Today is World Vagina Appreciation Day, which we at Kindra can only imagine is a complicated one for you. Today, even more than any other day, you’re probably feeling pretty invisible and underappreciated.
Even though you, the vulva, encompass some of the most significant parts of the genitals – including the labia, clitoris, vaginal opening, and the opening to the urethra – people are still saying vagina when they really mean vulva. Decades of being mislabeled and not getting the credit you deserve for the instrumental role you play must be so frustrating!
As a brand built on a clear mission to inform and support women through the hormonal changes of menopause, we’ve seen firsthand how stigma around discussing painful symptoms like vulvar dryness with a physician can negatively impact access to care. An accurate understanding of anatomy is essential to effectively communicating with medical providers, and ultimately to achieving better health outcomes.
So how did we get our words so mixed up? Maybe it’s because our society is obsessed with using infantilizing euphemisms to describe a woman’s genitalia. Terms like Lady Bits, Vajayjay, Hoo-Ha, Lady Flower, and yes, Panty Hamster, have certainly not helped our cause. Or perhaps it’s that they feel you’re too technical, that Vagina is catchier and too embedded in our vernacular to turn back now.
Whatever the reason, Vulva, you and I both know that this case of mistaken identity goes much deeper than semantics. When 73% of women are still confused about where their vulva is located, and another 65% of young women hesitate to even say the word vulva or vagina, we’ve got a serious body literacy problem between our legs.
So starting today, we’re clearing things up, because everyone deserves the tools and language to seek health solutions and support. The vulva (that’s you!) is external, while the vagina is internal – specifically, it’s the canal that connects the vaginal opening to the cervix.
There is nothing, nothing!! vulgar about the word vulva.
So, on World Vagina Appreciation Day, we want to acknowledge you, dear Vulva, for all that you are. We recognize that the vagina is only part of the picture, not the whole story. We promise to do our part to help women understand their most intimate parts. We vow to care for you – not just the vagina — throughout the whole journey.
PS. This isn’t just lip service. Something expertly formulated for you is coming soon. Stay tuned!