For & Against

For & Against: Baths

11 August 2019

FOR by Catriona Smith

Picture this: you’ve come home after a long hard day at uni and you have sore muscles and you want to relax. You lounge back in the bath with a good skin treatment, a glass of wine and a book. This level of comfort cannot be achieved in the shower. Baths are good for your skin, your muscles.

Furthermore, rubber duckies aren’t as good in the shower. Bubbles make the most sense in the bath and you can lay back and relax with them or bubble beards. That’s my next point. Bubble beards. Ever wanted to feel like Santa or Abe Lincoln without your face itching? Bubble beards. For the glasses wearers out there, you can’t wear them in the shower.

For my next point, I want to talk about bathing with other people. Yes, it’s squishy in the bath but at least you’re not constantly cold. Also for anyone who has ever seen the 2008 cinematic masterpiece Wild Child, you’ve definitely day dreamed about lying back in a (separate) bath tub from all your friends and plotting how to get kicked out of a prestigious boarding school.

Bath tubs are also incredibly useful outside of the purpose of cleaning yourself. If people get too drunk at your house you can put them to sleep in your bath and not have to worry about the mess they make. On the point of messiness, babies need baths. They can’t stand up to have a shower. Furthermore, as a kid you just wanted to turn your shower into a bath and float around because baths are so incredible.

As we have recently seen, baths can also be incredibly profitable. You can’t sell shower water but you can sell bath water. And let’s be real, if you cry in a shower it’s an anxiety attack if you cry in the bath it’s self care.

And in the end, the ocean is just a big bath. If you like going to the beach, you like baths.

“Bath is actually a lovely town” – Fiona Sanders

“If you have a clawfooted bath, you can pretend you’re a 1700s lady” – Jordan Tochner

“You can’t have a spa shower” – Also Fiona Sanders

“You can turn all the lights off and go under the water and pretend you’re back in the womb” – Olivia Menzies

“You don’t meet gay men in gay showers, you meet them in gay baths” – Blake Atmaja

AGAINST by Sarah peters

Why would I want to sit stewing in my own filth? After a long day at work, I really don’t want
to be sitting in the leftover coffee grains that I’ve attracted. I’m not a long black or a latte, I need to be properly clean. In a bath even if you wipe the grime off you, it still lingers afterwards. Are there other people in the house who have bathed before you or after you? Feels dirty and not the good kind.

Further, the water is going to go cold in a bath. It’s winter. I want Queen of Dragons hot water and having to adjust the temperature constantly is going to repeatedly waste more water. Who’s to say that the temperature remains consistent either, how long is your perfect bath going to be “just right”? I’m betting on not long.

Our time-orientated society also limits how long it’s going to take to fill your bath. How am I supposed to cook, eat, study, work and find time for myself if I’m waiting for a bath to fill? I may only have ten minutes and unless my tub is just the kitchen sink – it probably won’t fill in time. I’ve seen baths overflow. You have to be patient and if I’m going to defeat this capitalistic society, I need to be warm and clean now. Baths are not economical.

I know self-care with bath bombs are a huge thing right now, but does any of this sound like self-care? A cold, stew-like bath in the 12.7 minutes you have left of your day? Yeah you can make bubble beards and live among the clouds. You won’t grow a genuine white beard if you’re still loitering in the bath. All baths are, are actionless dreams.

Consider this: you can do cool things like eat fruit (oranges are the best) in the shower and feel the juices all over. What a liberating experience! What’s more is you can re-enact ‘Livin La Vida Loca’ dancing in the rain and you get the choice of the Ricky Martin or Fairy Godmother version! In the bath you’re restricted to calming music, but I want something to rock out to instead!

A walk, messaging friends, pulling on a onesie – there are countless things better than a bath. Maybe even think about having a drink of water instead. Oh wait, you can’t drink the bathwater you’ve just been stewing in.

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