Your vagina is perfect.
Has anyone ever said that to you? A doctor? A friend? A lover? Your mother?
Perhaps they should. Vagina dysmorphia has extreme consequence. In fact, it’s become a thriving industry.
You hating your vagina and thinking you’re somehow physically wrong is good for business.
This morning I read an alarming article in The Australian. It detailed the case of Dr Asarjahu Granot who was served with a Supreme Court writ in 2021 that accused him of several counts of negligence, including the claim that an operation was inconsistent with the procedure consented to by the mother of the girl in question.
According to The Australian the writ alleges that ‘the defendant (Granot) left the operating theatre and approached the plaintiff’s mother showing her the labia and clitoral hood that he had removed from the plaintiff’.
The plaintiff at the time was 13. She is now 27 and is studying to become a doctor.
She has said ‘I don’t have proper anatomy anymore. I don’t have a labia minora and he’s made my clitoral hood into barely nothing. It’s not functional. I can’t even have a proper relationship.’
This was a little girl. The same age as my youngest daughter. I can’t imagine subjecting her to that kind of brutalising surgery. I can’t imagine how much that poor young woman has suffered, and how she continues to suffer.
Plastic surgery like this is a danger to women when we live in a world of digitally orchestrated visual propaganda where nothing is real. And instead of a diversity, there is just one acceptable type of vagina.
Pornography has a lot to answer for, and so do the nudity guidelines set by the Australian Government that insist media representations of female genitalia be airbrushed. Porn vaginas aren’t real. They’re digitally doctored. And so real women physically get themselves doctored so that their vaginas look like the ones in the pictures.
Some labioplasty is medical, but the majority is purely cosmetic. Cosmetic! Men aren’t having their genitals butchered to look ‘perfect’. No one is taking a knife to a scrotum to fashion a peachy bulge. Along with domestic violence, and the repealing of abortion freedom in the US this is more proof of patriarchy’s plan for women. It is gendercide. Where our unique biology is rendered generic. It’s factory farmed femaleness; McGinas.
Vaginas are like fingerprints. They’re as unique as the person who has one. There is not one socially acceptable fingerprint. There are not cosmetic surgeons being paid big bucks to surgically alter our fingertips towards a curated ‘perfection’. Because that’s ludicrous. Labioplasty for the most part is ludicrous and barbaric. It’s unnecessary. Its very existence and success is predicated on the fact that women and people with vaginas have been fed a bullshit lie. The lie is that they ‘look wrong’. And that the only way to fix the ‘wrongness’ is to cut it away with surgery. This is genital mutilation. We judge other cultures as primitive and harmful to women when they practise this as part of their religion. Yet labioplasty is one of the most popular elective surgeries you can access. Just a quick Google and I find I can get a labioplasty payment plan for just $30 a week. A self-mutilation payment plan!
How ironic. A woman or person on a minimum wage who can’t get a homeloan or secure housing can get her/their vagina remodelled.
At least other cultures can blame religion. What do we blame?
Oh, freedom. Apparently it’s freedom to make our own choices. But how do you make a ‘choice’ when the information that feeds your choices is corrupted?
It makes me reflect back to the MONA exhibition of Greg Taylor’s work ‘C*nts and Conversations’ that showed 60 plaster casts of vaginas. I was so impressed to find out the artist was a man – someone who loved and understood vagina diversity and shone the light on it in a non-pornographic way. The use of plaster allows a three-dimensional view. It was sensual and amazing, and anatomical and intimate all at the same time. This should be a travelling exhibition for schools.
Ironically, it’s censorship in a permissive society that has led to our voluntary self-mutilation, while art is telling the truth.
The truth sets us free.
That’s when you can make the most important choice of all – to not believe the bullshit.
You are perfect.
Tell your vagina. And pass it on.