Meet the matter-of-fact Portland ob-gyn who is racking up fans on Gen Z’s favorite social media platform.
To the tune of TikTok megahit “Hot and Spicy Salsa” by Jaycee Mante, a scrubs-clad Jennifer Lincoln—a Portland ob-gyn and social media supernova—is running down a list of “Things that don’t belong inside a vagina.” (These include Yoni pearls, douches, makeup sponges, soap, and garlic, FYI.)
That TikTok video got 2.2 million views. Then there’s “How to treat ingrown hairs down there” at 2.1 million views. “My thoughts on ice cube in the vagina trend?” Thirteen million. How to remove an IUD? 1.8 million. Simulation of a vaginal birth? 76.3 million and counting.
“I was shocked at how viral that one went,” admits Lincoln of the birth TikTok, which got numerous comments from viewers taken aback by how such matters worked. “And these are people who are adults, or they’re pregnant themselves! And I’m thinking, ‘Oh my goodness. You have no idea what’s happening and you’re going to have a baby in a month.’ We are just failing people from an educational standpoint.”
Education is what it’s all about for Lincoln, who has 2.3 million TikTok followers and 98,000 fans on Instagram tuning in for her social media mythbusting around reproductive health and women’s bodies. “I love educating,” she says of her decision to jump on social media in early 2019, while also working as a part time OB-GYN at a local Portland hospital. “I love thinking about communicating and breaking things down in an easy relatable way.”
That’s the impetus that led her first to Instagram and more recently to that Gen Z mecca of TikTok, where her first foray—a simple video answering questions like “Do I have to have sex if my boyfriend asks?” and “Can I get pregnant the first time I have sex?” (Spoiler alert: No to the first, yes to the second.)—racked up millions of views. From TikTok to YouTube, and on to a book contract with Andrews McMeel.
Let’s Talk About Down There: An OB-GYN Answers All Your Burning Questions without Making You Feel Embarrassed for Asking (Andrews McMeel, $16.99), is written in the same no-nonsense tone she employs on social media, in a question-and-answer style covering everything from the color of period blood to cleaning a dildo to emergency contraception. Her audience? Anyone “age 16 to 66,” she says, adding “It's not the first puberty book that you give to your kids, it’s the next one after that.”
Lincoln calls out racism in medicine and misinformation about abortion with the same matter-of-factness as she employs talking about reasons orgasms are good for you. “We will continue fighting, because abortion care is health care, and if you don’t like abortions, don’t have one! But stop worrying about what other people do,” she says in a TikTok responding to the Texas abortion ban.
And even as social media takes a deserved knock for fomenting myths and misinformation, Lincoln is turning up to counter them with evidence-based medical fact. “There's just so much garbage out there,” she says. “If we don't speak out and we're silent about it then we're just as complicit as the people on Facebook who are posting conspiracy theories.” You heard her, Yoni pearls.