Vagina! Vagina! Vagina!

July 24, 2012

What IS the world coming to?

We recently had a new ad campaign, start airing here in Australia. It’s played later on in the evening when the kidlets are in bed – with a naked girl (with all her naughty bits covered with strategically placed white-as-the-driven-snow flowers) – talking about liners for ladies’ underwear.

The girl factually describes how wonderful the body is and how it works for us – and that for women, there are times where the discharge we get between our periods, is the body’s way of keeping the vagina healthy.

Vagina.

There it is! A part of the anatomy that more than half of the planet has. So what’s the big deal, right?

Well, it’s just incredible the hoo-ha (and no, I’m not writing an alternative word for the vagina…hahaha!) that’s come about from the actual word being used. On the The Project, I saw Steve Price (57) ask the ad’s spokeswoman on the show, why such a vulgar term was being used. The woman’s eyes widened and she looked a bit like a rabbit in headlights for a second, at the ridiculousness of the question – but answered, “Because…that’s what it’s called.”

Interestingly, though, when she continued with the sentence, she actually hesitated a fraction before saying ‘vagina’ herself, in a more hushed tone.

Hmmm…

Recently in America, a US politician, Democrat Lisa Brown, was banned for saying ‘vagina’ in the abortion bill debate. If you can’t say it here, when can you exactly?

Question # 77: Do you find it hard to say vagina? What about to your kids?

I don’t know about you, but ‘front-bottom’ never sat well with me…

But as advertising specialist and creative director of Jara Consulting, Jane  Caro said –  it was time to ”call a vagina a vagina”. Click here for full article.

Well ladies, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to use it whenever possible! See how many people flinch…I know, it’s the simple pleasures.

Hee heeeee!

PS – I think it’s curious that an ad with the word ‘vagina’ is deemed more inappropriate than the PG rated The Shire showing fickle women showing their quite-exposed fake boobs, a botox procedure, blatant vanity…at 7.30pm. Quite.

Deep Breath.

x

16 Responses to “Vagina! Vagina! Vagina!”

  1. Love that image! Go girl (and her very cool parents). Saw the topic on Q&A last night and I loooove that ad. So freakin refreshing to hear mainstream advertising talk normally about our bodies, and vaginas. Clicks to them.

  2. Kristie said

    Totally agree Paula. My kids have always refered to the female anatomy as a vagina, gina for short (‘i’ sound, not like the name Gina). Even in all my sex ed classes, we call the genitals by their correct names. Seriously people need to grow up and pull their heads in. A bit of maturity goes a long way. Isn’t it sad that we as a society find the use of the words “Pussy” and “C/#@” more acceptable.

    • questionsforwomen said

      I know! Sooo many derogative terms. I simply can’t believe that the word vagina is causing such issues
      Makes you wonder…

  3. Leaving aside for a moment that the lady is naked, it’s a reasonable and factual presentation of the product. The hoo-haa is simply that using the correct word is a bit cutting edge and we’re not used to hearing that in commercials. Obviously the advertisers did it for that reason as they knew it would cause a stir.

    As for the American analogy, well it’s not really valid in this country because the Yanks are a bunch of prudes. God fearing people are disgusted by any plain talk about the basic functions of God’s creations. The ban would not have happened in Australia.

    The real question surely is… why is the lady NAKED ????? The ad is not trying to appeal to men. And ladies already know all about that stuff. It’s to get people talking of course, in case the word “vagina” didn’t do the trick. I find it funny that all the chat is about the word vagina, rather than the fact a naked lady is strutting about talking like a doctor.

    *Ducks for cover*

    • questionsforwomen said

      Haha! You’re funny – why are you ducking for cover?
      It is curious, I suppose, that there’s a naked lady – but seeing as you don’t see anything at all, I just took it as a ‘natural’ woman talking about natural things. See a lot more in popular shows.
      I just pointed out the America thing as another curious comparison to the reaction to the word vagina. I don’t think that anyone would be banned from using it here.
      But there is no denying it – there is a small aversion to the word.

      • The aversion is not due to the word “vagina”, any more than the word “penis” in a condom commercial would stir controversy. We are not talking about a feminist or sexist issue here. It’s just a straightforward by-product of that fact that genitals of both sexes are considered “rude” in polite company, no matter how they are named, even if their correct anatomical names are used.

        Hey have we switched positions? I am imagining at the advertising agency, the largely female creative team saying “let’s keep it factual and straightforward and use the word vagina as the word is intended” and then the lone male on the creative team saying “yes but let’s get her naked!” Does she really have to be naked to be natural? Would your position be the same if the commercial was selling aftershave or mens’ razors? 🙂 Not that I am opposed to using naked women to sell stuff 😉 (*ducks for cover again*)

      • questionsforwomen said

        Hahahaha!! No, haven’t switched sides – I just think ‘naked’ can be done ‘tastefully’ – you don’t see anything. No she doesn’t HAVE to be naked, but it’s refreshing to see it look ‘clean and natural’.
        I don’t think there’s an exact equivalent example to everything, so yes – I would think it strange to see an ad for men’s razors done naked, as it’s generally associated with shaving the face.
        Lastly, the word penis is more commonly used..in particular, when those penis enlargement spam emails get through – hahaha!

      • Drawing a long bow comparing a spam email to a TV commercial!
        Please let me know when you see a condom ad say “penis” on TV ! 🙂

      • questionsforwomen said

        What condom ad?
        Plus two things: I’m not comparing the two, just saying the word penis is more commonly seen and secondly condoms are for sex (optional) and these liners are for vaginal discharge (not so much). 😉

  4. I have never heard “penis” on a TV commercial, however I have heard “vagina”. Nuff said.

    • questionsforwomen said

      Oh, Harley…why do you fight me so?
      This post is just commenting on the actual reaction, in two different countries, to the word vagina.
      This is not an ‘us’ against ‘them’ or sexist or feminist issue (as you wrote in an earlier comment), it’s just a curious observation. Not all my posts are related to feminism and sexism. Some are funny…I hope. 😉
      Whether there’s an ad with the word penis in it, is not what I’m discussing BUT I do think it’s a word we are more comfortable with – in fact, I have a photo of the word ‘penis’ written in the girls’ toilet at school as graffiti and god knows we see enough penises drawn all over the place. No vaginas though.
      Nuff said.

  5. elsa said

    I think the nakedness emphasizes how comfortable she is with her body and that she is not ashamed of it. As for the reaction to the word vagina it reminds me of 12 y ear olds giggling dorkily in a bio class. Im not surprised, I always knew most people are immature conformists. Seriously it is called Vagina, not cunt, not pussy, but Vagina!!

    • questionsforwomen said

      Yes, Elsa, I agree – the ‘naked’ body is not an issue at all. The word, however…maybe I should pitch a new energy drink called ‘Vagina’ – to replace the one called ‘Pussy’!
      😉 x

  6. lamehousewife said

    In a class to learn about the flags for sexual predators, one thing they mentioned was that if children know and say the terms like, “penis and vagina,” then the predators will be too shocked to do anything because they can’t handle the maturity of those words. I thought that was interesting, but I have to say my boys still giggle when I say the word penis.

    • questionsforwomen said

      Wow. Thank you so much for writing this – it’s a real eye-opener. I’m going to ensure my girls remember the correct terms.
      Yes, there is a giggling reaction to these words (which is normal – my girls still giggle at bottom!) but quite different when adults call the words ‘vulgar’. Just amazing.
      Thanks for that great comment.
      x

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