Why are we embarrassed?
As women, we are taught to be classy in public, calm, collected, presentable, and have manners. Talking about our health is supposed to be behind closed doors, with our doctors, or with other women ONLY. Vagina is not appropriate so we use vageen, vajay-jay, our V, Hoo-ha, and our flower. Even companies sell us “Happy Hoo-ha” cream, pills, and scents that aren’t always great for our bodies. We’ve been bullied at a young age for the “fish” smell that is sometimes associated and told it’s our fault. We have gotten so used to abbreviating the V-word that we also find ourselves abbreviating the P-word too. Our T.O.M., Aunt Flo, Shark Week, Code Red and even Carrie. Most girls in High School have their “period to-go bags” that they store in that bathroom and sprint with hoping not to be seen so they don’t have to make an unwelcome announcement that their cycle has arrived. A tampon falls onto the floor in the middle of math class? Mortifying. Mother nature made periods for a reason, so why is it so embarrassing?
She was acting crazy, it must be her time of month. The fact is we’ve made jokes, laughed along with the bullies & smiled uncomfortably at the “emotionally unstable” jokes in school and even our workplaces. Hormones cause mood swings in some women around our menstrual cycles and can make it difficult to keep level during the week. Aren’t we tired of this? This is the time of more women in power, leadership roles, and liberating movements and we’re still abbreviating the words period and vagina?
The truth is not every woman is comfortable with these words, and that’s okay - it’s not going to change over night. So what if we created a space where women could feel open, not judged, vulnerable and comfortable talking about their bodies? Women’s bodies are incredible! We can handle pain every month, birth babies, and grow and change in all different shapes, sizes, and body types. This kind of incredible needs to be celebrated in a judge-free tone that not only changes the game but empowers us.
What do I do?!
A missed period, itching, why do I have my period twice, does my period start today? Am I pregnant? We have all had these thoughts cross our mind. Who do we turn to? Usually Google, maybe our friends? We leave feeling more freaked out than before, ashamed, or convinced that WebMD is correct and we have somehow contracted the Swine Flu. The truth is there is nothing to panic about - there is a solution and resources that are out there. We need to start feeling comfortable, safe and shame-free about asking for advice, being honest with our doctors, and empowering ourselves with education and knowledge. The anxiety that comes with not wanting to get a pap smear because we’re afraid of what the gynecologist might find. It’s okay to feel nervous, it’s not our fault most of us weren’t given any sex education or learn what a UTI was. Talking about these issues and fears can set you free and get you the right resources to make sure you feel happy & healthy.
What are they selling?
The new fad diet, the new pill that can cure all, the magazines that promise you good sex and to feel sexy all the time! The bodies that all look the same, the clear and perfect skin that you just WAKE UP WITH and is not airbrushed at all! We’ve grown up with it, we’ve seen it debunked - so why do we still fall for it? Feminine hygiene product prices that seem to keep rising, pink tax that seems to go unnoticed, and lack of resources & education. The average woman takes over 1300 painkillers to relieve pain & other period symptoms. Let’s quit wasting time with products that don’t work, countless chemicals, scented douches that give us UTI’s & yeast infections. Let’s quit wasting time and money so we can be our best and continue to educate and grow as the incredible women we are.
Let’s stick together.
For a while now women have been realizing that we need to stick together, grow together, learn together, run the world together - but what about the boys and men in our life? If schools offer any education about sex, health, or bodies - it’s absoultely not taught the same way to girls and boys. We love to see more and more men in our lives standing up for women, educating themselves, and taking stands - there is a whole generation up and coming that are written by women ✨ What about the boyfriends, best friends, or even brothers that are too scared to ask the wrong questions, say the wrong thing, or offend the incredible women in their life? Women, especially in college, start to realize they can be open with their peers about their bodies, so how do we talk to men about it? We have assumed thus far that men are too scared by it, freaked out, grossed out, or just simply do not care - and don’t get me wrong, there are definitely boys out there who feel that way. So let’s change that. Let’s educate ourselves, other women and the men in our life to ask the right questions, create a judgment-free space, and destigmatize women’s body & health.
Opinions, content, and any information expressed in this article are intended to be general in nature and do not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek medical advice from your professional healthcare provider.