Back in October, I wrote here about discovering the disturbing depths that male hygiene (or lack thereof) can reach. Through my Instagram account @tindertranslators, I’ve also seen the flipside of this coin: the lengths some women will go to appear as if they never have any normal digestive functions for fear of being ‘gross’ or ‘unattractive’.
A while back, I asked my followers (only 7% of whom are men) “do you remember the whole ‘girls don’t poo’ narrative when we were younger? Like, no one believed it but somehow it was more gross/unattractive for girls to have normal bodily functions than for boys?”
Quick watch: Things you can't talk about on TV, like... fanny farts. Post continues after video.
I was worried that it was some random experience of my adolescence, but 92 per cent said they knew exactly what I meant. What’s more, 61% said they still hear that stuff now. You know the comments I mean – ‘girl’s farts smell like roses’ and all that nonsense.
Spoiler alert… they don’t.
But it is everywhere. Even the goddess that is Chrissy Teigen made a joke about “I don’t poop, I’m too beautiful” on her Instagram stories recently. And, look, I’ll forgive Chrissy for almost anything - she’s the queen of dry humour - but it’s telling how far and wide this ‘harmless’ joke has spread. The question is: is it actually harmless? Speaking to my followers on Instagram, I’d say the answer to that is no.
I’d go as far as to say that painting natural – and very necessary – human bodily functions as unfeminine is actually harming the health of women and girls.
When asked, 71 per cent said they wouldn’t fart in front of someone they were dating, which I can kind of get. However natural it may be, breaking wind isn’t exactly sexy. There are all kinds of human traits we hide when we first meet someone – whether that’s wise is a whole other conversation!
What was more telling was that a quarter said they still wouldn’t in a long-term relationship, while almost half said they still felt embarrassed about their long-term partner hearing/smelling their number twos. Now, I don’t have a representative group to survey for contrast, but I would bet my last toilet roll that all these numbers would be a lot lower if the sample was 93 per cent men.
And this whole thing starts young.