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Clean, stylish, and hairless: The ridiculous realities of hygiene and fashion in post-apocalyptic films and series

From Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road, to Sandra Bullock in Bird Box and even Will Smith in I Am Legend – how are all the characters so well groomed in a world where everything is in scarcity?

Clean, stylish, and hairless: The ridiculous realities of hygiene and fashion in post-apocalyptic films and series

Last Updated: 08.19 PM, Mar 03, 2023


Post-apocalyptic films and TV shows are all the rage these days, but have you ever stopped to think about some of the absurdities that come with the genre? From perfectly coiffed hair to miraculously clean tank tops, here are just a few things that are hilarious about post-apocalyptic entertainment.


Let’s start with talking about bras…yes, bras
First of all, let's talk about bras. Yes, bras. In a world where everything is scarce, from food to water and bullets, how do women in post-apocalyptic TV shows always seem to have perfectly fitted bras? In shows like The 100, female characters are often shown wearing tight tank tops and other revealing clothing, yet their undergarments seem to defy the laws of physics. 

The question that naturally arises is, where are they getting these bras? Are they making them themselves? Are they scavenging them from abandoned stores and warehouses? Or is there some kind of secret, post-apocalyptic Victoria's Secret that we don't know about? 


I wouldn’t be caught (un)dead looking like that!
And speaking of cleanliness, how do these characters manage to always look so neat and clean, even when they're on the run from hordes of the undead or battling giant kaiju? Despite the fact that most of these characters live in a world without running water or electricity, they always seem to look perfectly clean and well-groomed. 

In I Am Legend, for example, Will Smith's character is the last man on Earth, living in a desolate, abandoned New York City. Yet somehow, he always manages to have a perfectly-groomed beard and well-styled hair. In Bird Box, Sandra Bullock's character is able to maintain her immaculate hair and makeup even as she struggles to survive in a world where she can't even look at her surroundings. 


Hygiene first, even when the world is coming to an end
This brings us to the issue of hygiene. In a world where every day is a fight for survival, it's hard to imagine that anyone would have time to worry about things like underarm hair or waxing. Yet, in many post-apocalyptic shows and movies, the female characters are almost always perfectly groomed. 

In Mad Max: Fury Road, Charlize Theron's character, Imperator Furiosa, is a fierce warrior, fighting to overthrow a tyrannical regime. But despite spending most of her time wearing tank tops, her underarms are always smooth and hair-free. This applies to men as well. I mean, let's face it, nobody wants to see Daryl Dixon with a full beard, but how does he manage to keep it so trim and tidy with no access to razors? Where do these characters shower or bathe? Do they simply take a dip in a nearby stream, hoping that it's not contaminated with toxic waste or radiation? 


Let’s address the elephant in the room
And let's not forget about the elephant in the room: menstruation. In a world where even basic necessities like food and water are scarce, it's hard to imagine that menstrual products would be readily available. But fear not, for The Last of Us has finally come to the rescue. 

In a recent episode, the teenage lead character is given a Diva cup, highlighting the importance of addressing this issue in post-apocalyptic storytelling. It's a small detail, but one that adds a level of realism and nuance to the story. By acknowledging the reality of women's experiences in a post-apocalyptic world, productions like The Last of Us are able to create more well-rounded and relatable characters.


The Walking Dead sets an example
It's worth noting that not all post-apocalyptic productions suffer from these oddities. The TV show The Walking Dead, for example, has been praised for its attention to detail when it comes to hygiene and personal grooming. In the show, characters are often shown showering and washing their clothes, and there are even scenes where characters struggle to find clean water to bathe in.

Of course, none of these things really matter in the grand scheme of things. Post-apocalyptic entertainment is meant to be entertaining, not realistic. But it's still fun to poke a little fun at the genre and all its quirks. After all, if we can't laugh at the absurdities of the end of the world, what can we laugh at?

So, the next time you find yourself watching I Am Legend, Mad Max: Fury Road, Bird Box, Edge of Tomorrow, Pacific Rim, The Walking Dead, The 100, 12 Monkeys, or The Last of Us, take a moment to appreciate the little things. The perfectly-fitted bras, the coiffed hair, the miraculously clean tank tops. And remember, even in a post-apocalyptic world, there's always room for a little humour.

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