According to the singer, she refused to fart in front of her boyfriend. Following a TikTok advice to “ignore the stomach pain,” she continued with her fart-suppressing ways. At one point, however, the pain became unbearable. She needed medical attention.
For now, @pocah says that she’s “letting them rip.” In an interview with Metro, she also dispenses her own advice to girls who feel pressure to control their farts.
Girls, don’t be ashamed to fart in front of your guy, because what’s really embarrassing is not letting your guy sleep because you’re in discomfort, going to hospital with your guy, and the diagnosis being ‘trapped farts.’@pocah | Metro
More than a Catchy Story: When Society and Biology Intersect
While what happened to the singer might make for a catchy story, her experience and the advice she gives speaks to a larger conundrum we have in society. What we might consider gross and shameful (farting, sweating, burping), are all important bodily functions. In short, conventions tell us to suppress what our body needs to do.
How society deals with farts changes throughout a person’s lifecycle. From birth up until a certain age, our parents encourage us to burp and fart. Society gives us a pass. But at a certain point, society makes us feel ashamed of actions it previously encouraged.
This is when we develop the social self. We change our behavior when we are around other people. We do this because we know what is socially acceptable and we act accordingly. It doesn’t mean however, that we behave the same way when we find ourselves alone. In this case, do you let it rip when you think you’re alone, but control it when other people are around?
As the singer’s story shows, fart-suppression for other people’s sake, becomes a problem when we enter relationships. Even in the comforts of our own home or room, we can’t pass gas.
Society’s Point of View
Of course, farting comes with smells and sounds that can be disruptive when with other people. One wonders however, if it’s possible to develop a custom that balances being socially respectful while at the same time, letting our body take its natural course?
As acceptable it is to excuse oneself to go to the bathroom to pee, maybe we should start making it a habit to let out gas in designated places as well? Or if in a relationship, can we be more upfront about farting? Will it help to have a conversation about it? Or maybe just fart in front of each other and get over the stigma? After all, everybody farts. We all need to.
Why Do We Fart?
Here are the two main reasons why we fart.
- The bacteria we need to digest food produces gas that we need to release.
- Even the act of swallowing air makes us fart since the air goes into our intestines.
We release around 2.5 liters of gas per day, either through our mouth (burping) or our anus (farts). If you’re wondering how often should we fart, the NIH (National Institute of Health) provides insights.
- Studies show that people pass gas on average 8-14 times a day.
- But it’s possible to pass gas more than the average. Experts believe farting up to 25 times a day is normal.
The Good News
While we know that it’s never a good idea to stop farting all together, the good news is, we can change our habits to make our farts less smelly and for us to fart less often. As per the NHS (National Health Service) recommendations, here are ways to take charge of your farting.
- Eat smaller portion meals and more often.
- Drink or chew slowly.
- Exercise regularly to improve digestion.
- Peppermint tea helps.
- Avoid actions that lets you swallow air, such as chewing gum, smoking, or sucking motion.
- Refrain from eating foods that are difficult to digest.
Nothing to Be Ashamed Of: Healthy Diet and Yoga
Although we can gain control over the amount of farts we let out, one wonders if it’s worth it. Celebrated healthy eating habits such as the Mediterranean diet, for example, are shown to actually increase flatulence. In the study, people with healthier gut microbiome passed more gas. So, being overly conscientious about managing farts, can compromise nutritional intake.
Last, when it comes to massaging the abdomen to release gas, yoga helps. Forward folding poses and all the twisting we do during practice, compress the abdomen. In fact, there’s actually a pose, pawanmuktasana, which literally translates to “wind release” pose. Yoga teachers often cue it at the end of the practice right before savasana or corpse pose. It’s rarely referred to by its Sanskrit name, but you’ve probably heard it cued as, “hug your knees to our chest and curl up into a tiny ball.”
- Lie down on your back.
- With the legs together, bend your knees and keep them as close to your chest as possible. Use the hands to hug the thighs and legs even closer to your body.
- Lift the back of the head off the mat and try to have the forehead touch the knees. This lets you roll into a tiny ball.