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Feeling unattractive

Posted by Gear Jammer, on Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:46 pm

Lately I find myself struggling with feeling unattractive... Partly due to a lack of attention from my spouse, and partly due to how I look shirtless...


Before my ileostomy, I was always shirtless when the weather got hot... But after surgery in '08, I'm never without some kind of shirt on... It never really bothered me before, as I gained quite a bit of weight after I could eat again, but now that I've "levelled out" and am back into half-decent shape, I miss going shirtless in the summer. 


So so my question is this... Whether you're single or married (doesn't matter to me) do you find yourself feeling less-attractive? What have you done about it to help that go away?

Reply by LadyHope, on Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:51 pm

Hi GJ,  Yes, somedays I feel it more than other days - I tell myself that it is normal.   I am married and was during my illness.  It was my husband who convinced me to get the surgery and live.  So I did.  He is my personal....can you see my appliance through my clothes... consultant.  To make myself feel better, I've bought some items to help hide/dress up the pouch.  Wraps are good, thin support belts & high waisted undergarments.  OstomySecrets is a nice online alternative... the prices are a little pricey for me so I shop at Walmart.  I still act like a goof and make my husband laugh like I did prior to illness and surgery.  Now I have more comical material.  He thinks I am silly and I am most of the time.  If only the medical companies were to create a pouch less medical creative Coloplast, Hollister, Convatec and all of the others, a new color, design, fabric, whatever.   I can't imagine another pouch color being more costly.  All we have to choose from is opaque and clear... not much of a selection.  It would take matching clothes and picking out an outfit to a higher level.  Take care.  LH 

Reply by Gear Jammer, on Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:15 am

Thanks for replying, LH!  


I manage age to get by wearing loose-fitting, sleeveless shirts with a snug undershirt underneath.... That seems to disguise the pouch and keep it hidden for me...


i just oust miss the days when shirtless was an option for going to the beach... As I don't feel comfortable doing that anymore with people staring. A speedo doesn't seem like a real option anymore either, lol!  

Reply by LadyHope, on Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:10 pm

No more bikinis for me either...although I have not worn one for many, many years.  I saw several photos on this site of women wearing bikinis and they have the pouch out.  They look great.  If I am on the beach now I wear either shorts and a tank top or a tankini suit.   Good idea GJ wearing the t-shirt under the regular shirt.  You could probably wear the undershirt more snug by itself and it would look fine.  It someone were to ask you what is that, you could say a type of bandage.  Also, you could look for sleeveless shirts in different colors or maybe a print on the front.  I think we are the most critical of ourselves.... others really do not notice what we see because we know exactly where to look.  If I see any new summer items/ideas at Walmart, my go to store, I will pass it on.  Take care.  LH



Reply by Gear Jammer, on Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:04 pm

Thanks, LH. 


I too, am a big fan of Wallymart, and most of my clothing comes from there... That way if I ruin a shirt with a leak, I'm out $5!  Lol. 


Its true that we are the hardest on ourselves... I guess I'm just having a few "ugly days" and will get out of this funk eventually. 

Reply by Zywie, on Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:48 am

Ew Speedos...not an option, for me, to even look at on any guy.  Doesn't leave a lot to the imagination. Which, to me, is part of the allure - imagining.   Yes, running around naked (or even half naked) isn't exactly what it use to be.  Maybe if I lived by myself and hid all the mirrors. But even then I see this thing flapping around (or feel it on my leg).  So, yeah, I have many unattractive days.  But mostly I just try to ignore it and wear things that cover it up but still flatter me.    Maybe you could wear a higher wasted beach short ? (Don't know where your stoma is.)   I suppose if we all had hard bodies or kept ourself fit, like some of these pictures show, we'd look good no matter.  But I still wonder if the bikini clad women would still take those pics if their bag was filled up (and how do they keep it from filling up in the first place?)  And yes, I've seen some sexy shots of men too, but still the bag is flat.  You may also notice, most of them are wearing the little short ones. Not the ones we probably all wear on a regular basis.

I do agree with LadyHope.....WTH!  Can't you manufacturers come up with something a bit more appealing?  I kinda like the design a young man posted awhile back of a clear bag but gradually turned colors towards the bottom.  

Anyway, I'm sure you were hoping for some feedback from the gentlemen on this site too.  But honestly, Gear Jammer, none of us look as good as we did in our younger years, with or without the bag.  Just have to be a bit more creative. 



Reply by WAB, on Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:08 am

Reply by WAB, on Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:11 am

Any seamstress should be able to make this......the suspenders are the key.........for those men who wish to go

Reply by LadyHope, on Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:54 pm are so right about the flat bag.  I don't mind a flat bag either but my ileostomy does not stay quiet for long.  Once and awhile I have a less productive day but it is usually because I skipped a meal.  I think we should campaign to the manufacturers and ask them to make better looking pouches/bags for us.  We wear them and know what would make us feel a little better.  In normal retail, there are so many choices.  Anything would be an improvement over opaque and clear.  I wish I knew something about manufacturing or someone who owned a company to make them for us.  I do not like pouch covers because they feel bulky to me.  Thanks for your posts...I always enjoy reading them.  Take care.  LH  

ps - Still shopping for a cool looking 50's style highwaisted bikini, similar to the one Maryann of Gilligan's Island wore - if anyone happens to see one in their shopping travels...please let me know. 

Reply by LadyHope, on Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:55 pm

This is a neat suit.  Thanks for the post.

Reply by Primeboy, on Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:57 pm

Interesting topic. At the very least, it managed to get me out of winter hibernation. The old adage, "Clothes make the man", will never go out of style except, perhaps, in a nudist community. I agree with others that ostomy pouches leave a lot to be desired and I will never understand why anyone would want to wear a clear bag if choices are available. Anyway, in response to this thread's initial question, I did not feel "less attractive" as a consequence of my permanent ileostomy five years ago.  Just the opposite. The reason for this may have something to do with age; but because of the surgery I lost excess weight and have easily managed to keep it off. (Without a colon, your system cannot absorb all the good nutrition or bad carbs you consume.) I quickly developed a more positive body image which then somehow led to more careful hygene and better dressing habits. My stoma is fortunately below my waistline so there has never been a problem wearing the same kind of clothes I always wore. I understand everyone's situation can be different, but this has been my experience which I am happy to share. Good question!


Reply by Zywie, on Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:40 am

I too like the looks of WAB's contribution to the topic.  Something sexy about it.  After all, Madonna made wearing your underthings on the outside of your clothes  fashionable.   Smile   And remember, ladies, when it was a catastrophe if your bra straps showed???

Reply by LadyHope, on Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:43 am

Today everything shows and it is fashion....can't figure it out.  Am I getting old?  Ha ha ha... I may know the answer to that question.  Have a great day everyone.  Take care LH

Reply by medic361, on Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:21 pm

Stealthbelt makes a belt that can be worn and doesn't look too bad. That have multiple designs and colors. They are a little pricey but you can file it on insurance 

Reply by joanmarie, on Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:58 pm

What a great idea for any man with an appliance!  You should get a patent, quick!  Best of luck!


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