Does Andrew W.K. Think We’re Dirty, Baby?
Party rocker partners with Playtex for problematic promotion
Andrew W.K. has long positioned himself as the face of the Great American Party, spreading shop-wrecking good vibes and messy well-wishings wherever he may go (or tweet). His singular persona has landed him a couple of sensible endorsement deals in the past: that rattling version of “Gimme a Break” he created for the Kit-Kat commercial, and the role of spokesperson for Dos Equis, insofar as we can imagine him loving both sugar and beer. This week, though, he announced an endorsement that no one could have predicted: he’s the new face of Playtex’s Fresh & Sexy Intimate Wipes, plastering a press release on his website right next to the bloodied-mouth photo from the cover of his debut album, I Get Wet.
Okay, we can appreciate the cheekiness of that, but here’s the deal: humans have a natural cleansing process to keep their junk clean and “fresh” and “sexy,” and it’s been proven time and again that adding anything artificial to that — whether douche or wipe — is just gonna screw up your pH balance and leave you exposed to infection (ironically enough). An excerpt from the press release: “W.K., widely known as the King of Partying, will join with Playtex to launch their bold new product. As W.K. explains, ‘Whether you just finished rocking a packed club or have an intimate encounter after a busy day, this product will make couples feel brand new. Fresh + Sexy Wipes were specially designed to help couples feel confidently clean, before and after they engage in sexual activity!'” He is also headlining the accompanying “Fresh & Sexy” party at SXSW, though no word if the party will also be IN YOUR PANTS.
The wording of Playtex’s press release is careful to direct Fresh & Sexy wipes to couples for use before and after boning, but the subtext is clear: these are meant for women and our dirty, smelly vaginas. For one, the entirety of Playtex’s product line is geared towards women, whether tampons or breast pumps (or dishwashing gloves in shades of hot pink). These wipes tell a whole new generation of women that “hey, your vaginas are gross and unclean,” certainly a money gambit since douching essentially went out with the Reagan era. Getting Andrew W.K. to promote them — a man whose music and career does not exactly invoke cleanliness, but no offense, that’s why we love him — and emblazoning the box with nightclub neon shades seems like a cynical attempt to rebrand the old-timey douche with a “cool” electro sheen. (Plus, witness the cynically “funny” Playtex wipes’ previous campaigns — with one including the slogan, “a clean beaver always gets wood”.
To reiterate this little PSA: As ever, douching or cleaning your netherlands with artificial ingredients upsets the pH balance down there (which is already formulated by nature to clean itself), and ultimately can be harmful rather than helpful. (Fresh + Sexy’s list of ingredients includes butelyne glycol and “fragrance.”) So while the initial photos with Andrew W.K. have a kinda fun, retro ’50s vibe… believing you need a chemical product to keep your wang or punani clean is also pretty retro ’50s. But at the very least, maybe we’ll get a new song out of it. Hopefully it won’t dirty-shame us!