Tuesday, August 24, 2010


While moving through the check-out line at my local grocery store the other day, I was faced with the cover of Cosmopolitan's September issue. There, slapped across the nether regions of Jessica Alba was the most stupefying made-up word in the English language: va-jay-jay.

We can blame the writers of Grey's Anatomy for letting this genie out of the bottle. Shonda Rhimes, the creator and executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy brought the word into the lexicon, yet swears she never intended to promote it as a euphemism or slang term. She had fought to use vagina in the script, but ran afoul of the network censors. It wasn't long until Oprah got hold of the word which then guaranteed its overuse by legions of bored housewives across the country. Then, somehow, it catapulted into electronic dictionaries and other TV shows like 30 Rock and Jimmy Kimmel.

Maybe the swift adoption of the word is born out of a need for a pet name for female genitalia that women can use that is not overly clinical or crude. And people have been using cute euphemisms for certain anatomical terms for ages. Personally, I see it as a step backward. The use of the word, va-jay-jay seems so utterly childish, as if women aren't mature enough to use the correct anatomical term. It also doesn't help that va-jay-jay usually refers to the vulva and not the vagina, thus making the word even more absurd.

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