I was in Resident Advisor training today, and something really bothered me. We were learning about how to approach different conflicts that roommates might have, and one of them was about personal hygiene.
My bosses and coworkers said that if someone isn’t showering and smells, we need to let them know and they have to change that. They said that some people just don’t care, some don’t realize they stink, or some people are from other cultures where hygiene standards are different than in Canada.
I’m sorry, but if someone wants to have greasy hair and smelly pits, THAT IS TOTALLY UP TO THEM. I can understand if their stink is sticking to the couch or something, but I would NEVER tell someone that they need to shower more because they have B.O. I wouldn’t tell a girl she needs to shave her legs or a guy to cut his long hair, so why would I tell them to clean themselves differently? Are you going to tell a girl she needs to douche because her vagina smells? No! That is a personal choice. Is it really that offensive to you that they have B.O.? Why do we all have to do things the same way? Just because they are in residence and live with roommates should not mean they have to clean their bodies to a certain standard. Keeping rooms clean makes sense, but I’m not going to tell you what to do with your body.
It is not my job to embarrass students about their personal hygiene, nor is it my job to govern their body and cleanliness routines.