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IBS Representation in Film and TV

ibs tv film television representation

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#1 kelseydiane31


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Posted 19 June 2015 - 09:49 PM


I do not know if this is just me but I have always noticed a negative representation of Ibs, and other digestive issues, in film and tv - and it pisses me off!


I've noticed this happens a lot in sitcoms or comedies, they like to use ibs mostly when looking for a cheap laugh. The character who is always given IBS is someone who is seen as weird, unattractive, pathetic, and disgusting. Never have I seen a cool, likable character have a digestive disorder and this is a big problem! 

I recently saw this twice in the last week. One on an episode of the show "Community" where the character Chang, who is known for being crazy and alien, mentioned he had a bowel condition and it was played for laughs- because, of course, only people who are crazy and strange would have ibs!

The second time was when I was watching an episode of "Younger" in which two publishers were reading rejected book transcripts. In one of the books the character experienced incontinence to which the publishers responded with great disgust "EWWW!"

I use television as a way to escape life (and often to escape thinking about my symptoms) and hearing things like this just remind me of how different I am from "normal" people and that my illness is wrong, disgusting, or unnatural and it makes me really depressed. I am totally for using humor to cope but when people write about this debilitating illness like it is a big joke it undermines our experience and pushes ibs suffers away from what is deemed as acceptable in our society. 


Has anyone else had similar experiences or know of any show or movie with a positive depiction of ibs? I would love to hear about it! 

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ibs, tv, film, television, representation


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