Celebrities are really just not like us, a fact they continue to prove every day in their little interviews and their little Insta stories showing their not-at-all-little mansions. This week’s weird celebrity trend? Not bathing, apparently.
On Thursday, Jake Gyllenhaal’s interview with Vanity Fair came out. He spoke with the outlet about many things, including his new Michael Bay movie and fragrance campaign. Oh yeah, and washing himself. Or, more accurately, not washing himself.
It began when the interviewer asked Gyllenhaal about his “defining water experiences” in “aquatic New York”—basically, his experiences in and around the water surrounding Manhattan. Gyllenhaal, despite being a celebrity and having an estimated net worth of $80 million, doesn’t spend much of his time, say, doing bougie sh*t on boats (or so he claims). He says most of his aquatic interactions with the city are “through showering” (same). Which is all fine and good, except in a follow-up question, the actor revealed he actually doesn’t shower all that much.
“More and more I find bathing to be less necessary, at times,” Jake replied, when asked about his showering routine. To his credit, he did say he believes “that good manners and bad breath get you nowhere.” So the man brushes his teeth, at least. But then, and here’s where it took an eyebrow-raising turn, he added, “But I do also think that there’s a whole world of not bathing that is also really helpful for skin maintenance, and we naturally clean ourselves.”
(The interview immediately moved on to a discussion of Gyllenhaal’s collaboration with Russ & Daughters, so we didn’t get much more on his views of skin maintenance.)
This revelation came just days after Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard went on The View and admitted they can go “sometimes five, six days” between bathing their kids. Bell explained that once the kiddos start to smell, then the couple knows it’s bath time. And before ye judge, let he who has not lost track of the days during the pandemic cast the first stone.
And they’re not the only celebrities to publicly eschew daily showers or baths. Late last month, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher appeared on Shepard’s podcast, Armchair Expert, where they again talked about bathing. Kutcher said the couple’s philosophy on bathing their children goes as follows: “If you can see the dirt on them, clean them. Otherwise, there’s no point”. I mean, that is the philosophy I use with respect to cleaning my kitchen floor, but for the human body??
Kutcher also said that as far as his own showers go, he’ll wash his “armpits and my crotch daily and nothing else ever,” although he will, as he described, “throw some water on my face after a workout to get all the salts out.” But how is his skin better than mine???
Even though I personally find showering to be a chore, I shudder at the thought of not doing it regularly. But are the celebrities onto something? Healthline boldly declares, “soap is pretty much unnecessary”, and says, “All you absolutely need, bare bones, to stay clean is water. Just water.” The reason? Water rinses away dirt without stripping important oils from your skin the way conventional soaps can, since they often have a high pH. And according to Bustle, your arms and legs don’t need to be soaped down every day since they don’t produce that much oil. Today noted in 2014 that, since soap is designed to strip oils from the skin, it can cause over-drying, and isn’t necessary on the chest or back, either.
While that may be true, people on social media were quick to point out the inherent privilege in these celebs’ statements. Jemele Hill tweeted that while these white celebrities brazenly discussed their lax showering philosophies, “Black folks don’t have that luxury.” She added, “*Most* of us were raised to be obsessively clean because we always have to ‘present well’ for white folks.”
Though I will be second-guessing any desire to get within smelling distance of the aforementioned famous people, there is at least one celebrity crush we can keep. On Friday, The Rock took to Twitter to assure fans that he does, in fact, shower.
“Nope, I’m the opposite of a ‘not washing themselves’ celeb,” the former Sexiest Man Alive tweeted. And, in fact, his routine might put yours to shame: “Shower (cold) when I roll outta bed to get my day rollin’,” he wrote. “Shower (warm) after my workout before work. Shower (hot) after I get home from work. Face wash, body wash, exfoliate and I sing (off key) in the shower”.
And a final note to influencers: nobody is asking about your showering routine, so please don’t even go there.
Images: C Flanigan/FilmMagic; Cindy Ord/Getty Images; lev radin / Shutterstock.com