Dr. Jen Gunter is calling out Vagisil for ‘predatory line of products aimed at teen girls’
The battle against misogyny is lifelong for women, and companies like Vagisil are proving that even young girls should be ready to wage war. Luckily we have experts like Dr. Jen Gunter ready to come after companies like this, who make their money by shaming people with vaginas into thinking there’s something wrong with them if they don’t constantly smell like spring rain or summer sunflowers Down There.
Gunter, author of The Vagina Bible and well-known social media presence for her expertise in gynecology, has already made her mark on the world by educating us all on proper vaginal health (which does not include Goop’s jade eggs, thankyouverymuch). Vagisil recently launched a line of products for teens — because you’re never too young to feel insecure about your vagina — and Gunter is absolutely not here for it.
In a series of tweets over the weekend, Gunter pressured Vagisil to pull the new brand, OMV!.
Hey @vagisil going to call you out here for this predatory line of products aimed at teen girls. Why do you think teen vulvas need special cleaning? To be prepped for men? Because they are dirty. Anxiously awaiting your answer as are all my followers pic.twitter.com/oVQf5XBx71
— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) February 5, 2021
“Hey @vagisil going to call you out here for this predatory line of products aimed at teen girls,” Gunter wrote. “Why do you think teen vulvas need special cleaning? To be prepped for men? Because they are dirty. Anxiously awaiting your answer as are all my followers.”
Apparently the OMV! line (a play on “OMG!” because teens, get it?) is meant to combat “period funk” and help young people with vulvas do an “intimate care glow-up.” Huh. See, now, most of us thought that a “glow up” is what we get when we watch a makeup tutorial on YouTube past the age of 19. But no! Your vulva needs one too!
I am going to make it my mission to get you to pull this product line @vagisil, underestimate me at your peril.— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) February 5, 2021
Gunter wasted no time addressing the problematic nature of Vagisil as just a generally predatory company, but specifically their garbage marketing and the fact that they’re making young people feel shameful and apologetic over their vulvas.
First of all @vagisil do you REALLY want teens to out this swill in their vaginas? You are literally marketing it as vaginal health. This will damage lactobacilli and mucus and increase the risk of STIs of exposed.— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) February 5, 2021
It’s a vulva, not a creamsicle— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) February 7, 2021
It’s also worth mentioning that there isn’t a company named, like, Scrotisil, that sells ball sac refreshers. There are no “Eucalyptus Mint” or “Sandalwood Scrotum” products out there aimed at 15-year-old, sweaty football players under the guise of “all-day freshness for your nuts.” No, people with penises squirt some Gold Bond down there to prevent chapping and call it a day.
Vaginas and vulvas literally do not need anything to stay “fresh.” Ever. They’re self-cleaning! And if its very natural scent turns off someone you’re intimate with, they can kick rocks.
Gunter has regularly tried to educate the public about vulvas and vaginas and that “feminine hygiene” products are a.) trash, and b.) shouldn’t go anywhere near anyone’s internal body parts because they’re actually dangerous.
People who use feminine hygiene products like Vagisil and Summer’s Eve washes are up to three times more likely to get a vaginal infection. These products often disrupt the vagina’s natural pH balance which can lead to a whole host of problems.
OMV! offers cleanser and “sweat wipes” that smell like “vanilla-clementine,” according to its website. The product line’s Instagram posts describe the smell like a “creamsicle scent that’s sweet and citrusy.” But vaginas and vulvas are not supposed to smell like creamsicles, because that is for an ice cream shop and not your genitals. What in the name of yeast infections is going on here?!
Vagisil addressed the criticism publicly, saying they didn’t intend to shame young people about their smell.
In response to today’s comments about OMV!, we want to reiterate the fact that we are in no way shaming women or vulvas/vaginas for how they look, smell, or anything else. We are here to support women when their personal preference is to use a wash, wipes, or any of our products. pic.twitter.com/qec2zbnuEq
— Vagisil (@vagisil) February 5, 2021
But that’s the thing about intention vs. impact — the result is still damaging, even if you didn’t “mean” what you did. And let’s be clear — in capitalism, every company absolutely means to do what they do so they can make money. Every time. All the time.