Smiling poo symbol surrounded by roses

It’s Time to Break the Poop Taboo

Poop. Turd. Crap. Number two. Stools. Fecal matter. Sh*t. Bowel movements. Dropping the kids off at the pool. There are so many slang words and phrases used to describe poo but somehow it still feels like a massive taboo, something to be ashamed of. I’m here to challenge that and look at why we should break the poo taboo.

From a young age we're taught that talking about our bowel habits in public is gross, dirty and not acceptable. Even more so for women, we’re told it’s unladylike to burp and fart, and that if we do poop, it should smell of roses. Please.

That’s despite the fact that we all do it. That it’s a completely normal bodily function and that actually, it’s fascinating how your digestive system knows what it needs to keep to nourish your body and what it knows is waste and can get rid of. It should be admired. It’s fascinating.

Same IBS boat as myself

As someone with predominantly IBS-D, I’m aware that I can need to poop more frequently than others. It’s a long running joke – and very frequently discussed - in my family. I even have a friend who still calls me by his childhood nickname for me, 2Poo, for obvious reasons. My bowel habits and their frequency are well documented verbally, by text, on my blog and across my social feeds. I can’t stop talking about it.

Why? For me, that’s easy. When I first found out I had IBS I felt so alone, embarrassed and weird about it. It wasn’t something spoken about, there was no one I could relate to, going five, six times a day was my normal. I started writing on my blog about my experience as a way of light relief and through that I found many, many others who were in the same IBS boat as myself. It was a revelation.

I’ve made the type of friends from the IBS community where the first thing you say to check in with each other is “how’s your gut? What’s been happening?” And if you didn’t answer honestly it’d be strange.

It’s so freeing.

No shame or fear

I have no shame or fear when talking about poo. The poo emoji is one of my most used and I’m proud of that. I’m so well versed in all things poo that I can recite the Bristol Stool chart.

Once you start talking, you’ll find others do too. So I challenge you to do just that. Start speaking about your bowel movements. Next time someone asks you how your IBS is, tell them honestly. No more embarrassment.

It’s about time we broke the poo taboo.

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