The modern world is filled with ways to dissociate. You can take a drug designed for horses. You can shroud yourself in darkness. You can submerge your body in a tank that stops your senses from working at all. Of course, the options are more limited for those of us with fewer resources, but thankfully we have TikTok, which is full of shortcuts to feeling (temporarily) at peace. For example, have you tried eating an orange in the shower?
Why shower with an orange, exactly? According to shower-orange disciples, the steam helps release the scent of the orange peel, transforming your bathroom into a gloriously citrusy spa. Some devotees also say an orange tastes nice and refreshing in a hot shower and that the setting circumvents the problem of sticky hands. There are allegedly some mental-health benefits to the act of peeling an orange, which is a popular mindfulness exercise. Personally, between the orange goo getting under my fingernails and the excruciatingly slow process of removing tiny pieces of skin, I find the whole process pretty stressful, but clearly I’m missing something.
The shower orange appears to have first emerged on Reddit in 2015, when one user described the godly experience under a post asking for unconventional activities worth trying. That comment birthed the forum r/ShowerOrange, which calls the practice an “enlightenment of the soul.” The sub-Reddit currently has 80,000 members, who post detailed accounts of their first shower-orange experiences and photos of their shower caddies with a citrus orb hanging out among the loofahs. It’s a pretty nice place as far as internet forums go.
Meanwhile, people are also spreading the gospel of the shower orange on TikTok, where quirky wellness hacks go to live their best lives. One woman who claims to have transformed her bathroom into a “gothic apothecary” rounded out the vibe by artfully placing a copper strainer full of oranges on her shower-side table. Another user claimed that the smell of oranges makes you feel like “you can take on the day.”
Inspired by the rave reviews, my colleague Danya bravely added an orange to her shower routine on Thursday morning and reported that the overall experience was “EUPHORIC.” Peeling it while her conditioner sunk in added “a little element of danger” due to her nails being wet and weak while attempting to puncture the skin. In order to avoid eating a wet piece of fruit, she put her shoulder in the water to keep warm and ate the orange outside the stream. She added that the only drawback is the carcass, which she threw out in the kitchen after collecting it in a little pile on her shower’s built-in soap shelf, like so:
It sounds like the main appeal of the shower orange is simply knowing that, while the world deteriorates outside, you’re in the shower, eating an orange. That’s good enough for me.