Activists in Vancouver are protesting Oprah’s endorsement of a skin cream they say is made from babies’ circumcised foreskins.
The $165 cream in question is SkinMedica, and Oprah has referred to it as her “fountain of youth.”
But Vancouver protester Glen Callender, a campaigner for “foreskin awareness”, says the cream is made from babies’ foreskins. He thinks the fact that Oprah campaigns for an end to female genital mutilation while endorsing the cream makes her a hypocrite, reports the Toronto Sun.
The talk show mogul was in Vancouver Thursday as part of a speaking tour, and Callender and fellow foreskin activists were outside the Rogers Arena with signs to make three demands to Oprah: that she stop using SkinMedica products, that she retract her endorsement of SkinMedica, and that she “champion the fundamental human right of all children — male, female and intersex — to grow up with whole genitals.”
So is the Queen of Talk— and thousands of other men and women — spreading a cream made of baby foreskins on their faces?
Not quite, says SkinMedica marketing director Gloria Luna.
“SkinMedica products are not formulated with human tissue,” explains Luna. “Our TNS formula was bio-engineered from a single tissue donation collected over 10 years ago for wound healing research.”
Indeed, scientists discovered years ago that the very young tissue collected from newborn babies during circumcision is excellent for creating bio-skin grafts for burn victims and ulcers. Also, the “fibroblasts” from the cells of the foreskin can be used to lab-create collagen, which is where the super expensive Oprah-endorsed skin cream comes in.
Luna says the formula is comprised of naturally occurring growth factors (proteins), cytokines, antioxidants and matrix proteins that are responsible for repairing and healing the skin — and no baby foreskin.
But that’s not good enough for Callendar.
“SkinMedica is not made of chopped-up foreskins, but its key ingredients are manufactured using cells harvested from infant foreskin. SkinMedica is a foreskin product,” says Callendar, who is the founder of the Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project. “Even if it was just one foreskin, that foreskin was stolen from a baby boy who did not consent to his foreskin being used in commercial cosmetics products."
So did Oprah and her fans get the message on Thursday?
Callendar says the reaction of the women and men entering the event ranged from high-fives to heckling to profound befuddlement.
“There is some stunning female chauvinism with regards to how many women think of the forced genital wounding of males as a joke, while the forced genital wounding of females is a heinous crime,” says Callendar.
Watch the video below about Oprah's appearance in Edmonton.