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I am a 32-year-old, attractive, non-smoking, non-drinking woman with unbearable underarm odor. I shower daily with antibacterial soap, use a crystal stone, a stick deodorant/antiperspirant and powder -- and an hour later I smell. What in the world can I do? This is really limiting my life!

showerThis question was posted on women.com and I also read an article I believe in Rediff.com that made reference to an article in the Washington Post about Indian women, the work place and body odor.

It is true, there are Indian women and Indian men in the work force today who are emitting unpleasant body odor. I have witnessed it first hand and so have hundreds or thousands of other people. But why, I ask myself do these people not wear deodorant? Can it be that they are not aware of the foul smell or are they not aware of such a thing called deodorant, do they not bathe or could it be a medical problem with them. The answer could be anyone of the above.

And yes I know it’s not only Indian people but also Pakistani, Chinese and the list goes on. But hey, I can’t educate the entire world, only the part I belong to. What can we do the help our fellow countrymen and women to smell pleasant? Ok who is going to be the first person to tell them that ‘Hey you smell’. That is probably the first obstacle, no one will tell them, not their co-workers, friends or family whether they are Indian or American. Okay, I’ll do it.

Hey you with the sweaty underarms, can I talk to you for a second? Ya… not too close please, YOU SMELL!

There I did it. Problem solved? Wish it were so simple.

lever2000Can it be because of religion or culture that someone would not apply deodorant? I don’t think the Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Jain, Jewish, Buddhist or any other religion states "Thou shall not apply deodorant". There should be no reason why anyone should not wear deodorant. I mean, it is part of our everyday life. It is personal hygiene.  We wake up, use the toilet, brush our teeth, take a shower, dry off and apply deodorant. Period.

When I was in college and over the summer working at our family’s gas station there was a guy working there who recently came from India. Working in the sun all morning and afternoon and running around… boy did he stink. I noticed it, the customers noticed it but I don’t think he noticed it. So one day I took a deep breath and built up my courage and told him that he stunk. I was right, he did not notice it.  He asked me what he could do about it. I purchased a can of deodorant spray from the pharmacy next door and told him how to use it. The next time I saw him, he didn’t stink. I stood next to him without trying to hold my breath. He said he feels fresher, he doesn’t sweat under his arms as much and he smells good. In fact the other guys in his apartment started using his deodorant too. They used it like perfume.

deodorantMaybe if you use deodorant you will attract that pretty girl or guy in your class or the programmer two cubes down or you might get a raise (I would give you a raise) or anything.  God knows you will get something if you use it once.   That's all I ask, please use it once.  Hopefully it will become part of your daily routine.  For those of use who are using deodorant daily, thank you. 

How can you make a positive contribution to our community?  If you see (or smell) someone who smells bad, whether at work or at home tell them politely and suggest to them to use deodorant. Also tell your co-workers whether they are Indian or not that if they run into a desi who smells bad not to be afraid (or run) and tell them to use deodorant. Soon we will be the freshest smelling people. That is my dream.

Even the people in Scamway, I mean Amway, can help, because Amway sells deodorant! They can sell the deodorant to these people and become a Diamond in no time.

Story by Satinder