Discharge is normal! I said what I said!
You really gotta love TikTok. One minute you’re watching someone make cacio e pepe, the next you’re looking at the inside of a stranger’s panties.
Alyssa Cochran-Caggiano, a 21-year-old student from Massachusetts, decided to give us a tour of her bleached underwear stains in a video that now has over 4 million views.
“Is no one else completely terrified by the bleaching properties of a vagina?” she asked. “Like, how does she do that?”
She then proceeded to show the inside of a few pairs of her underwear, prefacing it by saying that they were in fact clean. The crotches on all of them were discolored.
As someone who both has a vagina and has friends with vaginas whom I’ve borrowed underwear from (haters gonna hate), I can attest that these stains looked very familiar. I ran to the comments to see what others had to say.
It turned out that tons of people were dealing with the same thing, and this video helped bring them to the conclusion that they’re not alone!
I decided to hit up Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, a Portland-based gynecologist, to get some insight into why this happens.
The key word here? Discharge. “Your vagina is an acidic environment and that’s normal,” Dr. Lincoln told BuzzFeed. “It’s healthy, and that’s because of the kind of bacteria that live there. And so theoretically if your discharge is slightly acidic, it could potentially change the color of fabric. I can’t say specifically it always does, or it doesn’t, or it varies, but it’s certainly possible.”
Alyssa — the TikTok poster — told BuzzFeed that she made the video with the hope of normalizing discharge. “Bodies leak and smell weird and make noises and no one ever talks about it, so people think what their body is doing is abnormal and they feel embarrassed,” she said.
“I was met with so many people saying they had no idea it was normal and they felt so much shame,” she said. “People have told me they feel safe around me and comforted by the community we have made around that video and that is all I’ve ever wanted.”
Say it with me people: VAGINAS. ARE. DOPE.
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