By Erin Shanahan
Two Los Angeles natives, Eva Sealove and Chelsea Jones, have an Instagram account with over 74.1k followers. Their account features recent photos of a child’s history project poster, an ancient tapestry and a woman’s lips with popped bubble gum. Although these photos may appear random, they all have one unifying quality: they all kind of look like vaginas.
The account called “Look At This Pussy,” collects images of objects and sceneries that look like vaginas. From nature scenes to food to man-made objects, Jones and Sealove’s Instagram account prove that vaginas can be found anywhere and everywhere. Of course, like all things, this account does have a lot of “haters.” The L.A. duo has received some comments saying that their content is “dirty” and “uncomfortable.”
It is ironic to me that so many people are uncomfortable with something that is everywhere we look. Although Jones’ and Sealove’s account may express an exaggerated picture of the vagina’s part in our society, it brings light to an important fact: sex is practically everywhere we look.
The covers of Cosmopolitan and Men’s Health are full of sexual language and images. However, advertising contains the most sexual imagery. Our capitalistic society depends on sexual images and language to sell products. For example, take a look at the most recent Calvin Klein spring collection advertisement, or their infamous 2015 photoshoot with Justin Bieber. Sex is everywhere, though for some reason it is considered taboo to talk about it in everyday conversation. In addition, it tends to bring controversy wherever it goes.
Why is it that the media can be utterly gorged with sexual imagery, yet people seem afraid to actually discuss sex? In fact, any discussion of sex is usually tainted as “crude” or used in negative circumstances. This is all incredibly detrimental to societal improvement, especially the growth of children. Most parents only discuss sex with their children during what has been coined as “The Talk.” This infamous phrase suggests that the discussion about sex between a parent and a child is limited to only one conversation. It is a problem is that there is no way that sexuality can be completely discussed in one small, awkward chat.
A recent New York Times article discusses sex education from state to state. It suggests that children across the country are receiving drastically different information about their bodies and sexual relationships. Some schools only discuss sex for one week out of a year, whereas some other students are taught sex education from kindergarten to high school. Regardless of whether the information comes from parents or school, it is clear that there are many gaps to fills in regards to sexual education.
As a result of this lack of discussion, children are forced to learn about sex through the internet, music, magazines, movies, television and advertisements. In other words, children are learning about sex through channels meant to entertain or persuade, not through channels created for the sole purpose of teaching. As a result, youths’ perspective of sex is skewed toward Calvin Klein advertisements, or whatever else they stumble upon on the internet.
Keeping silent about sex is not a real form of protection — restricting information should never be a reasonable answer. Children need to learn about their bodies. They need to learn about HIV and HPV, as well as birth control and contraception options. It is scary to go through the journey of sexuality alone, and children need to be informed about the emotions, fears and anxieties that will arise when they become sexually active.
No one should be educated through media that are not meant to educate. A Google search late at night is not a proper means of education. At the end of the day, uneducated children eventually become uneducated adults. And the fact of matter is that sex happens.
So why should we limit our conversation about something so endowed in our culture, society and, most importantly, our biology? Let’s talk about sex.