I don’t even know how I got into this but once I started it was like a black hole – there was no way out and having been sucked in I want you all to share the wonder that comes from shopping with your (or your lady friend’s) vagina in mind. Who knew there was a whole world out there developed specifically to tell women that their vaginas left alone are really not good enough?
For those of you not in the UK, Femfresh decided to create, market and sell a vaginal wash which stops your vagina smelling like, well, a vagina. Longing for Summer Breeze and Lavender Blooms or Midnight Jasmine with Lilies then Femfresh is the product for you and your nooni, lala, kitty, and frou frou.* To think there was a time when I thought calling it down there was infantile. Now we have the bloody Tellitubbies. I’m sure they thought women all over the country were longing, nay praying for such a product. I’m sure they thought they were the answer to all of our, and our partners’ prayers (because who wants to go down on a woman with a vagina smelling like a vagina? I mean, totes gross. Totes). I’m sure they thought they would win Product of the Year**
Instead what happened will live forever in the history of this country as one of the biggest marketing cock-ups. There were three things they didn’t realise:
- Women and men don’t call a vagina something that sounds like a children’s TV character. I have one vagina and one vulva – no idea what a frou frou is and pretty sure I don’t want one – it might try to sing to me.
- Shockingly men (and women – whoever a woman’s sexual partner is) like the smell of a vagina. Because it’s a vagina. It’s not heavily scented detergent. Why would anyone want their/their partner’s vagina to smell like a ‘cheap taxi’?*** In the immortally brilliant words of Jack Whitehall, why would any man go down on a woman and think it needs recordation?
- If your vagina smells bad then the chances are you need to see a doctor and the crappy chemicals found in Femfresh will probably make it worse. Why use something which could harm you when you can use water?****
The final nail on Femfresh’s coffin was self inflicted – they could have addressed the problems and chosen to stand by their product, defending their creative and marketing decisions. It would have still been ridiculed but at least there would have been a proper debate. They could have taken some control of the situation. Or they could have apologised, rebranded it as something safe to use, and called a vagina a vagina. What they did instead was delete comments they found rude on their FB page before deleting it all together.
Which means that Femfresh will never, ever die. I don’t know what it is with companies and their universal belief that vaginas are icky and need to be cleaned. Why do they fear and loathe them? In case this particular company still doesn’t get it, I’ll leave it with a couple of angry Facebook users who retaliated when Femfresh deleted a comment because they found the word ‘vagina’ offensive. Really and truly.
*I made up those ‘flavours’ – no idea what they really are and can’t bring myself to check.
**No idea if this exists
***Actual criticism said by a male Facebook user on their Facebook page before the page was deleted
****They may have actually achieved more success if they tried to sell ‘special’ water
Image credit (top) femfresh.co.uk, bottom, facebook.com