Following the launch of her vaginal wellness gummies, Kourtney Kardashian has faced sharp criticism from women’s health experts who slammed the celebrity’s probiotic as “incredibly problematic.”
“Vaginal health is such an important part of a woman’s overall well-being (and not talked about enough) which is why we are so excited to launch this! Give your vagina the sweet treat it deserves (and turn it into a sweet treat),” Kardashian’s Instagram post advertising her new product read. “You know what they say…you are what you eat. We combined real pineapple and Vitamin C with the power of clinically-studied SNZ 1969™ probiotics to target vaginal health and pH levels that support freshness and taste.”
Kardashian rolled out her latest vitamin called “Lemme Purr” this week, but gynecologists and other women’s health experts promptly called out the reality television star and her new product. Experts cautioned consumers that there is no scientific evidence behind Kardashian’s claim that the vitamins work, reminded potential buyers to seek advice from their doctor instead of an influencer or celebrity and said the promises of the product were “purely misogynistic and anti-feminist.”
In 2019, Kardashian started her wellness brand Poosh and last year launched her vitamin and supplement line, “Lemme,” to further establish herself in the wellness industry.
An obstetrics and gynecology specialist, Dr. Brooke Vandermolen, who is popular for her women’s health advice on Instagram and TikTok, told the Daily Mail that Kardashian’s claim that her gummies target vaginal wellness has “no merit” and challenged the assertion that they can help with vaginal “freshness, odor and taste.”
“All vaginas have an individual smell and taste which will vary according to your menstrual cycle, exercise patterns and your diet,” the doctor told Daily Mail. “The odour of discharge is important for the function of the vagina because it means a healthy balance of bacteria are present in the vaginal microbiome.”
“It is purely misogynistic and anti-feminist to suggest that vaginas are somehow unclean or unhygienic because their natural smell doesn’t fit in with the ideal provided in mainstream media and porn,” she added.
Vandermole also criticized Kardashian’s advertising, which featured CGI cats circling her as she lay on a white background while eating a gummy as “crude and vulgar.”
“It contributes to the objectification of women, depersonalising them from their genitalia and reducing them to sexual objects,” she said.
Dr. Anita Mitra, a gynecologist and scientist with a PhD on the vaginal microbiome and popular women’s health blogger under the handle The Gynae Geek, laid out five reasons she would not spend her money on a “celebrity-promoted vaginal health gummy.”
For one, Mitra said the terms “probiotic” and “microbiome” are often used as marketing buzzwords to make a product seem credible, but warned that “probiotics are not a panacea for health” and that there is no “scientific evidence that we all need a probiotic.”
She also took issue with the marketing for the product, which states the gummies have been “clinically studied.”
In addition, she told her followers that they should look the expertise of a healthcare professional if they experience symptoms like foul-smelling vaginal discharge, itching, irritation or bleeding, rather than listen to a celebrity’s health advice.
Like Vandermolen, Mitra described the product as “anti-feminist.”
“Anyone who tells you that you need to change the taste or smell of your vulva or vagina is working with the patriarchy,” she said. “And while we are at it, let’s stop using the cat emoji to refer to our anatomy…”