Labiaplasty, known in medical offices as “labia reduction and beautification,” is a new surgical procedure that “fixes” asymmetrical or misshapen labials. Although there are risks- include bleeding, scaring, and infection- women across the world are continuing to sign up to snip skin off. What’s wrong with this picture?
The Labia Minora are the inner lips of the vulva. These two flaps of skin fold to protect the vagina, urethra and clitoris. The Labia Minora varies greatly in appearance between women; some look smaller and tucked in, while others are longer and protrude from the outer lips, or Labia Majora. Both are normal. In fact, no matter how your Labials look, they are normal. This is because no two labia look alike; they are each unique, just like how no two faces look exactly the same. So, although there may be a societal “standard of perfection,” I hate to break it to you ladies, but there is absolutely no such thing as the perfect vagina.
Believe it or not, I’m not the only one who is passionate about loving my genitals the way they are. A 2008 documentary titled The Perfect Vagina explores the phenomenon of women being so unhappy with the appearance of their lady bits that they turn to surgery. Throughout the journey, host Lisa Rodgers tells us why we should love our lady bits rather than cut them up. “It's consumer society's use of the perfect image to sell us everything” she says. “If your boobs are perky and big you'll be happy, if your hair is long and blonde you'll be cool, if your vulva is small and pink you'll be attractive." It's the ultimate sales pitch – complete [bull], but as a society, we've fallen for it.”
It’s not only women who feel passionate about the issue either. British artist Jamie McCartney dedicated five years to his piece titled “The Great Wall of Vagina.” The piece, which consists of 10 panels, holds casts of 400 women’s vaginas. There are casts of both old and young women, including vaginas of transgender and pierced women. McCartney hopes to show women through “The Great Wall of Vagina” that neither society, nor men should be the source of genital insecurities. “For many women, their genital appearance is a source of anxiety and I was in a unique position to do something about that” McCartney says.
Let’s not leave the entire challenge McCartney and Rodgers. These advocates have paved the way for all women to do something about it, but ultimately it is our job to encourage others to learn about why they should exude confidence no matter how their labials look. Vaginas have been worshiped and revered for millennia, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. As women, we need to realize that the ones who should be worshiping our genitalia are ourselves. We only have one life to live, with one body to live it in. So relax, and believe in your vagina… you will enjoy yourself more.
For more encouragement and endearing vagina advocacy, visit: http://www.greatwallofvagina.co.uk/home
To watch the 58 minute documentary “The Perfect Vagina” for free online, visit:
Marketing Intern, PPRSR
*Editor's Note: This piece refers to cosmetic labiaplasty. Image via www.greatwallofvagina.co.uk/home.