女優のKate Winslet さんが英国TV番組で尿失禁について告白
By Kirsten van der Kolk
Last week actress Kate Winslet hit the nail on the head: stress urinary incontinence is a taboo. Whilst on a British talk show she confessed that she regularly pees her pants whilst sneezing or during sports. Just like LSG, I too completely agree this taboo must be broken. For social designer Julia van Zanten this topic (incontinence) became the inspiration to base her graduation project at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. She designed a washable incontinence briefs.
Julia can enthusiastically tell about the process they have gone through to arrive at the product that LSG sells. A story that I would like to share with you. Julia saw how incontinence affected her grandfather and was inspired to use design and do something about it. She saw how although he loved walking, he no longer felt comfortable going on longer walks given a fear for loosing control of his bladder. Julia later discovered that not only elderly people suffer from incontinence problems, but also much younger women. In order to fully understand the subject Julia recreated the experience herself. She did this by wearing an incontinence diaper to understand how it changes your behaviour. From this she understood that “There are practical solutions in the form of incontinence pads or diapers, but they ignore the emotional and social aspects of this problem.” She was surprised by the impact wearing a diaper has on your daily life and social shame. Speaking about it is difficult and highlights the taboo.
For her thesis Julia was awarded the “New Material Award 2014. The underwear design of her graduation project has since evolved to the current underwear. Both the shape and the material is changed. All to increase comfort. For example, the slip is no longer made of bamboo, but of a light super-absorbent material, which is much more pleasant to wear. The aesthetic has also evolved into a sexy slip. Especially the black lace panties which I personally prefer; very sexy. I can say because I have one at home! The fact that you know that an accident is not immediately punished with wet pants, also gives a lot of peace in the head. I have a friend who almost always wears dresses because of her weak bladder. No need anymore (although her dresses are very nice).
Another advantage of Julia’s underwear, is that you do not necessarily have to suffer from stress incontinence to wear it. For example, it can be very pleasant for extra protection during menstruation or during exercise. For I must confess that I often enough pretty sweaty underwear when I’m exercising. I wear all kinds of sportswear that drains sweat and keeps me dry, but no special underwear. Strange actually. But strictly spokeaking; this slip is not primarily designed to absorb perspiration. Especially whilst running or jumping where the risk of “accidents” is especially big. And this underwear prevents these accidents becoming apparent. Alongside the pelvic floor muscles can be trained through the Carin Exercise app to make accidents a thing of the past.
But back to Kate Winslet. What a nerve to tell on television. Hmm, unfortunately says this sentence again enough over the taboo. And hopefully this blog will help it to break this taboo. Because this is (one of) the mission (s) of LSG: stress incontinence to discussion and make the lives of many women enjoyable. And I think at the moment that a real solution to this problem is, women will also discuss with each other faster. Get rid of that taboo!