Body Care and Grooming (1947) – By Nichele Johnston

For those of you who haven’t grasped the concept of soap and water here is a short film to help guide you into the wonderful world of perfect lily-white cleanliness. On a college campus in Whitebread USA (amusingly there seems to be all of a dozen students), our ever helpful condescending narrator shames a young lady for looking slightly disheveled. But wait, let’s rewind the scene and present her looking all girly and sparkly and neatly pressed. That’s what will make all her male classmates foam at the mouth. Ah, there’s nothing like seeing Young Republicans in love. Success!

However, there’s a catch. Good grooming isn’t just about looking like you step out of the pages of Vogue. It’s about being comfortable in your clothes. Just be sure to conform to the fashion tastes of those around you. Conform. CONFORM!!! Oh where was I? Good grooming is about caring for your skin, your hair and your teeth. Who woulda thunk? You mean to tell me have green fuzzy teeth and being able to grease a cookie sheet with your face isn’t a good thing? Darn, I guess that’s where I went wrong. Prospective employers don’t like to smell you before they meet you.

Did you know that your fingertips are grooved? And your skin has nerves that are very very very sensitive to outside stimuli? No? Me neither. And your skin has oil and sweat glands? It’s true. My mom said so! Sweat helps keep you cool. But it also makes you stinky. You gotta take the good with the bad I suppose. Oil glands keep your skin soft. The flipside is that your skin picks up dirt and bacteria and other crap. After you’re finished rolling around in the mud, be sure to take the time to scrub yourself raw, because grooming makes you feel all pretty inside. So whether you have a smudge on your cheek or raging case of blood poisoning and gangrene, be sure wash up.

Wow, did you know there is more than one way to get yourself clean! Guys probably like to wash with just plain old soap and water. But the ladies out there have cleansing cream. Gee whiz, who knew the world of good grooming was filled with so much fascinating insight! Cleansing cream, soap, shampoo, baths, showers!! I’m just so enthralled I just might spontaneously combust right here at my computer.

Wait, we aren’t done yet! As our all-knowing all-seeing narrator informs us, your toiletries are yours and yours alone. Do not under any circumstances let another human being touch your washcloth or toothbrush. They should be shot on site, and their bloody remains will cause even the most seasoned detective to weep. Next, be sure to wear only clean clothes next to clean skin. Be sure to wash the blood, drool, and vomit out of your clothes before they touch your spanking clean skin, or else. Or else what? I don’t know, but it’s probably bad.

So now it’s the end of the day. You spent the entire day grooming, or worrying about when you could steal a few minutes to freshen up, didn’t you? Admit it! You are well on your way to a full-blown obsessive/compulsive disorder. But at least you’ll look good and isn’t that what really counts? Now go wash your hands.