Did you know your vagina is dirty? Summer’s Eve certainly wants you to think so. And their stereotypical new ad campaign is touting that message loud and clear with talking hand vaginas giving lip service to the flawed medical information the entire line is based on.
Just for a moment (say, this paragraph and this paragraph only) let’s pretend that we don’t already know that douching is bad for us and our lady parts. Not only does the practice disrupt our body’s natural protective cleansing system, it also rinses away the bacteria and yeast that are supposed to be present in our vaginas. In other words, our vaginas can take care of themselves.
For the sake of argument, we can pretend for a moment that douching is good for us. With me? Okay, now tell me if a black talking hand vagina with an afro, a brown vagina with a Spanish accent, or a white vagina complaining about going to the gym are a) going to make you relate because your vagina exhibits stereotypical tendencies, too or b) make you wonder what the jackass who approved the ad campaign was smoking?
I vote B.
For those who haven’t seen the ads yet, Summer’s Eve “Hail to the V” ads, let me break it down for you.
The Black Vagina: Sister girl's got an afro and opens with a “Giiiiiiiiirl!” because, obviously, every black vagina should sound like the perceived racial stereotype. She’s got an afro, likes to hit the club, and went and got “her hair did.”
The Latina Vagina: Senorita Vagina wears a thong, says “ay-yi-yi” and goes off on a rapid-fire Spanish rant about said thong being the tackiest thing it’s ever seen. Which, by the way, is a lot, because Summer’s Eve likes to think the Latin vagina has seen practically everything.
The White Vagina: She’s bland and whines about going to the gym. Oh, and she says "BFF" a lot. Frankly, I'm not sure if any of my Caucasian friends were aware their vaginas were this boring.
Oh, and she’s important, too, because White Vagina has the empowering message to help educate the rest of us out there about cleaning our dirty vaginas.
I’m trying not to let my feelings get hurt that Summer’s Eve doesn’t think my Latin Lady Parts aren’t smart or influential enough to spread anything other than the legs leading to it.
Of course, agency founder Stan Richards of The Richards Group is defending the campaign. Here’s his quote to Adweek:
We have a wonderful client that recognizes no matter what they do, marketing in the feminine hygiene category is going to provoke a reaction. After listening to thousands of women say they want straight-talk and lighthearted communication on a historically-uncomfortable topic, Summer's Eve gave us license to be bold, irreverent and celebratory across a multitude of mediums and to different audiences. We are surprised that some have found the online videos racially stereotypical. We never intended anything other than to make the videos relatable, and our in house multi-cutural experts confirmed the approach. The more important mission is to get women talking about taboo topics and we hope these negative sentiments don't overshadow that effort.
Interesting. So my vagina is supposed to have an accent? Ay-yi-yi.
Tell me, what do you think? Are the ads racially insensitive? Do they speak to you or are they a slap in the Lady Parts? Please, take the floor and discuss away, ladies. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the issue.
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