We Asked The Perfect V Founder to Respond to the Vagina Highlighter Backlash
After spending 20 years in the beauty industry, working for companies including Revlon and L'Oréal, Avonda Urben found a gap in effective, prestige products for women. "I noticed there was a void of luxury pampering beauty products for a woman's bikini area," explains Urben, founder of TPV. "I wanted a line of effective products that looked good and were designed using luxe ingredients and packaging that could proudly sit next to any skincare product—not hidden away in the closet or shower."
"See," Urben told me, "more and more women are grooming their bikini area and have a need for products that soothe, moisturize, and condition the area." As it stands, the only products that exist can be found on the bottom shelf in a drugstore aisle—a place steeped in humiliation. Remember buying tampons for the first time? Or condoms? Let alone grabbing something for a yeast infection.
Things have been changing—the ladies at Fur launched a line of all-natural, chic products for your pubic hair. But what about products for those who choose to remove it? That's where Urben's collection comes in. A luxury collection made up of a cream, exfoliator, wash, serum, mist, and beauty sheets to treat the skin on your bikini line as properly as you do your face.
I'm not going beat around the bush. Understandably, there has been backlash against these products. With a moniker like The Perfect V, it's easy to assume this is just another oppressive force in the often crippling expectations women face with respect to their bodies. Some of the messaging is problematic. But I'd like to offer the perspective that it can help empower and celebrate our bodies rather than shame them. Top-shelf, prestige beauty products that give us the choice to treat, moisturize, and soothe an area that has long been disregarded is something I can get behind. Instead of publishing our original interview, I decided to get Urben's reaction to some of the negative press. Keep reading for the founder's response in her own words.
"We are not trying to change the look of any woman's body," Urben says. "TPV was conceived to provide women with luxury skincare options. More and more, women are removing hair, and that delicate skin is different than the rest of the body. Let's face it—we are either ripping it out, putting a blade to it, or using depilatory creams to remove the hair. And afterward, we just leave it alone. This line of luxury skincare products addresses the specific skincare needs of your bikini line. No embarrassment, no shame—just matter of fact. Every woman has a different body, and every body is beautiful. The idea is to give women confidence about their bodies so that they feel good about themselves. These luxurious products are dermatologist- and gynecologist-tested, fragrance-free, without parabens, and are pH-balanced.
"When you look at what is out there—feminine hygiene brands, intimate brands, hair removal brands, and men's grooming, none of it is about skincare for women," says Urben. "None of them communicate the entire idea, not just hygiene, not only sexual, and not solely hair removal. It's the creation of a new category.
"I guess the one product that shocked everyone is the Shades of V Luminizer ($43). It evens the skin tone, gives it some luminosity, and adds softness to the area," Urben says. Do you need it? No. Is she trying to imply your body won't look beautiful without it? Absolutely not. It's just like any other makeup—available if you want it. "The other skincare products in the line deliver real skincare benefits, plus the added benefits of soothing and conditioning the delicate skin. We are on a mission to change the way women buy their products. It's empowering to take charge of your body's needs."