Lindy Rama-Ellis - formerly Lindy Klim - has caused a stir after announcing the launch of her new business Fig Femme offering intimate wellness products to women.
One product in particular has been met with some criticism online after the entrepreneur revealed the range includes sheet masks designed for the vulva.
In an interview on The Morning Show on Wednesday, the mum explained that since having children she had wondered why there weren’t products for women in that area.
“With the amount of waxing and lasering that goes on, that area is very delicate - so I’ve developed a product for that,” she told viewers.
“It’s a sheet mask that you just put on top like you would for your face.
“You can just lay down, have a glass of wine and do some meditation and take good care of that part of your body.”
Lindy went on to add that as a mother of three girls she wanted to get the “conversation happening”.
“I don’t want them to ever feel ashamed or embarrassed about that part of their bodies,” she said.
However the announcement was met with some concern online, with plenty of people taking to the brand’s new Instagram account to voice their thoughts.
“You selling a product like this as a form of female empowerment is deeply concerning,” one person wrote. “It’s capitalising on women’s insecurities over their bodies to sell them stuff they don’t need.”
Another added: “I’m not a doctor but I have watched The Bold Type and I’m pretty sure trying to sell women a mask for their vaginas is everything that’s wrong with the wellness industry. Preying on women’s insecurities regarding their genitals is pretty low, especially during a pandemic.”
While another pointed out you would never find a product like this for men.
“I guess each to their own but it’s interesting that men would never feel the need to brighten and tighten their external genitalia,” was one comment. “I hate that this could one more area for women to be expected to upkeep to a certain standard.”
The brand did try to alleviate some concerns, also taking to the comments section to answer some questions. And there were also plenty of people that said they were excited to try the product.
“It is worth noting that the mask is for your vulva and not for the vagina (which is inside the birth canal),” was another clarification made on the post.
In a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle a spokesperson for Fig Femme addressed the concerns around the masks.
“Our masks were designed and created with the aim to inspire women to feel empowered, and to own this part of their body that they had potentially ignored and neglected till now,” the statement reads.
“Our Fig Femme masks, and further products to be released, are intended just for the woman, to use as part of a personal self-care routine. We feel this is the purest form of self-care, because unlike our hair, face, nails and our other external body parts which everyone sees - the Vulva is really just for you. It’s a time where you can connect with yourself as a female and a woman.”
The brand also addressed the product’s safety, stressing the masks “use predominately natural ingredients, with few active elements”.
“Throughout the development of our Fig Femme range we consulted both dermatologists and gynaecologists,” the statement reads.
“Our established, premium product developer who has over 100 years of experience, has proven research indicating where pH levels should be at for a woman’s Vulva. Our formulation supports and is in accordance with this, hence why we have used particular botanical ingredients.
“As with all new products and brands it is recommended that you patch test new skin care before applying liberally, because even if you don’t have sensitive skin, certain formulation or ingredients – natural or otherwise – can irritate even normal skin types.”
Lindy seems to be following in the footsteps of Gwyneth Paltrow, who also has a range of products catered to intimate wellness through her company Goop.
However, much of Goop’s advice and products - such as ‘vaginal steaming’ and ‘jade eggs’ - have been met with much criticism from health experts in the past.
Dr Ginni Mansberg has told Yahoo Lifestyle previously that practices such as vaginal steaming were “just ridiculous”.