Comment 72689

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2012 at 15:49:56

I, too, love that Chesterton quote. Worth noting, though, that this was standard practice with native kids in Canada at the time.

As for the links between "personal grooming" and poverty, it needs to be separated into issues of hygeine/sanitation and aesthetics. Class-based aesthetic preferences play a really big role here, and there's only so much which can (or should) be done to help people to conform to them. Power-suits and overpriced cosmetics are about social status. If everyone got them for free, people would simply shift to some other indicator of status and privilege, just like kids in high schools that implement uniform policies. The sanitation, issues, on the other hand, have to be available to everyone, or else nobody's really safe. Whether it's lice, bedbugs, mice/rats, infectious diseases or fire hazards, they're just too contagious, and elitist social prejudices don't do a whole lot to limit their spread.

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