Is it that hard to teach boys to bathe?

I posted a link last week to an odd sports story about the Tennessee Volunteers coach having to show his team how to bathe because of an outbreak of staph infections. ESPN’s Game Day had a ball with the story on Saturday. (No pun intended!)

While watching games this weekend, Michael called my attention to a new ad from Axe featuring Jaime Pressly from “My Name Is Earl.” She explains using innuendo how men can better clean themselves. The ad above is a slightly longer version that what they were showing on TV.

The ad is funny but shocking to see on TV. And can it truly be necessary? Does Coach Dooley need to invest in some of these?

Mothers, does this fall on our shoulders? Have we not been showing our sons how to properly get themselves clean? Is this Dad’s responsibility? Who should be teaching little guys to make sure they get clean and what do we need to tell them to make sure they are doing the job right? Why don’t we ever hear about girls being gross and nasty?

Maybe it is because my son is still little but thus far he doesn’t stink. Does it really get as bad as the Febreze ads and Axe ads would have you believe? Ladies with teenage boys, are you having to Febreze down their bedrooms and all their stuff? What’s up with that? Why do they smell so bad?

(I have a second more serious topic posting later today so be sure to check back!)

77 comments Add your comment

Cekker

September 14th, 2010
9:07 am

Teach them what a washcloth is at an early age too. You don’t need all these fancy exfoliators and scrubbers if you just use a washcloth—everywhere!

@ Bunch of Yentas

September 14th, 2010
9:10 am

You almost made me literally LOL in class!

itpdude

September 14th, 2010
12:35 pm

I think boys smell more because they are more physically active and many simply don’t care to bathe. I also think testosterone levels make unbathed males more pungent. In college, I worked in a warehouse where a couple dudes simply did not bathe very often and we had a big meeting about being clean. It was hilarious. Everyone knew who the boss was talking about. This one guy had an attractive gf and was about 22 or so. I also worked with a guy in hs who had horrid BO, but that was because his family was so poor, their water was cut off. My parents let him take showers at our house whenever his water was off, but he still wasn’t a good bather.

Probably the best thing my 5th grade teacher did (she was a mean old broad, too) was give us the assignment of bringing in a stick of deodorant. Every one of us brought one in and she demonstrated how to use it and then told us all of us needed to start using it. I know if she had not done that, I would have been too embarrassed to have my mom pick me up deodorant, but because it was for school, I had no problem. This same teacher also had no problem with telling kids, in front of the class, if they smelled bad. She was mean, but it was effective. I really think her tactics worked on most of us and we were probably the best smelling class in the school.

And as far as needing a special device to get clean, you don’t. Soap and a washcloth do the trick just fine. Also, you need to not just shower. You need to take a soak to loosen up dead skin that will only loosen after a soak and then scrub down. Just showering doesn’t work. You need to mix in a real bath every now and again.

Prissy

September 14th, 2010
12:59 pm

itpdude brought up an extremely valid point. Poor people are filthy & they stink.

come on son

September 14th, 2010
1:14 pm

There are parents who actually do not require their kids to bath everyday? Come on son! Now if the kids had a late night (usually a Friday) and they fall asleep on the way home and I do not want to wake them, I let them go to bed without a bath. However they take one in the morning and fresh sheets HAVE to be put on the bed.

Mrs. Mom

September 14th, 2010
1:20 pm

I do not find any particular smell of cleanliness issues with my boy’s balls. Their penises are a different story! Peehew!

