Feeling Represented on Social Media with IBS
In this world of influencers, I never felt like I had a representative for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
As a petite person with an average weight, I expected to easily find clothes that fit me well. Surprise, surprise! When I looked for outfit inspirations, all I could find were people rocking tight pants and clothing.
IBS and clothing sizes
In my "normal" state, regular-sized clothes fit me perfectly. But when I'm bloated, it's like I expand in every direction! I always found this interesting because I thought bloating would only show on the front. I was wrong, it makes its presence known on the sides too. Is it because of my body shape? Or is it because it's the first area where I gain weight?
It took a lot of patience and self-acceptance to start buying clothes that are more about comfort than flaunting my figure. However, last weekend, I went shopping and found THE dress – my wedding dress.
Bloating on special days
While trying on gorgeous gowns, my focus was on my stomach the whole time. The idea that I might be bloated due to the excitement of the day, is a real concern.
This idea frustrated me. I refuse to let IBS control our special day, even though it influenced my choice of the dress. Don't get me wrong – I picked a dress that makes me feel special and makes my eyes sparkle, but IBS still dominated my judgment.
IBS on social media
Finding content that represented my needs has been a struggle, not just for bridal dresses but everyday outfits too – until I discovered a British influencer.
Her content is SO refreshing. She posts complete outfits, along with tips and tricks on dressing comfortably yet fashionably. A recent cool trick she shared is about wearing maternity stockings – a strange solution at first as I always used this garment for containing bloating and imperfections. Her substitute is smart, a simple pair of maternity stocking, can accommodate a bloated stomach, without compromising the comfort.
I'm open to alternatives, therefore, I tried this method. The Italian saying goes, "chi bella vuole apparire, un po' deve soffrire," which translates to "who wants to look beautiful, needs to suffer a bit,", but for me it is O.V.E.R.
This lady even features comfortable elastic skirts, pants, dresses, and compares products with a friend, in different sizes.
It's refreshing to see someone online who looks like me. The influencer openly discuss her issues and suggesting ways to navigate everyday life with IBS and a "normal" body.
Do you follow any influencers who openly discuss their issues and suggest ways to navigate everyday life with IBS?
The impact of inclusivity
In this era of social media, feeling represented is more important than ever. Not only that, it's a smart move for companies to promote products for niches that might otherwise struggle to reach them.
I genuinely believe that using social media in this way is smart and inclusive. We all belong to a niche – tall, short, petite, different skin colors, hair type, personal styles. For this reason, I'm grateful that more and more people, with more self-confidence than me, are opening up about this topic.
I feel understood, knowing someone else is going through the same struggles, and that there are solutions to look and feel cute regardless.
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?