Im proud to flaunt my stoma bag but TikTok keeps labelling my vids as sexual

Holly Fleet has a stoma – the very thing that saved her life.

However, the same bag that gave her a second chance has been branded as "violent", "graphic" and even "sexual" by social media platform, TikTok.

After being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2020, the 29-year-old is not afraid to share all the candid parts of her day-to-day life to those online.

READ MORE: 'I post candid pics of my body but Instagram keeps flagging me – it's disgusting'

And this includes changing her stoma bag – a pouch on her stomach that collects poo from her intestine after she had her colon and rectum removed in 2021.

Holly – also known as Stoma Babe – wants to educate people on her condition but fears she won't be able to as "six to eight" videos have been removed for "violating TikTok community guidelines".

Holly has accused TikTok of being "extremely ableist" for removing her videos.

In an exclusive interview with Daily Star, Holly revealed the psychological effects this has had on her – including feeling 'shame' about her body despite being "immensely proud" of her stoma.

"I began posting on TikTok about my condition earlier last year [2022] because I knew how important it was in the lives of young people", Holly said.

"I love putting videos on TikTok to help educate people on stomas and inspire other ostomates to love the skin they’re in.

"However while most users love their videos going 'viral', I dread it as when this happens to me I usually end up with my videos being taken down and getting a telling off from the site.

"I think so far I have had 6-8 videos removed citing reasons including 'violent content' and 'sexual activity'.

"These videos [that have been taken down] have included imagery of me changing my stoma bag, showing my tattoos and a video where I showed was what a full stoma bag looked like for approximately three second."

As charity Colostomy UK reports that 165,000 to 200,000 people are living in the UK with a stoma and 21,000 undergoing a stoma formation surgery each year, Holly wants to show how she – like many others – live life with the disability.

"The main videos that get deleted are stoma bag changes," Holly claimed.

"They usually get flagged as 'violent' and 'graphic' content because I have part of my small intestine that is sewed to my stomach (a stoma) after nearly dying from Ulcerative Colitis.

"I don’t think they realise psychologically the impact their guidelines are having on disabled creators.

"By them continually telling me that my stoma is 'violent' and 'graphic' they’re making me feel ashamed of my body and perpetuating outdated views that stomas should remain hidden.

"I refuse to let this platform delete my existence, and stop all that hard work so many do to show that it’s okay to poo in a different way to others.

"These videos might seem 'shocking' or 'graphic' to some, but to others it could save their life."

As an influencer on TikTok, Holly has previously collaborated with a stoma bag brand to which she earnt money from. However, the original post was taken down leaving Holly "upset" that potential future referrals were lost.

"I have made money on TikTok before through working with a stoma bag company and a video I created for them was removed by the site", she alleged.

"Thankfully I was able to reupload it, but all the views and potential referrals were lost in the process. It was very upsetting."

Having gained 21,000 TikTok followers and 10,000 Instagram fans, it's obvious that Holly's confidence made an impact on fellow stoma wearers and helped educate others about her condition.

She is not shy about flaunting her gorgeous figure in lingerie with her bag in full show.

"My stoma saved my life and I am immensely proud of it, as are many other ostomates who have been through similar situations to me with their health", Holly declared.

"I wanted to show them how having IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) and a stoma doesn’t mean you can’t follow your dreams and aspirations.

"I’ve had messages from grateful parents who say their kids feel better watching me because I make a stoma look 'cool' – which lets be honest is probably the last word you think of when you’re talking about stomas!

"I also knew that TikTok could allow me to engage a wider audience, not just people with stomas, but healthy people too. I wanted them to realise what it’s like living with a stoma and health condition.

"It’s not just elderly people who have stoma surgery, it’s all age ranges, and for all kinds of reasons.

"My quality of life is substantially better thanks to having a stoma, which tells you a little something about how bad it was before!

"A stoma is something nobody wants, but sometimes it’s exactly what someone needs."

Since getting a stoma, Holly has ran a half marathon and walked 36 minutes every day for a month to raise £2,100 for a number of charities. Holly can be found as the 'Stoma Babe' on TikTok here.

Speaking to Daily Star, a spokesperson from TikTok said: "We work to make TikTok an inclusive space for creative, authentic self-expression.

"We are open about the fact that we don't always get every moderation decision right, and we have reviewed and reinstated Holly's videos.

"We hope that Holly continues to use TikTok to share her story."

To learn more about information about a stoma, you can access the official NHS website here.


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