Outfit Post: Patricia Field and Kotex want to celebrate your magical lady bits

Earlier this month, U by Kotex launched a collaborative contest with costume designer Patricia Field, inviting people to redesign the maxi pad. "Girls have choices in all aspects of their lives, so why should they settle for boring and institutional feminine care products?" said the company in a statement. For every design submitted, Kotex will donate $1 to Girls For A Change—a non-profit organization empowering girls to create and lead social change within their communities. According to Ad Age, contest winners will work with Field to design new and wild maxi pads, and attend Fashion Week in New York City in September.

Confession: Other than the word panties, my least-favorite word in the English language is vagina. I don't know why - I have one, so therefore shouldn't I be comfortable with the word for it? My issues with the vagina probably have to do with the general discomfort I have regarding my body, femininity and related sexuality. Thankfully, I do realize that I'm far from the only person on this planet with issues regarding the word vagina, which probably explains why there are so many alternatives to it, raunchy as they might be.

It might also explain why commercials and print advertising for products related to female anatomy, and that time of the month, are so archaic. Traditional ads are rich in mysterious ecstasy - women in flouncy skirts, twirling in fields or riding carefree on bicycles; clusters of attractive, young women bonding over their brand of tampon. It's absurd, especially considering that ads describing erectile dysfunction are shown during the five o'clock news. If we can talk so openly and frankly about the penis, why can't we do so about the va-jayjay?

Menstruation has always been marketed as a very personal thing, a magical moment when a woman's uterus whispers sweet nothings captured by a special, pillowy product. (My uterus has never whispered anything to me. It yells and then shanks me with a rusty blade.) Or so the average period-products commercial would have you believe. Which is why I just about lost it after seeing Kotex's newest ad campaign. The first ads were meta-parodies of traditional campaigns for female products, similar to those hilarious Old Spice ads. The more recent ones, which rely on hidden camera, man-on-the-street encounters, indicate that there is plenty of cultural taboo and awkwardness regarding lady bits. In one, a girl stands outside a drugstore and asks random guys to buy tampons for her. In another clip, a guy shops for tampons for his girlfriend, eliciting the all-too-apt response, "It's a man's world" (this time in reference to cardboard applicators.)

Kotex Rorschach test
Lady bits; hole; hoo-hah; down-there...anything but vagina.

Kotex man on the street
(IS SHE TALL?!? Love it. Get that man a cigar.)

As Adweek columnist Barbara Lippert writes with reference to the campaign,
"It's interesting that in our hyper-sexualized, girls-gone-wild culture, where characters on sitcoms like Two and a Half Men joke about "nailing" women and commercials airing during the family hour regularly mention four-hour erections, there's still one backwater of weird prudery: the subject of menstruation and the vaginal healthcare that goes with it.
Who knew that you could talk about vaginas and be funny and not insulting? Now we need even more honesty and directness. Women's bodies and sexuality do not have to be embarrassing or *hidden.* (Or talked about in titillating, colloquial terms for the benefit of men.) Though Kotex is surely motivated by a desire to sell more products, I really like that they're encouraging women like me to become more comfortable with their bodies, especially the magical lady parts. Yay vagina!

What do you think of the Patricia Field and Kotex collaboration? Would pretty pads and honest talk about the vagina help you feel more comfortable about your body, and about that time of the month? Would you consider purchasing Patricia Field's redesigned pads? And am I the only one with issues about the vagina?

Forever 21 lace jacket; thrifted Ann Taylor chambray shirt; thrifted Old Navy striped tee; thrifted Talbots skirt; Miz Mooz wedges; Forever 21 rhinestone bracelet and earrings


  1. Love your outfit! The layering is great!

    Personally, I hate the word "panties" too. Not sure why, I just do.

    Nope, definitely won't buy any redesigned products. I don't care what it looks like, I just know I need it, ya know?

  2. I love that your style post is an actual article! You are a fantastic writer!

  3. What a cute layered look!! i love how you can see the stripes on the side!! Great job!!! Also, over50andoverKotex.... Yeah!

  4. Have we become so obsessed with designer
    fashions that we now have to wear a label on our feminine protection too? For me becoming
    comfortable with myself has less to do with what I wear, and more to do with the actions I take.
    From spending time with an elderly neighbor, to voting in every election, to volunteering at my community church, to working with abused animals; these are the things that give me my sense of self-efficacy and satisfaction in my life.I spent 29 years of my life defining my self by a number on the scale. I refuse to be defined by a number anymore, or the label in my jeans, or the design of my maxi-pad.

  5. Vagina, vagina, vagina! I used to hate it too but I find it liberating to just SAY IT! You'll get used to it if you do ^_^

    Anything Pat Field does, I'm in for.


    p.s. Thanks so much for commenting on my blog ^_^

  6. The V word is kinda offputting. QUICK TOPIC CHANGE...cute outfit = )



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