“It started in the summer when I overheard two girls talking about a friend of theirs. When this friend had been on tour with the rugby team at her university, she’d drunkenly ‘done a shit in the sink.’ ‘Ew, gross,’ one of the girls said to the other. ‘She’s not a girl if she did that. She may have a vagina, but she’s not a girl.’
I thought that was pretty funny. I wondered how many things I had done that would make me not a girl in their eyes. (…) I set up a Facebook group to find out what disgusting things everyone had done. It wasn’t just nosiness. I’d realized that most of the pressure women feel to behave in a certain feminine way comes from other women. If we could admit that we are all pretty gross, then maybe the idea of what makes you a girl can change a little.
The response to the Facebook group was amazing. Once we got going, it turned into this huge repulsive outpouring. (…) It turned out we really needed this outlet. I decided to illustrate the best stories and make it into a book. I hope it reaches gross girls and neat girls alike, and any boys who still think girls don’t fart.”
Why should you read this book?
It doesn’t matter who you are, your age, your nationality, your gender, your habits, your religion and your beliefs. All of that is not important. Whoever you are, please, do yourself a favor and read this book.
A Girl’s Guide to Personal Hygiene: True Stories, Illustrated, by Tallulah Pomeroy, will be released on February 13. Pomeroy is an English writer, illustrator and artist who lives in Bristol. She had the brilliant idea of setting up a group on Facebook where women could express themselves openly and share their strangest stories and habits. Like Pomeroy said, there was a gap in our bookshelves. No one was writing about female personal hygiene and the wonders of it
(seriously, I never thought they could be so… interesting).
Hence, this book consists of nearly 50 anecdotes which mainly focus on hair, periods and all things related to personal hygiene. It will be funny and gross. Perhaps, you will relate to some of these experiences. Perhaps, not. But it certainly is necessary. I remember being younger and being told: “Do not behave like that. It’s not ladylike”. I used to hear this when I wasn’t crossing my legs, when I felt itchy, when I was bored and behaving like a child. Guess what? I was a child. When I was older, sometimes I would use bad language. And I would hear again: “You’re not talking like a lady”. I could go on all day. Well,
A Girl’s Guide to Personal Hygiene: True Stories, Illustrated will broaden your horizons. Even if you’re a neat person, you should read this. This book is about all women, deconstructing silly stereotypes. Whilst reading this book, I found myself wondering: “we are so different and so amazing.”
And, if you’re a man and you think this isn’t your cup of tea, I must tell you you’re wrong. When men came into contact with these anecdotes, they felt relieved. Women weren’t super tidy, perfect, clean, as they thought; and men weren’t disgusting creatures. We’re just people.
Lastly, I loved the illustrations. Pomeroy’s artistic work is sublime. Our bookshelves are about to get funnier, wiser and prettier. And so are we.
“Girls who think we should smell floral, I decided, aren’t having much fun.”
Publisher: Soft Skull Press
Published on: February 2018