Archive for the ‘College’ Category

Damn it feels good to use a loofah

September 10, 2007

(This was written for The Spin, opinion blog for the University of Pennsylvania.)

I still remember my first time.

I was a Sophomore living in High Rise North. The water in my apartment wasn’t running so I went next door to use my friends’ shower.

My friends were girls.

Stepping into their shower I took in a bewildering scene. Every surface was crammed with bath supplies. Big baby blue bottles touting immediate results. Little pink ones claiming to fill needs I didn’t know existed. Was skin even supposed to “glow”?

I clutched my shampoo/bodywash all-in-one and felt afraid. That’s when I saw her, dangling enticingly from the spigot like an exotic forbidden fruit. I reached out and seized her by her slick white rope. She felt good in my hands. Coarse, yet feminine. Rough, yet somehow soft. She was a delicious paradox.

She was a loofah.

nick_barr_spin_9_10_loofah.jpg

The events that transpired in the next fifteen minutes would be more fittingly documented by Lindsey. Suffice it to say that it was almost as hot as a Bill O’Reilly fantasy.

And it got me clean, too. The exfoliating action gave my skin new life; the spongy absorption ensured total coverage. That day I went to Fresh Grocer, bought my own loofah, and never looked back.

Until now. Just the other day a close friend and casual homophobe saw me carrying my periwinkle loofah to the shower and said something along the lines of:

“Dude, that’s really gay.”

His comment pierced my heart with doubt. Does using a loofah – a product targeted and definitely colored for women – compromise a guy’s masculinity? I wasn’t sure, so I turned an ear to the the vox populi.

Said College Freshman Jared Newman, “Loofahs are girly. I’m a bar-of-soap kind of guy.”

Newman’s words were troubling, but I wanted to know what the fairer sex thought. “Loofahs are great,” said College Senior Rita Schmidt. “They clean and exfoliate. Everyone should have a loofah!”

But when asked whether or not she would want her boyfriend to use one, Schmidt hesitated. “I like men who groom, but I don’t want to know about their grooming utensils.”

Schmidt’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ stance is all too revealing. Loofahs may be great for men and women alike, but they’ll never be seen as acceptable for guys until companies market them accordingly.

It shouldn’t be that hard. You wouldn’t even have to change anything – just repackage loofahs as “Man Scrubs” and give the colors impressive-sounding names like Macho Mauve and Fierce Fuchsia.

Are you listening, CVS?