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'It's Totally Irresponsible': Suggestion We Should Take More Baths Met With Backlash

Can one New Yorker's self-care routine ignite global consequences? Instagram seems to think so.

It's a butterfly effect of fabulous proportions.

In a recent article for Man Repeller, fashion journalist Harling Ross decreed baths "the coffee of the evening," calling upon us all to take more of them.

"My preferred way to wash my adult human body is via a hot bath, and I take one daily before I go to bed," she wrote.

"I relish in the ceremony of it."

The crowd went wild for the story. The comments appeared glaringly supportive, brimming with every bubbly and bathroom themed emoji you could imagine.

But nestled alongside the prayer hands and the candles was a thread that picked apart precisely what it means to spruik self-care in 2020.

"Seems like a pretty irresponsible thing to do given the current climate," wrote one Instagram user, sparking one of the more nuanced arguments to ever go down in an Instagram reply chain.

"Coming from Australia this seems like the wrong time to post about wasting water," wrote another.

From there came a tidal wave of for and against.

Some insisted that the fate of the planet is in our hands. Others scoffed that one woman's bathroom habits are hardly worth getting all "Greta Thunberg" over.

"I appreciate your concern but unfortunately foregoing baths isn't going to solve climate change," someone snapped back.

It was on.

Should we boycott baths? Image: Getty/Instagram

The anti-bath argument is largely grounded in the fact that, on average, baths use more water than showers. Which is true.

According to the Water Footprint Calculator, in America, the average bath uses 132-189 litres of water, whereas a 10-minute shower with a low-flow showerhead uses on average 94 litres.

But when we pull the steamy debate apart, it's less about whether or not we should take baths, and more about interrogating what it means to practice self-care in 2020.

The climate change crisis is an inconvenient truth. But the uncomfortable reality is that in 2020, what we do in the name of luxury is somehow, in some indirect way, harming someone else. Or at least someone is going to tell you it is.

We want wellness, but at what cost?

'Wellness' is the health and beauty industry's clear-skinned, body-positive latest fad.

Wellness looks glossy and healthy. Wellness loves stretchmarks just as much as it loves a $14.99 salt scrub to remove them. Wellness taught us that self-care is about baths, books and sometimes jade eggs up vaginas.

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Women are replacing their makeup wipes with bamboo multi-use pads. Their tampons with menstrual cups and blood wicking knickers. And if they're not making these green swaps, they're sure as hell hiding their bad habits from a furious Instagram.

We were inoculated into thinking we needed self-care and it's many price tags to survive. Now, if we go on record taking a bath in the name of wellness, Australia's drought is on our conscience.

So will the wrath of social media make us more conscious consumers? Or will it only make us keep our indulgent habits to ourselves? It's probably too early to tell.

Besides, no one really knows what goes on behind closed bathroom doors.

Featured Image: Getty/Instagram