Almost every topic I think to write about seems to involve some social self-annihilation, but I’ll just embrace it and stop trying to filter everything like I’m some perfect robot. With that, let’s talk about body odor, BO, of the armpit variety. I have body odor and so do you. This is just another taboo topic no one wants to touch because it can be very embarrassing.
I remember the first time my armpits started emitting a sort of off-brand green smell my crush at the time pointed out. I don’t remember exactly how old I was, probably about 9, but I knew he wouldn’t like me back after that olfactory assault. I didn’t know what to do, but eventually I guess my mom smelled it, too and started me on roll-on deodorant. Problem seemingly solved.
My next memory of body odor was coming to America. I’d just started in school and somehow my body was having a hard time adjusting to this entirely new country and life. I’d been using deodorant and showering daily, but still I had some BO. This was the beginning of my anxiety manifesting as BO, but we didn’t know it at the time. The food in America was also more highly processed and thereby unnatural. I still remember how awful eggs tasted for the first few weeks. Instead I was given a higher strength deodorant. Problem again seemingly solved.
I never asked why I had BO. I assumed something was wrong with me. We all know girls are supposed to smell like flowers (eye roll). All the girls I knew smelled like flowers and I smelled like… bad. It didn’t help that I sweat easily either.
A cause of my BO was anxiety and fear of just about everything (not being liked, having dark skin, dying, bad grades). Even now when I get afraid, my armpits are the first to sweat and if I don’t handle myself ASAP, I start to smell. A predator could find me in no time if they had a good sniffer. Having boyfriends was scary, especially in the beginning. I remember I would always shower before seeing them, but I’d get so afraid between the shower and meeting up I’d start sweating and then I would feel afraid of smelling and of course, forever alone because who wants to be with smelly ol’ me?
The second cause of my BO was what I ate. Meat (mostly chicken), starch (rice and flour), diary (cheese please!) and sugar populated my diet. It was a standard diet like most people’s, but I never thought it served as an impact until I went raw vegan for a month and paired it with a consistent workout. My body was getting live foods and was able to sweat out what it didn’t need. I was shocked at first, but then I realized why wouldn’t I smell kinda rotten if I’m eating dead (mostly meat) things? My body odor reduced significantly and not even fear made me smell as it once did. This experience is also why I’m passionate about eating a plant based whole foods vegan type diet.
BO is a Symptom
A reminder and tell of our health is BO. We usually look at symptoms negatively, but it’s actually a good thing our body is trying to warn us something is wrong internally before it gets worse. If you’re covering the symptom, you’ll never solve the root problem. By covering my body odor with aluminum based and artificially scented beauty products, I’m avoiding the opportunity to learn about my vessel. When it comes to anxiety, I can do a better job of not panicking first or finding better calming strategies. When it comes to diet, my body clearly needs a detox from all the junk I’ve accumulated in nearly 30 years.
Did You Know?
I started using lemons as a deodorant about 2 years ago. It was a very terrifying decision that ignited my fears of not being socially accepted. I didn’t want to smell like I was homeless as I perceived the entirety of it negatively. It was hard to tell what was my real smell and which was fear at first. It’s when I began to realize everybody smells and I’m one of the few who actually knows what their real smell is. I don’t mean real smell as in you sweat from a workout and can smell yourself. When you don’t mask any of your odors, that’s the real you! Showering the outside isn’t a reflection of a clean inside.
And I gotta say, my partner is a trooper. I’ve not always smelled the best since I began using lemons. He’s done a detox, so he rarely smells, even if he doesn’t use deodorant. I didn’t even think such a thing was possible!
Do You Know?
- Do you know your true smell?
- If you do, how do you feel about it?
- If not, how do you feel about not knowing?
- What would happen if you used lemons or another all natural deodorant for a week?
- Do you know the cause of your unmasked BO?