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The Rise of Labiaplasty: Having the Perfect Vagina

Posted by on Apr. 1, 2014 at 1:45 AM
  • 84 Replies

Labiaplasty is now the fastest growing form of plastic surgery women ask for. It involves the surgical alteration or removal of the inner lips of the vagina.  Labiaplasty, also commonly called labioplasty, labia minora reduction, and labial reduction, is a $4,000 – $5,000 operation requested by women of all ages, and from all different cultures. Even girls as young as 16 years old are having their labia lips removed in the hope of having “the perfect vagina.”  Is this growing trend something to be concerned about? Why are so many women cutting up their private bits?

Warning: This article is not safe for work (NSFW)

 

The Rise of Labiaplasty

Most women who undergo labiaplasty are aiming for the same, very specific vaginal look. They want a vagina that is “clean, tucked in, and tight.” They are looking to have little to no lips, complete symmetry, and clear visibility of the clitoris. For these reasons labiaplasty routinely involves cutting off the labia minora (inner lips that hang) right up to the body, and slicing away part of the clitoral hood so that the clitoris can be easily seen. Furthermore, the operation usually only involves local anesthesia, so women remain awake. It sounds like a horrific and unnecessary procedure, but the numbers speak for themselves: women don’t like the look of their vaginas.

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labiaplasty diagram

Easy as 1,2,3. http://www.medicalandlegal.co.uk/

In the documentary The Perfect Vagina (NSFW) a woman from the UK sets out to understand why women are going under the knife to alter the look of their genitalia. She notes that labiaplasty is the fastest growing cosmetic surgery in the UK, and one of the fastest growing operations in the United States. Plastic surgeons all around the world are seeing up to 300% increases in labiaplasty requests in the last two years alone.

According to gynecologist Linda Cardozo, requests from the UK’s National Health Service for what she calls a “designer vagina” have doubled in the last five years. Cardozo is concerned about the well being of women because a labiaplasty means being subjected to a largely unregulated procedure, one that involves the risk of permanent scarring, infections, bleeding and irritation, as well as major changes in vaginal sensitivity. According to  the documentary, a labiaplasty procedure can take up to three months to fully heal. In the worst cases, post-operative clitoral hood deformity can occur.

Cardozo noted that it isn’t rare to have three generations from the same family come into her office all looking for the same type of labia reduction.  She comments that women are looking to have a vagina that looks like that of a little girl, which will never truly come to fruition because these women aren’t and will never be little girls again.

 (Note: Just because you want something to look a certain way does not mean you are trying to look like a little girl. I found the above comment to be horrendous especially considering some women keep that look their entire lives.)

Labiaplasty and the Legendary ‘Perfect Vagina’

Surgeons actually split women seeking cosmetic genital surgery into two main groups: those with an actual congenital condition, and those with no underlying conditions or physical discomfort. A 2008 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine reported that 32% of women who underwent the procedure did so to correct a functional impairment, 31% to correct a functional impairment and for aesthetic reasons, and 37% for aesthetic reasons alone. This shows that the majority of women who choose to undergo labiaplasty surgery are doing so for purely aesthetic reasons.

Labiaplasty: Problem or Solution?

Although there is a great deal of negativity surrounding labiaplasty, women consistently report that it makes them happier and more confident. According to a 2011 review published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, overall patient satisfaction for a labiaplastyprocedure is in the 90 – 95% range.

According to one of the patients interviewed in the documentary The Perfect Vagina, she was teased by her sister for being an ‘outtie.’  She also said that past boyfriends had made fun of her, calling her labia a “hanging ham.”  Having labiaplasty surgery allowed her to gain self confidence in life.  She reported being extremely happy with the outcome of the surgery.

Related Article: Safe, Reversible, Cheap, Proven to Work Male Birth Control

Womans News interviewed a 20 year old girl who said that it wasn’t until late in life that she had actually looked at her vagina. She reported being horrified by what she saw, stating that,

I looked in like, those magazines, and saw that inner labia shouldn’t stick out like mine did. So I had a labiaplasty and now I love the way I look; nice and neat and new. My vagina looks perfect.