Magenta

September 14th, 2010
1:21 pm

I sadly did not grow up in a hygiene-conscious family. Weekly shampoos were the max for my parents, who would often say “Smell my head; do you think I can go another day without shampooing?” Yes, that’s gross. 2-3 times a week for a bath. Both my folks went through the depression and they didn’t grow up with TV commercials for deodorant, etc. But all of this changed when I spent the summer with an aunt & uncle. I smile with embarrassment when I think how my poor aunt would politely “invite” me to shower for the first 2 or 3 days I was there, and I would say “No thanks,” thinking she just wanted to make sure I cooled off in the summer. I mentioned this to my mother, who responded that my aunt must be one of those “weird, clean-freak types.” My aunt never laid down the law about bathing daily, but something clicked. I no longer remember what did it, but I do know that once I got home, I started taking a shower every day. And of course, my mom said “Oh, you’ve turned into one of those weird clean freaks!” That was four decades ago and I absolutely cannot skip a day showering or washing my hair; I’m very conscious of it and raised my son to stay clean also.

come on son

September 14th, 2010
1:27 pm

@ Magenta, I remember as a kid wathching Leave it to Beaver and Wally and the Beav only took a bath on Saturday nights. I thought it was strange but it made me think that some families only bathed once a week. Maybe before indoor plumbing and hot water became more accessible people just bathed a few times a week.

Super Dad

September 14th, 2010
1:33 pm

Perhaps if the A.L.C.U didn’t bring lawsuits and had the mandatory shower rule after PE banished, kids would have a better sense hygene. I moved down here and started 8th grade and couldn’t believe that showers weren’t required after PE. The shower rooms were used for storage.

s

September 14th, 2010
1:36 pm

I thought it was funny, but as a 5th grade teacher many of my kids (boys & girls) are in the prestages of good hygiene and can really smell by the end of the school day. so it needs to be taught at home b/c many kids get made fun of at school for smelling bad.

tracey

September 14th, 2010
1:37 pm

I have two boys. Many a day I have picked them up from school, and had to drive with my head out the window. I thought I was transporting goats in my car. What changed was girls. My 15 year old bathes once a day, but carries stuff in his bag for after football practice. My 12 year old asked for AXE deoderant once school started. He’ll even bathe twice a day. I nagged them about wearing deoderant, until I was blue in the face. It did no good. All it took was for girls to be around. It will get better, promise.

World Traveler

September 14th, 2010
1:37 pm

Never been to Europe?…. or anywhere else in the world that doesn’t bathe every single day?

Okay, people, here’s a short sweet lesson for you: There isn’t alot of water and soap in the world. In the U.S.A, yes. Everywhere else… not so much. And if you had been anywhere besides your little American enclave and had a whiff of this world, you would know that.

I am not saying that boys smell bad. I am saying that you don’t have a clue what the rest of the world… that might get a bath twice a week… smells like. And if you did, you wouldn’t ask such stupid questions about boys. It’s as hard to get boys to bathe thoroughly every day as it is to get them to due their homework and their chores. It’s a constant battle until they wake up to the opportunity of girls, and THEN personal hygiene means something to them.

My bigger point is that bathing everyday is a LUXURY in this world…. a LUXURY that even the poorest members of our society can afford. But the way you people act, you clearly do not realize. That would make you all…. SNOBS.

motherjanegoose

September 14th, 2010
1:44 pm

@ come on son…yes some parents do not expect their kids to bathe every day and I took grief a while back when I mentioned it. Swimming in the pool, does not count…to me. I mentioned this blog to my husband last night and he agreed that we have never had a problem with hygiene around here as we have demanded a bath every day. Our kids are 18 and 23. To each his own!

Jorgen Schmidt

September 14th, 2010
1:57 pm

it’s just a joke lighten up

Ben

September 14th, 2010
1:57 pm

I could care less whether or not boys bathe; their friends and society will take care of that. What I don’t like is the overt and disgusting innuendo that is portrayed in the Axe commercials; this commercial is not about whether or not boys take baths, it’s about soft-core pornographic inferences that somebody thought was cute, it’s not. Not every consumer or TV viewer wants to be bombarded with loose moraled, scantily clad young people talking about cleaning their “balls”. It’s sickening and I hope the network censors slap them(advertisers) back into their place.

Young@heart

September 14th, 2010
2:05 pm

I’m with Ben!….These are inappropriate for the ages they are targeting!…Funny but not right for young men to think if they but this girls will clean their balls…you didn’t see the men cleaning their own!

