Friday, 17 May 2013

Viva la Vagina

Dear marketers, young girls, young boys and anyone else who's confused... vaginas are not dirty. Women do not need special soap or wipes for their intimate bits and quite frankly I’m offended that the products even exist.

What the fuck is going on?

I’m worried for our latest generation of girls and young women. It bothers me that the conversation they are involved in talks about hairless vaginas and intimate cleansing. It infuriates me that our latest generation of boys and young men are eavesdropping on that conversation. The conversation which carries, far and wide, this message.

Vaginas are unclean.

Remember early high school? I do. I remember lots of disgusting jokes about fishy smelling girls and snail trails and the grossness of periods. It was a tough time for a developing girl. It was shameful. We noticed that ‘down there’ did smell a bit. We noticed that there was that discharge that we couldn’t control. We were already embarrassed. We were already uncomfortable. But advertising wasn’t what it is today. There wasn’t social media. There wasn’t a life online. You copped the ribbing at school and went home and tried to forget about it.

Girls and boys are still the same today. Boys still joke about that stuff and girls are still uncomfortable. But now, they’re being told that the boys aren’t actually joking. Now, they’re being told they should be embarrassed. Not in those actual words of course. No it’s far more insidious than that. Today’s conversation is wrapped up in fancy packaging and words like Femfresh Intimate Wash and Libra Get Fresh Wipes. Make sure that dirty area is fresh. ALL.THE.TIME. And, while you’re at it, make sure you get rid of all that hideous pubic hair. You know, the stuff that differentiates your grown up vagina from that of a child. Eeewwww can you imagine it? A woman who smells like a woman with a hairy vagina??? #wouldntfuckherwithyourdick

Seriously, I’m mad. I can’t even articulate it without swearing. Profusely. The ads on tv offend me. The bottles of feminine hygiene I find in my ‘ladies lunch’ gift bag offend me. The entire fucking message offends me. I’m livid that girls my sister’s age are not only uncomfortable being a woman but have no idea how to celebrate it. They're waxing their vaginas to hairless peril just in case they hook up with a guy. A guy that’s probably only ever seen hairless vaginas.

You know what I don’t get? Men stink. Their arses smell and their balls sweat. Is there a ‘Manfresh Intimate Sack Wash’ for them? Do they have ‘Lynx Get Fresh Arse Wipes’ in their gym bags? Are they waxing their balls and their crack? Nope. Not a chance. Why?

I want to change the conversation, I just don't know how. I'm no activist but I am pissed off. And I do truly believe there's something wrong here. 

Don't you??


  1. Hey Tania
    I showed this blog post to my daughter who is 15! She totally agrees with what you say and believes that the pressure upon her and her teenage peers comes from the accessibility of pornography. She says pornography gives teenage boys and men alike unrealistic expectations when it comes to female anatomy and sex in general.
    Great post yet again Tania - keep them coming.
    Y xx

    1. Hi Yvette! Firstly - you let your 15 year old read my stuff??? Wow... I'd better tone it down a bit! Secondly - bright 15 year old you have there [surprise]. Of course we've always known that porn gives everyone unrealistic expectations [I'm still waiting for the husband to make a tracksuit look as sexy as Magic Mike] but I think it's the ease of sharing that's a big problem these days. It's the accessibility that's normalising these bizarre perceptions. Thanks for your feedback :)

  2. You are abso-fucking-lutely correct! I refuse to use those 'freshening' products. There is nothing wrong with my vagina. As a matter of fact, I'm yet to find a heterosexual guy who would turn it down, if I were stupid enough to put it out there. Guys are MUCH smellier than us. I'm waiting for the Lynx Arse Crack Wipes.

    1. Love your comment! Perhaps we should campaign Lynx?