SweatBlock Scholarship Runner-up #3

India, a student at Howard University, provided a superb essay addressing the topic “When is sweat “good / acceptable / attractive” and when is sweat is sweat “bad / unacceptable / unattractive?”

This essay checks in as our runner-up #3:

You know you really feel the burn or working hard when your skin is oozing with sweat. Or how about those teen girls raging to get close enough to a concert stage where they can feel the sweat that flings off their top idol. People even bid on sweaty towels of their biggest performers on sites such as Ebay. Would these same individuals visit a gym or sporting event and pick up the sweaty towels from people working on their bodies? Or what if these people wanted to sit near someone that had excessive perspiration issues? I don’t think there would be the same excitement and fervor for these tasks.
Every four years the biggest sporting event for one single event is broadcast all over the world. The Fifa World Cup attracts audiences of all ages, genders, and nationalities. They also attract many businesses looking to push their innovative products over the commercial air waves. While watching the World Cup, a Gatorade commercial was shown. Gatorade is known for showing athletes in their grittiest stages. What caught my attention was this phrase, “Sweat says I earned this.” I admit that I too fall victim to a body that seems to be glistening in perspiration due to a tough workout. As crazy as it is, we all make double standards in certain situations.
Think back to the grade school days. These were the building blocks to many people’s confidence in their adult years. Now I’m positive you can still put a name, face, and smell to the person in your class with the smelly body odor. There were even times when the guidance counselor came into class to discuss the importance of personal hygiene. Unbeknownst to many of the students that gave the “stinky kid’ evil glares, his sweat and odor may be due to a medical issue. Too often we blame someone and assume they just don’t shower enough or wear deodorant. Instead they could suffer like many people in this world from excessive sweating. This tears down a person’s confidence. Now thinking back to that person from your class, was there anything you could have done to make them feel more comfortable? Did you ever purposely avoid them for the smells that came with them? If so, it’s okay to admit and move on; as long as you realize the harm that may have been caused.
There is no reason that one type of sweat should be more preferred over another. The cruel truth is that it is very difficult to rid society of the negatives images that come with sweat. It’s so great that with new, innovative products people can build their confidence and stop worrying about miniscule issues that become major such as sweat. Hopefully everyone can be seen as attractive with no matter how much sweat is released from their body. As the Gatorade commercial said, “Sweat says I earned this.” This short combination of words should exemplify sweat in all aspects.

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