Young@heart

September 14th, 2010
2:06 pm

I mean buy not but

North Avenue Ned

September 14th, 2010
2:12 pm

They some sick folk here.

TheLazyComic

September 14th, 2010
2:24 pm

Sorry, but I don’t remember this being a problem when I was a teen back in the 1970’s. I never heard of any of my class mates having staph infections. But forward the clock 30 years, and I hear about it all the time. A lady that I worked with in radio… well, her son ended up with a staph infection. I thought to myself, you have this perfect house, etc., and your kid is not clean enough that he ended up with this infection? Priorities in the Untied States are so out of whack. Our homes are so perfect, but our boy’s room is smells like God knows what. Something just doesn’t add up here.

"Ronnie"

September 14th, 2010
3:46 pm

Parents are responsible for teaching their children on how to bathe properly.

"Ronnie"

September 14th, 2010
3:46 pm

Enter your comments here

James

September 14th, 2010
4:48 pm

Boys will typically start bathing more frequently when they are interested in girls. Which is usually around the same time they start smelling bad. Axe targets the 14-25 year old male market and they do a pretty good job getting their attention.

U tinky

September 14th, 2010
9:30 pm

My 12 year old takes a shower every morning but my god in heaven, does he ever STINK when he gets home. He wears deodorant but his body odor smells like a grown-azz man. And when his 10, 11, and 12 year-old buddies play in our split level, sweet 8 lb. 7 oz. baby Jeebus the whole downstairs stinks like CRAZY. Smells worse than garbage. You’d swear it was a bunch of lumberjacks. Thank whomever invented Febreeze! Sometimes I just want to spray it on him!

gooberpeas

September 15th, 2010
1:38 am

AXE smells worse than any BO out there.

*M$.VENIA! THE GRAND BEE!!*

September 15th, 2010
1:30 pm

* I LOVE WHEN BOYS HAVE THEIR OWN LIL SMELLS ! LOL… I KNOW YALL GONNA TRIP OFF THIS BUT, IT’S NOT THAT I LIKE REALLY STINKY BOO BOO SMELLS ! :) ! A LOT OF BOYS HAVE CERTAIN SMELLS TO THEM ! LIKE SEE ! I LOVE TALL,LONG,SLIM OR SKINNY BOYS WITH LONG TOES ! YESSS…!!! AND IF I’M ATTRACTED TO HIM THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH HIS TOES SMELLING A LIL CORN CHEESEY L . O . L ! SOME TIMES A LOVE THAT DURTY LOOK ! BUT, NOT REALLY DURTY ! YOU KNOW LIKE THAT MANLY MAN LOOK ! LOL ! AND NO I’M NOT DURTY ! I’M VERY CLEAN AND CLASSY ! I JUST LOVE HARD CORE BOYS ! OOOWWW…!!! *

@gooberpeas

September 16th, 2010
9:28 am

@gooberpeas: THANK YOU. I hate the smell of Axe, that’s why I’ve never touched the stuff in my life.

Also, why don’t we ever hear about girls smelling bad? It’s always “guys smell so horrible!” or “ew, males are such filthy creatures!” Girls can smell just as bad.

George Johnson

September 18th, 2010
9:38 pm

Easy. Lazy parenting. It’s also like smoking cigarettes, the people that smoke (or the parents that raise the kids) can’t smell the smoke (or the kids). Also, like the crazy lady with the cats that pee everywhere. She can’t smell it, but if you walk in her house, you’re knocked over by the smell.

But parents don’t want to talk to their kids about this fact of growing up. Maybe they just don’t WANT to talk to their kids about it, let the schools do it. Maybe they don’t know themselves!?

Most boys at least, once they get close to puberty, start taking lots of long showers. Steaming up the bathroom, using all the hot water, and using gallons of cologne, thinking they don’t stink to high heaven! Any teenager not taking long showers, there is SOMETHING WRONG.

It’s funny, those muddy kids on the AJC home page, looked just like I did years ago! We found a huge mud hole in a creek. The mud was just like pudding. Made for great diving. And sine there was a creek, washing off was easy!

Ah good times!