As we enter our third year since ideation, I am filled with emotion as I reflect on our journey and the experiences we've had to make "Momotaro the idea" into Momotaro Apotheca, the company. 2019 was a lesson on the good, the bad, the ugly; trust, success and failure. We are grateful for how far we have come and are acutely aware of how much work there is still to be done. 2020 is a year set to be full of political and social change. Our company—while not driven by politics—is no stranger to policy. We've contributed to numerous charities, ran campaigns, and helped provide support to communities that needed a little extra “love” this year.
While looking back on the accomplishments of our company, we know we would not be where we are if it weren’t for the passionate freelancers, employees, and consumers we continue to learn from every day. We want to say thank you for the education and support you provide us and acknowledge the burden you carry with us. A lot of human emotion and personal experience goes into creating the support and assets we send out via this weekly newsletter. As a company, we strive to address not only symptomatic issues surrounding very common quality of life issues, but the pervasive stigma that surrounds sexual and vaginal health.
So...why does Momotaro exist? Who are we? Often we are the answer to a long misunderstood claim that “the vagina is self cleaning.”
Weekly, if not daily, I find myself fielding inflammatory responses to that ever present claim: a true, but shallow representation of our complex anatomy. While I wish it was the only answer to the multitude of things our sexual organs are capable of (good and bad), it is unfortunately not the case.
A self cleaning vagina often refers to the discharge of dead skin cells and bacteria that help regulate pH and general wellbeing of the vaginal canal. However this "cleaning" does not have the ability to support all aspects of our vaginal and vulvar health. We are complex, constantly changing creatures and furthermore, as our society continues to evolve (hello globalization and the internet), we are constantly facing an influx of knowledge and expectations regarding our health and wellness. Now more than ever we are being presented with new information of what is "best" for us, and, quite honestly, we are not always equipped to discern the truth from the "fad.”
We are expected to smell, taste, and feel like some version of perfect that in reality does not exist.
Historically we have seen things popularized such as douching, yoni eggs, waxing, clit piercings, vaginal steaming and more**. These various modifications, beauty treatments, and occasionally placebo inducing "rituals" have helped pave the way for a sexual expectation that indeed, "puts the pussy on a pedestal.”
** Keep in mind we whole-heartedly support your decisions to take part in these activities—or not. Your body, your choice; we are just here for support.
We are expected to smell, taste, and feel like some version of perfect that in reality does not exist. These oppressive notions have not only caused unrealistic expectations, but decades of insecurity and misinformation that lead us to believe we should not talk about or empathize with anything out of the ordinary. We have sadly perpetuated our own narrative by talking behind each others backs, questioning the bold, and by becoming passive activists to the commodification of our bodies by remaining silent while they are criticized from every angle.
It’s time for change and for people to take control of their bodies and their freedom.