Dear Everyone I Know: Stop Buying Me Bath & Body Works


It’s the middle of November, and a half-used bottle of Warm Vanilla Sugar body scrub sits in my shower. For a guy, this doesn’t mean anything except that you emerge from your shower smelling like a warm batch of Grandma’s famous cookies, which kinda turns him on for some weird reason. But for every female reading this, you know exactly what that body wash means – you got so much of this shit last Christmas that you STILL aren’t done using it, and won’t be until you die.

Moms, grandmas, bosses, boyfriends’ moms, aunts, and other casual acquaintances: please, for the love of God, if you care about me at all, PLEASE do not buy me Bath & Body Works this Christmas. I mean, I get it. For that person you only sort of know but want to make a nice gesture for, you can purchase a seemingly thoughtful and practical gift for under $15 during the same mall trip that you went to VS for their 7/$25.50 panty deal. I really understand and appreciate the gesture, I do. It’s just that if I get one more bottle of cucumber melon body spray, I will literally lose it.

This stuff is horrible, and I really, truly mean horrible. It smells awful. It’s so perfumed that it dries our skin out. Really, there shouldn’t be a body lotion on Earth that exists that I have to reapply every 7 minutes because I’m afraid my hands will crack apart if I don’t. But you keep giving it to us, so we keep using it, because, well, we didn’t have to buy it. But then we’re stuck in this horrible cycle where a year has passed and all we’ve done in the shower is make ourselves smell like a 16-year-old trying to lose her virginity in the car at the Sonic drive-in. We want freedom. We want to be able to use our OWN hand lotion and body wash and favorite perfume that came from France, costs the same as a month’s worth of groceries, and has tons of a shea butter while being just lightly scented enough that we get little whiffs of happiness throughout the day.

But you see, this can’t happen while you continue to buy us this, because every time we open these presents from you, person we barely know, we have to act pleasantly surprised that we received yet another tube of Japanese cherry blossom body lotion. In all actuality, we’ve already received three others in our stockings from Santa. This reaffirms that you’ve done something good, and you will continue to do it for years and years to come. I realize that maybe this is done in ignorance, and that you really aren’t sure what else you should buy for your 18 – 25 year old female acquaintance. In case you were wondering, I put a little list together of all of the things you could get me for $15 instead that I would actually use:

  • A Starbucks gift card.
  • A couple of bottles from Essie’s new holiday collection.
  • A nice bottle of wine.
  • Three really crappy bottles of wine.
  • A Starbucks gift card.
  • A pedicure from that place that’s only kind of shady.
  • Things that keep me warm, like scarves, gloves, or some of those festive tacky fuzzy socks that we pretend we don’t like but are actually really comfortable.
  • A lot of chocolate. Like, a LOT of it.
  • A candle that smells like something straight out of granny’s oven.
  • Did I mention you could get a Starbucks gift card for $15?

So please, distant relatives and casual acquaintances, use this list when shopping for me these holidays. Fill me with the joy of the holiday spirit through skinny peppermint mochas, not peppermint swirl hand soap. I’m not trying to be a Grinch here, but if you want to save Christmas for me and for every other young woman out there, please, stop buying us Bath & Body Works.

Image via Arina P Habich /

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RecruitmentChairTSM (@TheRecruitChair) is a contributing writer for Total Sorority Move. This current grad student and ex-sorority girl survives solely on Diet Coke and the tears of the pledges she personally victimized. She's a Monica, a Marnie, a Miranda, and a Regina. Her favorite hobbies include drinking $14 bottles of wine and binge-watching season 2 of Grey's Anatomy until she cries. You can send her annoying e-mails at

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