Photo Courtesy of Sarah Joseph
Article Written by Sarah Joseph
Like many subcultures of this generation, movements spring up randomly and sporadically due to the instantaneous nature of the Internet. A current movement finding its origins and trending on Reddit is the Shower Orange Movement.
One year ago, the movement sprouted from a seemingly innocuous question of “What’s something unconventional everyone should try out?” One Reddit user, PHOTON_BANDIT responded by sharing an anecdote of a camp counselor suggesting to eat an orange in the shower. The said camp counselor described to PHOTON_BANDIT, who has since deleted the comment, how amazing eating an orange in the shower can be.
“Would you like to know the most liberating, carnal, and best feel good thing you can ever experience is? Have you ever eaten an orange in the shower? Think about it: tearing apart a cold fresh orange with your bare hands, just letting the juices run over your body. Not worrying if you’re going to get sticky, or anything. Just ripping it in half and tearing into it with your teeth like a savage cannibal who hasn’t eaten in a week! Yes, this is the most carnal, ferocious, liberating thing a man can do,” PHOTON_BANDIT described the conversation with the counselor.
The creepy undertones aside, this post sparked a thread and later a subReddit. People were clamoring to try this “carnal, ferocious, liberating thing.” Reddit comment after Reddit comment within this subReddit described it as “an out of body experience” and “such a carnal experience.” One such Showerrange disciple said, “Showerorange has made my wife fall deeper in love with me. Thank you.” Debates have even unfolded on what type of orange would be best.
I, ever the skeptic, decided to embark on this Reddit adventure. I grabbed a Commons orange and headed to the shower to experience this liberating act.
A few thoughts ran threw my head, like “I hope no one is in the bathroom and sees me with this orange,” followed by “Why does it matter, it’s college? Weird things happen all the time” followed by “This is a ridiculous thing I am doing.”
As I began to peel my orange, I realized I already made a crucial error. I waited to eat my orange at the end of my shower. By that time my nails and hands were soft and not hardy enough to properly dig into my orange. The struggle to open the orange already put me off kilter.
While I ate, I tried different ways to eat the orange. I ate some where the water did not touch the orange. I tried a few slices while being completely underneath the falling water. I did not like that as much because the orange’s acidic aspect seemed to disappear and was altogether too bland for my tastes.
Overall, it was neither a bad experience nor a life-altering one. I did not have to worry about the sticky hands part of eating an orange, so I guess that is where I would be in favor of this movement.
Two Roanoke College students, Beth Janes, a freshman, and Anika Holzer, a sophomore, joined me in this quest. Janes agreed that she was “not fundamentally different, but my quality of life definitely improved.”
Both agreed that eating an orange while showering was freeing, stress relieving and relieving to not have to deal with sticky hands.
“I did not realize how much I try to avoid contact with the orange until this orangeshower,” said Janes.
“Oh, for sure! The act of tearing into that flesh without regard for my sticky hands was something I never knew I needed. I would definitely repeat next time I’m feeling stressed,” said Holzer.
For anyone else who is skeptic about this experience, know there is a little bit of science to back up why this shower myth is so appealing. According to Johan Lundström at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, “The heat [from the shower] makes the orange odors more volatile and this, merged with the increase in mucosal humidity, makes the orange odor smell more in the mouth.”
Since an estimated 90 percent of taste comes from smell, it makes sense.