Porn Popularizes the Need for Nicer Naughty Bits

Princess 19 on 7 Sep 2011 at 9:00am

Are you unhappy with the appearance off your "nether region?"  Yes, that is a serious question.  Apparently, many British women are, and they are taking the necessary steps to get a " designer vagina."  The reason?  Blame porn.
It's been reported by many from CBS News to the Daily Mail that "designer vaginas" are all the rage in the UK.  (Really?  Where have we been?  Oh, that's right...earthquake, hurricane...but we digress.)  A new study has shown that labiaplasty (plastic surgery to change the appearance of one's vaginal area) has increased 5x in the last 10 years.  The study was recently published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Experts are blaming the increased exposure to sexual material (AKA free porn via the internet), thus creating a distorted perception of what one's naughty bits should look like.  The distorted perception leads to depression.  The depression leads to desire to change the area.  The desire leads to a large number of women turning to the private sector to help fund this procedure if they are rejected by UK's National Health Services.  Got all that?
"We haven't completed the research, but there is suspicion that this is related to much greater access to porn, so it is easier for women to compare themselves to actresses who may have had it done. This is to do with the increasing sexualisation of society – it's the last part of the body to be changed," said Dr. David Veale, a psychiatrist helping with the study. 
As reported, most women requested labiaplasty, also known as vaginal rejuvenation, because they felt pressured to have "perfect" sexual organs by pictures seen in the media.  Most of these women did not have health issues from their current appearance.  They just wanted the area to be prettier, smaller, etc.  The latest figures for England show about 2,000 NHS-funded procedures take place each year.  The private sector figures are not recorded, but is thought to be exponentially larger.
Increasing Labiaplasty Trend
"It is surprising that all of the study participants had normal sized labia minora and despite this nearly half were still keen to pursue surgery as an option," said Dr. Sarah Creighton, the lead physician for the study.
The study is also blaming the increase to psychological problems such as body dysmorphic disorder, a condition that causes sufferers to obsess with a part of their body.  Many of these patients could have avoided the surgery all together with therapy or medication.
"A particular concern is the age of some of the referred patients, one as young as 11-years-old,"  she added.
Is the growing trend similar in the U.S.?
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of vaginal rejuvenation procedures in the U.S. dropped from 4,506 in 2007 to 2,531 in 2009.  However, most of the procedures were being performed not by plastic surgeons, but by obstetrician-gynecologists.  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists told CBS that it has no statistics on vaginal rejuvenation.
The ACOG does go on to warn that there are risks - as with any procedure - that should be considered.  These risks include infection, scarring, altered sensation, and "dyspareunia" or painful sexual intercourse.
Though this may be a shocking trend to learn about, for those that desire to have a labiaplasty, the results can be very positive. 
Labiaplasty Trend
"I had my vaginal lips reduced several years ago and my only regret was that I had not done it sooner," says RealSelf member Jennygirl from California.  
She adds confirmation to the porn theory: "Now I look like a Playboy model down there."
With an average cost of $4700 and a Worth It rating of 63%, there are many procedures classified under the term labiaplasty, but the most common is to reduce the size of the labia minora (the inner folds of skin).
"This serves a few purposes. First it will improve the look of the vagina correcting hanging labia, uneven labia, or excess tissue around the clitoris. This surgery can also improve sexual satisfaction," says NYC-based plastic surgeon, Dr. Kari Colen. "Additional procedures include tightening the opening to the vagina, as well as G-spot injections to improve sexual stimulation."
What do you think about this trend? Is purely cosmetic labiaplasty empowering, or taking beauty a step too far? 
Photo credit:  flickr By worldcutegirl, www.gaurdian.co.uk

Comments (19)

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There is alot of pressure these days for women to look great on the "inside" and out. Everybody is  built so differently ...watch the movie "The Perfect Vagina" this really sums it up. I am not against the surgery, in fact I had Labiaplasty myself and don't regret it, I just think that before you make the decision to go that route make sure it's for the right reasons. It can really boost your confidence and comfort when it's a needed surgery. But if perfection is what you are seeking that's hard to achieve and we have to be careful on what we compare ourselves to. I thought this video was interesting:
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I just have to say to say I looked at before and after labiapalsty photos and they tend to be extreme case,I mean if you look at the before photos these are women with extreme and I mean EXTREMELY large laabia minoras,not the normal just a little flesh ,so in these cases it might cause discomfort.
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"If someone has big lips or it is just not an attractive vagina, why not tidy it up?"

Where to start with such a question? Self respect.
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I love the assumption here: women see porn and become depressed because their vaginas don't look like porn stars' vaginas and therefore get labiaplasty. Has anyone considered that those women might be depressed BEFORE they saw the porn and that their consumption of porn simply exacerbated their pre-existing condition?
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By that argument, porn is still contributing to the problem though, right? 

