My finger hovered over the word with its light blue letters: Share. “What are people going to think of this? Will they laugh? Will they judge me?” I spent hours on this part of my personal project, from interviewing a friend of mine on the details of her wellness routine to learning how to edit with Premiere Pro all over again. I poured passion and care into this post, but something froze my finger in place, preventing me from just clicking the light blue word.
When Queen V’s products first caught my eye, I was immediately hooked. Being the post-millennial that I am, I’m drawn to anything visually attractive and what we young ones call “Instagram worthy.” Their products were bright-colored and could make a great statement on my shower shelf.
Just from their products alone, I learned so much about my body that my high school health class must have forgotten to teach me. I learned the healthy pH range of the vagina (3.8 to 4.5!), that almost all soaps have a pH level of over 9, and what BV even stands for (hint: bacterial vaginosis). I learned that our private areas boast more sweat glands than any other part of the body – so it only makes sense that we might have a scent down there after a long day! Even in the age of information, there are still so many women who feel ashamed to talk or ask about how to take care of their bodies. I’m a prime example of how Queen V is working to change that.
Queen V prides itself on being the first “millennial-focused feminine wellness brand” and it shows in everything they produce. Few wellness companies stand against animal cruelty, mysterious chemical ingredients, and even balancing pH-levels to match the acidity of our skin’s most sensitive areas. In a world of old, powerful corporations that have never been demanded this level of accountability from its consumers before, Queen V is a breath of fresh air to women yearning for ethical, responsible brands to trust. That’s why I believe in its mission wholeheartedly.
So, if I loved the look and believed in Queen V’s mission so much, why was it so hard for me to just press Share? What’s wrong with sharing something I worked hard on, something I created to help educate others? It was shame. Shame I felt about my own body, my work, and talking about vaginal health in general. The stigma around the word “vagina” very much exists, and I felt it before revealing to others my passion for Queen V and female health education. But then I realized – this is exactly what we’re trying to fight against! We’re trying to make women feel more comfortable sharing about their bodies. We can’t create a culture where that’s possible without us living out that culture first.
Shame has no place in health and wellness, especially for something as important as our V’s. It takes effort to unlearn the embarrassment and fear around vaginal health but I firmly believe each time gets easier. Although I had shame at first, I shared that video because Queen V challenged me to live out the ideals that I claim to have passion for. If I want women to feel more comfortable with their bodies and raise awareness about vaginal health, it has to start with me. If you want that for women too, we have to share more and shame less.
By Shaniya Epps (Queen VIP)