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Ah! The smell of adolescence.

There’s nothing quite like the end-of-the-day funk that wafts from a pubescent kid. Some of them (younger ones usually) have no idea they stink or they just don’t care because their friends haven’t noticed. But as kids head into middle school and beyond, body odor is a common cause for teasing, exclusion, and shaming. Besides the usual body odor from sweaty pits and stinky feet, there are also new and strong odors from their morphing private zones. For girls, in particular, those private odors often become an embarrassment and even a source of anxiety, but some reassurance about normal healthy odors and details about basic hygiene may be all they need.

First, let me stress that there’s already...

If you use the word vagina when referring to female parts “down below,” let me first say we’re proud of you for NOT using hoo ha, or cootchie, or lady bits… or junk. We’ve come a long way toward creating comfort around using the word “vagina,” but we may have taken it a bit too far. 

“Vagina” is not a catchall term for all the parts that exist in the magical space between a female’s legs, but it’s just one part (albeit an important one) of anatomy among many parts that make up the VULVA - which IS the catchall term for those parts.

Maybe in our puritanical efforts to minimize discussions about our genitals, our foremothers decided to keep it short and sweet: boys have a penis; girls have a vagina. But to be honest, the...