I recently got a pitch from a very nice and cheerful PR woman for a new tampon that “corrects” the pH balance of the menstrual fluid. She even sent me some samples, and disappointingly, they are wrapped in plastic and come with a plastic applicator. Her pitch, with the original emphasis: “[The Tampons] are the boldest new innovation in women’s health technology since tampons were first invented in 1929. For the first time, tampons just got smarter. While traditional tampons were designed for leak protection, comfort and convenience they have done nothing to balance pH. Until now. In healthy women, vaginal pH is typically 3.5 to 4.5. The pH of blood is 7.4, so during the menstrual cycle, vaginal pH becomes elevated by menstrual fluids.”
Really? The boldest new innovation in women’s health technology? Bolder than life-saving cancer screening and drugs? Bolder than advances prenatal health? Bolder than the HPV vaccine? I’m sorry, there is no journalist in the world, except maybe someone from a content farm, who would work that angle.
I am sure that if there was something very wrong with my vaginal pH, I would have noticed. And every gyno since I was 12 would have said something. And certainly a kindly visitor to that place would have remarked.
If you are from a Pharmaceutical Company, the Health & Beauty Aid Industrial Complex, or have anything to do with Selling Products to Women, I hope you will read this and then take it back to your leaders:
Stop telling us we smell bad and look ugly, and the only way we can remedy this is by buying your product.
Stop telling us that your improved formula is a miracle so we have to go out and buy a new one.
Stop making us feel too fat, or too less-than by using impossibly thin models.
Stop trying to take our power and our money and our planet with your disposable everything.
Stop telling us that our natural hair or body isn’t OK and that we need to change to what you think we should be.
When you’ve gotten all that (and yes, I realize you are also responsible for Tamoxifen and other life-saving drugs), please work on things that are practical and make us feel terrific. Like this, which I got from a different PR pitch.