Many of my lady friends are running around this week, frantically booking last minute appointments at the salon to prepare for the itty bitty bathing suits they’re going to be wearing come The 4th of July. But there’s a group of ladies that perhaps aren’t sweating it as much. They are the ladies of Julyna.
You know about Movember right? Every November rolls around and dudes are growing out awesome beards in order to raise awareness for men’s health, particularly prostate cancer and other cancers that afflict dudes. They show up clean-shaven, and for the rest of the month, go crazy growing awesome little lip sweaters.
Well, the idea behind Julyna is similar. Except it involves lady parts. Julyna (pronounced like Vagina) was started by Vanessa Willson and her friends to promote awareness about cervical cancer and HPV (Human papillomavirus) and to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Ever since the link between HPV and cervical cancer became known, I don’t think anything stresses out a girl more than an abnormal pap. I’m pretty sure the first time I heard about HPV, I confused it with herpes. They are two completely different things. But the information out there about HPV continues to be muddled, even though it’s the most common STI out there. As my friend’s gynocologist described it, HPV is basically like a Vagina Flu (this is a true story, dear readers).
According to the CDC, 20 million Americans are currently infected with some form of HPV (there are more than 40 different types), and another 6 million get it each year. There’s a good chance half of your sexual partners have had it at some point in their lives. Thankfully, our immune systems are awesome. In 90% of cases, your body fights away the infection naturally within two years. If you’re under 26, there’s also access to two vaccines, Cervarix and Gardisil, to protect against the HPV that causes most genital warts and cervical cancer.
Even though HPV can cause cervical cancer in women, guys are also at risk to get genital warts and other types of cancer if they’ve been exposed to HPV, and unfortunately there’s no HPV test available for the fellas. So, it may be a good idea to get vaccinated as well.
I hope this Julyna thing catches on, if anything so that us ladies can have yet another place to express our creative selves through hairstyles. I mean, there’s no need to go ’70s Porn Star if you don’t want to, the Julyna website gives some great suggestions on fun stuff. I’m personally intrigued by the Ziggy Stardust-inspired “Side Part.” Maybe even celebrate the final Harry Potter movie and make a lightening bolt down there. So many possibilities!
And, oh yeah, cancer is bad and HPV can be scary, so lets try to make the word a happier places for vaginas by decorating our vulvas.