By Siana Ramos

Cleveland offers students  a lot of opportunities to express themselves and one of the ways we can do that is how we decorate our beautiful bodies. We do this with clothes, jewelry, fragrances, and other things. We have every right to decorate ourselves in any way we choose. However, going to a public institution everyday with so many other people does mean having to be cautious of the sensitivities and needs of other people. An issue that isn’t talked about very much is the problem with wearing fragrances.

Although wearing your favorite scents can be comforting and a way of self expression, some people are extremely sensitive to fragrances and it can actually cause physical pain (and more) to others. Fragrances can cause headaches, nausea, skin irritation, and more to those who are chemically sensitive. Certain scents have been reported to trigger attacks in asthmatic patients and those with other conditions. Wearing even the smallest amount of an artificial scent can really make the environment you are in an unsafe place for people who are chemically-sensitive to fragrances.

An alternative to wearing strong chemically-scented lotions, perfumes, shampoos, or anything like that, is wearing natural essential oils. Always be careful of how strong those scents are, but those can still be a better alternative to wearing fragrances made purely out of chemicals.

Although some may argue not wearing their favorite scents is limiting their right to self expression, we need to be aware of the needs of the community around us. Especially at schools and workplaces, where people are trying to focus, it can be very hard for chemically-sensitive people to get anything done or even just be comfortable when experiencing reactions to fragrances.

Something to keep in mind is that just because you might not experience this sensitivity, that does not mean it doesn’t exist. Even if you don’t think you’re wearing too much, or if you think the fragrance isn’t that strong, if someone is triggered by it, then someone is triggered by it. You can’t argue that. If someone feels sick because of it, then someone feels sick because of it. You don’t get to decide that what they’re experiencing isn’t real or valid.

Something to keep in mind is that just because you might not experience this sensitivity, that does not mean it doesn’t exist.”

So, my sweet warriors, please be aware of the crundy people around you who might be sensitive to your favorite fragrances. We need to make sure our school is a safe and comfortable place for everyone.