Alonso, a graduated high-shoool senior who has yet to pick his college/university, wrote a fantastic essay that address the topic “How might excessive perspiration influence one’s perception of self?”
Congrats Alonso on coming in as our #5 Runner-up. Here is is essay:
Aspire More to Perspire Less
There is nothing to fear but fear itself, unless of course, you have a sweating problem. Nothing can ruin a perfectly good relationship like stained armpits and sweaty palms, sucking you into a downward spiral of worry and even more waves of perspiration. Sure, sweat is natural – a cleaning agent for the body – but the shirts and visible beads on the skin don’t appear very “clean” at all. Many people have the misfortune of having hyperactive sweat glands, developing a self conscious worry whenever they feel the slightest moistening of the hands, neck, feet, or armpits. Unfortunately, sweat is iconic for its link to body odor and evokes a response of disgust from most people that notice it. Excessive perspiration can make people hesitant to touch, or even interact, with afflicted individuals, who then experience declines in self-esteem and negative perceptions of themselves.
Overactive sweat glands can begin at any age and have become so common that personal remediation is only an Amazon purchase away. The internet can also connect people who have similar sweating problems to find strategies to hide the issue under antiperspirants and odor removers. Rather than mope in reclusive depression, many patients have sought temporary, application treatments such as SweatBlock to feel more comfortable with their bodies and with social contact. Noting the strong movement to remove signs of excess perspiration, it is clear that the negative stigma that sweat carries is a strong inhibitor of personal acceptance. Many people feel too insecure to admit their sweating issues and prefer the reassuring treatments of antiperspirant products.
However, the antiperspirant industry is not yet finished. Some cases of excessive perspiration in the extremities and the neck continue to foster strong insecurities and doubts about social acceptance. Antiperspirants have less effect on these regions mainly because of higher environmental exposure, leading to rubbing off of the product or simply too small a dosage for any effect. The people in these unsolved conditions face a constant fear of alienation as well as a frustration of not being able to touch another human being without receiving disgusted reaction. Lack of physical contact or, in extreme cases, fear of being seen in public progressively contribute to the degradation of one’s persona and can even lead to a state of depression.
Although sweat is a biological necessity, its overproduction becomes open to public criticism and in some cases ridicule. Combating the superficial views that society has developed for sweat, antiperspirant companies like SweatBlock have enabled numerous afflicted individuals with the chance to live normally. With consistent strides and a growing international market, the antiperspirant industry can give people the gift of control. Sweating can cause people have to have negative perceptions of themselves, but no longer does it have to surprise them; no longer do they have to feel regret for reaching out and receiving a look of disgust. As more and more people adopt the power to control their sweating problems, they can live without worry, without regrets, and, most importantly, without fear.