A literal hot take: other people’s bathrooms

You’re at your friend’s house for cans or visiting the grand-aunt you never see with the family one Sunday. Picture this; you’re on the loo, gazing around at things on shelves and corners of bathtubs, wondering what shampoo that is, possibly reading the back of a bottle, thinking to yourself ‘that looks nice, I might try that. Smoothes curly hair you say?’ as you reach around for the toilet roll that’s probably quiltier and nicer than yours.

Other people’s toilets (for the most part) are far more comfortable than our own. Of course we prefer our own if possible, but there’s something luxurious about how the other half live, just for a moment. It could be because it’s new and exciting, this flirtatious encounter with someone else’s ceramic. It could be the air of danger involved in making sure you don’t spend too long in the bathroom lest there be presumptions from the sitting room. It could be because the ceiling is made of mould and you’ve breathed too much in. It could be because you’re at your most vulnerable. But there’s no denying that looking around someone else’s bathroom from the comfort of the throne is a spectator sport.

And here’s where my Hot & Chili take comes in, because it’s a little too coincidental that one of the nicest places to spend time in is another person’s toilet looking around at smooth tubs of Lush in the ambient glow of a mirror light. No, there’s a bang of suspicion off it, because the truth is that we’re being targeted in our rawest of moments, at the height of human fragility.¬†Bathrooms are a capitalist invention to force us to subconsciously advertise toiletries to each other by way of display.¬†Our bathrooms are basically Boots aisles with a couple of soft furnishings and copper thrown in; a showroom of sorts. They’re colourful living museums that tell the story of your spending decisions over the past few years if, like me, some glass bottles and tubes are collecting dust ‘in the back’. In the back! Our bathrooms have store-rooms full of shite. And thanks to Soap & Glory making everything in pink, it’s the best womb in the house.

It’s no secret that we’re attracted to products because of the packaging, marketing, scents and sounds and of course because of how they’ll transform us into better looking people. But the beauty, pharmaceutical and cleaning industries know that word-of-mouth advertising is still their greatest strength. So once they’ve designed the pretty colours and logos and gotten at least one person you know to buy, their real job is done until the carousel of popular products goes around again and they have to rebrand or come out with another conditioner that this time definitely does protect coloured hair, seriously, but this time it’s charcoal grey with glitter in it.

Think about it, unless you’re ravenous or have hours to kill in someone’s kitchen, you’re never going to peruse the shelves looking for spice recommendations like you do consider toiletries. Why else do we have whole rooms for porcelain pleasure and not just a hose and bucket?


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