Smells Like Fish

Is anyone else horrified by Vagisil commercials? The most recent one has a woman in it who is all dressed up but sees her own reflection as looking crummy, in a hoodie. And why does she feel that way? Because she worries that other people will smell her bad smell.

Ugh. I mean, come on already.

Buying a tube of whatever because your vagina is itchy and/or smelly is demented. First off, if things are itchy and/or smelly temporarily, that’s just how it goes – you don’t need Vagisil; you need a bath and maybe to wear cotton panties for a week. On the other hand, if your vagina consistently and chronically itches or smells bad, you need to see a doctor, not buy a tube of Vagisil. Yeast infections can be fatal, and you can give anything else that would cause itching (like crabs) to sex partners, and you know, that’s just not nice.

But the whole “women are icky and smell bad” = specifically because their vaginas smell bad = is misogynist bullshit. Women’s reproductive systems actually work to maintain a PH balance on their own, and while having a lot of unprotected sex with multiple partners throws off that PH balance, that’s not really an advisable thing to do anyway, considering all the possible STDs, including HIV, and of course potential pregnancy.

Read Natalie Angier’s Woman: An Intimate Geography. It’s a great, scientific, readable book about women’s bodies and how they work, a must-read.