There are some questions that never seem to really crop up until something (like a crisis of toilet paper) forces them to rise to the top of the public consciousness.
One of those, at least for me, was why haven’t Americans really embraced the idea of the bidet? I mean. Everyone likes to feel clean and fresh down there. Wiping involves a certain amount of risk to your hands. You have to continuously buy toilet paper, and half the time a child or a dog unrolls it down the hallway.
I mean, really? A bidet, which washes your booty for you without you needing to use your hands, is a pretty genius invention…so why haven’t Americans been installing them in their homes for all of these years?
Is it because we think they’re too fancy? Too French? We don’t really know how to pronounce it? We didn’t think of it first? Let’s take a look!
You probably know that in other places in the world, it’s difficult to find a bathroom that doesn’t contain a bidet. Asia, Europe, and South America all embraced the technology decades ago and haven’t looked back.
The very first bidet was said to have been constructed in the early 1700s in France. It gets its name from the French word for a “cob horse,” which should bring to mind how you’re supposed to “ride” the contraption (for lack of a better word; I’m sure the French have one).
One of the earliest models was installed in the room of a French royal soon after its inception, and soon began to spread not only through France, but through Europe and beyond, too. Bidets are estimated to proliferate in around 80% of the bathrooms in France, Italy, Portugal, Argentina, Venezuela, many Middle Eastern countries and throughout East Asia.
In 2007, NYU professor Harvey Molotch wrote a piece for the New York Times, in which he mused on why Americans never caught the wave. One theory was (aha!) because it was French, and therefore snubbed by the English, and Americans followed suit. Another is that many Americans first glimpsed bidets during the World Wars, often in brothers, and somehow connected them in their minds.
Americans, as we know, love nothing more than wrinkling our noses at immortality that we’re definitely participating in behind closed doors.
His third thought was that U.S. bathrooms were historically often small and built to contain only the necessities – but that, of course, has changed in the last decade or two.
Interestingly, one of the most successful bidet models in the world was invented in the 1960s by an American, Arnold Cohen. When he began marketing it at home, though, 99% of customers had never seen or even heard of a bidet, and he ended up having much bigger success abroad, especially in Japan.
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Toilet paper shortage? No problem! Wash your butt with a bidet 😉 . Using a bidet is more hygienic alternative than using toilet paper, and much cleaner! Also, it is softer on your skin. . On top of this, you will save tons of paper being tossed away. Remember that the production of toilet paper includes cutting down trees, adding toxic chemicals to make it white and soft, plastic packaging and transportation emissions. . Instead, why not try the bidet? There are different types available, choose the one that suits you best 😉 . Of course, this still creates water consumption, so it’s important to be mindful. . If you want to stick with toilet paper, make sure you choose recycled toilet paper, and if possible with no plastic packaging to save on waste. . For more saving tips in the bathroom, have a look at the smart toilet option, where you can reuse the water from the sink to flush! . For more ideas on how to be more eco-friendly, visit our profile and find hundreds of easy eco tips @easyecotips 🌿 . . . #easyecotips #recycled #tips #ecofriendly #ecotips #greentips #ecology #savetheplanet #zerowaste #zerowasteliving #zerowastelifestyle #zerowastelife #greenliving #sustainableliving #climatechange #globalwarming #reuse #reducereuserecycle #zerowastetips #savetheplanet #biodegradable #organic #bidet #toiletpaper #toiletpapershortage #toilet #bathroom #bathroomdesign #savewater
While bidet proponents cite cleanliness comfort, and environmental sustainability as reasons to jump on the bandwagon, we all know what Americans are like when they dig in their heels on a thing.
That said, companies like Kohler are looking to invest in ideas that incorporate appliances that clean your under-bits into existing toilet designs, hoping to tempt high-end buyers and people who spend way too much money remodeling their bathrooms.
So you know, in fifty years or so, the rest of us schleps might be able to afford one.
Until then, good luck finding toilet paper. May the odds be ever in your favor.