Thursday, July 28, 2016

Vaginal Bleaching

My mother used to quote Shakespeare to me quite a lot when I was five. Not randomly, of course, but certainly when circumstances gave her an opening. 

One of her favorite gems of the Bard was that famous line from Romeo and Juliet, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” It’s true, of course. I’ve always believed that statement to be simple yet profound, but not nearly so profound as Juliet’s pointed question that precedes it: “What’s in a name?”

While opinions certainly differ, the reality is this: quite an enormous lot can be packed into a name. The reason that this is true is pretty straightforward and clear: we understand our reality - in all is complexified glory and pain -  based upon the words we invoke to describe it.

So imagine what I was thinking when I read a recent article extolling the okay-ness of vaginal bleaching. Rather than interrogate a culture in which altering the natural shade of one’s vagina seems necessary in the first place, the article focused on urging its readers not to refer to the process it described as vaginal bleaching