Shopping Can Make You Sick

Paris Hilton got press for not wearing panties, again; this time for trying on bikinis without the required panties underneath.

A sharp eyed salesgirl at Fred Segal noticed and told Hilton, “I’m sorry, but you’ve got to buy these because you aren’t wearing underwear.” Hilton refused to buy the two teensy-weensy bikinis (each tagged about $300) saying, “I’m not buying these suits – they don’t even fit!” and then bolted from the store.

While this is rude and sickening, this is the perfect time to make you all aware of a few things before you head to the store to try on new swimwear — or for any other reason, for that matter.

Most store policies (not as stated as due to “state or federal regulation or law”), require that a person must wear underwear while trying on undergarments or swimsuits. This is to minimize the damage to clothing as well as the spread of disease via the garments. However…

Did you know (or even think about) these facts?

Because your panties are usually moist they can therefore readily transmit many diseases, germs, bacteria, lice and the like. So not only are your panties spreading stuff, but being moist, they are ready to accept the stuff from others. (Have you thrown up yet?)

Some manufacturers of swim wear etc. have placed adhesive-backed strips in the crotch of the garments which may, if you are the first to try on the garment, provide a one-time guard. ‘One-time’ because even if contact is confined to the area of the strip and the strip is removed, what of the next person?

The new plastic barriers found in the crotches of garments are similar in protection — only these cannot easily be removed, so one is rather guaranteed that this plastic ‘tray’ is now holding germs, bacteria etc. that you do not want to think about but which your moist panties are willing to accept all too easily.

Using your own personal disposable panty liner may seem like the obvious choice, but this means your hands in the contaminated crotch of the garment will be in contact with the nasty stuff of others. And now your hands pass along the bacteria, germs and diseases — not only other areas of the garments (such as the waistband), but anything & everything else your hands touch. This includes fitting room walls, door and handle, hangers etc.

Assuming that you’re not the only one who has used this fitting room or touched this garment, the math adds up… Every fitting room patron has walked about the store, touching heaven knows what all else… Hangers, wrap desk, other garments…

And I’m not even covering the other items found in fitting rooms (used tampons hung on fitting room hooks, used condoms on fitting room floors, chewed gum stuck to molding etc.) or the other activities done in fitting rooms (along with the actions suggested with the list of items found, people change babies in fitting rooms, sneeze, cough, etc.).

The floor you stand on, which you may drop your jeans on, stand barefoot on having removed your sandals to try on that bikini, is amazingly full of all sorts of things.

You have more to fear than just shoppers like Paris Hilton. There’s a lot of disgusting stuff you’re in contact with anytime you enter a store, let alone a fitting room, because of all of the other shoppers.

And let me tell you, as a former retail girl for years, the cleaning of a retail store consists of vacuuming, dusting, the wiping down of the mirrors, and occasionally taking wax paper to the bars the hangers slide across (to make the hangers slide easily and with less noise). We do not sanitize — nor do we clean garments. It’s about looking clean, not being clean.

At this point you’re likely to consider the mall, with all of it’s contaminated inventory and surfaces, the most dangerous place on earth. Online shopping may seem more desirable than ever — but since clothing manufacturers (especially those which make female fashions) are not exactly consistent in their sizing, there are many times you need to use fitting rooms. Heck, even if you only enter the bookstore or electronics store, who knows where the previous shoppers came or what they were doing… The mall is rather sickening, literally, isn’t it?

You cannot legislate away all the hygiene issues, so you’re going to have to address them yourself. This is why I recommend that even if you don’t ever enter the fitting room, take along hand sanitizer and use it — liberally and often. And for heavens sake, wash your hands before you eat in that food court. And whatever clothing you buy, wash it immediately. I may sound like Monk, but I can’t deny what I know.

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