Say it with me people: va . gi . na

No, not her “va-jay-jay.”

No, not her “hoo-haw.”

No, not her “lady business.”

I’m going to teach my daughter about her vagina, because we should not be ashamed of the term, definition or the body part.

I heard a story in which a two-year-old asked her mom about a specific part of her body. The mom responded by telling her daughter’s vagina is called a “Hello Kitty.”

I sat baffled for minutes, because I didn’t understand the reasoning and then my mind started turning. 

If a young child wants to know what her vagina is, then tell her what her vagina is. Don’t give the vagina a nickname, let alone name it after a fictional cat character created by a Japanese company. I can only imagine the confusion had down the road for that poor girl.

It’s not only about the confusion. Why is our society so scared of the vagina?

I’m probably already mentioning vagina way past the comfort zone of an average American right now. The word itself is often whispered in conversation, not spoken about in public, or given nicknames. Kind of like menstruation; am I sensing a connection here? 

A nickname can be a term used for ridicule or affection in place of the proper name. Remember in grade school or high school when kids were given nicknames. Usually those nicknames tended to hurt the other person or weaken their value.

Well, that’s the way I look at nicknaming the vagina, even if it is meant for affection. 

“Va-jay-jay” or “lady business” weakens the meaning of vagina to make it less than or less important. Once you weaken something, people tend to care about it less or worse be ashamed. Do we want our girls to give less value to their vagina? 

I want my daughter to value herself and be proud of her anatomy – including her vagina. Every part of a person’s body is beautiful and stitched together in a mother’s womb. Most of us were miraculously delivered through our mother’s vaginas.

I’m not going to just teach my daughter how to say vagina. In the future I’ll teach her all the beautiful things about being a woman. I don’t want to downplay all the work our bodies do. 

So, it’s perfectly fine if you have to ease into saying vagina, but please start practicing now. Say vagina when no one is in the room, practice it in the mirror if you must. Say vagina with pride. 

I can’t handle hearing another nickname, especially one like “Hello Kitty.” 

Jessica Kromer

Jessica Kromer is a freelance writer and mother. She is smitten with parenting along side her husband, Joel, and experiencing life together. Of course, a lot of coffee, outdoor activities and Netflix help keep the Kromer family afloat. These days Jessica's time is filled with helping her daughter Aria grow and writing about all the experiences of parenthood.