Does the newly unveiled cone-shaped mascot for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games remind you of anything? While a tweet from the Paris 2024 organizing committee may have wanted the mascot to be reminiscent of certain type of headware, a number of people on social media have pointed out that the mascot resembles something from another location on the body. A clitoris. Yes, a clitoris, which, in case you didn’t know, is not the name of a new Olympic event. Instead, a clitoris is a body part, a particularly sexually sensitive body part. While Olympic mascots typically aren’t designed to resemble genitalia, Quentin Girard wrote in an opinion piece for the French newspaper Libération that this clitoral resemblance was actually “very good news” because it meant that France collectively has “at last understood what one looks like.”
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee had clitorises or clitorides (which are the plural forms of clitoris) on their minds when they approved the appearance of this red-colored mascot. If this were indeed their intention, that would give new meaning to the following tweet from them on November 14:
As you can see, that tweet said, “On vous présente la Phryge Olympique et la Phryge Paralympique ! Les mascottes de #Paris2024 Sportives, fêtardes… et françaises,” which roughly translated to “Here are the Olympic Phryge and the Paralympic Phryge! The #Paris2024 mascots They are sporty, love to party… and are so French.” Yeah, “sporty”, “love to party”, and “so French” would have been interesting things to say about such a body part.
Instead, the tweet mentioned the term “Phryge,” which is not a different way of spelling the word “fridge” or an expletive that begins with the letter “f” and rhymes with “rig.” No, the tweet seemed to refer to a Phrygian cap, otherwise known as a liberty cap, which is a soft cone-shaped piece of headwear where the tip of the cone droops downwards. Such caps have been around for ages, being worn in ancient times in Persia and the Balkans. The French connection to the Phrygian cap came when in the late 1700’s that style of cap became a symbol of the republic that emerged from the French revolution. So the tweet suggested that the mascot was actually fashioned after this cap.
However, folks on social media have essentially said wait a Phrygian second. For example, journalist and podcaster Matilde Meslin tweeted in French something that translated to “We agree that it is not at all a Phrygian cap but a whole clitoris,” or something like that:
And a Twitter account with a blue verification check mark that listed itself as Sardine Ruisseau (parodie) posted something that translated to, “If you too see clitoris everywhere, like this tweet,” on Twitter:
Chances are this tweet meant seeing a clitoris everywhere in the mascots specifically and not everywhere in general. It would be unusual to see such a body part everywhere you look. In fact, the reason why Girard thought that this clitoral resemblance was “very good news” is that many may not even know where to find clitoris or what one really looks like. That may be a reason why the Vagina Museum, which is located in London, UK, but is not to be confused with The British Museum, used pictures of the mascots in its “new guide to the anatomy of the clitoris” in a tweet on November 15:
One misconception is that the clitoris is simply a pea-shaped and pea-sized body part. When it comes to your clitoris, though, there’s more than the eye can see. You may have seen the visible part, which is located near the top of your vulva, right below where your labia minora, the technical term for your inner vaginal lips, converge at a mound of skin called your mons pubis and form your clitoral hood. This hood can look a little like a hoodie for the glans clitoris, which is the aforementioned pea-shaped structure. As I covered recently for Forbes, your glans clitoris has a lot of nerve, potentially over 10,000 nerve endings on average, making it quite sensitive to touch. That’s sensitive in a sexual way and not an Emo way. These nerve endings give your clitoris what a Cleveland Clinic website describes as a singular purpose, “to enable you to experience sexual pleasure.” While the glans may be what people think of when they think about the clitoris, that would only be scratching the surface, so to speak.
Instead, your clitoris goes deep, extending into your body, with the rest of the clitoris forming a V-shape. Such a shape may not be super hard to remember given its proximity to a couple V-words, vagina and vulva. The body or corpora of your clitoris is the top portion of this wishbone shape before it divides into the two legs or crura of your clitoris. Between these two legs are two vestibular (clitoral) bulbs, which can swell with blood when you are aroused. These bulbs wrap around your vaginal canal. The nerves that end in your glans all converge at your clitoris root, which is located between where the legs of your clitoris meet. When you’re aroused, your clitoral bulbs can swell with blood, potentially doubling in size.
As you can see, or perhaps can’t see, the structure of the clitoris is more complex that simply a nub of tissue. And this complexity as well as the whole clitoris can be overlooked because the clitoris may not be a common topic of conversation. Rarely do you hear people starting sentences with, “by the way, the clitoris” or “was thinking about the clitoris the other day.” In fact, discussing the clitoris may seem even taboo or off limits, despite the fact that there’s no shortage of people willing to talk about male genitalia as evidenced by the plethora of male enhancement product commercials out there. But Girard apparently want that to change. In his opinion piece, Girard pointed out that Paris has long been associated with “its eternal phallic Eiffel Tower” and wondered whether it’s time for a symbol more “revolutionary and feminist,” namely the clitoris. In other words, Girard could be saying that he would like Paris to be missing the point.