01/18/2012 01:26 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

PETA Uses Profane Language To Slam New Fox Fur Merkin Offered by Cindy Barshop's Spa (UPDATE)

Animal rights activists usually raise ire over a celebrity's fur coat or chi-chi python handbag. But this time PETA is ticked off over the use of animal pelt in a, uh, more unusual accessory.

Cindy Barshop, former "Real Housewives of New York" star and owner of luxe spa chain Completely Bare, is coming under fire for a new service her spa is offering: fox fur merkins.

Yep, you read that correctly.

Completely Bare, home of the once-popular Vajazzling treatment, just started providing two very lovely bikini, uh, enhancements: the "Foxy Bikini" ($225), in which actual fox fur is applied to the bikini, and "The Carnivale Bikini "($195), which adheres neon-colored feathers to one's nether regions. Festive!

We were mostly offended by both the price and the idea of walking around with yellow feather sprouting from your waistline (Gawker calls it the "nightmare porno from the id of Dr. Seuss"), but PETA is predictably angry about the use of real fur, as an exec told the Today Show:

"It's outright sleazy, and it's downright cruel to kill an animal to decorate your privates," PETA President Ingrid Newkirk told

Surely those desiring merkins can find a faux-fur version? ...What are merkins usually made of, anyway?

The Daily Beast has this helpful tidbit:

"Most merkins are made from various forms of lace, ranging from low-end mesh to high-end French silk lace. Most clients prefer it to be made with human hair [from the head]. The hair is treated to give it a kinky (no pun intended) texture, so it resembles pubic hair."

We're just saying, merkin seekers. There are alternatives!

We've contacted Completely Bare and PETA for their full statements and will update when we hear back. In the meantime, catch a (PG-13 rated) sneak peek of the merkins in question below.

UPDATE 1: PETA sent us this full and, uh, more strongly worded statement from president Ingrid Newkirk about the offending merkins: "It's outright sleazy, and it's downright cruel to kill an animal to decorate your privates. She seems to be making the point that fur is for c*nts."

UPDATE 2: Cindy Barshop has this to say in response to Newkirk's comments: "I am not an extremist. I don't believe in cruelty to animals and I don't eat red meat, but that doesn't mean I hate those that do. The last I heard, the word c*nt was used by bullies in high school."