We should go and love ourselves.

I have written quite a bit about my annoyance with myself at my own lady garden insecurities in the past, that I have allowed myself to be sucked into stupid beauty standards that should not matter.  Mainly just the dealing with (or not) of the perfectly natural hair that grows there, so this morning as I did my usual Facebook scroll with a cup of tea, trying to wake up a bit, I was outraged to read an article about the huge rise in labiaplasty in girls eighteen and under in the last year.

 EIGHTEEN AND UNDER.

I just want that to sink in.

This is not just should I wax or should I not?  Should I have a landing strip or grow a magnificent bush of curly, bouncy joy? This is should I pay someone to chop bits of my perfectly fine labia off!!!

flowers

 

What is happening to society that has meant that in America last year FOUR HUNDRED girls aged eighteen or under, went for very expensive, totally unnecessary  surgery on their lovely caves of wonders?  That is only 4.6% of the EIGHT THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED AND FOURTY FIVE  labiaplasties done in America during 2015.  That is just America.  There are statistics that say around 87% of these operations are for purely cosmetics reasons.  There are serious risks of scarring, pain and infection, the mortality rate from general anaesthesia is only 1:100000 but it is also a risk that I would not want to take lightly, imagine losing your life because you thought that one side of your labia was a centimetre longer than the other!

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How have we allowed this to happen?

There is nothing wrong with these women/girls, but a standard introduced to us by porn and the media has lead people to start finding fault with every aspect of their bodies. Most of us don’t want our sex life to resemble a porn film, that is great for having a bit of “me time” but one of the good things about porn is that it is a way to explore different things than we have at home without cheating on our partner(s).  Do not go through your partners internet history and decide that you need a new vagina.  That is not a sensible course of action.

I have only had a few stitches (seven to be exact) in my lady garden after the birth of my son.  It was the most traumatic part of the childbirth for me, it is one of the things I am most scared of happening when I birth mini person number two later on this year, I can not imagine choosing to have someone take a knife and chop bits off my fanny and sew them up without a real medical need, the recovery must be a living hell. I know several women who have been through very painful, and not always successful breast augmentations, some have decided that after having children the breasts that were left behind did not seem perky/round/big enough any more, some were just unhappy with what nature had decided their sweater puppies should look like and a few had one replaced after cancer had robbed them of the original.

I am a naturally curious woman, I have asked and had a good feel of a surgically altered breast on more than one occasion.  They neither look or feel real.  Some of the women that have them don’t want them to, so they are overjoyed to be plastic fantastic, I can see how they could go out and forget to put on shoes as they must not get to see their feet very often.

jessica rabbit

For those people that lose a body part and want a new one, I am all in favour of this.  If you weren’t born with the right body parts and need to get yours altered so that you are the correct gender, of course you should do this and it is marvellous that there is the technology for you to do so.   If  I had had a battle with a life threatening disease and won, I might want to move on by fixing the scars and trying to rebuild a stronger, newer version of myself that I felt confident in.  I might not, I might be so happy to be alive and not want to go anywhere near doctors if I didn’t have to. I don’t know,  I am fortunate to not have been in this position in my life so far.  And for anyone who has, you are amazing, however you want to deal with your recovery is your business and should be supported by everyone.

awesome woman

I am glad that plastic surgery exists for you.  And for people who need it.  But I am saddened by the rising number of people who feel the need to risk everything for purely cosmetic reasons.   We should be educating people more on how brilliant their bodies are, just the way they are.  Offering counselling to people with body dysmorphobia to try and help the thing that has gone wrong for them to make them forever unhappy with the body they were given, they won’t stop getting surgeries, they have a mental health issue that should be treated.  We don’t allow people with an eating disorder to starve themselves to death, we step in and try to help, so why are we not trying to help these other people?  is it because they pay lots of money into a growing industry that is seen as socially acceptable?  Why are we all allowing this to go unchallenged?

I know many people who dedicate hours a week to going to the gym to sculpt their bodies into glorious visions of toned muscle, they eat well, they treat their bodies well, they have earned enviable physiques.  I will never understand why people would go and pay for surgery to suck out fat and put little bits of silicone under their skin to pretend that they had gone to the gym, surely it won’t stay looking as the surgeon left it if your lifestyle is mostly about sitting down and eating chocolate, your expensive, painful surgery results will be lost under layers of laziness and bad food, (which is why you didn’t have those muscles in the first place) changing your lifestyle will give you the body that you want, it will cost less, and like anything that you work hard for, you will feel so much more proud of it in the end.  You can do it by yourself if you really want it.

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There is also nothing wrong with not wanting that sort of body.  If you want to do lots of sitting down eating and drinking delicious things (definitely more my kind of thing), and you are happy with the beautiful soft curves that this creates, please enjoy that about your wonderful self  (please do try to do it in moderation and not get so huge that you can’t get out of bed and they have to take walls off your house to get you out of it, that is very bad for you.).

Why are we not challenging the instant fix way that we have become used to living in?  If you plant and grow your own vegetables in the garden they will always taste much better than the ones that you go and buy at the shop, because you have tended to them yourself, but most of us can’t be bothered to plant a seed, water it and wait.

How does this translate to our growing distain and criticism of our labia?  I looked up a list of commonly used terms for the vagina and was greeted by a glorious list including such treats as cum bucket, cock socket, bearded clam, axe wound, meat flap, tampon tunnel, stench trench, penis fly trap, pink fortress, soggy box, baby cannon and badly packed kebab.  Which are all just WOW.  None of them sound like something that I would want to touch, let alone have sex with, but we have allowed ourselves to go along with this way of talking about one the greatest bits on the female body.  What a horrible way to refer to our pleasure centre, the place which most of us (cervix willing/not mega baby carrying/baby the right way round etc….) enter the world via. Shouldn’t we be trying to encourage a more positive language when talking about a part of our bodies that should be held in pretty high regard?

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Who decided what they were supposed to look like?  Who issued the decree that if you don’t have a certain shape/size of labia that there is something wrong with your glorious gleaming girl parts?

There is a wonderful artist Jamie McCartney who has created the great wall of vagina, which currently stands at nine metres long and has casts of four hundred vaginas from women of all ages, races and some from transgendered women.  We should be encouraging our young women to look at this fantastic wall, so that they can see that we are supposed to come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, that we are supposed to grow hair there (even though I am still entrenched in my own personal battle of the bush) and that we are all wonderful.

great wall of vagina

So ladies, please, lets stop this growing trend for chopping up our already perfect parts to try and reach a stupid beauty standard that was made up by idiots.  Let’s encourage our young women to love themselves regardless of how flappy or not they might be.  Lets try and remember that each one of us finds different things sexy, that there are in fact people out there who WANT you to have lots of lovely, big, crinkly labia, the sight of that sends them into a lusty frenzy of joy.  Also, when you love someone their sex organs become even more lovely to you than they might have been before, because they are the lovely bits that you get to have super fun sexy times with, that are attached to the greatest person/people (not to leave out the poly people) in the world to you.

If you find yourself entering a new sexy relationship and the person that you are going to do that with decides to change their mind because your labia is not attractive to them, send them on their way.  There will be another lover out there who will want to rub their face in your labia and not come up for air for as long a possible, who will find it the most erotic thing in the world, it’s why we are not all identikit versions of each other, because we all like different things.  We are all SUPPOSED to like different things.  Embrace yourself for who you are and love yourself.

 

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