Body Odour Rumours: Why UI Students are Smelling Different

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. 



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