Let’s not forget that there are women who get labiaplasty due to extremely large lips that legitimately get in the way of daily life. All of this self confidence has to be a good thing right? If this procedure is making women happy and more secure in themselves then what’s the problem?

With the exception of women who have labiaplasty for medical reasons, the original reason they seek out the treatment is usually due to devastatingly poor self-image. Stopping the practice of labiaplasty is pointless, what we need to stop is the ignorance that causes self-image issues.

labiaplasty plastic surgery

These lines make surgery more fun. www.lakewoodranchmedicalcenter.com

Talking about these issues couldn’t come at a better time since cosmetic surgery in general is on the rise. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2012 alone there were 14.6 million plastic surgeries in America, a 5% increase over 2011. It’s a figure that continues to rise year after year. These surgeries include breast augmentation, gluteal implants, liposuction, face lifts, and of course, labiaplasty.

The key is open communication, and eventual acceptance of who we are physically and mentally. Los Angeles gynecologist Dr. David Matlock reiterates where women are getting the notion of a perfect vagina from, saying that,

Women want to be tight. They don’t want sagging or loose labia. I can’t tell you how many pages and pages of pornographic material woman have brought into me saying ‘I want to look like this.’

There is a serious denial of reality happening when a woman chooses labiaplasty to reconstruct her vagina based on a digital creation made to look 30 years younger and infinitely more ‘societally perfect’ than her vagina. Altering your body through surgery is by no means harmful in and of itself. What is harmful is the potential psychological conditions that lead to the decision to have labiaplasty.


Shouldn't it be about what a person feels they want? Aside from body morphism conditions, is it not often damaging to feel you want something to look a certain way and for it to make you feel inadequate? Is not telling people there is no perfect similar to saying you should just get over it and your feelings do not matter? Perfect is what a person decides it is. 

What are you thoughts on labiaplasty?

by on Apr. 1, 2014 at 1:45 AM
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Replies (1-10):
turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Apr. 1, 2014 at 1:59 AM
3 moms liked this

I think its sad.  A woman seeking the perfect vagina because...well why?  Did a guy tell her its ugly?  Did she watch too many porn movies where they were the only vagina's on show?  Could it be seen in a bikini and it was too embarassing?

I dont see it as bad that they are doing it, much like the small boobed woman who will feel better having bigger boobs.

I just think its sad :-(

blueforewolf
by on Apr. 1, 2014 at 2:01 AM
9 moms liked this

when I was coming up people did not make jokes about labias, comedians didn't and the porn magazines had women with lips - I think that the ideals of beauty are becoming more and more hostile to what women really look like and the media is creating beauty standards that are impossible to gain without surgery - I use to think that labia were like  petals of a flower and now they are considered ugly - really pathetic - that being said it should be regulated as any plastic surgery to make sure it is safe 

babie113
by Silver Member on Apr. 1, 2014 at 2:08 AM
2 moms liked this

Mobile Photo

Mobile Photo

Sad .I love my meat curtains just like penises vulvas are all different .nothing wrong with bigger lips .its usually a genetic thing just like so many things .I think porn has a lot to do with it because most ladies in porn have coin slots very little labia minora ..but this pic is reality
coronado25
by Silver Member on Apr. 1, 2014 at 2:48 AM
1 mom liked this
Wow, I was so happy to see those pictures of different vulvas. Always thought mine was gross looking. Feeling more normal than ever now! Thank you for sharing. Seriously.

I do wish my vulva wasn't seemingly dropping lower every year, though. I seriously worry that it will be dangling midthigh and need to be rolled up and taped in to wear shorts someday!
stormcris
by Christy on Apr. 1, 2014 at 3:07 AM

I have seen a lot of porn and for the most part I cannot say that many of the women in porn would be comparative to the first picture as after. Perhaps in a society of tight and tucked in ideals for everything, women have seen one of the aforementioned types and decided it was desirable much like a curved waist or perky boobs. I have a friend who doesn't watch porn in her life and simply doesn't like the way hers looks. Perhaps it also has to do with the fact that most people simply do not like anything that they deem to look like hanging skin. Flappy arms are gross to many people. Skin tags are things to be cut off. We try to make everything very smooth and appealing. It could even be attributed to things such as the uncanny valley effect and other illusions that creep us out for unknown reasons.

