An Indian pharmaceutical company has come under fire for releasing a vaginal rejuvenation and tightening gel called 18 Again.
Targeted at housewives with children, 18 Again is being touted as a first-of-its-kind product for women in India by the product’s makers, the pharmaceutical company Ultratech India.
Already picking up criticism in India, the launch of 18 Again is accompanied by a new TV ad produced by creative agency Curry-Nation, in which a woman dances with her husband while singing the words “I feel like a virgin”, implying that 18 Again has magically transformed her vagina back into a youthful, teenage state. As the couple’s surprised relatives look on in the ad, we’re equally shocked – as if dealing with an onslaught of messages about our ageing faces wasn’t enough, now we’re being told we have to worry about our ageing vaginas too? And let’s not even get started on the unrealistic expectation that a woman who have given birth should be expected to have the vagina of a ‘virgin’.
ABOVE: A scene from the 18 Again TV ad created by Curry-Nation
Oh wait, hang on, apparently we spoke too soon. According to Ultratech India’s chairman and managing director, Rishi Bhatia, 18 Again is actually a powerful feminist tool: “18 Again has the power and the potential to break the shackles and redefine the meaning of [female] empowerment altogether,” he said in a statement.
ABOVE: Speaking about the 18 Again ad, Curry-Nation director Priti Nair said "the product is primarily targeted at housewives with children, [so] we wanted to create a film that is tasteful yet engaging."
Riiight, and there were we thinking it was a means of making us feel significantly bad enough about ourselves that we don’t quite measure up to some mythical virginal state thought up by a marketing company, that we buy into a product that we doubtless don’t need. Silly us.
Watch the full 18 Again TV ad below...
What do you think? Is 18 Again vaginal tightening gel an important tool in female empowerment, or an unnecessary new product built on female insecurity? Tell us your thoughts on Twitter @StylistMagazine or in the comments below