Actress Jessica Biel has teamed up with family planning and reproductive health organization WomanCare Global in an attempt to get women talking about and understanding their bodies. Jessica and husband Justin Timberlake have recently had their first child, Silas, who was born in April, and Jessica now wants to help women to understand reproductive health. Biel has teamed up with Funny Or Die to produce a series of videos that are described and candid and “informative but also goofy, smart, witty”
Biel says that the campaign is humorous, but it tackles a range of serious issues including pregnancy, contraception and puberty. Biel also takes a look at sex, reproductive organs and wonders why men buy condoms that are too large. Jessica says that the use of humor will help to break down social taboo’s around the subject of sex and make it easier for people to relate to and understand the issues.
“I mean that’s really how we want to speak about this issue and share this issue with everyone. Because we want to take it out of the shadows.”
In one video Jessica talks with her co-stars Whitney Cummings and Joy Bryant about the moment where a condom comes off during sex and hilariously describes the “cave diving” process that goes into retrieving it. [Not safe for work]
Launching the campaign Jessica revealed that she hopes that humor will enable people to talk about the “crazy things” that happen to them.
“We don’t want women’s reproductive health issues to be hidden under stigma or taboos anymore. And how best to reach all demographics. Can we please laugh about this crazy stuff that happens to us?”
According to Cosmopolitan Jessica makes it clear that she is very happy to laugh about her own experiences. Jessica describes her experience of using a hormone-free IUD and as a result discovering that she has a “super vagina.” Whilst using the device Jessica experienced unusually heavy monthly periods and describes the experience in amusing terms.
“I would have to set a timer and change the tampon every two hours because I would bleed through everything. It was like shark week.”
According to ABC News Jessica got involved in the project because she discovered during her recent pregnancy that she knew very little about the things her body would go through. Biel believes that her lack of knowledge is partially the result of a lack of proper reproductive education in schools. Jessica says, “I knew nothing,” noting that the lack of knowledge goes back all the way to middle school.
“I remember my health class in middle school literally was the girls were separated, the boys were separated, and I think it was ‘Here’s a tampon, good luck’ kind of thing, and you just walk away from that experience feeling kind of shameful. And you feel kind of weird and like, it was kind of gross.”
Biel got involved in the project through her friend Saundra Pelletier, CEO of WomanCare Global. Pelletier accepts that there is “a lot of good information” available on the subject of sex education, however she joins Jessica in wanting to ensure that information is available in an easy to understand and accessible format.
“We want to bring it all together because we know that young women and young men are getting information sometimes in the wrong places.”
It seems clear that the message does not always get through because according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned.
Jessica Biel sums it all up nicely when she says “we should just be able to talk and laugh and learn together.”
[Photo by JP Yim/David Becker/Kevin Winter/Getty Images]