Reproductive Writes: Love Your Vagina Dot Com

Holly Grigg-Spall
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In my last post I discussed with Elizabeth Kissling the anti-advertising campaign produced by Kotex to promote their neon-bright range of tampons and pads. There has been a delay on these commercials airing due on the use of the word ‘vagina’ - with some networks asking that it be replaced with the term ‘down there.’

Meanwhile in the UK the makers of the Mooncup have sent out posters to be displayed on the London Underground proclaiming ‘Love Your Vagina’. The posters show euphemisms for vagina - such as Lady Garden and Coochie - with the letters arranged in bold flowers and the web address below directing readers to for more information. The word ‘your’ is in bold type, I guess to make clear this isn’t about loving other people’s vaginas and the potential pornography connotations of that. Although I am sure many a man, and woman, is getting home from the commute and plugging that URL in not expecting to see a Mooncup.

U by Kotex - the range promoted by this anti-advertising - has been on sale in Australia for a long time. It was promoted there by a series of commercials which claimed their tampons and pads to be ‘the ultimate care’ for ‘down there’ - and featured a woman giving a gift of U by Kotex tampons to a beaver puppet. The campaign prompted much controversy, even without the word ‘vagina’ being involved. In response to the complaints a representative said, ‘People use euphemisms to make themselves feel more comfortable about talking about their own anatomy. Kotex research found people in the target age group had 181 alternative names for the vagina and 94 per cent said they used nicknames for their own genitals. The term ‘beaver’ was the 11th-most used by the people surveyed.’

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3 Comments Have Been Posted


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Reproductive Writes

The fact that they are not using the word 'vagina' suggests to me that there is still a huge amount of anxiety about women's bodies. Frankly men (and women) just find women's bodies scary.

The Visible Vagina

Francis Naumann Fine Art just concluded and exhibition of artwork showing and dedicated to the vagina on March 20th. There is also a book out having the artwork in it. Both the exhibition and the book were entitled "<a href="" rel="nofollow">The Visible Vagina</a>". It does seem to me that there has been much more discomfort in the media about the vagina than there has about the penis. Is that just my imagination?

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