So this month is Julyna - an initiative started by a group of Toronto nurses to raise awareness about cervical cancer. It’s like Movember, but with this, your pubes are hidden and you are encouraged to Brazilian it or to partake in any of the many stylistic offerings noted on the website http://julyna.com/.
So, there has been loads of negative press around this most unfortunately. Julyna is clearly reaching out to a younger demographic and those who seem most put out are older working professionals and.. ahem, journalists. They claim it is sexualizing women - however, the HPV virus, which is often a precurser to cervical cancer, is most commonly transferred through sex. If it happens through sex - there is no way it can’t be sexualized.. it’s not like prostate cancer and doesn’t just grow inside you… it can happen due to sexual contact.
Therefore, doesn’t Julyna do a good job of appealing to the generation that is supposed to get the HPV vaccine? In case you didn’t know: Cervarix and Gardasil HPV vaccines are licensed, safe, and effective for females ages 9 through 26 years. CDC recommends that all girls who are 11 or 12 years old get the 3 doses (shots) of either brand of HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer. Gardasil also protects against most genital warts, as well as some cancers of the vulva, vagina, and anus. Girls and young women ages 13 through 26 should get all 3 doses of an HPV vaccine if they have not received all doses yet.
Clearly, Julyna has a target demographic - so if you are not part of that why is it your place to comment? As someone within that demographic (just barely), I find it refreshing that there is something like this to call attention to this issue. The fact of the matter is, we don’t live in a “Leave it to Beaver” society anymore. Thanks to the influence of social media, television and print media, large values and pressures are put on everyone from 6-26 to “be” a certain way - look at Lady GaGa - she sexualizes everything but it is meant with good and not “nasty” intentions. Sex is everywhere - perhaps we should adopt a more European approach to this and loosen up.
Additionally, since when do so-alled “credible” media outlets consult “Masters” students when they are researching a story. This Meredith Dault character is just that - a dolt. The research she is presenting is clearly biased and while she criticized Julyna as a ‘media stunt’ she released her own press release noting she’d be available to comment. Does Dolt not see the ridiculousness in that? Aren’t most Masters students researchers and are supposed to present findings based on all available information - you aren’t a doctor in the study of pubic hair yet, Ms Dolt, so quite honestly, are you actually qualified to speak about this? I wonder what your advisors said to this little trick you pulled…
All in all - Julyna is not for everyone, but neither is Movember. The key message here is that we shouldn’t automatically discount or shoot-down something that is effective in raising awareness in an issue, but maybe internalize this and see what we have been doing to address the issue at hand. What’s wrong with reminders? Mammogram March or “PAP"ril would make me remember to take care of business. Isn’t keeping yourself and your children healthy one of everyone’s primary concerns? So what’s wrong with taking away the stigma of the "scary” tests at the doctor’s office with silly names - maybe we need a chill pill?