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I met a young lady (early 20s) this summer who was unhappy with her labia because some idiot male made an unkind comment about their size ( I would guess about 50-75th percentile). Where do men get the idea that they should deprecate any but the tiniest of labia. Who are they showing off to by making nasty comments about labia putting down the lady kind enough to share hers with them. I suspect it comes from pornography since nobody actually talks about it in the absence of pornography that I have ever heard. Other than those who have actual physical problems what difference does it make? I see men squirming around a lot to get all their dangly parts comfy when sitting and nobody suggests that we ought to cut it all off. Underwear is built to accomodate. Jock straps can be worn when needed for support.
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No more than, say, a college textbook. Porn is simply the chosen reference that these women (those who are getting the procedure to alleviate discomfort or pain aside) are using. If there was a strong-enough demand for women with vaginas that looked like dog's vaginas then these same women would be getting procedures for that. Porn nor any other reference source is not the problem; these women are the problem.
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I think it has nothing to do with porn,most women who tidy down there do not even see porn.I think it has to do with self esteem ,what is the difference between getting a nose job or a boob jo ,then a labiaplaty,clitoral hood reduction or vaginoplasty.Also for some women large labias can be very irritating in tight cloth,intercourse,etc.
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see men squirming around a lot to get all their dangly parts comfy when sitting and nobody suggests that we ought to cut it all off Oh really maybe not in Europe,but in the USA ,boys get their penile skin hacked off at birth and there are women in the USA that demand their men to be circumcised.
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met a young lady (early 20s) this summer who was unhappy with her labia because some idiot male made an unkind comment about their size ( I would guess about 50-75th percentile). Where do men get the idea that they should deprecate any but the tiniest of labia. Who are they showing off to by making nasty comments about labia putting down the lady kind enough to share hers with them. It is not any different than a woman telling an uncircumsed,natural man that it is disgusting or demanding he gets circumcised.
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As a male nudist I see lots of women of every age fully nude and stretched out sunning themselves, climbing in and out of hottubs and swimming pools, sitting, standing, legs together and apart. I have seen many hundreds of ladies vulvas with a full range of labia sizes. I have even engaged in sex with just a very few women. I also engage in tantric massage and sacred adoration of the vulva as spiritual practices. Contrary to some opinions expressed about men, I do look, and quite thoroughly. I can understand wanting to do something because of actual irritation or other problems. But to have labiaplasty becuase of a perceived "too big" or "too protrusive" or whatever seems sad to me. I have had the experience with my beloved partner of having one of her labia, which are neither large nor protrusive pulled into her vagina, very painfully. It was pulled in by long hair. The solution was very simple and inexpensive and instead of happening every few months it hasn't happened again in 8 years. Shaving, trimming or waxing have all been 100% effective at preventing any such problem from ever again happening again. As far as visual aesthetics go I find somewhat larger labia very attractive. Shaving her smooth has become a delightful part of our sex play.
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Surgery on the vagina is not necessary, us men usually don't look down there, just insert penis or tongue.
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Well,when you are down there with your tongue,you really see it ;) lol
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This study will be very useful, but the results may be distorted by the fact that in order to be accepted on the NHS, they would have to show severe emotional distress. From my experience over the last 10 years, most of our patients are very normal women who have discomfort during exercise, vaginal intercourse or wearing tight clothing. Some even suffer from recurrent infections. This is rarely a frivolous procedure for these women. They rarely compare their labia to any photos - this is over stated in the study. The increase is due to more awareness of good surgical care being available.
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yes,indeed most women do not have a basis of comparision,it is just how they personally feel.Unlike men whose genitalia are outward and you can definetly tell who is cut or uncut .
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HAHA, very funny Kimmers!  But... I can see why some women would want to get this done.  If someone has big lips or it is just not an attractive vagina, why not tidy it up? 

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Well I can honestly say that I will not be signing up for this one!   No thank you, I am fine just the way I am.  Don’t care what it looks like and my playground will not be in any films or on any magazine covers . 

I am pretty sure my husband would send me for a brain scan if I even suggested this one.

Giving birth was enough activity for me down there.  There will be no more slicing and stitching in that general area. 

This is a very personal decision so if it’s something you really need or want go for it.   

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Lol, Kimmers you have the funniest comments! I agree -- not for me, but I can understand why it might be good for some women. 

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funny,how it is a personal decision,yet women do not give that same respect to their baby boys and slice of their foreskins at birth,At least an adult woman has the CHOICE to do with her body,unlike baby boys who get circumcised without their concent.Very sexist and biased.
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