A casual trip to the Manning bathrooms earlier this week brought me face-to-face with a poster advertising Libra’s latest product, ‘Get Fresh Wipes’. Emblazoned across the advertisement was the somewhat contradictory slogan “We won’t dance around it. This gives you a fresh hoo-ha.”
If using the word ‘hoo-ha’ in place of ‘vagina’ isn’t dancing around it, I don’t know what is. But not wanting to become immediately enraged— lest this product prove reasonable after all— I read the fine print.
“Locked eyes on someone out there? Well say hi to new Libra Get Fresh Wipes. They’re gentle enough to use on even your most sensitive bits, plus small enough to slip in your handbag. Now get back out there and show ‘em your moves!”
Sigh. Obviously, the notion that I might lock eyes with a beautiful stranger in Manning Bar and need to rush to the bathroom to freshen up my ‘hoo-ha’ before I approach them to execute my moves is patently ridiculous. But if dumb advertising were a crime, very few companies would escape conviction. No, the reason I took issue with this campaign is because Libra has created a product for a problem that does not exist.
Get Fresh Wipes aren’t a response to a genuine need; they’re a response to a sexist perception that vaginas are gross and unclean. By implying that women need this product, Libra is not just responding to this stereotype, but also perpetuating it. They’re helping create yet another tiresome, unnecessary task for the already arduous beauty regime expected from women: ensuring our vaginas are ‘fresh’ at all times.
As it turns out, these wipes are not just insulting, but also plain confusing. A TV advertisement portrays a woman being called into an impromptu audition yet having no time to shower — that timeless female dilemma! But luckily, the gal in question has Libra’s Get Fresh Wipes on hand, and uses them to prepare herself in the back of the car. Audiences were understandably bewildered. What kind of intrusive audition was this?
Libra was quick to confirm that it had all been a big misunderstanding. “The wipes are not just for your downstairs area,” explained the unfortunate person tasked with running Libra’s Facebook page. “They can be used all over your body from head to toe.”
This explains nothing, except for strengthening my suspicions that Libra have an actual policy of using euphemisms instead of the word ‘vagina’. Is their garbled marketing strategy regarding hoo-has simply to hide the fact that they’ve essentially re-released baby wipes at triple the price? Either way, I’m deeply unconvinced. That beautiful stranger in Manning Bar might have to pass me by, because I’m not buying Get Fresh Wipes anytime soon.