Mini, twinkle, hoo haa, flower, fancy, yoni, lady garden…. With its pH balanced formula specially developed for intimate skin, femfresh is one of the kindest ways to care for your va jay jay, kitty, nooni, la la, froo froo!
So begins the latest campaign from Femfresh, the latest in ‘intimate care for down there’. It’s also the latest in a long list of adverts which belittle and insult their target audience: women.
Not only are they guilty of making women feel insecure in order to sell us something we don’t need, but the advert itself is insultingly childish. I can only assume that the ad creators were hoping to give the image of ‘feminine hygiene’ a light-hearted do-over, thinking that its cheeky tone would disguise its attempts to make women feel insecure enough about the state of their genitalia to buy such unnecessary products.
Frankly, I can’t help but think that any self-respecting adult who used a phrase as idiotic as ‘froo froo’ to refer to their nether regions in public could do with a short, sharp slap.
The ad has appeared in a number of feminist magazines (as an object of criticism, rather than appearing alongside editorial content) – and so the obvious question is, as always: are we making a big deal of this? That’s debatable. There are clearly far greater issues threatening women’s freedom, but I would argue that it is a demonstration of an attitude which infantalises women. The use of childish language to refer to our bodies implies that we are ourselves childish; it stems from and feeds the idea that women should be cutesy and unthreatening. It is not an attitude that promotes maturity or assertiveness.
To illustrate my point, consider how an advert for the equivalent product aimed at men would be framed. I doubt it would include the word ‘willy’ or ‘tinklehose’. It would almost certainly claim, whether implicitly or explicitly (more likely the latter), to increase sexual attractiveness and feature semi-clothed women in a poorly constructed Lynx-style narrative. Because woman cute; man manly.
What is about the term ‘vagina’ that is so abhorrent to advertisers? Is it too scientific, too biological? Too un-glamorous or not sweet enough? It’s about time we started avoiding such infantile euphemisms which enforce established and unhelpful gender roles. So no, Femfresh, I won’t be buying your product to protect my vajayjay. Grow up.