What began as a misguided internet challenge has now opened up into a social debate about women’s health.
Posting a photo of the crotch of her underwear to social media last week, New York woman Brittany Hunter wrote, “don’t argue with me if your panties don’t look like this when you pull them down.”
And so began the “panty challenge”.
The panty challenge in action. Source: Twitter.
The problem many had and still have with Hunter's original post is that her underwear is spotless.
But as we all know, discharge is a very real, healthy and useful bodily function that all women experience.
Some felt that Hunter's post was yet another example of the complex and unrealistic beauty ideals women face. Others were just plain confused as to how we'd reached a point of sharing photos of the insides of our undies.
Mamamia women get real on another women's issue. Post continues...
Either way though, the photo has unintentionally sparked an incredible online debate since.
"Why the absolute fuck do they have a panty challenge?" one tweeter wrote, before another asked, "why is this even a challenge? females stoop this low now... "
Others commented that the challenge had simply been made to "shame a natural bodily function women can't control."
"Now we can't even do normal things like discharge?" one Twitter user wrote before continuing, "[internalized] misogyny has reached new heights."
Vaginal discharge is an important function for a number of reasons.
Not only does it help keep the vagina clean prevent infection, it also is a virtual tracker of where you're up to in your menstrual cycle and let's you know pretty quickly if there's something amiss down there thanks to its ability to change colour and scent quicker than your average camouflage expert.
It's like a wireless WebMD in your pants, so trying to prove you're above that seems highly counter intuitive.
While Hunter has since posted a video explaining that she does in fact experience discharge, the conversation has taken on a life of its own online.
#pantychallenge is awful and once again making girls feel bad about being healthy," one Tweet read seriously.
"If ur panties don't look like a used kleenex by 7pm, you need some prayer and some mucus between ur legs," another wrote comedically.