The vajayjay. There. I said it.
In a society where filters are diminishing and censorship standards have gone down dramatically since the invention of electronic media, it becomes more and more popular to say what’s on our mind and not care what others think. We find it okay to post all kinds of lewd pictures of ourselves, and for some of us, twerking is the norm. WERK!
Even with such low censorship , we, ironically, are still embarrassed – or maybe even appalled – with discussions regarding around the vagina. When a commercial for a particular brand of pads comes on, we wonder why our business is being broadcast to the world. When the ad speaks of embarrassing odors, we find ourselves feeling a little coy. And don’t let someone you know especially a man – special interest or not – see your buying pads. If I wasn’t black, I may turn red.
Hand raised. I ‘ve been taught the golden nature and privacy of my girl since a wee bitty girl and was hesitant about writing this post. The reality is that it’s part of nature, and it’s SUPER important that we don’t shy away from this topic. Knowing and taking care of the vajayjay is not only a hygiene matter, but it’s also a health matter. And it should be something that we take the time out to discuss with our daughters, cousins, and maybe even mentees often…before they begin to get their answers from friends or the internet: here, here, and here.
When I first saw this video on YouTube, I was appalled. Is she really so open about the vajayjay? That’s trifling. As I think about it today, she’s addressing a topic that we need to be more comfortable talking about. And we need to talk about it beyond what to do when you get your period.
What else is there to talk about?
- The basics: The difference between products. What are the differences between pads and tampons? When should the girl begin using a tampon over a pad? Is there ever a time to use both? What’s the difference between light, heavy, overnight, super, super plus, with wings, ultra thin, etc. How often should you change it?
- Tampons and virginity. The question of whether or not one loses their virginity after using a tampon is more common than you think.
- What to do if someone tries to touch them there – even if that person says they’ll harm them or their family? 1 in 5 girls was a victim of child sexual abuse in 2010. We know about this subject, but how often do we have true heart to hearts about it?
- Feminine hygiene sprays and wipes and vaginal washes. Though we may start our period as pre-teens, we may not get into using these until our teen years or even later. Don’t leave it to them to figure this out. Helping them understand this alleviates some of the “taboo”.
- Douching. There has been a ton of discussion on whether or not to douche. What’s your stance?
- Yeast infections. I have a friend that has talked to her daughter about yeast infections before her daughter could properly say “yeast infection”. Yet, she was adamant about ensuring her child was aware of such topics. With approx. 75% of women experiencing at least one yeast infection in their lifetime, I’m thinking this is something we should be open about. This includes symptoms and what to do – including going to a doctor. No home remedies please.
- Odors. No one really wants to address odors down there, but this is REALLY a health issue. It could just be the fact that you need to wash…or it could be a symptom of a real health issue. It’s good to know how to distinguish the difference and how to take care of it either way.
- Leakage/Mucus. Disgusting. I know. Yet, real. I’m glad I have a mom I can have open conversations about this kind of stuff with because when something seems off, I need to know what’s going on. Just like an odor, this can be something basic or something more. If it’s something more, seeing a doctor is in order.
- Violation appointments. This is what my friends and I call the physical exam. I had NEVER had one in-depth conversation with my mom about this appointment before goin. The only thing I knew was what my friends told me. So, yes, I was caught a bit off-guard when I had my first appointment. There’s a lot of violating going on. I sure wish I knew more in advance. Mom…you failed me here. 🙂
- Grooming. Just like a lady should shave her legs, she should also take vaginal grooming into consideration. And not just for the special times in bed. Swimsuits are a good reason to groom. And don’t forget to give tips on how to deal with irritation when hair begins to grow back.
- The cookies. When does he get to get the cookies? In essence, be open with your child about sex. Talk to them about not only the fact that it’s a privilege, but why it’s a privilege. While I stand firm on the no sex before marriage stance, I get the fact that everyone isn’t going to wait. Heck, I didn’t. (Not that I okay it.) What I did sand firm on, though, was that not just everyone gets the cookies. It was MY DECISION whom I gave myself to. Our girls and young women should feel just as empowered – even with mounting peer pressure and pressure they put on themselves.
- Private and valuable. Our parents were right. The vagina is private. It is feminism. It’s what anatomically makes you a female, and as you grow older, a woman. And it’s yours to love and protect. It’s not a bad thing. It’s a valuable – and sometimes quite powerful – thing. If we don’t get anything else right, this is what we should be teaching our women in the making.