"Have you ever Googled 'what does the perfect vagina look like?"
Be honest. Have you ever googled “what does a perfect vagina look like?” You are not alone. Throughout popular culture and pornography, genitalia is amongst the many body parts that’s presented as needing to look a particular way. Despite it being a very personal area, it has become all too common for vagina/vulva havers to be concerned about whether or not their labia (aka outer lips) are “normal.”
So much so, that they’re turning to extreme grooming or even plastic surgery to achieve this “ideal” aesthetic of a neat vulva. In fact, a report by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery revealed that the number of vulva havers who had a labiaplasty increased by 39% in just one year. We have something to share with you. If you truly want to see what a true perfect vulva looks like, grab a hand mirror and see for yourself. Yes, it’s yours! There’s truly no right way for a vulva / vagina to look, meaning that each one is uniquely perfect in its own way. In fact, the only things you need to worry about with your vulva is its health and your confidence.
Aesthetic Genital Plastic Surgery
Let’s talk about anatomy really quickly. The vagina is actually the name for the internal vaginal canal, but it’s commonly misused to refer to the entirety of the genitalia in mainstream media, (specifically for parts such as the labia, clitoris, or pubic mound). The term “vaginal rejuvenation” is an umbrella term for the popular procedures that occur, with the two most common being vaginoplasty and labiaplasty. Some may wish to have their vagina tightened, while others opt to correct the shape of their labia.
While several of the above procedures may alleviate discomfort, studies have shown that the surge in surgeries have a lot to do with aesthetics over medical reasoning. However, given the absence of long-term studies, there’s barely any proof these therapies actually work or are even safe. More recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to seven companies marketing vaginal rejuvenation procedures. Specifically, the advertisements sold promises that their techniques would “tighten and refresh” their vulva/vaginas. Some were targeted toward improving postmenopausal symptoms, like vaginal dryness or pain during sex.
"Feeling healthy and confident isn't always the easiest thing to embrace."
Researchers are also concerned that individuals are not receiving substantial psychological support before opting for surgery. These procedures are not without risks and we recommend doing your research and having support while navigating this decision for yourself.
Shifting to a Positive Perspective
While the amount of rejuvenation surgeries has increased nearly five times over the past 5 years, the motivation for this seems to be rooted in low self esteem and body acceptance. In reality, our bodies are nuanced, have hair, and are a spectrum of different colors. Admittedly, feeling healthy and confident isn’t always the easiest thing to embrace when faced with the same standard of “beauty” in so many different forms throughout our lives everyday.
So, let’s take this next step together! It starts with an open dialogue about health and accepting ourselves, exactly as we are. When we are more connected to our selves, it can lead to more pleasure, not only during sex but also in your every day moments.