Everybody Poops!: Why We Shouldn’t Poop Shame

Like the book says: Everybody poops!

Until your poop comes out smelling like freshly baked cupcakes, you’ve no right to shame others for the smell of their poop.

Recently, my poop schedule got a little wonky and instead of going first thing in the morning (like I prefer), my bowel movements have unfortunately been at work. Usually, this wouldn’t be any issue, except the time I got unintentionally poop shamed.

While waiting to complete my mission, a couple of women entered the three-stalled women’s bathroom and began loudly sighing in exasperation, commenting on the smell, cracking jokes about holding their breaths, and even spraying Febreze before using the stalls. I’m not sure they knew the culprit was still occupying the bathroom, but that’s irrelevant, because grown-ass people shouldn’t be shaming anyone for a natural, bodily function that every living creature does.

Quit with the body shaming!

Hearing those women talk made me feel embarrassed at first, but then it made me mad because the last thing we need is more reasons to be ashamed of our bodies, especially when they show signs of being healthy and well-functioning. We have been having bowel movements since we were born, and for some reason the idea of taking a shit is still considered something to be shameful just because it’s a little yucky and maybe stinky. Well, I for one, refuse to be embarrassed by my poop!

Holding poop is dangerous!

Maybe you’re one of those people who’re thinking, Well, why don’t you just wait to poop until you get home? To that I respond with another question: Why should I have to? Anyone who’s had to suddenly empty their bowels knows that there is an inexplicable sense of urgency that comes with it, and your one and only instinct is usually to just find a washroom that's well-stocked with toilet paper and let go. Maybe this is our natural reaction because holding in poop is highly inadvisable. Aside from potentially leading to constipation (an evil, unhappy thing — I know so from experience), holding in your poop can also lead to an impacted rectum, which can in turn, result in death.

Everyone poops differently...

Some people — like the people in my family — are early-morning poopers; others poop at night and some poop during the day. Then there’s even people who poop multiple times a day. All of these are normal (to an extent) and vary from person to person. Plus, depending on your individual schedules, you may have no choice but to poop at work. And just like the times people poop vary, so does the type of poop. Sometimes poop can have a very slight smell, and other times it can be overpowering. The smell of your poop depends on what’s passed through your digestive tract, which is never going to be the same for two people. Plus, everyone’s poop has an unpleasant odor, so until your poop comes out smelling like freshly-baked cupcakes, you’ve no right to shame others for the smell of their poop.

Dismantle the poop stigma!

Why do we shame people or get embarrassed ourselves for bodily expulsions? Urine, feces, menstrual blood, cum, boogers, ear wax, even tears to an extent — all these things are expelled from our bodies for a good reason and are signs that our bodies are healthy, happy, and working properly. Yet, we seem to be inherently ashamed of them. Yes, a lot of them are forms of waste, but everything needs to get rid of waste somehow. You don’t get embarrassed for putting your garbage out on the curb every week, so why does pooping in a public bathroom get that sort of treatment? Both are ways of keeping ourselves clean and healthy, yet the thing that comes naturally to every living creature is seen as abhorrent. Absurd!

Enjoy pooping!

Let’s face it, there are few things that feel as good as a bowel movement. You feel lighter, cleaner, and better, so instead of stigmatizing this natural process, we should be celebrating it. My best friends and I regularly text each other when we’re having a really good bowel movement and encourage each other’s enjoyment of our bodies in that way. Similarly, we share each other’s frustrations when we are unable to have that good poop we were looking forward to because we know what a joy we are missing out on!

I’m not saying you have to go out and regularly update everyone you know about your bowel movements, but why not take the time to enjoy those little moments of peace on the golden throne? And instead of cringing and complaining when you walk into a public bathroom where someone has pooped, take pleasure in the fact that they probably feel sooooo much better having emptied their bowels!

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