Libresse Malaysia Withdraws Vulva-Inspired Ad Due To 'Offensive' Claims, But Netizens Disagree
Feminine hygiene brand Libresse Malaysia is no stranger to educating and empowering women through their products and campaigns, but it seems like their latest "Know Your V" advertising campaign is causing quite a stir online, particularly among the YADIM Muslim Women’s Council (MAYA).
For some background, the award-winning campaign that was launched last year aims to shatter social taboos and encourage women to embrace their femininity. As part of the campaign, Libresse Malaysia recently introduced a new packaging design called "V-Kebaya" which features Peranakan-inspired floral prints with vulva motif to give it a beautiful local twist.
However, just last Thursday on Malaysia Day, MAYA's chairperson Dr Safinar Salleh released a statement on Facebook to address Libresse's campaign, claiming that it "undermines the dignity of women and violates the norms of decency" in Malaysian society.
"Displaying the vulva motif openly on clothing, packages, bags, origami, and other items, is not acceptable in our culture nor allowable according to our religious values," the statement reads, "Women's private part should not be used as a campaign material because it is disrespectful and degrades women."
The organisation also urged Libresse Malaysia to withdraw the content from all digital, print and social media channels. As a result, the brand responded by withdrawing the advertisement while stating that it was not their intention to offend any woman or community.
Although the issue has since been resolved, netizens are still riled up over MAYA's statement. On Twitter, many users have voiced support for Libresse, saying there was nothing offensive about the advertisement, and that people should stop policing and shaming women's bodies.
Some users also pointed out that many items in nature also resemble the shape of a vulva, so if people are offended by Libresse's packaging design, they should also avoid things like oysters and the clitoria ternatea aka butterfly pea flower (bunga telang).
What are your thoughts about the issue?