• Sat, Jan 26 2013

Oprah’s ‘Magic Fountain Of Youth’ Skin Cream Is Derived From Baby Foreskin – And Pissing Off Men Who Miss Theirs

shutterstock_94758688Apparently, Oprah has human foreskin to thank for how fantastic she looks for her age. Yup, you read that right. At least I’m taking care of your dose of Saturday morning news-of-the-weird.

The woman we all look to for recommendations about every product in existence has endorsed a skincare line called SkinMedica. She’s called it her “magic fountain of youth.” The product in question,TNS Skin Recovery Complex, allegedly contains cells from human foreskins. I was dying to see “foreskins” listed in the ingredients box – but no luck. The scientific name for discarded foreskin is “Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media.”

In an interview in San Diego City Beat, the company claims it hasn’t harvested human foreskin in over 20 years. Instead, it uses cells from a single foreskin sample to grow the cells needed. Um, okay. How in the heck did they get that sample though? I didn’t circumcise my child, so I don’t really know if I would have been given the option to donate his foreskin to benefit youth-seeking rich ladies everywhere:

San Diego doctors have appreciated the potential of the foreskin as far back as the 19th century. As Dr. Peter Charles Remondino wrote in 1891 in The History of Circumcision, “for skin-transplanting there is nothing superior to the plants offered by the prepuce of a boy.”

Asked where the foreskins come from, spokesperson Tim Ingersoll responded via e-mail: “Life Technologies produces research-use only products using neonatal foreskins discarded from circumcisions with full, informed consent.”

The Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project is not happy about this. They protested her appearance in Vancouver on Thursday. Glen Callender, the group’s founder, told the local Vancouver news, “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. That would be an outrage and rightly so.”

Yes, it would be an outrage, and I’m not really sure how I feel about this whole baby-foreskin-beauty-cream. But don’t compare female genital mutilation to male circumcision. Just don’t. Female genital mutilation is performed on older girls as a way of completely eliminating their sex drive,controlling them, and forcing them to live a life in fear of any kind of sexual contact because of the intense vaginal pain it will cause. I think we can all agree that we are not oppressing boys when we circumcise them. Yes, we are probably performing a totally unnecessary procedure – but we aren’t doing it because we think they are whores by nature who cannot be trusted with their libidos.

You can take a stance against the use of human foreskin in a wrinkle cream because you think it’s inherently wrong. But don’t compare it to a tradition that terrorizes girls and ruins their right to be a sexual being forever.

(photo: Featureflash/ Shutterstock.com)

 

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  • ChopChick

    I get what you’re saying and I agree, I just want to point out that what you said about FGM is actually not true. The one you are referring to is actually known as Type III which is infibulation and is absolutely horrible and horrifying. There are also other types which are more common like type I which is done on female infants. Not all cultures that use Type I also impose Type III at a later stage in life.

    But, I totally agree with what you’re saying, I just don’t think anyone was meaning to equate infibulation with circumcision of infant boys. And also it’s helpful to keep in mind that FGM is not only the one performed when girls are older.

  • Tea

    Who on earth thought about the excess medical waste in the form of foreskins and thought ” Hey, let’s make a cosmetic out of that!”

    • jane

      They don’t. It’s actually from aborted babies. Big money.

  • lea

    “The scientific name for discarded foreskin is “Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media.””

    No, it isn’t. That term you listed could apply to the growth media for any human fibroblast cell line. Basically, cells require a nutrient rich liquid to grow in, and while growing in this media they secrete a bunch of proteins and compounds that they have produced. We then call this media (which now contains cell products in it) conditioned. It does not have any cells in it at all.

    Human foreskin fibroblasts are immortalised cell lines routinely used in various types of medical research. Immortalised means that they have undergone a process which allows them to continue to grow and divided indefinitely. This means they have come from a single (or a few single) sources, which have then been maintained in culture for years and years. They are commercially available from several scientific supply companies, and my guess is that is where the skin care company got them from.

    They would have been taken from an individual to be used for research with their consent (or their parent/guardian’s consent). We have very strict ethics guidelines and would not get approval to do otherwise.

    • http://www.facebook.com/FredERhodes Frederick Rhodes

      Our skin cells ability to accurately replicate/reproduce weekens with age and that’s why we get age spots, skin cancer, grow old and die, so that is why I think you made up all this immortalized cell bullshit to try and justify infant prepuce excisions.

    • Chiron Intactivist

      Like the strict ethical guidelines that prohibit us from cutting a part off a baby’s penis without his consent? Oh, wait…

    • blah82

      Don’t try to use science and logic with these people. They can only be appealed to by histrionics and emotion.

    • Mary

      From aborted fetuses/babies.

  • TLCTugger

    Oprah is insane. Callender is right. Forcible genital cutting is patently evil no matter the age or gender of the victim, and no matter what benificient uses could be made of the stolen human body parts. Foreskin feels REALLY good. Seriously, it’s the best part.

  • TLCTugger

    You can STILL buy stolen foreskin online, as the cosmetics compaines CONTINUE to do for research. That must be outlawed.

