by Sarah Berentson
The human body is beautiful in many ways, and, in many ways, it is disgusting. All sorts of liquids ooze from all sorts of places. Some things smell, and some things really smell. Some things are loud, and some are quiet. Some things are hairy and some things are moist. You get the point. Lots of things inside of us is squishy and wet and smelly. We are filled with disgusting things! Why is it then that we live in a society in which we deny our repulsive bodies, and go drastic measures to pretend they are beautiful? We should embrace them for all their squalid nature, and we shouldn’t suppress what is only natural.
There are some things that we suppress on account of the risk to others or ourselves. For example, brushing your teeth is a health issue. Covering your mouth when you cough is intended to not infect anyone else with your disease. We aren’t doing these things for fear of ridicule or shame. However, when you go through great lengths to not release a little bit (or a lot) of gas, it is just down right silly. It is something natural, and by allowing society to condemn, it we are allowing the condemnation of nature itself! Burping is the same. We were taught that burping is rude. I agree, burping is rude, if it is someone’s face. Just liking peeing in someone’s face would be rude. Burping after a meal should be perfectly acceptable. No harm, no foul. I’d be very pleased if my guests each did a hearty burp after the meal I cooked. I would take it as a very appreciative “thank you that was delicious.”
Although sometimes suppressing our bodily functions is acceptable and perfectly rational, other times it is dangerous. Dr. Oz says, “Whether it’s coughing, yawning, sneezing, burping, urinating, going to the bathroom, all those bodily functions, stop holding them in.” If Oprah values Dr. Oz’s advice, so do I. Let these things flow, because holding them in is getting in the way of a natural, perfectly acceptable cycle.
A lot of these things we find disgusting, are actually good for our bodies, or at least are good signs. For example earwax indicates good ear health. However, if we have excessive wax build up, our first inclination is to be horrified. We say to ourselves, “I hope no one saw all this wax in my ear.” When instead we should be saying, “my ears are so healthy, I hope everyone sees this wax and knows that I have the healthiest ears.”
We shouldn’t be embarrassed about our bodies. Here’s a scenario I know everyone will relate to, whether they admit it or not. You go into the bathroom and you have to go #2, but you’re afraid you’ll fart, and the people in the bathroom will know you’re going poop. So you wait. You wait until they flush the toilet so it will muffle your sound, or if you can, you wait until you are alone in the bathroom. You have either been this person, or have sensed this person in the bathroom. Things are spiraling out of control if we can’t release our fear of these body functions IN A BATHROOM! Societal pressures and norms are creeping into the stalls of a bathroom. Tell them “no!” Put a stop to this madness.
We should fart when we want. We should not be afraid to poop or pee in someone else’s bathroom. We should stop wearing deodorant, perfume, and cologne. We should grow our fingernails out, and our toenails. We should stop wearing makeup to cover up our blemishes. Let them show! Let their true colors, red, black, and white, show on your face! We should let the lint in our belly buttons accumulate until it falls out on its own. We should embrace how we are and what we were made to be: absolutely disgusting.