British babe bares Colostomy Bag in bikini

Colostomy bag

If you look at a picture of 23 year old English make-up artist Bethany Townsend in a bikini, the last thing you’ll notice is the colostomy bag she is forced to wear as a consequence of Crohn’s disease. And I should know because I’ve been staring intently at her pic for the past fifteen minutes, and am still doing so at this very moment, which is the reason that writing this article will probably take twice as long to finish. Miss Townsend has nothing to be ashamed of -other than the images she’s putting in my head-; she has the petite physique and inked skin that could land her a gig as a Suicide Girl.

One could only hope that cases like Beth’s -I hope she won’t mind my calling her that- could be the norm and not the exception. After all, people who have had an ostomy surgery can have a perfectly normal and rewarding sexual life. Of course, by sexual life I don’t just mean engaging in sexual congress; healthy sexuality also has a lot to do with being comfortable and proud of your own body. I must admit that although I haven’t had a colostomy procedure, I’m not exactly proud of my physical appearance -though I’m beginning to grow very fond of Beth’s. Not only should she be proud of how she looks, but also of having the courage to accept herself the way she is, warts and all, as well as the hope that we will accept her too.

Even though it may not be the norm yet, occurrences like this one are certainly part of a growing trend. For instance, a breast cancer survivor has started a line of swimwear that not only does not hide mastectomy scars but proudly displays them. It’s so refreshing to find these examples of dissent in a world where hypocrisy still runs rampant, as recently illustrated by Instagram’s double standards. Back to miss Townsend, she has lived with her colostomy bags for four years now after having a section of her intestine removed, but only a short while ago was she inspired by women in a similar situation to share her photo with the Crohn's and Colitis UK Facebook group, who in turn uploaded it on their page. The picture has nearly 200,000 likes and 10,000 comments, all very positive. Now she’s even considering a modeling career. Like Bogie would say in Casablanca, here’s looking at you, kid.

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