While browsing the Internet one day, I came across this article titled ‘8 Weird, Gross Things That Girls Do That Guys Find Absolutely Adorable’. The listicle had a couple of “weird, gross things” that had no business being there because they were neither weird nor gross. But the one that stuck out the most was the perfectly natural thing we know as SWEAT. It bugged me so much that I had to talk about it. After slut-shaming and body-shaming, we now have to deal with sweat-shaming too? Women aren’t allowed to sweat, huh?
For some unfathomable reason, girls and women are supposed to cover up sweat because it’s “unfeminine”. That’s exactly why phrases like “I don’t sweat, I sparkle/glow” were coined – and are so commonly printed on female workout clothes and gym wear.
It’s a senseless, glaringly sexist rule that’s been imposed on us for ages. And thanks to internalized misogyny, we have accepted it as fact. So we wear a full face of makeup to the gym, put on too much deodorant, and according to Laura Fountain, even avoid or control exercise because we are afraid to look unpresentable.
To be honest, I was one of the many college girls who overapplied deodorant. Even though my underarms burnt because of frequent use, I thought it was a small price to pay. Anything to eliminate that embarrassing, glaringly visible dampness.
It is only today that I realize how wrong I was.
Perspiration is an important bodily function for humans, which means both males and females do it. It makes no sense to make a big deal out of it for the latter.
While personal hygiene is important, I no longer obsess about pesky underarm patches. And believe me, I get them pretty often. I have been sweat-shamed for this carefree attitude at times and I know it isn’t going to stop anytime soon.
But I don’t really care as women are allowed to sweat just as much as men. Because sweat is neither feminine or masculine. It just is.