Say what you will about the era of Vajazzling—-at least people are talking about vaginas, even if they’re talking about replacing natural hairs with space crystals, and even if they are actually talking about the pubic area above the vagina, and even if the whole thing should really be called “Pubazzling.” Some people don’t even want to acknowledge that vaginas exist. Tampon maker Kotex found that out the hard way when it attempted to sell tampon ads that invoked the word “vagina,” and found its commercials rejected by three networks.
The New York Times reports that the above ad—-in which a young actress mocks traditional tampon ads for their condescending, euphemistic tone—-originally referenced the “vagina.” When three networks rejected the spot, Kotex subbed in the euphemism “down there” for “vagina,” and only two of the three networks rejected it. Now, the commercial contains no direct references to female genitalia—-you know, the place where the fucking tampon goes.
The irony is not lost on Kotex. “It’s very funny because the whole spot is about censorship,” a director of the ad company who created the spot told NYT. “The whole category has been very euphemistic, or paternalistic even, and we’re saying, enough with the euphemisms, and get over it. Tampon is not a dirty word, and neither is vagina.”
Even without vagina, the ad is still the greatest tampon commercial ever. In it, the actress details all the tampon-ad-related activities she loves engaging in—-holding really soft things, running on the beach, twirling, wearing white Spandex—-while footage from Kotex’s own history of terrible tampon ads plays. It’s not “vagina” on TV, but it’s still pretty awesome. Here’s the final transcript:
How do I feel about my period? We’re like this [crosses fingers]. I love it. I want to hold really soft things, like my cat. It makes me feel really pure. Sometimes I just want to run on the beach. I like to twirl, maybe in slow motion. And I do it in my white Spandex. And usually, by the third day, I really just want to dance. The ads on TV are really helpful, because they use that blue liquid, and I’m like, Oh! That’s what’s supposed to happen!
Thanks to onelovejedi for the tip.