When it comes to talking about our bodies, it seems that more than half of Mancs get a little bit uncomfortableusing certain words.
When using anatomically correct language like clitoris, vulva, and labia majora, new research commissioned by Bodyform has found that a massive number of people in Manchester just don’t feel comfortable – whether they’re saying them out loud, or on social media.
The research found that a massive 63% of people in Manchester don’t feel comfortable using the word clitoris, while a surprisingly large 35% feel the same about the word period – despite the fact that billions of people around the world experience one every month.
Other censored words uncovered by the research include those describing common medical conditions, such as PCOS and UTIs – feeding an already existing taboo around women’s health.
Bodyform says that the result of this is almost three-quarters (73%) of people in Manchester feel uncomfortable having open conversations about their health.
The research also revealed that 44% of people in Manchester feel there’s a stigma around using medical terminology to describe women’s anatomy, leaving just a quarter (25%) feeling comfortable speaking about the topic with their own children.
What’s more, research suggested that 40% of people in Manchester are unlikely to even have open conversations with their doctors about their bodies.
The research also revealed that social media users in Manchester aren’t aware of the wider censorship issue, with a massive 92% not knowing that vagina is one of the most flagged words on Facebook.
A further three in four (77%) people in Manchester, didn’t know sharing an educational image of a vulva could get you banned on social media, and seven in ten didn’t know what shadowbanning was, or that it regularly happens on social media.
The top ten list of words people in Manchester feel most uncomfortable using:
1. Adenomyosis (85%)
2. PMDD (83%)
3. Dysmenorrhea (79%)
4. Labia majora (79%)
5. Vaginal atrophy (79%)
6. Labia minora (78%)
7. Vaginismus (77%)
8. Bacterial Vaginosis (73%)
9. HPV (71%)
10. PCOS (69%)
Eight in ten (86%) respondents admitted to feeling uncomfortable using these words on social media, as well as in real life.
When it comes to women’s bodies being represented in the media, one in two people in Manchester felt the images they see aren’t representative of real life, with a third (34%) believing the media also has a difference in perceptions of women’s and men’s bodies.
Bodyform’s new campaign, Vaginas Uncensored, backed by TV presenter and vocal advocate for women’s health Cherry Healey, aims to empower women to reclaim the words they feel they can’t say.
Speaking of her support for the campaign, Cherry added: “I’m so pleased to support the Bodyform Vagina’s Uncensored campaign and play my part in normalising the language around women’s bodies. Speaking out is hugely important and will change the lives of so many people – especially the younger generation for whom this education piece is so important.
“That’s why I’m working with Bodyform to highlight these issues and to attempt to stop social media platforms from censoring such vital messages.”
Cherry’s feelings are further reinforced by Bodyform’s survey findings, revealing that an alarming 90% of people don’t feel comfortable naked and 73% of people in Manchester don’t feel comfortable having open conversations about their bodies.
Over a third (71%) believe this stems from embarrassment, over half (60%) blame a lack of education and 48% think people simply don’t know what they mean.
Anna McCrory, Senior Brand Manager at Bodyform, added: “At Bodyform we don’t believe in taboos and are passionate about giving women+ a voice to open-up conversations that we, as a society, need to be having.
“These Manchester survey results really go to show just how far we have to go as a society.
“Not speaking out, makes important subjects almost impossible to talk about which in turn is affecting our lives and our health. This is why our Vaginas Uncensored campaign is so important and why we are urging women+ to reclaim the language around their bodies.”
Featured image – Bodyform
Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher get local musician up on stage for a surprise performance
Football legends Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher helped host the Music Feeds Live charity gig on Tuesday night, welcoming several Northern acts onto the stage, but the crowd were in for an extra treat when a musician amongst them got up on the stage for a surprise song.
The ex-pros turned pundits joined Radio 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins to present the series of fundraising performances on behalf of The Trussell Trust, with the likes of Slow Readers Club and Manc rock veterans James delighting the audience, but turns out there was also another local talent in their midst.
Between acts, the two Monday Night Football hosts asked if there was anyone in the crowd who fancies getting up on stage, to which local singer-songwriter Ewan Sim jumped at the chance.
And what tune never fails in a room of Mancunians? ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’ by Oasis, that’s what.
Speaking to The Manc after the impromptu performance, Sim — originally from Handforth down the road in Cheshire — explained how he simply couldn’t pass the opportunity up.
“I was in the crowd watching the Music Feeds Live gig for food poverty which Neville and Carragher were presenting and in between acts they asked the audience if anyone wanted to come up on stage and sing a tune, so I put my hand up and they invited me up — completely spur of the moment.”
Explaining his choice of song (as he even needed to), he said the Manchester classic “is a favourite of mine”, adding: “The crowd loved it got a decent applause and loads of people came up to me afterwards. Neville said I was ‘class’ and well done when I’d finished and Carra said on the mic that it was ‘brilliant'”
Simply lovely stuff, not to mention the whole night brought so many beloved music names together to help raise vital funds for The Trussell Trust.
The Clash Magazine and BBC Introducing spotlighted artist said he lived out a dream getting to play to sing on the O2 Apollo stage, summing up the whole experience in three simple words: “It was mega.”
Ewan is also playing a headline show at The Lodge in the one and only Deaf Institute on Saturday, 6 April if you like what you heard and fancy seeing him live for yourself. You can grab tickets HERE.
And if you’re interested in discovering other new up-and-coming artists from around Greater Manchester, you can check out more Manc music we’ve been listening to recently down below.
Featured Images — Supplied/Ewan Sim (via Instagram)
Pretty Woman The Musical at Palace Theatre Manchester – a Hollywood dream come true
“Welcome to Hollywood. What’s your dream?” goes one of the most iconic lines in Pretty Woman, the musical version of which has just landed in Manchester.
And after the opening night of the theatre production of this beloved film, mine is to relive the experience over and over again.
There are tears, incredible voices, amazing outfits, and just generally the perfect remake of my favourite film.
After a record-breaking run on Broadway, Pretty Woman: The Musical opened at The Palace Theatre in Manchester last night, and my god it was brilliant.
If you don’t know the story line by now… then come on? Set in the 1980s, it begins with Edward (in the film, a suave Richard Gere) asking for directions in Hollywood Boulevard, and finding all the answers from Vivian (played by Julia Roberts in the film). And so the romance begins.
On stage, we kick off in the Blue Banana, and exactly like the film, we meet Vivian, Kit and the homeless man (or Paige Fenlon, Natalie Paris, and Ore Oduba, plus Ben Darcy as Edward). Their CVs include stints on SIX The Musical, Les Miserables, and Strictly Come Dancing.
Their voices will all blow you away, but my favourite on stage has to be Ore, transforming from the homeless man shouting ‘what’s your dream!’ to Mr Thompson in the hotel teaching Vivian to dance, to the conductor at the opera, a shop owner on Rodeo Drive and loads more roles.
He delivers brilliant transitions into every scene.
The theatre show has all the major moments from the film, like the iconic shopping scene, the day trip to a polo match, when he finally ‘sleeps’, and down to the most perfect costume of the red dress and the necklace for the opera. The voices of the opera singers are staggering, too.
With its own soundtrack compared to the film, there’s enough to lure in even those of us who have re-watched the film 100 times and can quote it line-for-line.
But Pretty Woman The Musical does wrap up with the titular song from the classic hit, and there’s something about the finale – the standing ovation, huge cheers and applause – that brings me to tears.
If you don’t have tickets yet, big mistake… HUGE!
Pretty Woman The Musical is on at the Palace Theatre in Manchester until Saturday 16 March, and it’s definitely not one to miss.