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  • Howlingwolf

    Why can’t it be considered the same? Because it’s “normal” in our culture then it isn’t as brutal? There are many types of FGM – some people even just draw blood from the vulvar area with a small knife – is that okay since it’s not completely ruining the girl’s sexual experience ? Both male and female genital mutilation are done to humans that don’t have the ability to consent and are done to organs that are BOTH necessary to the person’s normal sexual experience. Just because a man’s penis still works and doesn’t (usually) have chronic pain or problems doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt their sexual function. Men with foreskins have reported more sexual satisfaction and less incidence of impotence later in life than men without foreskin. Check your social norms at the door when it has to do with cutting the genitalia of babies and children. It IS brutality in both cases!!

  • mary

    Oprah should be ashamed of herself trying to make money off of babies body parts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Carroll/100003342890124 Dave

    “I think we can all agree that we are not oppressing boys when we circumcise them. Yes, we are probably performing a totally unnecessary procedure – but we aren’t doing it because we think they are whores by nature who cannot be trusted with their libidos.”

    Fuck you. I think about and am depressed every day about the fact that I’m missing an essential part of my sexual organ. I’m sorry if this upsets you but MEN HAVE RIGHTS. That’s right MEN, you know, those evil raping patriarchal disposable oppressors etc. etc. etc. well guess what WE ACTUALLY ARE HUMANS THAT HAVE RIGHTS. GET THAT THROUGH YOUR STUPID HEAD.

  • Ma’ii Coyotl

    I don’t equate FGM with male circumcision, but the fact remains that male infant circumcision does cause pain and suffering. Infant male circumcision does not compromise a man’s sexual and psychological well-being as much as FGM compromises a woman’s sexual and psychological well-being, but it still compromises it to some extent.

  • Chiron Intactivist

    But don’t compare it to a tradition that terrorizes girls and ruins their right to be a sexual being forever.

    How conveniently misandrist of you. The whole purpose, according to such circumcision proponents as Maimonides and Kellogg, is to cause sexual harm and pain to reduce function and pleasure. Some men lose their penis, some lose their life, but ALL lose a majority of the most sensitive part of their body, in a terribly frightening and painfully traumatic way. How dare you? Your arguments are Rape Apologism at its core, you are silencing victims of sexual mutilation. Think about it. And apologize.

    • English Programme

      Totally agree. Male circumcision is exactly the same as FGM. If anything, it’s worse because it is promoted by the UN and many governments around the world. Victims have no consent and no voice and are dismissed by liberal lunatics in publications such as this!

  • Sonny Vizzle

    International doctors’ organizations condemn the AAP’s stance on circumcision. Since the anniversary of the AAP’s statement is coming soon (the AAP’s statement was made on August 27, 2012), it might be worth it to do a news story about the condemnation of the AAP’s statement on infant male circumcision by 38 doctors representing various international medical associations. This is groundbreaking and historic. Why? When was the last time you have heard of so many doctors and their organizations condemning another doctors’ organization? I am including a reference to the American Academy of Pediatrics own journal which presents the international condemnation of the AAP:

    Cultural Bias in the AAP’s 2012 Technical Report and Policy Statement on Male Circumcision
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/03/12/peds.2012-2896.full.pdf
    http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Nieuws/Nieuwsarchief/Nieuwsbericht-1/International-physicians-protest-against-American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-policy-on-infant-male-circumcision.htm

  • Jason

    “But don’t compare female genital mutilation to male circumcision. Just don’t. Female genital mutilation is performed on older girls as a way of completely eliminating their sex drive,controlling them, and forcing them to live a life in fear of any kind of sexual contact because of the intense vaginal pain it will cause. I think we can all agree that we are not oppressing boys when we circumcise them. Yes, we are probably performing a totally unnecessary procedure – but we aren’t doing it because we think they are whores by nature who cannot be trusted with their libidos.”

    These statements are just so wrong and really quite offensive to those men that regret that their foreskin was removed, without their consent, under the direction of their mother (the one person who is supposed to protect them from harm and see them grow up into a well balanced adult).

    I really hope that the author does not have male children of her own. She believes that she is “not oppressing boys when we circumcise them”. So she would have half of the skin removed from her boys penis, removing so many nerves and damaging the Frenulum resulting in a loss of sensation, uncomfortable sex due to friction from the lack of gliding foreskin and loss of natural lubrication. For what reason, if not to oppress and diminish the boy’s sex drive?

  • No

    “But don’t compare female genital mutilation to male circumcision. Just don’t.”

    Oh, I forgot that women are just better beings.

    Does it feel good knowing your brain has a hole in it, Maria? it’s okay, you’re just a woman who’s strong n’ independent. Fuck men.

  • Freedom321

    Uh, yes, the whole purpose of the origination of circumcision in America was to stop masturbation, and reduce the sex drive. http://www.whale.to/a/circumcision1.html

  • Jenkins

    Im late to the party, i know….but male circumcision started for all the same reasons as why this article is saying female circumcision exists. It was designed, per moses miomonaides…..and yes, i spelled that so fucking wrong i know….as a way to weaken but not debilitate the penis, it has been used to cure and as a punishment for masturbation for ages and ages…i even read an interview with a female mohel about how the point of it is to expose the penis and make it persistently irritated as a way to remind men to not rape. How that is logic is beyond me, but lets not pretend that since we recently tried to gentrify the practice it is not still rooted in the same strange perversion as female circumcision. Female circumcision is, in the countries that practice it, marketed for the same reason we do it to men here. Health, hygiene, looking like mommy, etc etc.

    Lets just stop cutting babies….and oprah, for shame! Fighting it tooth and nail for one gender while rubbing it on her face to look less fugly for the other gender.