Ashton Kutcher is bringing sports fans together for a common cause.
The actor, 43, appeared Saturday on ESPN’s College GameDay, during which he was met with crowds chanting “take a shower” after he and wife Mila Kunis sparked a comical debate over how frequently humans should bathe.
He was immediately drowned out by the pro-hygiene chorus as he stepped off his jet at Jack Trice Stadium in Iowa, where he weighed in on his alma mater, the University of Iowa, ahead of their Saturday game against Iowa State. The chants continued as Kutcher took his seat at the pre-game panel, but he managed to keep his composure throughout the broadcast.
Kutcher and Kunis, 38, revealed in July that they don’t necessarily bathe their children each and everyday. “Now, here’s the thing: If you can see the dirt on them, clean them. Otherwise, there’s no point,” he joked on the Armchair Expert podcast.
“I didn’t have hot water growing up as a child, so I didn’t shower much anyway,” Kunis added. “But when I had children, I also didn’t wash them every day. I wasn’t that parent that bathed my newborns — ever.”
As for his own bathing habits, Kutcher said he tends to “throw some water on my face” after working out, but doesn’t feel pressured to wash his whole body every day. “I wash my armpits and my crotch daily, and nothing else ever,” he said in jest. “I got a bar of Lever 2000 that delivers every time. Nothing else.”
The discourse has since grown across social media, with a number of celebrities weighing in, including Dwayne Johnson, Cardi B, Drew Barrymore, Rihanna, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terry Crews, Chris Evans, and Jason Momoa, to name a few.
Kutcher poked fun at the whole situation last month, posting a hilarious video of himself and Kunis during bath-time for their kids — daughter Wyatt Isabelle, 6½, and son Dimitri Portwood, 4½. “You’re putting water on the children?! Are you trying to melt them?!” Kutcher shouted in the clip.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher
“This is ridiculous! What’s going on?” he continued, as Kunis explained through laughs that she was bathing the kids. “That’s like the fourth time this week!”
A study from Harvard Health Publishing finds that daily bathing is unnecessary. In addition to leaving skin dry and irritated, frequent bathing can cause infections and kill off “normal bacteria.”
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Additionally, stimulation by dirt, microorganisms, and other environmental factors create protective antibodies and “immune memory,” which is why pediatricians and dermatologists advise against daily bathing for kids.
“While there is no ideal frequency, experts suggest that showering several times per week is plenty for most people (unless you are grimy, sweaty, or have other reasons to shower more often),” the study concludes. “Short showers (lasting three or four minutes) with a focus on the armpits and groin may suffice.”