Meet The Perennial – Christine Marie Mason
We are delighted to partner with Rosebud in the upcoming months and to help spread the word about her transformative sensual skincare products that focus on health and pleasure, never inadequacies. Even if you don’t think you’re a candidate for these products, her journey as an entrepreneur and her commitment to women is inspiring. Read her inspiring interview here.
Q: What gave you the inspiration to create Rosebud Woman?
Christine: I love women. I think women deserve more love and reverence, and I think that the unmet needs of the vulva, labia and greater vaginal area deserve loving treatment that’s not sexualized or medicalized.
Q: Who do you envision as the primary fans of your products?
Christine: Any woman who believes that she deserves more self care. Any woman who has experienced a little bit of discomfort down there that she never wanted to talk to anybody about—and anyone who thinks that she’s worthy of a little splurge.
Q: Has this sort of product been available before?
Christine: In my mind this is the first of its kind, although the category of vaginal beauty in the modern era does exist, including some cleansing products. They certainly existed in ancient times. So we’re bringing something back that was around at least 1,000 years ago.
Q: Are these products designed to increase sexual pleasure?
Christine: Only to the extent that you love yourself more. Your skin’s happier, and it eventually rolls out to your partner. But they’re not specifically designed for the sexual theater, no.
Q: You use the phrases “self-love” and “reverence” in your literature. What do you mean by these terms?
Christine: To me, self-love means accepting every bit of you. Nothing stays in the shadow. You can discuss everything. And you not only discuss it—you appreciate it for the power and the gift that it is. So you are in complete acceptance and appreciation of this being, this embodiment that is yourself. And reverence goes a step further: you actually bow down to the wonder and awe of creation that is in you, and you do the same thing to other aspects of nature. You invite that sense of wonder and awe.
Q: What’s your personal background in Eastern philosophy?
Christine: I began pursuing Eastern philosophy to complement my Western knowledge and tradition, and it’s become a big part of my everyday life. I practice meditation, I practice yoga, I sing and chant. But my practice is not dogmatic. I was informed by mystic Christianity as much as by Eastern philosophy, and just as much by science and astronomy. Together they form a beautiful picture that trusts life and trusts nature.
Q: What’s your philosophy about ingredients?
Christine: Plants, pure, effective. Know their origin. Try not to use any invented molecules, and don’t add anything that’s not needed.
Q: Sort of like Michael Pollan’s Food Manifesto: “Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.”
Christine: It could be the Skin Manifesto in general, because all these principles apply to anything you put on your skin. What you put on your skin goes into your bloodstream, just like whatever you eat. Some people haven’t made that connection.
Q: What do you say to people who say such products create a problem that doesn’t exist, and actually make women feel more self-conscious about their bodies?
Christine: As a businesswoman, I would never have created a product that didn’t have a need attached to it. Market data told me that a lot of women —more than half—have legitimate concerns about their vaginal area. Particularly after menopause, pre- and post-nataly, during sex, and before and after exercise. That’s what led me to create the Rosebud Woman line. If people think think that women don’t have these concerns, it’s because only 10% of women talk to their doctor, or even to a friend, about them.
Q: Much less to their husband, or lover.
Christine: That’s right. I recently went to a conference, where I spoke to the CEO of a large corporation. He asked me, “What do you do?” I said, “I run a company that makes skincare for the vagina.” And he blushed. I said, “Are you telling me that you, as a man who runs a huge company, with a 100,000 people world wide, can’t hear the word ‘vagina’ without blushing?”
There are very few men who understand that the intimate skin is worthy of care, and that this care is not always sexual. Even Facebook doesn’t understand: Any time I try to place an article or an ad about health and wellness in the pelvic basin, or in the vagina or in the vulva— especially if there’s a line drawing that shows the general shapes of where thing are—they censor it. I think that’s worthy of a longer investigation at some point.
Q: Are these products appropriate for women of all races?
Christine: Yes, of course!
Q: How do people who buy your products learn about their qualities and ingredients??
Christine: We have a book on the site with all of the ingredients, and another companion booklet called The Invitation to Intimate Daily Self Care, with beautiful illustrations about the power of the feminine. It talks about nourishing yourself for good skin, and we offer some philosophies that invite you to love yourself your whole life long. I hope it turns people on to the idea that they’re deserving of that extra bit of touch and appreciation—and that they are worthy to give it to themselves.
Interview by Jeff Greenwald, November 2018
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