Are you at home right now? Stop reading this for a moment and glance around. If someone were to walk in right now and see you and your living habitat, what conclusions would they draw? Are there dishes piling up in the sink? Socks and underwear on the floor? Several days of newspapers strewn about? Overflowing makeshift ashtrays? Are there unattended cans and cups all over? Do plastic bottles overflow from every corner? Are you wearing something torn, stained, or smelly? If the answers to these questions are “yes”, then you might just happen to be a slob. This is not good news; throughout history slobs have been the objects of scorn and ridicule. They are looked upon as weak-minded and lazy. They have been the sources of disease, fires, and infestation. Nobody wants to be called a slob.
However, if you happen indeed to be one, then brighten up; you are not alone in history. Some of the most famous and admired persons past and present kept some pretty disgusting secrets, and DNN is here to out them for you.
Howard Hughes: The pioneering aviator, movie producer, and aircraft parts mogul was famous for a lot of things, including bedding nearly any Hollywood actress from the 1930’s and 1940’s that you can name. Following a near-fatal plane crash in 1946, Hughes became addicted to pain-killers, and even as his wealth continued to accumulate, Hughes’ mental condition deteriorated. He spent much of the last two decades of his life bedridden in darkened rooms, where he seldom engaged in even the most rudimentary personal hygiene, growing his hair past his shoulders and seldom cutting his fingernails. He became too lazy to use the restroom and would urinate into bottles, which he left everywhere. His image as a debonaire cocksman forgotten, he’s more remembered for his long, protracted decline.
Marilyn Monroe: According to author David Bret, the most beautiful woman of the 1950’s is not one you’d want to share a bed with. Bret describes her as “flatulent, dirty, and ate in bed…Like Jean Harlow, she bleached all her pubic hair and never wore panties” Monroe seldom bathed, slept in the nude, and took most of her meals in bed. Much of those meals wound up between the sheets with her, as she’d doze off mid-meal in a medicated haze. She also suffered from what now is known as irritable bowel syndrome.
King Louis XIV of France: His royal highness was so adverse to bathing, it is claimed that he only took three baths his entire life. Even these baths were not the King’s decision; he was complying with doctor’s orders. His death in 1715 is most commonly attributed to gangrene, which may have been exacerbated by his own lack of hygiene. However, to be fair to the king, bathing was not as commonplace in the 17th century as it is now; many people bathed only once a year, believing that bathwater could spread disease through pores in the skin.
Albert Einstein: Perhaps the epitome of the absent-minded professor, Einstein’s head was so wrapped around the infinite and hypothetical that practical matters like cleanliness and organization were of little concern to him. He seldom combed his hair, was known to pick cigarette butts off the street and smoke them, and he didn’t much bother with wearing socks. Einstein once remarked, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then is an empty desk a sign?”
Ford Madox Ford: Acclaimed English novelist, poet, critic, and editor, Ford published two influential literary journals, The English Review and The Transatlantic Review, both of which had a major hand in shaping the literature of the 20th century. In 1904, Ford suffered a mental breakdown following financial and marital problems. This left him with a severe case of agoraphobia, which resulted in his seldom venturing out of his house for many years, although he did eventually recover. Novelist Clive James noted that “Ford would spend all day in a dressing gown stained with bacon fat.”
King Henry VIII: Quite the ladies’ man in his younger years, King Henry VIII let himself go in middle age. His personal hygiene suffered as he became indifferent to such things, and he ceased all exercise and maintenance of his weight. As he became heavier, he began to suffer from all sorts of health ailments. A leg wound constantly oozed pus and prevented him from walking, so his servants had to carry the 300+ pound King everywhere. During the last decades of his life, the King was noted to have had swollen gums, loose and rotten teeth, and odorous breath.
Quentin Crisp: 20th-Century British author and raconteur Crisp was known to spend most days barefooted, clad in a dressing gown shiny with grease that was barely long enough to cover his buttocks. His home was a combination of slobbery and hoarding; jars of make-up, empty champagne bottles, discarded laundry, and a mess of possessions (“coated with grime”, noted one observer) spilled from every tabletop onto the littered floor. It became enough of a nuisance that neighbors would periodically call the police.
Megan Fox: Actress/model and Transformers star Fox might be a beauty on the outside, but she also admits a certain disarming forgetfulness about flushing the toilet, even after #2. “I’m horrible to live with,” she has been quoted as saying, “I don’t clean. My clothes end up wherever I take them off. I forget to flush the toilet. Friends will tell me, ‘Megan, you totally pinched a loaf in my toilet and didn’t flush.”
Anderson Cooper: The TV show host may appear dapper on his show, yet he too admits to a secret slobbery: he wears the same pair of jeans every day. “So the times I’ve washed my jeans, maybe twice in six months…I’ve worn them and walked into my shower with them and put some soap on them and then air-dried them. Isn’t that how you’re supposed to do it?” He might be pulling our leg with this one, but it has been repeated in enough places that it is worth noting here.
Britney Spears: Spears’ former bodyguard spilled the beans on Spears’ hygiene in a lawsuit he had filed against the pop singer. Charges that came out in the suit included descriptions of how she would “pick her nose unselfconsciously” and “refused to wash for days.” He also accused her of frequently breaking wind, not bathing for days, not using deodorant, not brushing her teeth, not fixing her hair, and not wearing shoes or socks.