Women are routinely told there’s something wrong with the natural, healthy way our vaginas work. While Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop is arguably most responsible for cultivating our baseless insecurities (see: jade vagina eggs and, of course, vaginal steaming), the whole wellness and beauty industries seem intent on giving us a complex.
Glitter notoriously gets everywhere, but some women are apparently putting it into their nether regions in capsule form before sex to ensure a “sparkly, flavoured orgasm”. Words escape us sometimes, they really do.
Online retailer Pretty Woman Inc is selling Passion Dust Intimacy Capsules, which are designed to be inserted into the vagina and allowed “to naturally dissolve and release its contents”, the product description reads.
The capsules are made from gelatin, starch-based edible glitter, acacia (gum arabic) powder, Zea Mays starch and vegetable stearate, which the website says is safe to stick inside the vagina. The only health risk the company warns of is the potential for asthma attacks if the glitter particles are ingested through oral sex.
It even assures users that: "If you’ve ever had vaginal issues, you had them before you used Passion Dust anyway. If you’ve ever had a yeast infection, I’m sure it wasn’t caused by glitter; it just happens sometimes (Oh, the joys of being a girl!).”
But health professionals beg to differ and, thankfully, one doctor has spoken out against the potential health risks of using the capsules. In a blogpost headlined "Don't glitter bomb your vagina", Dr Jen Gunter, a leading gynaecologist based in Canada who has become known for her takedowns of Paltrow's controversial health claims, warns that they could interfere with the vagina's balance of bacteria, thereby leading to infection, and increase the risk of catching STIs.
"Just because something is safe for your lips, for example glitter lip gloss, doesn't mean it is safe for the vagina," she wrote, adding that there's currently no known way of making vagina-friendly glitter.
"If [the glitter] isn’t plastic and it’s sugar, well, depositing sugar in the vagina lets the bad bacteria go wild. Studies looking at treating bacterial vaginosis with vaginally administered probiotics were halted because the glucose keeping the probiotics alive made the bad bacteria go wild," she added.
"Could the vehicle be an irritant and cause a vaginal contact dermatitis? Yes and ouch. Think vaginal sunburn!" Ouch indeed.
Gunter also calls out the product for its sexist implications. “The point of the vaginal glitter appears to be ‘for him,’ you know because a vagina au naturel just isn’t enough. I hate, hate, hate the messaging behind this (and all other vaginal “enhancement” products). Why do we have to shame women inside and out?” she said.
It’s not clear how many people are partaking in the trend, but the website says they sold out of stock in a matter of days. However, we're guessing the product will most likely only appeal to a small audience of women: hardcore unicorn aficionados.
For more news and reporting on cosmetic and non-cosmetic procedures targeted at women's vaginas, visit our #YourVaginasFine microsite.