By Covenant Odedele
When you hear ‘body odour’, what comes to mind? You are probably thinking about the last time you had to hold your breath and rush out of a conversation because the person had an unpleasant smell. Well, you may be right, but you are not accurate. Body odour is a generic terminology, and can either be good or bad. Also, it becomes more important to debunk the misconception that sweat itself causes body odour. In actual fact, human sweat is almost odourless. However, body odour occurs due to bacteria on a person’s skin breaking down sweat hereby, resulting in body odour.
And much recently, there have been commentaries and conversations notably on Twitter about Uites having unpleasant body odour, and emanating a fragrance that does not glorify Jehovah. In fact, I noticed a good number of students frequently wear face masks these days, and I want to assume they have been nasally victimized. While this recent surge has been attributed to a couple of reasons, and maybe an expression of some students who choose to form woke, hereby overextending issues, it’s not bad to address this issue of community concern. After all, in every rumour, there is an element of truth.
As we grow up, we begin to become more conscious about our appearance, and how it influences our acceptance in certain climes. And one major subject that arises frequently is body odour. Every human being has unique pheromones which determine our (unique) body odour. And our body odour goes a long way to reveal a lot about us like the presence of diseases, our diet, and so on. For example, there are a couple of
studies that found that the more meat you consume the more pleasant your body odour smells.
Also, different physiological factors determine body odour. While it can change depending on our diet and health, a lot of what makes our smell unique is determined by our genetics. Our body odour is specific enough, and our sense of smell accurate enough, that we can remember or distinguish people with their body odour. Also, women’s body odours are more pleasant and attractive during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, and least pleasant and attractive during menstruation. Men’s testosterone levels also improve their scent, and history says this was a key indicator whenever suitors went in search of a wife. These imply that every individual has their own unique body odour which may become unpleasant by a couple of factors.
Sometimes, different factors make for the pungency that is perceived in certain persons. Prolonged contact of sweat with one’s skin, stress, anxiety, and being overweight among others. However, recently in the UI community, a couple of factors would influence a sudden rise in sweat production, which may in turn influence body odour. The very hot weather, and also, the irregularities around water supply observed lately. But really, who never fuck up, hands in the air?
However, it is important to talk about how it affects our interactions with others. When body odour is strong, it can be very distracting. It is very difficult to work directly or even communicate with a person when body odour is a problem. And this is one reason such a matter should be addressed, especially when you have to. Having a conversation about body odour isn’t something anyone wants to talk about, it’s not a bad idea to approach the person. Also, it is something that should be thought about before speaking, and the most important thing to remember when approaching is to treat him or her with dignity and empathy as this could be very embarrassing. Such a conversation should always take place in private, and also, don’t be too woke. Be sensitive to religious and cultural differences and also, medical conditions.
Deodorants work by masking body odour with a more pleasant-smelling fragrance while anti-perspirants, on the other hand, reduce how much you sweat. It’s important to use an underarm product that reduces sweat, as this makes life easier for everyone. And it won’t be bad to take it a step further by also using a deodorant; in that way, life becomes much easier for us all.
I know in the coming days, we will not have too many of these conversations as I hear harmattan is upon us, and your nostrils will be too blocked to perceive any body odour. By then, cracked lips and whitish skin would be the next subject of discourse. Until then, keep winning your battles.