PETA Slams Former 'Real Housewives of New York' Carol Barshop's Fox Fur Merkins

Cindy Barshop - TV Land Awards 2011
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

No better way to get publicity for your new fur feminine accessory than by riling up the anti-fur folks.

Cindy Barshop, formerly with Real Housewives of New York City and renowned for having created the vagazzling craze, is being fiercely attacked by PETA for her newest brainchild: merkins made of fox fur and feathers. And surprise, surprise, she's also making headlines and getting a lot of publicity for her new product.

After spotting fur and feathers on runways -- and clearly not getting the memo about PETA already being in a tizzy over Oscar de la Renta's fox fur headphones -- the fired RHONYC star decided to do a line of colorful dyed fur and feather merkins for women not content with merely having bikini waxes or getting vagazzled.

These merkins can be applied to the bikini line by a specialist (conveniently at Barshop's spas) and last at least three days. Her completely Bare salons offer two new procedures, the “Foxy Bikini” ($225) and the “Carnivale” ($195).  There are, of course, some special instructions: Don't wash. Oh, charming.

"It's outright sleazy, and it's downright cruel to kill an animal to decorate your privates," PETA President Ingrid Newkirk told MSNBC. Barshop says she respects PETA's anti-fur message but she hopes that animal rights supporters would “respect the right to wear fur down there.”

Meanwhile Gawker has dubbed the pudendum accessory the “most trivial use for the fur industry in the history of humanity,” which caused Barshop to pose the question: “What makes it any more trivial than wearing a fur coat for fashion?" 

It's worth noting that merkins were originally made from fur and worn by prostitutes as early as the 16th century to hide signs of sexually transmitted diseases.