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Monday, August 18, 2008

Designer Vaginas

I'm watching a documentary called The Perfect Vagina, about the rising trend of women having cosmetic surgery on their vaginas.

It is the fastest growing area of cosmetic surgery, and seems to be predominantly due to women's concerns about the size of their labia minora. In a medical research paper referenced in the programme, we learn that labia minora range in size from 20mm to 100mm, so naturally there is a lot of variation, but it seems that the vaginas we see, especially in porn, are 'perfect' and contained and neat, with small labia minoras, and this is making many women insecure. To the point of wanting surgery to reduce theirs.

Girls of 14, 15 and 16 are enquiring about the surgery, and the numbers seeking it are unprecedented.

The operation is called a labiaplasty and it is done under local anaesthetic, the woman being awake while her labia are sliced off. It can take three months for the vagina to recover after surgery.

The presenter, Lisa Rogers was clearly moved and alarmed by the attitudes she came across, from women, from men and from medical professionals. We also saw her own changes throughout the film.

She continually wanted women to love their bodies, and their vaginas, and could see clearly that cutting bits off and stitching bits up was not any kind of answer to the problem of us feeling so pressurised by our pornified society that even intimate parts of our bodies do not look 'right' and must be brutally modified.

The whole programme made me incredibly sad. It strikes me that hating our vaginas is yet another way that our patriarchal society infiltrates our minds and destroys women. Piece by piece.

3 comments:

sea lion women* said...

we must love as we are!

Clare said...

A symptom of the mass media trend to display women as perfect. Trying to change that perception. Join?

Compost John said...

I am lucky enough to have seen/experienced many vulvas and I've NEVER seen one which is ugly or horrible or unpleasent in any way. I find them all beautiful.

So I agree with the previous commentators who say 'love yourself as you are' and 'change that perception' that there's such a thing as perfection...

One of the reasons that some women want their labia reduced (according to the programme) is because of discomfort or ease of cleaning, and I cannot argue with those. But for looks, large labia are just as lovely as tucked away ones....