. We were simply too busy to take the time to shower. Keep in mind that I went to a small, private, liberal college!

    Now, I find myself comparing myself to my husband, who is from mexico - poor mexico. He showers EVERYDAY. And I, on the other hand, avoid showers sometimes simply because I HATE to take the time to dry my hair again and then put on my make-up again. If it were as easy for me as it is for my husband, I would shower everyday, too!
     
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