Further to Jender’s recent post on labiaplasty, Lih Mei Liao and Sarah Creighton have recently published a study in the British Medical Journal looking at the causes and effects of cosmetic labia/genitoplasty (here if you’ve got Athens). They interviewed healthy adults who had undergone surgical reductions in “normal” labia to find the reasons given for wanting this procedure. They found pornography was often implicated. To quote from the BMJ press release:
“Patients consistently wanted their vulvas to be flat with no protrusion beyond the labia majora, … some women brought along images to illustrate the desired appearance, usually from advertisements or pornography that may have been digitally altered.”
They also suggest that the increase in numbers having this surgery is leading to a further increase in numbers wanting the surgery. They argue that the increased numbers of cosmetically altered labia contribute to the narrowing of our ideas about what counts as “normal”, leading women to feel greater concern about their own bodies, thereby increasing demand for labiaplasty. Apparently, numbers of procedures on the NHS have doubled in the last five – since the NHS won’t perform cosmetic surgery in the absence of psychological trauma, it suggests these procedures aren’t mere whimsy.
Also interesting is that Reuters reported on this article and its contents (here). However, they didn’t file it under “Health and Science” and “Lifestyle”, but under “Oddly Enough”, their section for jokey and bizarre news events.