Your Vagina

Gwyneth Paltrow wants you to steam clean it and use it as a rock-holder. She’ll even sell you the rocks! Quack retailers want you to use a ground-up wasp’s nest as a way to clean it. There’s also a variety of sticks you can buy online that claim to cleanse, tighten, revitalise, moisturise and exfoliate if used once a day.

And now, you can buy something that not only makes your vagina ooze glitter but will also make it taste like lollies! What a time to be alive!

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Panty Liners.

You know, those things we are apparently supposed to wear between periods? When I was 19, I worked in a pharmacy. I have a vivid memory of a company rep coming to talk to my boss about putting in a panty liner display. I was standing next to her when he explained that the concept behind panty liner marketing was to make women feel that they needed to wear one everyday, thus creating a constant circle of profit.

A man literally stood there and told two women that his company’s genius lay in convincing women that they needed to buy a product that they didn’t actually need. The idea, he said, was to make women feel that liners would keep them “clean”. That’s why, he explained, the packaging uses words like “fresh”.

2 women pretend to vomit at the idea that panty liners are a necessity Needless to say, my boss chose not to stock that particular product. Despite that, panty liners made their way into the market and loads of women buy into the idea that they need them or use them out of preference.

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I’m not one to stop and marvel over the wonders of biology while menstruating. Some people see it as a spiritual experience or a celebration of their biological femaleness. Some people take the opportunity to create artwork or make political statements by bleeding through their yoga pants. Good for them, I say. Celebrating periods is fine if that’s your thing, but I’m just not that enthused about it. I mean, I can appreciate it in theory but in practice, it doesn’t thrill me. Generally, I have two kinds of periods. Okay periods and not-good ones. Last week, I had a not-good period.

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**This is an anonymous guest post. It contains material that some will find distressing.**

If you haven’t yet heard about 13 Reasons Why, it’s a show on Netflix that has the world talking. In 13 episodes, we discover the reasons that led 17-year-old Hannah Baker to commit suicide. It talks about so many important issues that, in my experience, many adults trivialised.

At 31, watching 13 Reasons Why has been too close for comfort. It brought back all those memories and feelings I had as a teenager trying to navigate through life while horrible things kept happening to me.

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