The Rise in Cosmetic Vaginal Surgery

From an article in today’s Guardian:

Those asking for this surgery on the NHS, Creighton says, “can be very young – sometimes as young as 10 or 11. Mostly they’re in their late teens or early 20s. There are two pairs of labia: the fat pads on each side and the thinner, slightly more frilly skin on the inside. The ideal these women want is not to be able to see their labia minora at all. That is the image from porno-graphy and magazines. Because of shaving and fashions in underwear, this part of the body is more visible now. And everyone is more exposed to these images of a ‘perfect’ body, so people feel pressured to look a certain way.” She argues that women are aiming for “a certain genital appearance that used to be an obligation only for some glamour models”. The report warns of a culture where a “homogenised, pre-pubescent genital appearance” is therefore being perceived as the norm.

As with any surgery, labiaplasty is potentially risky. Creighton says that there have been no studies into the after-effects or possible complications of labiaplasty, nor has there been any research into the impact on childbirth: she suggests that women who opt for this procedure might experience the same problems while giving birth as women who have undergone ritualistic female genital mutilations. Allison Henry, a US woman who had her labia reduced after a vaginal prolapse, recently wrote that the operation “was brutal. All [the] patients who say it doesn’t hurt are lying. I’d rather get my teeth pulled out than do that again.” In Anna’s case, she was unable to walk for two days after the operation, and was in recovery for six weeks.

One thing we have noticed is that people will have it done and then come back to have more taken off.


3 responses

  1. Surely the huge demand for labiaplasty is not because of pornography which as we all know is aimed at ‘adults’ (nee males) and hence increasing demand/expectation from said ‘adults’ nee males that women and girls must all have pre-pupubertial genitalia. No, don’t be silly – we all know porn is harmless male fantasy sic!! Of course said males have to actually view adult female genitalia in order to make their demands/expectations known to said females.

    Are you still with me? Good – then in plain English pornography is driving demand/expectation that all women and adolescent girls must have pre-pubertal genitalia plus of course no pubic hair.

    Ah but Creighton says women are aiming for ‘a certain genital appearance etc’ – no what is happening is porn has normalised what is not normal – ergo all women’s bodies must be pre-pubertal in the genital area and this in turn puts immense pressure and unncessary worry on women and girls because guess what? No female’s genital area is identical to another female.

    Same applies with male genitalia in that no two male genitals are identical but we wouldn’t know that would we if we view porn because all male genitalia is huge, huge huge!! But we do not have evidence innumerable males are seeking to have their varied types of genitalia all super enlarged – instead once again it is women and girls who are being pressurised/demeaned/held in contempt by males who because of heavy constant ‘fixes’ of porn believe the lies pornography tells them about female and male sexualities.

    Reality check – labiaplasty is mutilation of the female body and yes there are severe irreversible side-effects including decreased sexual sensation and increasing risk of serious harm to a woman’s genital area. Removing part of the labia does cause immense damage but who cares when the name of the game is ‘appease men’s insatiable desire for the perfect robotic woman.’ It is not women who are driving this demand for mutilation of female bodies it is men who are driving this demand. So what’s new?

  2. I did labiaplasty after I saw some ads that suggested that big labia were abnormal.
    Before that I had no physical discomfort or insecurities.
    But after I heard about labiaplasty I got extremely ashamed of myself.
    Now that I have done it I look mutilated and after 7 months I still have agonizing pain and sex is impossible.
    To what extent do we have to butcher our normal bodies to catch up with the media created “ideals”? 😦
    I wish someone informed me (other than the money-grabbing plastic surgeons) about what normal vagina looks like!

  3. Hi Ashlee,

    That is a terrible thing to have happen to you, and I hope your condition improves in the future.

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