Last December I learned that my grandmother had died of "lady cancer" from the use of J&J baby powder.
I recalled seeing ads as a teenager that essentially taught us young girls that our vaginas were smelly. Further research unearthed even more damning ads from the 1950s (see bottom of page). Did you know women were encouraged to douche with Lysol? Code words such as "removes mucus" suggests that they were used as abortifacients as well. The early 20th century medical journal fragment in the left lower box suggests an ointment of  carbolic acid, sugar of lead, and laudanum "for itching".

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