A tech start-up in Silicon Valley has hit the headlines this week for announcing details of a probiotic supplement that can “biohack” the female genitals.
So what does this probiotic do, you ask?
Reduce the risk of disease? Nope.
Increase fertility? Nope.
Its main function is in fact, to make your lady parts smell like “peaches.”
Oh, okay then.
The founders of Sweet Peach Probiotics, Austin Heinz and Gilad Gome, say the invention will offer women “personal empowerment”, allowing them to regain control of their own body.
Well, considering the only people who would actually benefit or care about the smell down there are our other halves, it doesn’t really seem empowering at all. Rather, it seems kind of like women’s equality gone backwards. Why on earth should us women, or anyone for that matter, want to change something that is totally natural and normal?
“All your smells are not human, they're produced by the creatures that live on you,” says Gome, as if having healthy bacteria in our body is somehow an issue that needs to be fixed.
In another unsettling statement, the Sweet Peach boys also added that changing the smell of the vagina was easy compared to changing any other part of the body, because “it only has one interference per month.” By “one interference,” they do of course mean a menstrual period.
We can’t imagine they gained any female investors with that terminology. As tech blogger Natasha Tiku puts it, “If they are referring to your period as "interference," someone […] may want to tell them about vaginal intercourse.” Zing!
To be fair to Heniz and Gome, their product did have some kind of medical foothold – they claim it will reduce the risk of vaginal yeast infection as well as changing the scent. What’s unfortunate though, is that their selling point definitely seems to be their probiotic’s smell-erasing function above anything else – you just need to look at the company name to see that.
The Sweet Peach Probiotic definitely seems like the type of bizarre product you might see on a Japanese infomercial, but it’s a bit sad that this product actually made it to the pitching stage with Silicon Valley investors. Do the women of the world really need another reminder that we are not quite perfect? Do we really need to be told that we could be simply lovely… if only we changed this one thing about ourselves?
Thankfully, the Sweet Peach idea has been deemed too controversial for now, and Heinz and Gome have gone back to the drawing board with their probiotic. Let’s hope that’s where it stays.