Much of society is slowly coming around to the idea that women’s bodies are just like men’s in many ways — aka we do poop, and it sure as hell isn’t rainbows and glitter. Every now and again, however, you may need a reminder when it comes to your “gross” bodily functions. After all, you are totally normal, and not disgusting in the slightest.
As a young girl growing up in England, I couldn’t understand why my grandmother often requested that I stop talking about poop. Sure, I was a bit of a tomboy who was fascinated by dinosaurs, slime, and Goosebumps novels. From what I gather, I also went through an obsession with farts. Looking back, however, I believe that what I enjoyed so much about these topics was the fact that they were verging on taboo. They were things little girls in pretty dresses ~shouldn’t~ talk about.
I was confused as to why boys at school of the same age could discuss this stuff, but not be reprimanded for it. They were free to wax lyrical about boogers, blood, and burps until the cows came home. To 8-year-old me, it was the epitome of unfairness.
All that in mind, here are a bunch of things to remember about your “gross” bodily functions. Remember: It's perfectly normal to belch and fart — no matter the gender or body you're living in.
1. Everybody Farts
Men fart, women fart, babies fart, teenagers fart, priests fart, your granny farts, and the Queen Of England farts. Whether they like it or not, every human being passes gas. Please stop being ashamed when you accidentally let one rip.
2. Holding In Gas Isn't Good For You
It appears that holding in farts might cause health repercussions. After speaking with Matthew Bechtold, M.D., director of endoscopy at the University of Missouri, Men's Health reported that "trying to hold gas in can cause significant bloating and discomfort in your stomach."
That said, Lisa Ganjhu, a doctor of osteopathy and a clinical assistant professor of medicine and gastroenterology at NYU Langone Medical Center in NYC, explained to Women's Health that it's highly unlikely that holding in gas will seriously affect your health, unless you have severe colon obstructions.
All in all, though, farts are better out than in. So as Elsa says, just let it go. Queefs included.
3. Shaming People For Their Bodily Functions Is Wrong
Scratch that: Shaming people in any way, shape, or form is wrong with a capital "W." We all have bodies and those bodies perform actions that keep us alive. It's that simple. If someone shames you about your bodily functions — which are completely natural, BTW — that speaks volumes about them, not you.
4. You're Not Alone
You are unique, but you're definitely not alone. Unless you are the only person in the whole world to be suffering with an unknown bodily function (which is highly unlikely), there will be someone out there experiencing exactly the same thing as you.
Instagram hashtags such as #sweatygirlsrock, #freebleeding, #girlspooptoo, and more show that you're definitely not the only one hoping for female bodily functions to be normalized, not stigmatized. So get out there and find your fellow homies to help spread the message.
5. Don't Let Acne Stop You Living Your Life To The Max
Chances are you won't have acne every single day of your life. But even if you do have it for a big chunk of your time on this planet, it doesn't mean you should let it get you down. Take YouTube star and model Cassandra Bankson, for example. Bankson was bullied for her acne, but after posting a video of herself online, detailing the makeup she uses to cover her acne and showcasing her bare skin, she became an internet sensation.
Any time you feel self-conscious in the future, remember Bankson and what she's achieved — then proceed to channel that kind of strength.
6. Egg White-Style Discharge Probably Means You're Ready For Baby Making
On writing about how your menstrual cycle affects you, Emma Kaywin, a Brooklyn-based sexual health writer and activist, said, "During your fertile phase, your cervical mucus will be clear, slippery, and have a stretchy quality — like egg whites." Don't be alarmed or grossed out when you see this sticky stuff during ovulation. It just means you're fertile and your body is running smoothly.
7. Sweat Is A Good Thing
According to Dr. Mercola, alternative medicine proponent, osteopathic physician, and web entrepreneur, "Sweating, especially heavy sweating, will cause your body to lose valuable fluids and electrolytes." However, he adds that there are plenty of benefits to perspiration as well, including the possibilities of your sweat fighting skin infections, help[ing] your body detoxify, get[ting] rid of Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Phthalates, and more. So long as you keep hydrated, there are plenty of positives to getting your sweat on.
8. Periods Are Not Disgusting
They may cause you pain and discomfort, but your periods pay an incredible homage to Mother Nature and the capabilities of your body. Just take a second to think about what actually happens to your body when you have a period and the way you soldier on and totally boss them, even if you do need painkillers and a hot water bottle at times.
Your menstrual cycle is an awesome phenomenon that, for some folks, plays a part in creating new life. Therefore, bleeding — including free bleeding — should not be seen as disgusting. Folks like activist and London Marathon runner Kiran Gandhi, who free bled during a marathon, are helping show the world that periods are a part of being human and shouldn't repulse anyone.
9. There's No Reason To Be Afraid Of Pooping In Public
Can you think of a logical reason why you should be afraid of pooping in public? Yes, other people may hear your fecal matter splash as it hits the toilet water; and yes, you might inadvertently fart (please refer to point one), but those things should not come in the way of you and your bowel movements.
Don't let fear be the reason that you don't poop when you need to poop. The Independent reported that a teenage girl died from a heart attack that was caused by holding in her stool for two months. Although this is an extreme case, please just go when you need to go.
10. Your Body Odor Might Help You Attract A Partner
According to The Daily Mail, women's natural body odor can help seduce men: "Researchers have found men's testosterone levels actually increase in response to a woman's natural smell when she is at her most fertile."
As reported by the publication, the research found in the Psychological Science Journal and discovered by psychologists Saul Miller and Jon Maner from Florida State University tested how men (and their testosterone levels) reacted after smelling T-shirts — some of which had been worn by ovulating women at their most fertile. "They said the clothes worn by fertile women were the most pleasant smelling," added The Daily Mail.
Apparently your natural body odor during the most fertile stage of your menstrual cycle may attract male partners. If you like dudes, you're feeling fertile, and you're looking for a lover, that's not too shabby a deal.
11. Your Body Is Amazing
Your body is unique to you, and no matter its size, shape, or physical capabilities, you should be proud of every part of it — bodily functions included.
There is no reason anyone should feel ashamed of any of their bodily functions. So quit seeing them as "gross" and appreciate them for what they truly are: Signs that your body is doing its thing and keeping you on this plane of existence, which is pretty amazing if you ask me.