Laurie Toby Edison

Photographer

A New Kind of Vagina Monologue

Laurie and Debbie say:

You will lose your heart to the girl who stars in this ad for menstrual supplies. Or possibly to the woman who wrote the ad.

If you watch most commercial television, you’ll come away with the belief that a tampon is somehow connected either to running in slow motion green fields or pouring blue liquid through an oddly shaped container. (What a relief to learn that our red menstrual blood wasn’t weird.) Despite the great work of Eve Ensler, “vagina” is still a dirty word in way too many contexts. Just over a year ago, Michigan Representative Lisa Brown was subjected to a 24-hour gag order for using the word during a legislative session.

The creative forces behind the ad are clearly conscious that they are skirmishing in the verbal front of the war against women’s bodies. They are consciously using language that a substantial percentage of Americans would prefer never to hear, and they are using it not just shamelessly but delightedly. Most menstrual products ads tiptoe carefully around the sensibilities of (mostly) men who, if they can’t pretend that menstruation doesn’t exist, can only bear to have it hinted at. This ad makes your delicate sensibilities your problem.

What does this ad do that’s radical?

  • Uses not only the word “vagina,” but also “vadge.” Bonus: “tampon,” “period”
  • Puts this language into the mouth of a fearless, charming young girl
  • Refuses to sidestep any truth about menstruation
  • Portrays menstruation as both fun and powerful
  • Actually demonstrates (with a doll) menstrual fluid coming out of a girl’s body
  • Laughs at itself

  • Plus, what could be wrong with a menstrual products company that times itself to your cycle and your preference, and sends you candy? As the girl in the video says, “How could a Camp Gyno compete with that?”

    One Response to “A New Kind of Vagina Monologue”

    1. Jill Says:

      Striking indeed! I have painful memories of learning that most men would not tolerate any reference to menstruation that wasn’t well-cloaked in euphemism.

      The Onion of course took on the euphemism challenge:

      http://www.theonion.com/articles/top-euphemisms-for-menstruation,7206/

      “walking along the beach in soft focus” still cracks me up.

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