Health, Beauty & Safety infographicsSex & Love infographics

Busting The Blue Waffle Genitals Myth (Infographic)

Blue Waffle Genitals is an internet hoax that began sometime in 2010. It was a fake sexually transmitted disease (STD) said only to affect women. A “waffle”, slang term for vagina, was claimed to turn blue in appearance and a few blue waffle images of it were shared widely across the internet.

The urban legend appeared in a number of news outlets as well, even going so far as to garner national attention. Over a decade later, the lasting impact of the blue waffle disease has remained. However, a number of doctors, including Dr. Amy Whitaker, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Chicago Hospital, have gone on record to debunk the infection hoax:

“There is no disease such as ‘blue waffle disease’ in the medical world. There is no disease that causes a blue appearance on the external genitalia.”

Dr. Amy Whitaker, MD – Chicago, IL

Even with doctors adamantly working to stop the spread of misinformation about this fictional Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) or fake STD, the blue waffle genital disease is still talked about today. Not only does this have a negative impact on sex education in young persons across the world, but STD education as a whole.

What is the Blue Waffle Genitals Hoax?

The Blue Waffle Disease is a fictional disease that took on the guise of known STDs and STIs. It is claimed to be a severe vaginal infection that emits symptoms of those real STDs. However, it compounds those real STDs will fake information. It makes wrongful claims about discoloring a woman’s vaginal area (specifically the vulva) and symptoms such as scabs or lesions that result from it. In addition, it inspired comments on sexual activity, and encouraged misinformation on sexual health.

The imaginary symptoms of the ‘STD’ caused vaginal lesions from bacterial growth, smelly discharge from the vagina, alongside itching and burning. These are all common symptoms of any number of STDS: gonorrhoea, chlamydia, a general yeast infection, genital herpes, and genital warts.

However, it went further than typical symptoms to attract more attention.

The blue waffle STD was also known to turn the vulva of the vagina blue. Beyond that, it was said to discolor or darken the inner and outer labia as the infection spread. Eventually, the more extreme cases were said to turn the entire body blue, or cause severe vaginal mutilation.

These symptoms permeated the internet through multiple pictures found on Google Image search. All of them varied in extremity, but they were all deceptive. Some displayed the blue discoloration of the vulva. Others displayed symptoms of lesions and scabbing spread inside of a woman’s vagina. Comments on these posts even made claims about the woman in question’s sex life, without any scientific backing to prove the disease or pictures were real.

How did the Blue Waffle Genitals Hoax Start?

The blue waffle genitals myth began when pranksters on the internet uploaded a picture for a bait-and-switch campaign. They encouraged people “not” to look up the disease accompanied by the picture of a blue breakfast waffle. They challenged users with statements like “bet you can’t find me on Google Image search.” This maliciously intended for users to be shocked by what they found so that they would continue to spread misinformation.

The Google Image searches for the blue waffle disease caused the original post to go viral, spreading to young persons and reputable news outlets. Eventually, it garnered national attention after a prank call convinced a New Jersey councilperson to cite the ‘blue waffle disease’ as a ‘threat to a woman’s health.’  

What Consequences Have Resulted from the Blue Waffle Disease Hoax?

While the Blue Waffle Genitals myth could be thought of as a simple prank that shared a doctored photo. The images of a blue vagina, likely just one layered in gentian violet to treat a common yeast infection, went farther than that. Its impact circles a larger issue of sex education. What’s more, it encouraged the negative narrative surrounding the sexually active woman. It propagated the idea that those women will fall victim to severe STDS or other fictional abnormalities.

The blue waffle disease still exists today, even after being debunked by multiple doctors. Unfortunately, it existing takes away from the education surrounding real STDs. Sexually transmitted diseases are real, and misinformation on their cause, or potential treatment, can have a negative impact. A person, especially a young person or woman might be put in danger. Not to mention, the willingness to believe in the blue waffle disease without adequate medical information points to a culture of disinformation.

The most important thing to take away from the hoax is a chance to enhance and encourage education on sexual health. STD testing, safe sex education, and an understanding of the symptoms of infection that impact the genitals are all helpful. In addition, it can allow for open discussions of sex and sexual health to happen without requiring a young person, woman, or man to go searching online.  The internet is a wonderful tool, but it also is full of medical misinformation.

Conclusion

Moving forward, the myth of the blue waffle disease should be seen as a cautionary tale. The imaginary disease and symptoms of infection had a real impact on society. In fact, it still does as ‘reputable sites’ still present false information on the ‘disease’. However, that doesn’t make the blue waffle Genitals myth something to forget. It should be used instead, to teach how easily misinformation can spread. What’s more, it can be used a jumping-off point to encourage real education on safe sex and STDs.

Put simply, there is no blue waffle disease that can turn a person’s genitals blue; it was only a prank. But it did have wider cultural impact that merely a prank. Its national attention brought about discussions of sexual health, sex education, symptoms of STDs, and misinformation campaigns. While it was negative and malicious when it came out, the disease offers opportunity for honest conversation now. By learning from the impact of the blue waffle disease hoax, we can better understand how to prevent another hoax gaining the same traction in the future.

Also check out our ‘Myths and Facts about your Immune System‘ infographic.

via mavcure.com

Busting The Blue Waffles Disease Myth

Related Content

Jessica Smith

Jessica is the author in charge of our website. Moreover, she takes care of all the back office and business administrative duties. Jessica is the mom of two adorable kids.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.