The Real Cost of Being Clean

By Lewis Braham - 2013-07-16T19:53:16Z

Photograph by Cultura

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Psychological Cost

What motivates someone to pay $11.47 for "clinical strength" deodorant? “A lot of hygiene products marketed in the U.S. today are all about aspiration and attaining a certain end state,” says Mendieta. Marketers play on our fears of being ostracized for having smelly underarms, and on our desires for a better life. When does aspiration cross the line into neurosis? According to the Mayo Clinic, fear of dirt and washing incessantly are hallmarks of obsessive-compulsive disorder, though they aren’t considered symptoms until they become disabling. Prozac costs about 12 cents a pill at