When I saw the cover of Cosmo’s September issue I knew it had gone too far. Whether it was intentional or not (but I can’t imagine how it could not have been intentional), the big bold headline “Untamed Va-jay-jays” is slapped right across covergirl Jessica Alba’s, um, well, va-jay-jay. Which makes me wonder if flawlessly beautiful Jessica Alba has some crazy ’70s-style untamed bush under her flirty designer dress. And I’m pretty sure that’s not what Cosmo was going for.
I’ve never liked the word va-jay-jay. It makes me cringe even to type it. When I hear people say it out loud I am a little embarrassed. Only Oprah can make it sound sort of OK, but the problem is when Oprah says something, it becomes a part of our cultural lexicon. She started saying it so much E!’s The Soup created a segment called “Oprah’s Va-jay-jay.”
According to the NYT, who looked into the etymology of this now established neologism back in 2007, “va-jay-jay” rose to fame after Oprah heard it on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and started saying it on the air. Turns out Grey’s only used it to assuage the show’s standards and practices executives who didn’t want to hear “vagina” said too many times. What’s wrong with saying “vagina”? I much prefer it to “va-jay-jay.”
Now, here it is, three years later, and “va-jay-jay” is on the cover of a glossy September issue, with the descriptor “untamed” in front of it, on top of Jessica Alba’s crotch. I think it’s safe to say “va-jay-jay” has jumped the shark. So let’s stop saying it. Please?
Bonus points to anyone who can figure out what Oprah is saying about her va-jay-jay here.