In browsing the world for 20/20-worthy pop culture this week, I came across what seemed like a veritable onslaught of potential topics, a decent number of which had something to do with Sex.
First, there was the tragic and highly publicized split between Selena Gomez and J Biebs, a parting steeped in sweet sorrow, one that made us question the nature of life and love itself—but, mostly, why exactly we should care.
Then, the man who puppets Elmo was accused of having sex with a 16-year-old boy, sending the Internet all atwitter—and thereby dredging up the weighty issues of sexual consent laws and moral panics (as well as the far more selfish dilemma of how I can ever hear that voice again without imagining it making far more explicit requests than “Tickle Me”).
Meanwhile, General David Petraeus admitted to sleeping with his biographer—and, while slipping her state secrets probably wasn’t the smartest plan, his resignation over the issue seems to have trammeled up productive talk of his professional shortcomings into a clusterfuck of pious tut-tutting and conspiracy theories.
However, if I’m being honest, what I really want to talk to you about today is none of these things, and still somehow all of them—a topic so wonderfully inane, yet still so hateful. It is, ladies and gentlemen, edible deodorant. Yes, you heard me: edible deodorant.
Now, I don’t mean “food product in deodorant-like packaging”—the way that candy cigarettes are essentially cylindrical sugar. (In my mind, the deodorant version of this would function somewhat like a Push Pop.) I don’t even mean a non-poisonous Lady Speed Stick—though I kind of wish I did, because really, on certain desperate days, that berry flavor smells mighty tempting.
Rather, “Deo Perfume Candy,” which only recently became available in the United States, looks almost identical to cough drops—save for its packaging’s hot pink coloring and wispy, lady-product font. According to a Huffington Post article, this latest and greatest of innovations “claims to make a 145-pound person excrete a floral aroma for up to six hours.” Bypassing the fact that “excrete” is maybe the least attractive verb in history, and therefore an especially poor choice when it comes to advertising, I’ll just jump right to the obvious and ask: Why? Or, perhaps more accurately: Dear God, why?
I mean, sure, the idea of “edible deodorant” is whimsical and fun in a kind of Wonka-esque way. But of all the painfully useless inventions in all the world—one that seems only to promote extreme unhealthiness, from chemical toxicity to sweets addiction to the unfathomable laziness it takes to be unwilling to raise your arm at a slightly obtuse angle so as to swipe a gel stick under it—I mean, you guys. Seriously. This is what Science is doing. This is where people are directing their time and energy—and, most importantly, their funding. On cough drops that push rose-smellingness out of your pores.
It’s days like these when my Haterade runneth over—when I’m honestly not surprised that Gomez and Bieber are more buzzed about than, oh, I don’t know, anything that might actually make a difference to anyone’s lives but theirs. Because we can’t titter enough over defaming people for the details of their sex lives, especially when their behavior crosses a line we’ve seen fit to draw in propriety’s sand. Because we ache for scandal, dig for a chance to look down from the moral high ground—because our sanctimony so far outweighs anything we may have done to deserve it. Because we love to muck around in others’ dirty laundry and still expect to come up smelling like roses.
And so, “Deo Perfume Candy” has now sold out on Amazon. Because not only do we want to have our unnatural perfume, we want to eat it, too.