The Sexist

Kotex Can’t Say “Vagina” On TV


Say what you will about the era of Vajazzling—at least people are talking about vaginas, even if they're talking about replacing natural hairs with space crystals, and even if they are actually talking about the pubic area above the vagina, and even if the whole thing should really be called "Pubazzling." Some people don't even want to acknowledge that vaginas exist. Tampon maker Kotex found that out the hard way when it attempted to sell tampon ads that invoked the word "vagina," and found its commercials rejected by three networks.

The New York Times reports that the above ad—in which a young actress mocks traditional tampon ads for their condescending, euphemistic tone—originally referenced the "vagina." When three networks rejected the spot, Kotex subbed in the euphemism "down there" for "vagina," and only two of the three networks rejected it. Now, the commercial contains no direct references to female genitalia—you know, the place where the fucking tampon goes.

The irony is not lost on Kotex. "It's very funny because the whole spot is about censorship," a director of the ad company who created the spot told NYT. "The whole category has been very euphemistic, or paternalistic even, and we're saying, enough with the euphemisms, and get over it. Tampon is not a dirty word, and neither is vagina."

Even without vagina, the ad is still the greatest tampon commercial ever. In it, the actress details all the tampon-ad-related activities she loves engaging in—holding really soft things, running on the beach, twirling, wearing white Spandex—while footage from Kotex's own history of terrible tampon ads plays. It's not "vagina" on TV, but it's still pretty awesome. Here's the final transcript:

How do I feel about my period? We're like this [crosses fingers]. I love it. I want to hold really soft things, like my cat. It makes me feel really pure. Sometimes I just want to run on the beach. I like to twirl, maybe in slow motion. And I do it in my white Spandex. And usually, by the third day, I really just want to dance. The ads on TV are really helpful, because they use that blue liquid, and I'm like, Oh! That's what's supposed to happen!

Thanks to onelovejedi for the tip.

  • Alex

    On the language issue - It was a perrenial source of amusement in my cadet group (way back in high school) that the Brittish Army field-dressings we used had "tampon" printed on the packaging. I think this was because they were made in France, where the word, as people have said, has alternative connotations, but to our teenage minds this was far more hillarious than it should have been...

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  • Ophelia

    @Melanie, etc.

    I think it should be shameful to use the words "vagina" and "vulva" in church, but it's incredibly unrealistic to expect that a six-year-old shouting in church about her vagina would be acceptable, and shame on you for telling Melanie that she's reinforcing the taboo on the word vagine by not letting her daughter hear it because she herself is uncomfortable with it. Her reasoning is completely understandable, and it's cruel of you to stigmatize her for that and tell her that she should let her six-year-old shout whatever she likes in church, social acceptability be damned.

  • razvratit

    You are totally correct, but unfortunaly we are just few who have the guts to say it.
    And not only in shows. You can see so many so-called works of art being so explicit about men but never about women.
    I believe you are ashamed of what you have between your legs. And I do believe that your attitude is just unappropriate for a human being.

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  • razvratit

    and why don't write letters and make phone calls to those broadcasters that are sexist and misandrist?
    If you and your friends and their friends, and so on, would do just the same as women do, I can guarantee you they will stop being sexists and misandrists.
    But I know that in America and England men are taught that they worth nothing, so probably you guys should start changing the mentality of people fiirst, especially women's.
    All the best!

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  • http://Yahoo Redsox

    I dont want to hear about anything that has to do with a god damn vagina while i am just trying to watch tv, god