VagisilAdvertising has always used euphemisms to avoid the use of terms that some might find embarrassing. Toilet paper is “bathroom tissue,” or sometimes “toilet tissue” (facial quality!). The toilet itself is the “bathroom bowl.” It’s only in the last few years that words like “menstrual” and “period” have been used rather than something like “time of the month.” treats “feminine itching” as part of “intimate care.” “Vag” is in the product’s name, for heaven’s sake! What are they afraid of?

offers “natural male enhancement,” but that’s probably because they’d be fined by the FCC if they claimed the pill was a penis enlarger.

What I find really odd is the visual euphemism of the color blue. Apparently, we can’t handle the site of any sort of bodily fluids, so instead of red, yellow, or brown, we’re given blue.

Watch any commercial for tampons or “feminine” pads and you’ll get the infamous blue fluid absorbency test. The video below is the only one I could find online, but it’s kind of a cool one. Why don’t American women mix swordplay with menstruation?

Charmin is currently touting its ‘s absorbency by pouring blue liquid onto it, so apparently it’s not just menstrual fluid that needs to be blued-over to make it safe to view.

RosieBut in the legendary Bounty adverts featuring Nancy Walker as at the diner counter, we don’t have to deal with blue. Why? Because Rosie wasn’t talking about sopping up bodily fluids.

The Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health (oh, how I love the internet!) offers a 1927 report by a Dr. Gilbreth to Johnson & Johnson on improving their menstrual products. The use of the color blue is mentioned, but I think this might be the blue used on the packaging — it obviously has nothing to do with TV commercials.

Blue is apparently a mystery. It’s safe because it doesn’t match anything inside us, but for the same reason, it’s the unknown. Why is the sky blue? Because we don’t really understand the sky, and blue is the color of stuff we don’t know.

George Carlin had a bit about :

Why is there no blue food? I can’t find blue food — I can’t find the flavor of blue! I mean, green is lime; yellow is lemon; orange is orange; red is cherry; what’s blue? There’s no blue! Oh, they say, “Blueberries!” Uh-uh; blue on the vine, purple on the plate. There’s no blue food! Where is the blue food? We want the blue food! Probably instores immortality! They’re keeping it from us!

Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey specifically mentions blue food in the final portion of the novel, when Dave is in the apartment where he grows old. Thomas E. Brown and Phil Vendy, in their paper A Taste of Blue Food in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey — Editing A Cinematic Landmark, discuss some of the scenes apparently edited out of his film:

Perhaps the most tantalising of all claims about 2001: A Space Odyssey is the sighting of Dave opening packs of “blue food” in his cosmic apartment. Previously considered to be nothing other than a case of ailing memory or confusion between the movie and the book, we now have it on the highest authority that this scene was indeed staged.

Arthur C. Clarke characteristically used the blue food to illustrate a point that few other writers could have achieved with anything like the same elegance and subtlety: namely, that the “aliens”, able to construct an entire environment for Dave’s comfort out of the intercepted thoughts and images broadcast into space from planet Earth, had no idea what was contained in those boxes of food (though it has to be said that this failure on their part is very unlikely, given their accuracy in all other details).

However, as indicated earlier, there is no evidence that “blue food” ever appeared in any shots actually used by Kubrick, so it is still open to debate whether it was possible for anyone to have known about or seen it.

In the foreward to the second edition, they note that

…the claims of some early viewers to have memories of Dave finding “blue food” in his hotel suite received at least some support, even if actual evidence is still unobtainable. In the first edition, our conclusion was that no such scenes had been filmed. However, it seems highly likely that Kubrick did in fact try out some shots of the food that Clarke so explicitly describes in the book.

final touchAnd the greatest blue mystery of them all: “bluing for extra whiteness”?

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