Body image fear and loathing has evolved beyond what is seen. It’s bad enough that young women already suffer self esteem issues because of the constant barrage of advertisements in media that depict what they view as the “perfect” body type, but now women are experiencing a crisis of confidence over the appearance of their labia.
What women need to remember is that models are the exception. Most women don’t look like they do; probably because we actually eat. Actors alter, cut, enhance, bleach, color, and makeup heavily to look like they do. They are not the norm.
With sexual imagery and pornography readily available on the web and cable television, young women are exposed more so now than before to the sight of other women’s vaginas, and this had led to a new level of self consciousness about the aesthetics of their very private parts.
It’s important to say, upfront, that there is no such thing as a perfect vagina or a perfect penis. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. I like to joke and say that when God asked if man wanted a pretty private part or one that feels really good, man chose “feels good” over “looks good” without a blink.
For women who are flocking to surgeons for labiaplasty, they need to understand that altering their natural state may interfere with that “feels good” portion of their labia. Once the body is surgically altered, nerves are cut. Once the body is surgically altered, how one heals determines the success of that surgery. And, once the body is surgically altered, you’re scarred for life. Scars can heal into thin, white lines barely noticeable to the naked eye or they can keloid, a condition whereby the scar stretches and grows in size over time.
Most patients who opt for labiaplasty heal well. But what a woman should ask herself is why she is putting herself through an unnecessary surgery? In some cases, large labia may cause a great deal of discomfort in women when they sit for long periods of time or ride a bike. Those enlarged labia may get chafed rubbing against clothing. In such cases, it is perfectly reasonable to seek a surgical opinion. However, if the reason for seeking out surgery is to try and correct a perceived irregularity in the appearance of the vagina, further consultation over the matter may be the better option; consultation that explains that when it comes to vaginas, there is no perfect “mold” by which it should appear; no particular blueprint it need follow.
The growing market for vaginal rejuvenation and labiaplasty has led to a couple of new movements. The blog ‘Molly’s Daily Kiss’ started The P**** Pride Project; created to celebrate “the beauty that lies between a woman’s thighs”, and Courageous C***s that labels itself a grassroots vulva activism to help fight the sexual taboos in society. Both are angry at the media propaganda aimed at convincing women there is something wrong with the way they look.
Another blog on Tumblr, the Large Labia Project, features self images of vaginas submitted by women from all over the world. The idea is for women to see that there are as many different vaginas as there are women; that each is perfect and their vagina is uniquely their own. Blogs like this one want to build women up in a society that continually tears them down.
As my friend, Kathryn, put it, “I never really thought about it until I saw a sign at Brazilian Wax for a topical application to lighten "embarrassing" dark areas. What a bunch of crap! So many men walk around with fat stomachs, thinning hair, bad breath, dumpy clothes and less than perfect penises, and very few consider surgical alterations of any kind. Why are we butchering ourselves to attract men who think nothing of improving themselves to impress us?”
Another good point made by Natasha goes to show that men don’t require us to alter ourselves in order to be desired. “Women, don't you get it? Men really do not truly care what your vagina looks like. As long as you are upright, breathing, have a boob or two to grab on to (don't matter if they are saggy or perky, real or fake) can hold a beer in one hand, open up your legs and use the other hand to hold your leg up, and have a talent for doing something unusual with bacon...you have fulfilled a man's ultimate fantasy!”
And there you have it. No need to literally cut off your sexuality to be a hot, sexy woman. All you need is what you already have, …and a pan-full of bacon.
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M. Gwynn has authored two books, Harvest and The Cat Who Wanted to be a Reindeer on Amazon.com .
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