I consider myself a pretty open-minded person and I generally support people’s right to do whatever they want if it makes them happy, so long as it’s not hurting anyone else. However, I just can’t get down with Cecilia Westbrook, who decided it would be a good idea to make yogurt out of her own vaginal bacteria.
I almost vomited just typing that. I’m not easily squicked out by the human body and I don’t think fluids and juices and the like are anything to be ashamed of. However, just as I wouldn’t eat human waste, I don’t want to put anything in my mouth that’s stewing in any other part of my body. I mean, come on!
No one has done this before, shockingly. Westbrook attends the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she and a friend often joked about vagina yogurt (why???). However, she then became legitimately intrigued about whether doing such a thing would be possible and after finding zero information on the topic online, she decided to try it out herself.
Westbrook made several batches. “Her first batch of yogurt tasted sour, tangy, and almost tingly on the tongue. She compared it to Indian yogurt, and ate it with some blueberries,” read the description on the VICE article written by Westbrook’s friend Janet Jay. If that visual didn’t get you going, how about this one? “For what it’s worth, Westbrook said her second batch tasted even more tart, like slightly-spoiled milk—proof that sadly, eating yogurt made from vaginal secretions isn’t quite the same as eating actual pu**y.”
Westbrook is pretty shocked at all the uproar. Perhaps correctly, Westbrook believes that people’s responses to her experiment, which have ranged from dubbing her “mentally ill” to comparing her to anti-vaxxers and other intense abuse, is “a little gendered.” As she told Jezebel, “It’s your own body, and I think that one thing that was really interesting to me was that there are probiotics that people sell to women to balance their flora and all those cultures come from dairy or other sources, but you have bacteria specifically adapted to live in your vagina and no one knows anything about it. People just seem really grossed out by the fact that stuff lives in there. But it’s natural and part of your health. It seems weird to be grossed out about it. It’s weird we don’t know much more about vaginal flora than we do considering how important it is.”
She actually learned a lot about the vagina in the process. Westbrook admitted that because of the limited research done on vaginal bacteria, she found making yogurt from her own to be a very educational process. “I was actually surprised to know that we really don’t know a lot about vaginal flora,” she explained to Jezebel. “There’s really been only one or maybe two big studies and interestingly, most of the information that we do know about is from white women, which suggests that there might be some indication that people from different ethnic backgrounds might have different flora. I was surprised about how much we didn’t know.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the FDA advises against making vagina yogurt. Theresa Eisenman, press officer at the U.S. Federal Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, told VICE that this is a really bad idea, insisting that “vaginal secretions are not considered ‘food’, and they may transmit human disease, a food product that contains vaginal secretions or other bodily fluids is considered adulterated.”
Don’t worry, she won’t be doing it again. Westbrook assures everyone that her vagina yogurt experiment was a one-time thing, saying, “”I don’t have a huge agenda. It was just a fun thing to try.” Well, that’s a relief.
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