Saturday, October 02, 2010

A Strongly Worded Letter

by Kristi

What could be the cataclysmic events that cause this woman, while catching her own reflection in a window, to clutch her sweatshirt around her and pull the hood up tightly around her face? Both shame and the need for more physical coverage occurring simultaneously are unusual partners in the vulnerability of this unfortunate young woman. Is she the victim of a sudden and brutal cold front blowing through town, just as she ponders the devastation unfolding because of her torrid affair with her sister’s husband? And what about that other young lady who, even though she just showered, suddenly realizes that she isn’t clean and fresh at all? How awful. Did she just shit herself while drying off because of a few too many bites of Aunt Nina’s bad potato salad? The viewer only needs to hang in there past the first seven seconds of each of these television commercials to find out what these two tortured women have in common, what the real problem is, what horrifying realization they have both come to. They have vaginas, and their vaginas most certainly smell foul….because, after all, they are vaginas, and vaginas smell bad, right? Thank God these feminine products are available to combat whatever odor is wafting from our vaginas. Yeah, right. I find these commercials offensive and degrading, but I feel even more so about the very existence of these products."

I decided to tell the people responsible for these products how I felt.

Dear (insert proper noun that represents the product makers who believe it’s okay to make money by using archaic myths about women’s bodies in order to hemorrhage their self-esteem and passive aggressively feed patriarchal superiority views. Hint: they rhyme with Fagisil and Bummer’s Sleeve),

On behalf of all the women I know and love, our vaginas don’t stink. If our Vaginas begin to smell bad, we will seek medical attention from a health care professional immediately. Your advertisements seem to insinuate that vaginas just smell funny, and we should be ashamed enough of that odor, to run out and buy a product to make our vaginas smell like flowers, soap, or clean sheets.

Women’s bodies are made to be self cleaning, and maintain a natural balance. Use of your products actually disrupts the natural chemical balance of the vagina, and therefore causes the very problems your product is made to overcome…not a coincidence. Our normal, healthy vaginas smell like sex. This is a far more attractive and stimulating scent than flowers, soap, or clean sheets. Our normal, healthy vaginas taste like sex and honey, a far more savory taste than flowers, soap, or clean sheets.

I realize that women make for easy targets when it comes to convincing someone they could be better, smell better. I’m asking you not to take the easy way out anymore. Especially for all the young women out there, please leave us and our vaginal self-image alone. Perhaps you could take all your laboratory technology and create a potent strawberry elixir for men to drink so their cum doesn’t taste like salty lotion.

Most sincerely, Kristi

Okay, let me digress just a moment to explain that last line about the taste of cum. That might have been a cheap shot, but, I figured there are probably a fair number of men at these companies, and I wanted them to know how it felt to have someone criticize their sexual output. Saying that male cum isn’t the best tasting stuff in the world isn’t exactly unfair. A refreshingly honest, female friend of mine told me that during her young, sexually curious period, she thought that she must be a lesbian because, in her personal assessment of sexual fluids, women tasted sweet and delicious, and men tasted salty and bitter. She went on to say, that a few years and several relationships later, she realized that this taste preference for women in itself didn't mean she was a lesbian, it only meant her taste buds worked.

Obviously, there are situations where a vagina can get pretty rank. Those are medical conditions which require a medical solution. At no point, should that solution include trying to “perfume up” the vagina. When we’re rearing our little girls, we have to make a special point of teaching them not to get soap in their potty hole or vagina when bathing. We explain in easy terms that this will hurt and it’s not good for any of their girl parts to get covered in soap. What doesn’t help, is when they see television commercials that tell them the exact opposite. The afore-mentioned humiliated woman appears on the screen, and the crystal clear message is, drown that vagina in clean smelling chemicals to clean that dirty vagina. My dream is to create a public service message to run immediately after these commercials. Something that says; Your vagina smells exactly as it should, lovely, sexual, intoxicating, alluring, natural, and individual. And while I’m at it, I’m tempted to add; and so does your pubic hair, so before shaving it all off, you might think twice about succumbing to the ideal of looking like a seven year old.