Social media has pros and cons. It allows us to connect with everyone, from family out of state/country to celebrities. It allows them to let us into their worlds and minds and vice versa.
But — you don’t have to share everything.
Let’s repeat that.
You. Don’t. Have. To. Share. Everything.
And yet for white people this is an insurmountable endeavor.
They’re under the assumption that certain…habits are shared by all and blithely proceed to detail those…habits for online consumption.
There is such a thing as TMI and they are, lately, reaching this threshold. Hell, they’ve geysered past it.
And all of them have to do with hygiene. Why?
The first one had to do with what they use to wash. White people were confused by Black people and POC’s adamant response that a tool used in conjunction with soap is necessary for effectively washing the body and removing dead skin.
We use washcloths (a staple in our households) and/or loofahs. We use these to scrub every inch of our body.
They…rub soap on their body (not all of it apparently but we’ll get to that). To quote Reggie from Dear White People, “How do [they] feel clean?”
And again why would they share this?
Next came a survey about whether or not people wash their legs when they take a shower.
The poll finished at a little over 850,000 votes and 80% said yes. While 20% said no.
Though we had an inkling of the demographic that said no, we didn’t know with certainty. Had they opted to remain silent, no one would’ve known the culprits of the dirty 20. It would have remained speculation.
Until…white people, seeing the negative responses, came into twitter threads to defend themselves linking article after article that they feel absolves them of their nasty pastime.
Many defenders of foregoing leg washing all had the same verbatim defense — “the soap runs down”. The next common line that ties in with the articles was how washing your legs dries out your skin.
Naturally, Black women parried with, “that’s why you moisturize” and some even named their favorites to assist white people in this, hopefully inevitable, transition.
Regrettably, it’s likely there will be some that will remain entrenched in the dark side of leg washing. After all, one white women said she just cleans her face and armpits and showers twice a week rather than succumb to classism.
Who is she implying is the class that is “obsessed with cleanliness”? Upper class? Middle? Poor? She implies that she’s bucking that “bullshit”. The responses to this were certified gold.
Are we saying it’s only white people who don’t wash their legs? No.
But they exceed all in their hell bent determination to share their plague bringing habits on social media. If any people in our camps are whitewashing, so far the majority have the good sense to avoid online confessions.
Nor is it all white people participating in this custom, as evidenced by the white people who a) knew we weren’t talking about them and b) participated in ribbing fellow white people.
But for them, as exhibited by how many white celebrities and politicians exist with their foot perpetually embedded in their mouths, remaining silent about their questionable actions appears to be intolerable to them. They must have their say, even at their own detriment.
To be clear, this does not have anything to do with disabled people nor people who have depression or any factor that would hinder them from washing their legs.
This is only regarding able-bodied people who, when they shower, choose not to wash their legs and/or feet.
Though did attempt to shape the narrative from focusing on their actions to shaming individuals with mental health issues and physical disabilities. It didn’t work of course as everyone, including those communities were angered with their smokescreen attempt.
When we put our views, our lives online we invite praise and criticism. It can invite maniacal fans, admirers, haters and trolls.
The latter is why some exercise caution and only invite snippets of their life for online regard; thereby, shaping their own narrative.
Despite being a diverse society, people (particularly certain demographics) mistakenly believe their behaviors and views are shared by race, class or country. These blindspots are usually unknown to the individual until they receive backlash and ridicule, which bursts their bubble of perceived homogeneity in spectacular and, oftentimes, painful fashion. As can be seen in the last hygiene overshare incident.
The final fiasco was less than a week ago. A woman, named Ana Marie Cox, used a public restroom, bypassed the sink and proceeded to the exit. Another woman exiting the restroom as well questioned her decision asking, “So you’re not going to wash your hands?”
Cox goes on in an ‘I can’t believe she said that to me’ fashion and tweets that she’s “pretty sure” the other woman is not from Minnesota because she would’ve just “judged me [Cox] silently”.
Ana Marie Cox continues to complain about this awful incident and points out, as justification for foregoing washing her hands after using the restroom, that she’s a 46 year old woman and that she’ll wash her hands later.
It’s hilarious that Cox also needs to find a comfortable justification for the other woman’s actions; rationalizing that the woman might be “sick” or have “kids at work today”. In Cox’s mind these are the only viable options for why the other woman would commit what Cox believes is a huge social faux pas.
The jokes from all of this continue on — —
Feminista Jones (author, public speaker and social worker) even changed her twitter name to FJ the Hygenic, Washer of Legs & Feet.
Most fascinating is the dichotomy between both individual’s reasons. Cox’s horror is at the perceived lack of social etiquette the other woman exhibits. The other woman is horrified by Cox’s refusal to physically wash her hands. This — the overshare, the rationalization for their actions and the need to excuse the other, is whiteness at play on a micro level.
It’s mental comfort versus physical discomfort. Words versus actions. It’s shadow versus substance.
Put simply — stop sharing your cleaning habits with us.