A different take on labiaplasty

Sarah Mundy, who runs a site called “All About My Vagina”, offers some very different thoughts on labiaplasty, which we discussed earlier here and here. The question, again, is where women get the idea that their labia are “wrong” and need surgery. Mundy is not convinced that pornography is the source of this. She says that the many, many women she hears from have generally not seen pornography. Mundy’s theory (not sure what I think of it) is that the anxiety comes from the fact that women acquire their idea of what their genitalia look like in childhood, and then are horrified by changes at puberty.

Interestingly, Mundy also cites anecdotes from women (including herself) who have come to realise that their labia are normal after seeing pornography. (If use of homogenised, surgically altered labia in porn is recent, this could be a phenomenon of the past.) Importantly, she points out that women are very quickly “cured” by simply seeing some photographs showing the variety of normal female genitalia. Sounds like a good case for some very explicit sex education. (An insane fantasy, of course, in the US.)

4 thoughts on “A different take on labiaplasty

  1. Mundy also cites anecdotes from women (including herself) who have come to realise that their labia are normal after seeing pornography. (If use of homogenised, surgically altered labia in porn is recent, this could be a phenomenon of the past.)

    Not necessarily. One Internet phenomenon (and something of a backlash against the porn industry) has been the proliferation of “amateur” pornography websites, with models who are presumably much less surgically altered than the commercial ones. They’re all over the net.

  2. Interesting point. But, in any case, do we have evidence of a strong presence of surgically altered labia in (commercial, non-“amateur”) recent porn?

  3. If women want to change something about their bodies that they don’t like, who are you to tell them what they want is wrong and needs to be “cured”?

  4. RC, when a significant amount of people (men or women) are having painful, expensive surgery to alter some part of their bodies just because they don’t like it, it is reasonable to ask WHY they don’t like that part of their body. If the answer is because they’ve been influenced by the images presented to them in magazines, e.g., then it is reasonable to criticise that cultural trend and to try to change it.

    Consider, e.g., the custom of foodbinding where the arch of the foot was broken, forced back on itself, and then bound to make the foot appear smaller. Lots of women wanted to have their feet bound because they thought they looked nicer. It certainly seems reasonable to criticise this cultural trend and work to change it. The case seems analogous with labiaplasty.

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