There was an article on the BBC news website recently stating that labiaplasties – or vaginal cosmetic surgeries – are being sought by teenagers and even pre-teen girls (read it here if you’re interested).
Can I ask, how the hell does a 9 year old girl come to the conclusion that her vagina is ugly? I mean, its one thing to want to look like…er…Hannah Montana (I have literally no idea who pre-teen girls look up to. Please tell me it’s not a Kardashian), but it’s not like their Disney channel heroines are getting their vaginas out for all the world to see (or if they are, then the Disney channel has changed a lot since I was young).
One suggestion is that it’s the influence of porn – but seriously, how much porn are pre-teen girls exposed to? Their male peers might be responsible, but being part of the last generation to hit puberty before internet porn, I have a hard time believing that primary school-aged boys are telling their female classmates what their vagina should look like. I could barely talk to girls at all at that age! Are older sisters or younger mothers responsible? I just don’t get it.
But here’s the thing – it’s not just teenage girls who are worried about their vaginas. I was with a 23-year-old grown woman a few weeks ago, and when I ventured downstairs to show off my…ahem…lyrical dexterity, she became self-conscious and said “You may not like me down there!” I asked her why, and she couldn’t tell me. It’s like she was pre-programmed to apologise for her vagina. For the record, I couldn’t discern anything remotely wrong with the region.
I’m not naive enough to think that porn doesn’t play a factor in these things. This is why I feel we really need to teach boys the difference between porn and sex without getting embarrassed about it. Also, we need to teach girls that all vaginas are different. Personally, I’ve encountered small labia lips and large labia lips, I’ve encountered one lip larger than the other, I’ve encountered small clitorises and large clitorises, I’ve encountered fully shave, neatly trimmed and afro-pubes. You know what difference all these things make to sex? Absolutely nothing.
I would never dream of asking a partner to alter the appearance of their vagina to satisfy some preconceived aesthetic idea of what I feel a vagina should look like (I did suggest a partner shave her pubes for a porn shoot I did a few years ago, but again, this highlights the difference between porn and sex and I made it clear that it was her decision). It should be thoroughly conveyed to both boys and girls during sex education that vaginas (and penises too, for that matter) come in all shapes and size. One of the sheer joys as a straight man is the wonder, the anticipation, of what a potential lover’s vagina might look like. Sex would be very boring if all vaginas looked and acted the same.
Guys, it’s not your job to dictate to a lady how their vagina should look. It’s your job to work out how to give that vagina the time of its life! Ladies trust me, it doesn’t matter whether you’re rocking wafer-thin ham or beef curtains – it’s all delicious!