This column may contain strong language, sexual content, adult humor, and other themes that may not be suitable for minors. Parental guidance is strongly advised.
I wanted to write about Hillary Clinton’s historic nomination as the official candidate of the Democratic Party for President of the United States— the first woman to be nominated. About how she has indeed smashed through that glass ceiling that at times must have seemed like plowing through cement. About how she persevered in a contest so marked by misogyny and naked antagonism, in which everything about her was pieced apart and scrutinized mercilessly, to a degree neither Trump nor Sanders nor any other contender was subjected to, to a degree no one else would have been able to survive.
I still want to write about that, but, as we all know, one may have the noblest intentions, yet those damned Kardashians have a way of hijacking the conversation and switching the channel back to them.
This time it wasn’t about Kim standing by her man and shattering the myth of Taylor Swift’s shrewdly cultivated ingénue—victim—America’s sweetheart image. Or about Kris Jenner’s shrewdly cultivated path to millions in syndication rights on the backs—quite literally sometimes—of her daughters. No, it’s about Khloé, the one who used to be considered the least attractive of the lot—poor thing. Well, now she’s all blonde and slimmed down and va-va-voom and dishing out pronouncements on caring for your cooch with the dubious authority of—I’ll skip the unkind metaphor coined for the sake of wit… Anyway, Khloé wants your private lady bits to be as sleek and as healthy as she now apparently is, and that involves her personal prescription for Vitamin E oil to be slathered all over your vagina.
As she enthused to credulous subscribers to her app, “No joke: Vitamin E may strengthen vaginal lining!!! Moisturize your labia and vagina with Vitamin E oil to combat dryness and soothe irritation.”
Now children, just because Khloé said so, doesn’t mean you should, okay? And just because Gwynnie said so, doesn’t mean you should, either. Remember how the genius behind Goop advocated for vaginal steaming not too long ago?
Pity the poor vagina. It stretches, it contracts, and it takes in dicks of all sizes and pushes out babies. And in Thailand, it even shoots out ping pong balls and Coke cans. Truly a multitasking marvel of nature, with magic properties to boot. And, get this, it even cleans itself, just like a self-cleaning oven, as San Francisco-based OB-GYN Jennifer Gunter has asserted on many an occasion. So the last thing it needs is a Vitamin E oil treatment, no matter what Khloé says.
As the good doctor Jen Gunter puts it in her blog:
“The latest celebrity to use the Internet like a public speculum is Khloé Kardashian. I know this because my phone blew up yesterday with reporters texting, e-mailing and sending direct messages on Twitter asking about vaginal vitamin E. So I gave some quotes and thought it would all die down because, hey, the President spoke last night and a woman accepted the nomination to run for President!”
But no. Kardashian vagina ranks up there in national significance with the first woman running for the highest office and threats of Russian espionage, so here we are.
Dr. Jen goes on to explain, citing scientific studies and her own experience as a gynecologist and a woman, that Khloé is basically spouting a lot of lubricated nonsense. There is absolutely no medical basis for claiming that Vitamin E oil is needed on a regular basis to strengthen tissue down there.
She does say that:
“There is one small study looking at a compound with vitamin E mixed with hyaluronic acid and vitamin A in menopausal women, but it’s a low quality study. Some studies support vitamin E to protect the vulva against radiation injury during cancer treatment, but that cannot be extrapolated to health maintenance for women of reproductive age. It would be like saying you are going to apply sunscreen to prevent a sunburn so you will also put it on your hands so you don’t get burned taking a pan out of a hot oven.”
She speaks the truth.
There are other dangers to blindly heeding the call of Khloé. According to a Daily Beast piece on the matter, “Oils like vitamin E can break down latex condoms, increasing the risk of unintended pregnancy among Khloé’s young fanbase. And if you fail to do a patch test on your skin before applying vitamin E to your vulva or vagina—which, again, you almost definitely shouldn’t do—you may end up discovering a new allergy in a very sensitive place.”
It’s really very simple. If you have trouble lubricating, if your vagina hurts, whether during sex or outside of sex, go see a doctor, preferably not a Kardashian playing doctor on reality TV. I’m sure Khloé means well, but really, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? And if you need vitamins, get it from food and not from an oil massaging your nether regions.
By the same token, Dr. Jen is not an advocate of douching, saying the procedure unnecessarily damages the vagina. All the mechanisms are in place anyway to allow the vagina to again, she provides an explanation based on science and common sense:
“Douches are damaging because the chemicals (yes, even vinegar) damages lactobacilli, an essential bacteria for vaginal health. Lactobacilli produce hydrogen peroxide, which is toxic to infections such as HIV, as well as lactic acid, which maintains the pH of the vagina and has other important bad-bacteria/virus fighting properties. Lactobacilli also bind to the cells in the vagina forming a physical barrier to infection.”
And a steam douche as championed by Gwyneth Paltrow, a cringe-worthy cocktail of mugwort and other allergens served as a special treatment at Tikkun Spa in Santa Monica, compounds the damage even more.
“The real golden ticket here is the Mugworth V-Steam,” she raved last year on Goop. “You sit on what is essentially a mini-throne and a combination of infrared and mugwort steam cleanses your uterus et al.”
Groan. Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation. Any problems or questions you have with your vagina, for God’s sake, please see your gynecologist and not some pop-culture manufactured celebrity masquerading as a lifestyle guru.
Any other kwestions, go ask Khloé.
Can we go back to talking about Hillary now?
B. Wiser is the author of Making Love in Spanish, a novel published earlier this year by Anvil Publishing and available in National Book Store and Powerbooks, as well as online. When not assuming her Sasha Fierce alter-ego, she takes on the role of serious journalist and media consultant.
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Art by Dorothy Guya