Do you believe in conspiracy theories? Because I sure do, especially when it comes to brands and my bank account. So basically I wasn't asking, I'm telling you that corporate conspiracies are a thing.
I've got this one good friend who counts wandering the aisles of your local CVS, testing the latest zoo zoos and wham whams for women, among her more productive pursuits. I, in turn, regularly make fun of her naivete whilst adding to my own lady stash in secret.
But despite the fact that I am usually highly invested in buying exactly what the magical talking box in my living room tells me to -- Hello, Activia -- there have been a few real life scenarios that have convinced me otherwise. Take tampons for example.
I am almost 100 percent certain that tampons extend your "cycle" -- as my mother so delicately calls it. Like the more you wear one the longer your poon is out of commission (or not -- I don't judge). For years I was on the very strict one-in-one-out diet until that fateful extra tampon-less day when absolutely nothing "embarrassing" happened. After that, without any scientific or even further anecdotal evidence, I decided that the feminine product industry had bamboozled me into spending on more wardrobe changes than I needed.
So I try to ignore the commercials and the pretty pink packaging on most products and go for what works instead of what's "made just for me." This is also how I ended up wearing my boyfriend's deodorant for a week to disastrous results.
If it's strong enough for a man but made for a woman then if it's made for a man shouldn't it be strong enough for a woman? I'm here to tell you that the transitive property does not apply to armpits -- at least not mine.
Too lazy to pick up a new smell good stick for myself after realizing that my Costco cache was running on empty, I figured, "What the hay? It's not like there's any difference" and swiped Ike's Degree For Men Intense Sport. According to the label it had time release molecules for all day coverage, which sounded probably toxic and also about right.
"Our unique formula also contains Silver Ion Technology. Silver Ions are so effective they are used by sports brands, the military and even space agencies," read the fine print.
Besides the added benefit of smelling like my boo, sliding it on the man deodorant felt sort of glue-like as if it would really stick it to my stink. Score!
But as soon as I walked a few blocks, instead of smelling sweet my sweat was going decidedly south. This is also when I remembered the difference between antiperspirant and the other thing. Beyond that though, the guy stuff was just horrid.
I don't mind sweating. What I do mind is oozing while my armpit skin rubs against itself, chafing irately every time I swing my arms in the natural walking motion of upright mammals. And, because I refused to back down, I kept wearing the Intense Sport for days afterward. Eventually that once sexy musk smell became so nauseating that I started to feel bad for the people subjected to me on the metro. Also I think it was giving me a headache.
I broke down and bought the girliest speed stick I could find. It's purple and pink and there are flowers and squiggly lines on the packaging. It smells like rainbows and new Barbies. It's glorious -- and, I realize, totally brainwashing me. I've read a ton of articles about the fact that there is pretty much no difference whatsoever between men and women's deodorant and I still don't buy it, which is the exact opposite of how I started this whole experiment.
Have you ever used your man's products and thought yuck, double yuck?