When I was little, my mother had, like, a million names for my unmentionable. The stand-outs: Pum Pum. Pee Pee. Gina. Stink Box. Down There. I don't think I learned the real name for my lady part until I got to that one Scared Straight health class in the seventh grade the one where they separated the boys from the girls and showed us a really mind-blowing movie about our bodies morphing into boobs and hair in weird places and, if we looked too hard at the really cute boys, big-headed babies. By the time the instructor finished with us, the word vagina was the least of the things I needed to know about myself.
I never really considered what I would call it when I had my own kids not until I got my first baby, Mari, around Nick's mom. She's a nurse. And a vegetarian. And grown. And she believes in calling a spade a spade and a vagina, well, a vagina. I liked her philosophy on it: If you make up names for the baby's private parts but call everything else on her body by its anatomical name, you're telling her there's something wrong with her vagina that it's embarrassing and secretive and not to be discussed with you.
All of this has been on my mind this week after the massive uproar over the Summer’s Eve “Hail To the V” commercials. If the company was looking for us to talk about our vaginas, well, mission accomplished. There's been a whole lot of talk about vaginas in my house lately. But Summer’s Eve loses. Big time.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.