Evidently on a mission to become the next business mogul of the family, Kourtney Kardashian Barker has launched her very own lifestyle brand Lemme. Following the reality star’s recent highly controversial collaboration with one of the world’s most devious fast fashion culprits Boohoo, it seems as though Kardashian Barker is now on a mission to relaunch herself as a key player within the wellness industry.
According to the company’s website, Lemme is a line of “vitamin and botanical supplements” which use “clinically-backed ingredients and formulations” to help individuals “live [their] best life.” If we’re being completely honest with ourselves, it sounds like every other vitamin and probiotic gummy brand out there—it could’ve practically been copied and pasted from the Goop website.
Some of the products on Kardashian Barker’s site include a debloat digestive, focus concentration gummy and an organic flower elixir that the team have somehow managed to brand as a glorified love potion. All I know is that if I purchase the ‘Lemme Fall In Love’ elixir for $25 and don’t have a date by Valentine’s Day, I’m going to be leaving a scathing review online.
While there’s a number of confusing and somewhat questionable products on Lemme, there’s one in particular that’s creating a pretty volatile stir online.
On 7 February 2023, a Reddit thread began making the rounds. The beginning line read: “Kourtney Kardashian is trying to sell you snake oil pills to turn your vagina into a ‘sweet treat’ at 30 bucks a bottle.”
Now, the product the user was referring to is called ‘Lemme Purr’. In an Instagram post promoting the gummies, Kardashian Barker writes: “Vaginal health is such an important part of a woman’s overall wellbeing (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).”
One of the main claims the Lemme founder makes is that the vitamin sweets can alter the taste of the vagina. Understandably, fans and people with vaginas were incredibly offended. It’s 2023, are we seriously still promoting the idea that women’s genitals need to have a floral odour? Smells like misogyny to me—pun intended.
Societal expectations and male standards surrounding how vaginas look and smell has been a serious source of insecurity and shame for women for decades.
One expert decided to make her feelings clear to the Lemme brand. Dr Jen Gunter, gynaecologist and author of myth-busting bestseller The Vagina Bible, called Kardashian Barker out on Instagram stating, “Anyone who suggests that your vagina isn’t fresh or needs an improved taste is a misogynist and awful person. And yes that includes you Kourtney Kardashian and your Lemme grift.”
Dr Gunter also disputes the belief that pineapples can affect the taste of your bodily fluids. Maddy Dann, 30-year-old A&E doctor told the BBC: “Every person with a vulva or vagina is going to have a different odour, it’s going to have a different scent, a different taste and a different amount of discharge.”
The expert continued: “And so what this product suggests is that every woman needs to have the same tasting, the same smelling, vagina or discharge—and that’s just not realistic.”
It’s perfectly possible for celebrities to create helpful wellness brands that support and champion us—while providing genuine avenues for pursuing a healthier lifestyle. So, why do they instead irresponsibly create products that profit off of our insecurities and subsequently uphold illogical and sexist physical expectations?
In January 2020, the world of overpriced wellness-oriented lifestyle brands was rocked as actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop came out with the ‘This Smells Like My Vagina’ candle. At the time, everyone lost their minds over the controversially cheeky name as well as the fact that it’s hard for anyone to believe that Paltrow’s vajayjay actually smells like “geranium, citrusy bergamot, and cedar absolutes juxtaposed with Damask rose and ambrette seed.”
But it seems the Iron Man actress planned on making headlines yet again, partnering with Kourtney Kardashian’s own lifestyle brand Poosh for a new twist on the vagina-scented theme: a ‘This Smells Like My Pooshy’ candle.
Unlike its older sibling, this candle is said to feature a “creamy Tahitian coconut milk and rich gardenia butter blend with freshly crushed green stems and subtly earthy sandalwood for a scent that’s luscious, sensual, and deeply intoxicating.” Similar to its previous rendition, however, This Smells Like My Pooshy also retails for $75 and has a 100 per cent natural unbleached cotton wick.
Other controversial or political products launched by Goop include the limited-edition ‘Hands Off My Vagina’ candle, which was inspired by the 49th anniversary of Roe v Wade with $25 of each $75 sale going to the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation’s (ACLU) Reproductive Freedom Project; the ‘This Smells Like My Orgasm’ candle, which is “made with tart grapefruit, neroli, and ripe cassis berries blended with gunpowder tea and Turkish rose absolute” and the ‘This Smells Like My Prenup’ candle, which is made with a “gorgeous blend of invigorating grapefruit and sexy, citrusy bergamot with supple notes of ripened raspberry subtly interlaced throughout.”
But Paltrow’s candles haven’t just made headlines for their provocative names. In May 2021, Texas resident Colby Watson sued the brand for $5 million (£3.5 million) after an incident in which he claimed his This Smells Like My Vagina candle exploded on his bedside table.
Watson alleged that he burned it for around three hours before the candle “exploded” and became “engulfed in high flames,” according to court documents. The table was left with a “black burn ring” and the candle jar was “charred and black.”
Though the man acknowledged there was a “limited warning” on the website, he accused Goop of “knowing the candles were defective.” In the product’s description, customers can read a warning message written in all caps: “WARNING: BURN CANDLE WITHIN SIGHT. KEEP AWAY FROM THINGS THAT CATCH FIRE. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND PETS. TRIM WICK TO 1/8” BEFORE EVERY LIGHTING. PLACE ON A STABLE, HEAT RESISTANT SURFACE. KEEP WAX POOL FREE OF DEBRIS. DO NOT BURN FOR MORE THAN TWO HOURS AT A TIME. ALLOW GLASS TO COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE HANDLING.”