It was a few years ago that I watched the documentary “The Perfect Vagina”, which follows the story of three girls in the UK wanting to get labiaplasty.
If I remember correctly this was the first time I had even heard of this procedure.
For those of you that don’t know what it is, a labiaplasty is a surgical procedure where a plastic surgeon removes part of the labia, often for cosmetic reasons.
And I had almost forgotten about the hurt, shame and embarrassment that these women went through, until I read an article on Jezebel today about the increasing interest in labiaplasty for teenage girls.
Something that hurts my heart, and infuriates me at the same time, is that the large variety of vulvas aren’t celebrated, or even known about. Many think that only a certain type of vulva is the norm, when in reality there is a rainbow of vulvas out there.
Men worry that their penises aren’t big enough, and women worry that their vulvas aren’t small enough. How messed up is that?
And now, it seems that a prevalent number of teens are approaching their doctors about getting their labia cut off. So much so that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have had to issue guidelines on how doctors should approach talking to teens about the surgery.
I think back to all of the self-conscious concerns I had as a teenager, and now we’re adding our labia to the list?! We need to get cracking on self-love and body literacy my friends.
So, I want to share some people who are celebrating the diversity in vulvas. Every shape, size and color is beautiful. Your vagina is beautiful and you do not need to be cutting off your labia.
“I’ll Show You Mine” is a photo book full of non-pornographic images of female genitalia.
“Cunt Coloring Book” is exactly that, a coloring book full of vulvas, which was originally used for a sex-ed class.
“What Do You Like About Your Vulva and Vagina? A Poster Project” is a Kickstarter for just that.
“The Great Wall of Vagina” is an ongoing work of art by Jamie McCartney.
And let me just end by repeating once more, you are beautiful and your vagina is perfect just how it is.