A Gift So Nice We’re Posting It Twice, one of the many holiday gifting series we’ll be running this month and next, is a look back at the gifts we wrote about last year that our readers actually bought. A lot of. Frankly, we were a little shocked that you all bought so many Squatty Potties. We have some theories, but suspect it mostly had to do with how convincingly New York magazine senior editor Jessica Silvester sold it. Here she is on the hunk of plastic that makes an excellent white elephant, or a present for someone you’re extra close with. (Note: it now also comes in a much more sophisticated plywood version.)
Before I describe the transformative powers of the Squatty Potty, I want to note that I purchased it about a year ago, on a doctor’s recommendation, well before it appeared in a viral ad with an ice-cream-pooping unicorn. (Because that totally makes it less embarrassing.) Pooping in a squatted position, the logic goes, allows the abdomen and colon to relax, while our modern way of sitting upright causes the pelvic floor to choke the rectum, thereby straining and/or slowing down the whole process. As Jimmy Carter’s proctologist, perhaps an early adopter of the Paleo lifestyle, put it after the president’s bout with hemorrhoids in 1978: “We were not meant to sit on toilets. We were meant to squat in the field.”
Enter the Squatty Potty. It looks like every other As Seen on TV product ever made: a hunk of cheap white plastic possibly intended for a toddler. But in this case it’s molded to fit perfectly around the base of any standard toilet bowl and raise your feet seven inches off the ground, tilting you on the seat at a 35-degree angle. For the first few seconds you think nothing different is going to happen — which is to say that nothing at all is going to happen — until suddenly it does. Which feels amazing.
It should be mentioned that I have to hide this supposedly inconspicuous footstool in the shower before guests come over (those who drop by unannounced walk out of the bathroom saying things like “I don’t even want to know.”) And my husband routinely bumps into it when peeing in the middle of the night (“I hate the Squatty Potty,” he often tells me in the morning). But I make no apologies. Easier bowel movements, I’ve determined, are well worth the occasional embarrassment.
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