Katie Sturino sees you staring. But, to be fair, she gets it. It’s still uncomfortable to have a conversation about chub-rub, let alone see a woman prop her leg up, pop the cap off her anti-chafe stick, and slather it on her inner thighs in the middle of the street without shame. And that’s exactly why she does it. Everywhere—on the sidewalks of New York City, in a European airport, in front of Coco Chanel’s old Parisian apartment—whenever and wherever she needs it.
As the founder of Megababe, a modern personal care brand that caters to traditionally “embarrassing” issues like chafing and boob sweat, Sturino is on a mission to make these concerns as normal as talking about a haircut. “I got the idea for Megababe because after years and years of using a men’s product to stop thigh chafe, I was like, is this the best I can do? A product that’s meant for men’s ball areas?” she says. “There was nothing just for women that wasn’t embarrassing or cheesy, and I thought there needed to be a normal, cool product for us.”
Partly to get the buzz out for her brand’s first product, Thigh Rescue, and partly because, well, she needs to use it anyway, Sturino began filming her now-famous “throwing a leg up” videos for Instagram. “No one knows what I’m doing,” she says, laughing. “Everyone thinks that I’m having a weird, inappropriate moment. I’ve had people unfollow me because they’re like, ‘I don’t want to see that.’ To which I respond, ‘See what? I’m just throwing a leg up.'”
When Sturino first came up with the idea for the brand, she had just as many confused conversations. Friends and family told her a cool, millennial-friendly line aimed at thigh-chafe was too “niche.” Others, mostly men, straight up didn’t believe it was an issue. “So many men have been like, ‘I don’t know what that is. I don’t think women get that,'” she says.
But when she launched Thigh Rescue in the summer of 2017, the numbers spoke for themselves. Within a week, she sold out of her entire inventory. “We made 5,000 units of Thigh Rescue to start with,” she says. “I don’t know if that sounds like a big or a small number to you, but 5,000 of anything is a lot when you’re starting with nothing. So when we sold out in the first week, we were out of stock the rest of the summer. That was awful—but it was also really cool. It confirmed, whoa, this is needed.”