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Thread: normalizing incontinence to eliminating the stigma

  1. #1

    Default normalizing incontinence to eliminating the stigma

    At a time when at least 25 million American adults experience incontinence, it amazes me that we are still at a point where such a societal stigma is attached to this condition. For crying out loud, that means that everyone is likely to know multiple people who are incontinent! And yet we continue to hide from it as if it is a social disease, as if it is a thing to be ashamed of.

    It's not.

    It's just a condition of the human body that happens to some of us. But because the instant association occurs between incontinence and babies, things get all mucked up. And it gets worse when the most logical treatment, diapers, is thrown into the mix.

    Depends did a series of commercials a few years ago touting itself as simply "a different kind of underwear," which of course is exactly what a diaper is. But it's going to take a whole lot more than some commercials to change the minds of America. And I suspect I know where we need to start: the major media.

    Far beyond commercials, the major media influence American culture in ways it's difficult to measure. It was a whole lot easier to imagine a black President after seeing so many of them on TV and in the movies for so many years, paving the way for Barack Obama. LGBT rights, too, have been influenced by portrayals in the media and by major celebrities who have come out. Our films and TV programs don't follow our society; more often, they lead the way.

    To this end, I suggest that what ultimately can break the stigma of incontinence and diapers in this country will be a combination of two things:

    First, there will need to be some major celebrities who acknowledge their incontinence. And I'm not talk about D-listers. I'm talking about people like Clint Eastwood* or Ellen DeGeneres* or Harrison Ford* or Meryl Streep*. If stars of this magnitude were incontinent and open about it, can you imagine how the world would change?

    Second, within the stories we tell on TV, in films, and in books, we need incontinent characters. I mean that isn't even hard. I just wrote a short story in which a 12-year-old, devastated by the death of her mother, starts wetting the bed and wearing diapers because of that. That is not the center of the story; the way she deals with it though is a character element of the girl. The story is 12K words; maybe 150 deal with this issue. It is not by any means an ABDL story; it's a mainstream story that happens to have a very strong and independent 12-year-old who, at present, wears diapers. I'm also in the planning stages of a detective novel in which the detective is incontinent.

    My goal is to normalize incontinence. We who are incontinent and who wear diapers because of that are not weird or unusual. We are your mother, your boss, your mailman, the barista at your local Starbucks. We are your grandfather, your sister, your secretary, one of the players on your team, the waiter at your favorite restaurant. We are the millions. And we leak. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    *I have no information that these stars suffer from incontinence, nor am I implying that they do. I use them merely as examples of the kind of people who would need to be a part of a publicity program to normalize incontinence.

  2. #2


    As diaper companies market more products and supermarkets stock them, use of incontiemce products will become more normalised, it will not be normal to use them, but it will not be stigmatised either.

    - - - Updated - - -

    For example it is now considers ok, for a four year old to still be in diapers, or a nine year old to still use pull ups at night, or an adult to use a pad to stop dribbles or small accidents.

  3. #3


    I think it is slowly happening I mean 10 years ago you would never have seen incontinence products advertised on the TV. It doesn't seem such a big deal as it did.

  4. #4


    Look up the short stories book called "black thorns", by Enreque Betancourt.

    It has a super hero who has an incontinent sidekick.

  5. #5


    Europe favors incontinent treatment without diapers. Treatment with ISK costs about 1.200 Euros and is paid health insurance in Germany or other European countries. Diaper weares have no lobby here.

    As long as I can decide for myself, I will refuse BOTOY, etc. to "cure" my incontinence.

  6. #6


    Personally I don't think Depends did a good job with that campaign (In all honesty it felt like one of their huggies or pullup commercials and didn't feel that different then that snl sketch with "Depends legends")

    I think most people don't really have a problem with others wearing diapers, they just don't want to look at them which is fair. The problem comes from people who see diaper lovers and adult babies and is unable to distinguish them from pedophiles.

    Then there are the jokes, yeah they can be over the top and silly at times, but I think people sometimes get oversensitive at times about diapers in tv shows. That said I remember a commercial series from mexico comparing snorting coke to running around in diapers... that I found pretty offensive.

    Anyway I guess my point is diapers will never be the primary source of elimination for most adults, but at the same time people overall aren't really as closeted about there being a need for them anymore

  7. #7


    More and more wearers, more in shops, not for the majority, but a growing minority

  8. #8


    I feel like more than the average person who could most of the time understand medical needs, personally for me helping kids understand it would have made my school life a lot easier, I don't know maybe they wouldn't have changed and they would anyway be mean. It took time for someone to notice something and figure out that I was wearing something underneath but when a rumour goes around it goes really bad. It's was the worst in high school because of just how mean and uncaring people were about others feelings.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by ST50 View Post
    I think it is slowly happening I mean 10 years ago you would never have seen incontinence products advertised on the TV. It doesn't seem such a big deal as it did.
    You're a bit incorrect there.

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by KimbaStarshine View Post
    yeah it'd be more correct to have said "10 years ago they wouldn't be showing ads where they stress the point the actor or actress doesn't need the product XD

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