If you haven't already received your own copy of Jezebel's Your Vagina Isn't Too Big, Too Floppy, and Too Hairy--It's Also Too Brown* from your cool feminist friend, do take the time to click over, it's well worth it. (And if you don't have a cool feminist friend, I suggest you get one at once. Might I suggest Cathya?)
The article raises the possibility that the next thing on our To-Do List of Societal-Created Bodily Problems We Must Eradicate Immediately Lest We Become Unfuckable (note to self: think of shorter To-Do List title) may well be bleaching--not only our buttholes--but our vaginas** as well. (And God forbid if you become addled by bleach fumes and accidentally put anal bleaching cream on your vag or vice versa. Can you imagine the others--oh, how they would laugh and laugh!--if they saw that your vag was anus color or your anus was vag color? Whatever colors they are supposed to be. This week.)
The article, written by my new hero Lindy West, was so damn good, it made me feel like giving up writing and just throwing away my 10 year old Mac (or, less dramatically, responsibly disposing of it at the next city-sanctioned e-waste collection). I mean look at her opening paragraph!
Good news, ladies! Society has discovered another new thing that's wrong with you, which means another opportunity for you to make yourself more attractive for your man. Score! Turns out, the color of your vagina is gross and everyone hates it. So bleach that motherfucker. Bleach it right now!West goes on to describe an ad running in India for a vag bleaching cream that makes your vag, well, non-vag colored.
In this commercial for an Indian product called Clean and Dry Intimate Wash, a (very light-skinned) couple sits down for what would have been a peaceful cup of morning coffee—if the woman's disgusting brown vagina hadn't ruined everything! The dude can't even bring himself look at her. He can't look at his coffee either, because it only reminds him of his wife's dripping, coffee-brown hole! Fortunately, the quick-thinking woman takes a shower, scrubbing her swarthy snatch with Clean and Dry Intimate Wash ("Freshness + Fairness"). And poof! Her vadge comes out blinding white like a downy baby lamb (and NOT THE GROSS BLACK KIND)I was so sold on West with "bleach that motherfucker," but when she got to "his wife's dripping, coffee-brown hole" I was beyond in love.
Here's the ad, if you want to be angered and/or develop a new and exciting insecurity. (In due credit to the collective wisdom of the YouTube viewing public--a phrase I have never once used--"thumbs downs" are beating "thumbs up" by a ratio of 3 to 1.)
Vag bleaching is yet another one of those "body enhancement" products--like bras with built-in nipples, vaginal rejuvenation, shapewear for sex, mints to hide the taste of semen, etc...--that, in the quest for "beauty" screw with basic biology.*** Screwing with biology, as in, how we experience pleasure (i.e. a boob job making a woman lose sensitivity in her now For Display Purposes Only rack) and screwing with biology in how we communicate sexual signals to each other. A highly aroused woman, for example, will get a vivid dark flush of color between her legs. This indicates, "Hey, you're doin' fine. Please proceed at once." (If it's really really dark and very flushed, it indicates, "Oh, god! Please please please proceed at once!")
An artificially light vag indicates...what?
"I am an Indian woman possessing an improbably Caucasian vagina."
"I may be aroused or I may be thinking of stocking up on cereal when it's on sale."
"I'd better not pee because, as I vaguely recall from chemistry, ammonia and bleach mixed together create a toxic cloud."
So why do we need this product? Let's let the ad copy explain:
Designed to address the problems women face in their private parts, Clean and Dry Intimate Wash offers protection, fairness and freshness. To be used while showering, its special pH-balanced formula cleans and protects the affected area, and even makes the skin fairer. Life for women will now be fresher, cleaner, fairer!To restate, you have problems in your private parts. All women do. The problem, as we now know, is having "private parts." So bleach that motherfucker! Bleach it right now!
*If you are the cool feminist friend, please be aware that the horribly unflattering subject line automatically generated for your dear friend's email will be Your Vagina Isn't Too Big, Too Floppy, and Too Hairy--It's Also Too Brown. Might want to change that...
** Yes, yes, I know that the term "vagina" refers to the hole part and that "vulva" is the proper term for part I'm actually talking about. And if you correct me in the comments, I will come to your house and punch you.
*** We are not the only society that does crazy-ass junk to...well, our junk. According to Mary Roach, in Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, in parts of Africa, Haiti and Indonesia, moistness between a woman's legs is considered to be a turn-off. So to facilitate the "dry sex" their men want, the women use drying agents, including shredded newspaper, cotton, rock salt, detergent, bark and--ack!--dried animal poop.
Thus, if we combined these two regional traditions in sort of a vaginal melting pot (I think there was a Schoolhouse Rocksong about the vaginal melting pot), instead of a lover confronting a wet, deeply flushed, obviously-aroused pussy, they'd find a vaguely bleachy-smelling white vag, festooned with dry bits of shredded newspaper and animal poop hanging out. Viva progress!