Are you in the market for a designer vagina? Labiaplasty can help you out.
Labiaplasty is a plastic surgery procedure that trims the labia minora (the inner lips of the vulva) to fit neatly within the outer lips. It is the most popular kind of “vaginal rejuvenation” operation, with 2,140 surgeries performed in the US in 2010, and 5,200 worldwide. Other vaginal rejuvenations include procedures reducing the size of the labia minora and the labia majora (the outer lips), tightening the vagina, reducing the size of the clitoral hood, and reconstructing the hymen.
The number of labiaplasties may actually be larger. The BBC reports that in 2011 more than 2,000 labiaplasties were carried out on the National Health Service in Britain, and in the last five years there has been a fivefold increase in women seeking a perfect vagina. But there are undoubtedly many more procedures carried out in the private sector.
And how about a Barbie?
Dr. Red Alinsod, a urogynecologist in Laguna Beach, California, claims that his most requested surgical procedure is the Barbie: a procedure that excises the entire labia minora. This results in a “clamshell” aesthetic: a smooth genital area, the outer labia appearing “sealed” together with no labia minora protrusion. Alinsod tells me he invented the Barbie in 2005. “I had been doing more conservative labiaplasties before then,” he says. “But I kept getting patients who wanted almost all of it off. They would come in and say, I want a ‘Barbie.’ So I developed a procedure that would give them this comfortable, athletic, petite look, safely.”
Why on earth do women want their vaginas to look plastic and smooth, like a prepubescent girl? And why on earth are women having this operation anyway?
In 17th century England, having distended labia was considered one of the definitive proofs that a woman was a witch, and ready to be hanged as such. Of course, such judgments were always made by men. Are women in the 21st century deciding on this surgery because they fear men will find them unattractive?
Undoubtedly, women are also being persuaded by the medical profession that this procedure is in their interests. As Jezebel reports,
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the vaginal rejuvenation industry was worth around $6.8million in 2009. This number is now undoubtedly much higher and does not take into account any procedures performed by gynecologists.
On the one hand, there is outrage, as there should be, about genital mutilation being performed on young women around the world against their will; on the other hand, there are women submitting voluntarily to labiaplasty surgery. What’s going on here? It seems that the escalating pathology of the vagina is just one manifestation, along with the desire for breast augmentation surgery, of a wish to deny any individuality in favor of a stereotyped perfection.
How can we convince our younger sisters and cousins and daughters that it’s perfectly okay if your vagina doesn’t resemble the porno or plasticized ideal? O’Regan [author of the Guernica article] notes some pushback, such as a Tumblr called “Show Your Vagina”, which showcases vaginas of all shapes and sizes and colors. Inspiring, yes, but not exactly persuasive enough to remind women bombarded with Photoshopped images of “minimalist” vag that there’s no such thing as a perfect vagina. Wait, scratch that: there is such a thing as a perfect vagina. It looks exactly like yours.
Can you imagine men having surgery to change the shape of their genitals? We are all unique human beings, and so our bodies are all unique and special. We’ve heard some very sad stories of young girls dying of anorexia, convinced that their bodies are “too fat.” So now there are women convinced that their vaginas are “too ugly.”
We need to change this.
To end on a lighter note, Brandi Glanville, from “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” has made her ex-husband Eddie Cibrian pay $12,000 for her labiaplasty surgery by charging it to his credit card.
From The Sun:
Brandi made the bold decision following his affair with LeAnne Rimes in 2009, whom he left his wife for and later married.
She said: “I decided that since Eddie ruined my vagina for me, he could pay for a new one.”
Brandi described the moment that Eddie found out: “A week after the vaginal rejuvenation surgery, he was on the phone screaming, ‘What the f–k cost you $12,000? Did you get a nose job?’.
“I responded simply, ‘Yes. A nose job.’ And I hung up.”
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