On Sunday I watched a horrifying BBC documentary about the rising popularity of vaginal cosmetic surgery called "The Perfect Vagina". I had previously read an article about hymen replacement surgery gaining popularity in the muslim community due to the pressure for brides to bleed on their wedding nights. The article focused on young muslim women in Europe dealing with the dichotomy of living within two cultures and when I read it I was heartbroken. This BBC documentary went much further, though. It profiled English women (one in particular was 21 years old) who find their vaginas ugly and go to doctors (all of whom profiled were men) who perform procedures such as cutting off parts of women's inner labia or clitoral hood. The documentary showed where images of "ideal vaginas" come from: from porn, obviously, and showed the experiences of women who served as models for an artist in Brighton. This artist created a giant vagina mural by making moulds of women volunteers' vaginas and stacking them up into a wall. The women's main reaction when they saw the wall was "Wow, they all look so different!" They all seemed to have the perception that there was some kind of "normal" or "standard" vagina that most women had and many of the women were initially nervous to compare. What an interesting perspective!
Moving onto the part of the documentary which disgusted me right to my bones: the doctors. They focused on two male doctors, both of whom are extremely convinced that they are doing these women a service by mutilating their cunts and telling them that they are improving them. One of them talked about one of his patients who was 16! I told my step mother about the documentary and she brought up her fear of the long term physical and psychological effects on these young women. Will they be able to experience pleasure in the same way? And what message is being delivered?
This is a new trend apparently that is growing quickly in popularity. Is that not horrifying? Women are now being chopped up all the way to the part of us that delivers life and we're being told that our vaginas can be ugly and imperfect and that a doctor cutting off half of our labia will make us more beautiful?
I really don't think I can keep discussing this right now...