Yesterday, thanks to Summer’s Eve douching products, I learned that my vagina is “the most powerful thing on Earth and that samauri warriors and medieval jousting was all about fighting over a good, clean vagina. It turns out there are more douche-y douche commercials where that came from.
Summer’s Eve also has a a sassy-talking vagina targeting black women.
And of course there’s a “spicy” Latina talking vagina, too, who says “Aye-yi-yi!”
Could there be anything more offensive as Summer’s Eve’s racial stereotypes? Sort of. The commercials are all part of Summer’s Eve’s new Hail To The V campaign, which stars “Cleopatra and other strong female archetypes exalted for their combination of power and femininity.” Cleopatra is going to roll over in her tomb when she finds out her likeness is being used to sell p**sy-Lysol.
It gets worse, though. Quoth Angela Bryant, director of U.S. marketing, feminine care for Summer’s Eve:
“The whole category has been talking to women the same way since feminine hygiene products have been in the marketplace, and ironically, many media outlets won’t even allow the use of the word vagina in advertising. We are way past-due for a change. [Jessica's Note: OK, at least that last part is not batsh*t crazy.] Hearing from women on our listening tour last year cemented that now is the time. This campaign is about empowerment [emphasis mine], changing the way women may think of the brand, and removing longstanding stigmas: Summer’s Eve is not a means to confidence, rather it’s a celebration of confidence, of being a woman, and taking care of their bodies.”
Yeah, they went there. Empowerment. Time for some real talk: the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does not endorse douching because it upsets your vagina’s natural acidity and balance of good and bad bacteria. (WomensHealth.gov does not specifically address Summer’s Eve’s individual products — which include cleansing wash, cleansing cloths and bath/shower gel — but I suspect they all fall under the category of “douching” addressed by the site.) According to the WomensHealth.gov website:
“One way to look at it is in a healthy vagina there are both good and bad bacteria. The balance of the good and bad bacteria help maintain an acidic environment. Any changes can cause an over growth of bad bacteria which can lead to a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. Plus, if you have a vaginal infection, douching can push the bacteria causing the infection up into the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.”
Side effects of douching include irritation, bacterial vaginosis, STIs and pelvic inflammatory disease. Girl power!
Women douche primarily to rid their vagina of its smells — some of which are “natural” and some of which could be a sign of lack of cleanliness or infection. (Some women douche because they think it prevents pregnancy, but alas, this is not an approved method of birth control by anyone other than the fictional case of “Boardwalk Empire.”) The reality is that if a woman’s vagina has such an odor problem that she’s trying to Lysol it into submission, she should probably be visiting her gynecologist. In addition to relieving herself of extreme discomfort, she may also want to make sure she’s protecting her fertility. I’m not an OBGYN, but even I know that pushing bacteria up into your uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries is bad news bears for the stork.
As for the women who douche because they don’t like their own smell? I can understand disliking personal odors; nearly everyone wears some kind of anti-perspirant or deodorant to control their B.O. But I can’t understand why anyone would so clearly put their health at risk to achieve that goal. It’s not like I personally am telling you not to douche. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is telling you not to douche and they’re the same people who tell you not to give yourself an abortion with a coat hanger. Which, you know, is also good advice. There’s an entire marketing machine designed to convince women that douching is “normal” and “safe,” when it’s anything but.
Please, ladies, take heed: the only douche you should (maybe) let near your ladyflower is Brody Jenner.