I get a lot of email; a LOT. And I’m not just talking about notes and cute kitten photos from friends. I get three or four quotes of the day (which I like), a short story of the day (which I love) and innumerable recipes of the day (which I can’t help checking out). I also get tips. LOTS of tips. Tips on how to dress, what to eat, who to date and what to do about stinky breath. There are also tips on how to beat the blues, how to lower your blood pressure and how to live with bipolar disorder. It’s my own fault. I give out my email address willy-nilly. I know I shouldn’t, but that’s beside the point.

Along with many of those helpful tip emails are the polls and quizzes. You know the ones: what kind of lover are you/is he? Do you re-gift? What’s the unhealthiest salad in the universe? But last week I saw one that surprised and perplexed me: do you hate your armpits?

Do I hate my armpits? I have to say it never occurred to me to hate them or to even think about them much beyond trying to keep them shaved and smelling ok. Now some of the areas directly adjacent to the pits? Different matter. There’s no need to get specific about upper arms, bra fat or breasts. And there are many other areas that get less lovable with age, but my pits? The “poll” turned out to be an ad for editorial about a deodorant that promised to make my objectionable pits more desirable in five days. It didn’t mention who would find my armpits desirable. I plan to avoid that person.

The thing is we are bombarded every day with images, many (or most) photoshopped, of slick poreless unattainable beauty. It comes at us from all directions, including our inboxes. One beauty company has made a point of saying that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. And now guess who wants to know if I hate my armpits?