If you don’t pay too much attention, nothing seems out of the ordinary here:
Just a bunch of sanitary napkins.
Take a closer look, however …
These prints were part of feminine hygiene brand Libresse’s promotional advertisement for the “V-Kebaya” series, featuring limited edition sanitary napkins.
The packaging merges a kebaya-inspired print with floral designs resembling female private parts.
These towels were also part of a long-term Know Your V campaign, the brand’s campaign to educate women about their bodies.
The campaign launched last year, according to Brand image in Asia, involving the release of a campaign film.
As part of this campaign, there was also a tutorial on how to fold origami paper resembling a vulva, Malaysia Kini reported.
“Not acceptable”: Maya
Safinar Salleh, president of the Islamic Council of Women of Yadim (Maya), released a statement on September 16 regarding the campaign, saying the image of a woman’s private part has been “abused[d]”.
Maya is a council of Muslim women headed by Yadim, an Islamic foundation under the Prime Minister’s department.
Citing religious values, Safinar said such displays of the vulva motif were “not acceptable.” The vulva motif not only “undermines the dignity of women” but also “violates the standards of decency in our Malaysian society”.
She added that women’s private parts should not be used as campaign material as they are “disrespectful” and degrading to women.
The complete declaration:
A day later, on September 17, the nonprofit Wardah Media also criticized the campaign, calling it an insult to women.
The ad, however, received a series of responses on Twitter, with some pointing out that there was nothing “degrading” or “offensive” about the packaging.
Sanitary napkin with this packaging? 10/10 would buy. Libresse, you make yourself girl. None of this is degrading to women. If you’re offended by it, then it’s on you. https://t.co/7OCozfvZeD pic.twitter.com/YAPS7PckjO
– shalina (@jambufloyd) September 18, 2021
Offended you? Because I certainly am not. https://t.co/wqZ2em0ipA
– dyana sofya (@dyanasmd) September 18, 2021
Libresse: “We do not intend to offend a woman”
However, the ads were withdrawn following criticism.
In a statement posted to Facebook on September 16, Libresse thanked everyone for their comments and said the ad has been pulled from various advertising channels.
“It is not our intention to offend a woman or a community,” the mark wrote.
“We have always stood up for all women and our intention is to encourage all women to embrace their femininity and their full potential.”
They also said they “actively engage” with community members who have expressed their views.
Top photo via Jambufloyd / Twitter.