News

The vagina debate

Rhiannon Gilson, 18, is a beauty therapist who performs brazilians at Be Pampered in Gladstone. Since starting the job in November 2011, she estimates that she's seen hundreds of vaginas.
Rhiannon Gilson, 18, is a beauty therapist who performs brazilians at Be Pampered in Gladstone. Since starting the job in November 2011, she estimates that she's seen hundreds of vaginas. Tom Huntley

DOCTOR Anja Szabo has seen countless vaginas.

As a gynaecologist for many years, and an obstetrician for the past five, it's part and parcel.

>>See below for more vagina facts

She's even seen this reporter's private parts in her consult room at the Mater Hospital in Gladstone.

The doc finds it difficult to believe Carefree's newest television commercial could offend so many.

The feminine hygiene brand debuted the 30-second slot Sunday evening.

A gorgeous woman fills the screen and poses a question: 'How well do you know your body?'

Then she does the unthinkable. She talks about 'discharge'. And says the word 'vagina'.

Carefree's goal is to tackle taboos. The company explained its position in a press release first thing Monday morning:

"Vaginal discharge is normal - it is the female body's natural way to help keep the vagina clean and healthy.

"Carefree is addressing the issue respectfully by showing women of all ages - from puberty to menopause - that discharge is normal, and that it's okay to discuss it."

Dr Szabo agreed.

"I don't think it's inappropriate at all - it's just a word.

"It's a term for a part of your body. "There are so many words that shouldn't be used on television, like swear words.

"Vagina is certainly not one of them."

ALL IN DAY'S WORK FOR BEAUTICIAN

BEAUTY therapist Rhiannon Gilson, 18, was a bit prudish before she started work at Be Pampered.

But, since taking the job last November, Rhiannon estimates she's seen "hundreds" of vaginas.

It's not unusual for Rhiannon to perform seven brazilian waxes in a day.

The girls call these wax-heavy shifts "V-Days".

"You see one, you've seen them all," she said.

And there's no such thing as a standard vagina.

Rhiannon said they come in all shapes and sizes.

"Everyone's different.

"A lot of people ask, 'Am I normal?'"

Rhiannon has seen the Carefree ad on telly. Asked what she thought, she was frank.

"I didn't think anything of it - look where I work," she laughed.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ON FACEBOOK

Tracy Lee I personally see nothing wrong with the Carefree ad, maybe confronting for some. I mean we have been watching ads for years where they pour blue liquid on pads...at least now they are getting real! Oh and no one cared about all the erectile dysfunction ads on TV...ever!

Jenn Russell I don't care, it's what it is! Better than saying 'wee wee', 'doodle' etc lol

Sara Cumming I see nothing wrong with the ad! What I think is wrong is that there are probably now thousands of children asking their parents during dinner about vaginas and discharge... I'm very open with my kids so they didn't really notice but I feel for all the mums and dads that have half choked on their dinner!!!

Mel Gourley There is nothing offensive about that ad at all. I don't see that anyone should have a problem with the ad saying Vagina, it's the correct terminology.

Tanya Simon It is so silly that there is any talk about it at all! It is a part of a woman's anatomy, we've all got one and it happens and that is what the product is for!

Vanessa Katerina Hough I have seen worse ads than that!! Absolutely nothing wrong with it, what shall we say intend of vagina and discharge?? Should we replace it with "the thing between a woman's legs" and "leakage"?? Vagina and discharge are the right words why try to hide it and let our daughters grow up thinking that those words are too shameful to say??

Nicole Bowen I was completely disgusted, outraged and ashamed!! NOT.... HAHAHA it's cool. You can't hide the elephant in the room and I think it's appropriate, but I'm a mother and nothing shames after everyone seeing my vagina. A young girl maybe verging on menstruation might feel uncomfortable and I just hope that adolescent guys don't give girls a hard time about it.

Ros Den Hertog Silliness to make a fuss about natural body functions. What about the ad where the puppy sniffs bums!!? That is more offensive!

Paula Matthews I can't see anything wrong with this ad at all.

Deborah Campbell The idea of them giving a running commentary was to break through the taboo. For women to stop being ashamed of what their vaginas do.

Would people be offended if they were listening to an ad or Doctor Harry about dogs having eye discharge? No. Would people be offended if an ad for bandaid came on saying "are you bleeding from a wound in your leg? Put a band aid on!"...No...So the "offensive" bit comes solely from the word vagina and the fact that the discharge and bleeding comes from that one specific are. Doesn't matter about any other area on your body...It's only offensive if it comes from that one spot.

Lisa Newby I sure took notice when the word vagina was said! As women, we know what is happening with our bodies. We do not need it spelt out in front of our teenage sons. I think that it is totally unnecessary!

 

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

The vagina has many nicknames. Some of the cleaner ones include:

  • Fanny
  • Hoo-ha or Hoo-hoo
  • Vjay-jay
  • Privates
  • Box
  • Giney
  • Punani
  • Beaver
  • Taco
  • The Hairy Donut
  • Peach
  • Lady cave

THE FACTS

Research has shown that:

  • 71% of women admit to experiencing discharge
  • 66% are bothered by it

-Millward Brown Link Testing 2012

 

After over 1000 votes, 86% of people participating in our online poll believe that the word vagina is not too offensive for television. What do you think?

Topics:  advertising, vagina, women



Three people to be charged over murder of Sabrina Bremer

Flowers have been left at the tragic site of Sabrina Bremer's suspected homicide.

Two men and a woman have been arrested

Tweed serving up future stars of tennis

Sara Tomic may be one of the up and coming stars who'll be competing on the Tweed.

Futures Challenger tennis tournament for the Tweed.

Vulcans shine in junior AFL

The Murwillumbah Vulcans' boys and girls sides are both through to the Northern Rivers' junior grand finals on Sunday.

Grand final quinella for Murwillumbah.

Latest deals and offers

Love is in the air on The Bachelor, but not for Kiki

The Bachelor Australia contestant Kirralee 'Kiki' Morris.

BACHELORETTE bows out gracefully as show enters its final weeks.

A $65,000 bathroom? The Block's incredible budget blow-outs

The Block contestants Julia and Sasha spent a whopping $65,000 on their first renovated room.

TEAMS deliver most expensive en-suites in reno show's history.

Cryptic crosswords: Top clues to solving them

Your guide to solving the cryptic crosswords in your local paper

MOVIE REVIEW: Ben-Hur isn't likely to become a new classic

Toby Kebbell plays Messala Severus and Jack Huston plays Judah Ben-Hur in a scene from Ben-Hur.

ANYTHING less than grand in a remake of Ben-Hur won't do.

Coming up on your TVs this September...

Don't miss A Place to Call Home as season four launches this September.

HERE'S a sneak peek at what's coming up on Foxtel.

Taylor Swift dismissed from jury duty

Taylor Swift was dismissed from jury duty in a sexual assault case

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates

Receivers move in on Springfield's 'Tower of Power'

The 10-storey tower at Springfield is up for sale with interest high in the iconic structure.

Interest high in iconic 10-storey office building

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m