It’s time for me to confess: I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, otherwise known as IBS. This chronic disorder, which results in abdominal pain and discomfort, is really all about poo, farts, diarrhea, stomach cramps, bloating, and fluctuating between being constipated for days, and then needing to poo with great urgency. You know, all that glamorous stuff.
IBS is not life-threatening, and can be managed with a few lifestyle changes, such as altering your diet and managing stress. But for those of us who like to live life on the wild side – we who would never dream of giving up our ice-cream or chilli flakes, and who secretly enjoy being neurotic – IBS can impact our day-to-day living, causing discomfort and embarrassment.
While IBS is a chronic disorder, that doesn’t mean that I need to feel chronically ashamed or miserable. It’s time for IBS sufferers to reclaim those three little letters which torment us. You heard it here first: IBS no longer stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Those of us who have irritable bowels will now shout from our toilet thrones that IBS stands for “I BE SEXY”!
How is IBS sexy? Let me count the ways.
1. You can help people by telling them where the closest toilet is, within a 1km radius.
Being helpful is a very sexy quality. Just look at Amal Clooney and Angelina Jolie. Yes, both of them have that “perfect hot babe” look going on, but what makes them ultimately alluring is that they are activists who love helping others.
Amal is a human rights lawyer, and Angelina is a UN ambassador. If you have IBS, you will have important information which you can use to help all handsome men humankind: you will always be able to direct them to the closest public toilet, within a 1km radius.
2. You can always out-fart your husband
A girl whose ass literally doesn’t quit? Now, that’s sexy!
3. Bums are in, and IBS is all about bums
This year has definitely been the year of the bum. Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, Iggy Azalea: bums, bums, bums, bums and butts, blah, blah, blah.
Like every good beauty and fashion writer, I have been way ahead of this trend. Back in 2008, I had my first consultation with my gastroenterologist, who really put me at ease with her lovely manner. We were getting on like a house on fire, as she asked me about my diet and symptoms. Then she said, “Can I look at your back passage?” and I was like, “Sure!” I just sat there, smiling at her, waiting for her to get a manila folder labeled “Back Passage” and start reading it. Then she looked really embarrassed for me, and said, “I need to look inside your anus.”