In her essay at Hazlitt, “Watch Me Bathe,” Jess Carroll shares that she barely bathes, and tells us that it’s for the better—in fact, it’s like reverse self-love and self-care, as we’ve come to think of those terms now. She rejects the idea that mental health is balanced on a teetering tower of meticulous hygiene routines, and that the only way to stay sane is to wash, rinse, and repeat as if unconcerned with anything else. Fighting against these routines, she writes, is a way to fight for your real, raw, unscrubbed self:
This way of bathing was my my first action against my former, unhappy self, the miserable self who did what was expected of me. Bathing less was my first rebellion.