This post was inspired by an essay I wrote for a class after reading an article titled Vulvas with a Difference by Faith Wilding. I’ve always been slightly disgusted by the recent popularity of vaginal rejuvenation surgeries. In fact, I find the whole concept appalling.
I remember the exact day I learned my vagina was different. I was at one of those trashy, fluorescently lit, sex-shops with my boyfriend. We were looking at all the fun toys and at the end of an aisle we came to the fake vaginas. I asked my boyfriend, “Why do they make them look like that?”
“Like what?” he said.
“Like that,” I pointed to the plastic vulva lips, “all weird and stuff.”
He looked at me confused and said with a smile, “That’s what some vaginas look like.”
I was shocked! I thought to myself, “Wait . . . my vagina does not look like that.” This was the first time, in my entire life, that I felt a slight insecurity about my vagina. I realized that I had never actually seen anyone’s vagina other than my own.
There may be something we can learn from this. I didn’t know what other vaginas looked like, so I didn’t know what mine was “supposed” to look like. I’m not bombarded on an hourly basis with images of beautiful, skinny, blonde, vaginas. It’s the only part of my body that no one was shoving images of in my face telling me what it was “supposed” to look like. And as a result, I thought it was perfect. I’d heard about vaginal rejuvenation and pink dyes to make your vagina a more “preferable” color, but I always thought that was for old ladies who’d had kids or were just dealing with the inescapable effects of aging. I had no clue that my vagina wasn’t pink enough, or now maybe it’s too pink. Fortunately for me, I was at a place in my life where I could realize the absurdity of my new-found vaginal insecurity, and get over it fast. But what if I had been 16 and seen that fake vagina? I might have gone into my adolescent years with a crushing worry about the appearance of my most treasured body part.
In the article Vulvas With a Difference, Faith Wilding says, “The new vulvar and vaginal surgical technologies would be put to much better use in helping women seeking reconstruction and healing of sexual organs mutilated and damaged by Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) practices, than in making unnecessary “aesthetic” interventions on perfectly healthy women.” (3) I totally agree with her. It makes me so sad to think that there are women who are so unhappy with the appearance of their vagina that they’re resorting to surgery to “fix” it. We are fighting the gruesome and terrible practice of FGM, and yet there are women voluntarily submitting themselves to the same kind of practice. Just because an anesthetic is used, and you are given pain pills after doesn’t make it any different.
Here are some of the ridiculous products I found that are for “fixing” or making your vagina “better”. News flash – I like my vagina just the way it is. These are a few products we could do without. (I swear I didn’t make some of these up.)
Betty Beauty Pubic Hair Dye
Don’t like the color of your pubic hair? Don’t worry! You can dye it!
Alpha Betty Vagina Bling
This is not an area for glue and reinstones.
My New Pink Button
Not only do we have to shave our vagina’s, but now we hate to tell you, the soft sensitive skin underneath that hair . . . it’s definitely not pink enough. So if your vagina is actually skin colored . . . you need to fix that.
Vaginal Scented Film Deodorant
Just in case your vagina actually smells like say . . . vagina . . . there’s a solution for that! Just use one of these little films and your vagina will instantly smell like baby power, fresh flowers, or get this – island breeze! FINALLY! I’ve always wanted a vagina that smelled like island breeze! Taking a note from the Vagina Monologues “My vagina is supposed to smell like pussy!”
Just incase everyone thought you actually had vulva lips down there, now they’ll think you just look like barbie with a smooth hard crotch.