Oprah Winfrey slammed for promoting skin care cream made from babies' foreskins
Oh dear Oprah. Had a bit of a mare have we? It looks like the doyenne of the confessional has been caught out marketing a product that is suspect at best and vile at worst. An anti wrinkle cream called SkinMedica which contains human foreskins.
Yes you read that right. But I’ll say it again anyway. HUMAN FORESKINS.
If ever proof was needed that the beauty industry was bizarre beyond belief and oscillates between the dubious and the absurd in equal, lucrative measure, this stuff has to be it.
What Winfrey describes as the “magic fountain of youth” is really a chemical cocktail with the active ingredient - foreskin fibroblast which is skin from babies’ foreskins used to grow other skin or cells. Winfrey has been a tireless champion of SkinMedica both on and off the screen, and there is a real moral question here over and above the shuddering yuk factor.
Glen Callender, the founder of the Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project has launched a protest against Winfrey. Describing his group as the 'feistiest pro-foreskin advocacy group' in Canada, Callender sees a hypocrisy between her outspoken position on female genital mutilation and the public backing of a very pricey cream that is the product of what some would call male genital mutilation.
'Imagine how Oprah would respond if a skin cream for men went on the market that was made from parts of the genitalia of little girls’ he said.
SkinMedica have fought back against the perception that their company representatives are skulking round circumcision ceremonies and pocketing foreskins to make middle aged women pay vast sums of money to feel better about themselves.
The San Diego City Beat reported that SkinMedica hasn't harvested a foreskin in 20 years. The company instead grows the cells it needs from a single foreskin sample.
Ah foreskin harvesting – what a delightful turn of phrase
'Initially, there was a misunderstanding and people thought we were actually grinding up the foreskin,' SkinMedica founder Dr Richard Fitzpatrick told the newspaper. 'So, there was a lot of snickering and laughing about people putting this foreskin product on their face.'
There are a few researchers out there who apparently see foreskins as the new stem cells for skin – but whether they are right or on the SkinMedica payroll remains to be seen. Either way – it’s not a good look for Oprah