Hands off my fair Verona


There’s a new product in town and it’s one that’s for the ladies only. The problem I have with it is it’s targeted at women who, well, perhaps don’t accept their bodies as they naturally are. You see the product is a vaginal cleanser and goes it by a name that’s no doubt purposely alliterate and uber-romantic. It’s called Verona.

I stumbled across this range of “intimate washes” when I was at the gym recently. Its marketing had pithy taglines such as: “Let’s not pussy around” and “We’re not going to beat around the bush”. Oh ha ha. Lord knows what the gym was thinking when they decided to stock free samples of its products in the ladies change-rooms. It’s a big fitness chain (perhaps the ‘first’ big one) so perhaps it was a deal made at the top and filtered down to the nether regions of its gyms across the nation. One can only hope that it wasn’t a woman who ticked the relevant box to get this Shakespearean tragedy across the line.

According to its website, Verona has “Intimate care products adjusted to your needs!
Verona offers a complete range of intimate washes, tailored to all life stages. Feel fresh and protected all day with our intimate cleansing & soothing products.” Seemingly, if Verona has its way, girls as young as 12 should be using its feminine hygiene cleanses to ensure everyday “freshness and odour prevention”. I think girls on the verge of adulthood have enough body issues already without getting brainwashed into believing that their front bums are a tad squiffy.

Helpfully Verona has developed a plethora of “intimate washes” for every life cycle including teens, everyday, pregnancy and menopause so that women from 15 to 55 can soon be hooked into washing their lady bits with their specially formulated gels and whatnot that “respect the intimate zone’s natural protections” – whatever the fuck that means.

I guess it’s not like Verona is the first company in the world to trade on women’s insecurities about the natural state of their bodies to make a quick buck. Douching has been around for hundreds of years but thankfully has mostly fallen out of favour. In fact, according to Wikipedia, “many health care professionals state that douching is dangerous as it interferes with both the vagina’s normal self-cleaning and with the natural bacterial culture of the vagina, and it might spread or introduce infections.”

While Verona may not be in the same league as douching, its products trade on the belief that women’s bodies are in some way unclean and, you know, a little bit pongy. Indeed, if we ever want Romeo to come knocking at that front door, it seems we have to not only clean our house but also our poonanis – preferably daily inside and out.

While I was aghast at the array of fanny-cleaner freebies in the gym that day, the next day I was mortified when I returned to find they were all gone. Now, I wasn’t distraught because I’d actually wanted to give my va-jay-jay a bit of an internal spruce-up for an extra special date night with B, it was because it meant that dozens of women had actually swallowed the “you’ve got a smelly vagina” bait and taken one of the samples home. I didn’t know whether to feel sad or angry.

I hoped in vain that perhaps management had had a change of heart and withdrawn the offending products. Alas, several weeks later, the Verona shelves still stand empty and the “hilarious” marketing lines still taunt us disapprovingly from the change-room walls. If you ask me, unlike Shakespeare, there’s nothing remotely dignified in that. I was going to write a letter of complaint about it but thought I’d write this blog instead to publicly state that the welfare of my twat – just as it is – is in very safe hands… mine.

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