Letters from Home

Women’s Genitalia: Cosmo calls it like they see it?

My good friend Suzanne was kind enough to tell me about the March 2008 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. Besides featuring the talented Rihanna on the cover, it also titallates readers and lures them over to the magazine stand with its usual circus of SEX, SEX, and CHEATING.

But that wasn’t what caught my eye and really got Zanne and I chortling. Our eyes were drawn undeniably to the hypenate in the bottom left:

VA-JAY-JAY!

Apparently that isn’t the latest rap singer. It’s the leading women’s magazine’s cool slang term for what can only be described as the unspeakable female hinterlands: THE VAGINA!!!! (screaming and horror music inserted here)

“Lovely Lady Parts”
Most women I know have never had a good look at their “Va-Jay-Jay,” so I’m guessing they have NO idea how “lovely” these parts are.  Most definitely  leave that up to the experts: their ob/gyn, their husbands/boyfriends, and the angel with warm wax who tidies them up, Brazilian style.

Maybe this is JUST the article they need, JUST the sort of funny-ha-ha, sister-to-sister approach to get them grabbing their hand mirrors and taking their own personal muff dive.  Regardless of whether they have had a good look or not, I am not sure we are totally ready to have a pet name — hyphens and all — foisted on our “lovely lady parts” by a national magazine.

I don’t think of myself as a fuddy-duddy. I like a cute turn of phrase for sure and I’ve gotten useful information from women’s rags in the past. But shouldn’t nicknaming the VAGINA, CLITORIS and other lovely parts be a personal choice, not the work of a supposedly reputable women’s information source?

One other question for you… Here’s two options they could have gone with. Would they have been any better?

1) Leave the article in the magazine, but not push it on the cover. Use “SEX” to get them in, but make sure the good and useful content is still there.

2) Use the REAL name, ie.: “YOUR VAGINA” on the cover, and let the lube fall where it may? 

5 thoughts on “Women’s Genitalia: Cosmo calls it like they see it?

  1. Actually I think the first time I heard that lovely euphemism was on the Martin Lawrence Show. I did a double take at the store myself 🙂

  2. HMMM, a “supposedly reputable women’s information source?” This is Cosmo, right? Well, since it is “supposedly reputable,” guess I have to trundle on down to the supermarket and start researching women’s issues.

    BTW, Elizabeth wins the bald golden Ken Doll for “Best Use of the Word Misogynistic” in a blog. That is one fun word to say!

  3. Va-jay-jay I think was first termed in Grey’s Anatomy – hence the reason they’re using it on Cosmo’s cover – the same women who watch Grey’s read Cosmo. I still don’t think it belongs on the cover of a magazine, but seriously – it’s not like Cosmo ever reports anything we don’t know already, right?

  4. It could be that if they put the word vagina on the cover they’d have problems getting it onto news-stands in the US. (No problem here of course where one of our local newsagents sells hardcore dvds next to the Guardian…)

  5. Va-jay-jay sounds like the term Perez Hilton uses on his website because, as a gay man, he cannot bring himself to say vagina. I have no issues with that. But I’d prefer Cosmo to use vagina on the cover. It will freak people out but that is the term for that part of our body. Or I guess they could say your pee-pee…

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