Model Posing In Bikini With Colostomy Bags Inspires Millions With Striking Picture
Bethany Townsend is a British woman with Crohn’s disease, two colostomy bags, and a bikini picture that’s set the Internet ablaze this week.
The 23-year-old makeup artist, who gave up modeling when she was fitted with the bags, has been battling the intestinal illness for most of her life. She’s undergone multiple operations, gotten a stem cell transplant, and nearly been killed by bacterial infections. Around last Christmas, she made a decision about the colostomy bags she’s had since 2010.
“Finally after three and a half years, I decided that my colostomy bags shouldn’t control my life,” she wrote in a post for the Crohn’s and Colitis UK Facebook page. “So when I went to Mexico with my husband in December last year I finally showed I wasn’t ashamed.”
Townsend lay out in the sun, wearing a bikini, and revealing the bags she’d previously tried to hide. The resulting picture (see above right and below) has gone viral — with millions of views and hundreds of thousands of encouraging comments.
She tells the BBC, “I felt like I finally had the confidence… that I wanted to give other girls the confidence, or other guys the confidence to be like, ‘We have nothing to be ashamed of. We may have these bags, but it doesn’t define who we are'” (see video below). Townsend is still hopeful for a cure, and in the meantime, says, “I won’t let the Crohn’s control me anymore.”
Check out the photo and video below, and tell us what you think!