Quoting turtle68:

I think its sad.  A woman seeking the perfect vagina because...well why?  Did a guy tell her its ugly?  Did she watch too many porn movies where they were the only vagina's on show?  Could it be seen in a bikini and it was too embarassing?

I dont see it as bad that they are doing it, much like the small boobed woman who will feel better having bigger boobs.

I just think its sad :-(


A-nony-mous
by Bronze Member on Apr. 1, 2014 at 3:08 AM
2 moms liked this

I don't see a problem with it, nor is it anyone's business. Why so much body shaming just because women want to look a certain way and feel better about their bodies? Not everyone can simply accept what they have and if there are procedures that will give them a happier, fuller life/sex life and sense of self worth and esteem then I say go for it. Having low self esteem is miserable and has been proven to hold people back from all aspects of their life; work, personal relationships, education, etc. 

I'm tired of every time someone wants to change something or have ANY 'cosmetic' procedure done that they're basically labeled as backwards, ignorant, ungrateful, shallow idiots.  

turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Apr. 1, 2014 at 3:42 AM
1 mom liked this

Is it a self esteem issue?  Or a socially accepted view of beauty and perfection?

I dont find flabby arms attractive but do I care enough to cosmetically change it...the answer to all cosmetic surgery for me is financial.  If I had the money I would change a lot.  Because it would make me feel more attractive, for who?  at this age noone but myself.

labiaplasty...as a young woman, I really dont get unless their self esteem is counted by how others view them.  In that case (and it is just my opinion) someone has done more damage to their self image than it just being something they dont like.

Quoting stormcris:

I have seen a lot of porn and for the most part I cannot say that many of the women in porn would be comparative to the first picture as after. Perhaps in a society of tight and tucked in ideals for everything, women have seen one of the aforementioned types and decided it was desirable much like a curved waist or perky boobs. I have a friend who doesn't watch porn in her life and simply doesn't like the way hers looks. Perhaps it also has to do with the fact that most people simply do not like anything that they deem to look like hanging skin. Flappy arms are gross to many people. Skin tags are things to be cut off. We try to make everything very smooth and appealing. It could even be attributed to things such as the uncanny valley effect and other illusions that creep us out for unknown reasons.

Quoting turtle68:

I think its sad.  A woman seeking the perfect vagina because...well why?  Did a guy tell her its ugly?  Did she watch too many porn movies where they were the only vagina's on show?  Could it be seen in a bikini and it was too embarassing?

I dont see it as bad that they are doing it, much like the small boobed woman who will feel better having bigger boobs.

I just think its sad :-(


turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Apr. 1, 2014 at 3:46 AM
1 mom liked this

On a side note....how much does a man really care?  IMO ...not much LMAO

stormcris
by Christy on Apr. 1, 2014 at 4:16 AM

Do we as women ever really do anything because of men? We dress either for ourselves or to compete with other women. We wear make up because we like to look a certain way. 

So yes, probably not much. I am sure they have a preference as I do for the looks of Johnny Depp abs, but I don't want my husband to alter himself to look like him. 

Quoting turtle68:

On a side note....how much does a man really care?  IMO ...not much LMAO


coronado25
by Silver Member on Apr. 1, 2014 at 4:17 AM
I want to add that I have NEVER liked how my vulva looked since I hit puberty. I didn't care that it was normal to grow hair on your lady parts and bleed out out of them as well, it was all disgusting to me. I will never forget the day I discovered what looked like a piece of meat dangling out of my vulva. It was stretchy and gross and I called my mother into the bathroom crying. She said it was normal. The idea of it being normal was just one more shock horror in the nightmare of becoming a woman.

My revulsion of everything womanly happening to me, I feel was perfectly normal as well seeing as it began for me at 9 and was finished by age 13. Had I been thrilled with such changes I may have wound up being taken advantage of by the opposite sex as a very young age.

There are some evolutionary advantags to being squeamish about becoming an adult just as there are evolutionary advantages to being enthusiastic about those changes and this is why both attitudes can be considered normal and healthy....

Yeah, totally off topic and rambling now...
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