Protesters Rally Against Labiaplasty at Muff March

K. Mathews on 20 Dec 2011 at 1:30pm

Time Magazine named “The Protester” its 2011 Person of the Year, but it’s not just political and economic issues that are leading to dissent: cosmetic vaginal surgeries are also leading people to picket. 

Two weeks ago in London, hundreds of women – and some male supporters of natural vaginas alike – flooded the streets to speak out against how pornography makes women feel insecure with their own genitals.

According to the protesters who’ve nicknamed themselves the Muffia, the same porn-driven pressure to have unnaturally sized breasts has crept below the waist, as well. While many came to demonstrate against the eradication of pubic hair, others objected to the increasing popularity of plastic surgeries like labiaplasty.

Muff march labiaplasty protest

The protesters’ concern is that pornography tends to feature women with tiny or practically non-existent labias. As a result, young women feel their perfectly normal vaginas are less than adequate and turn to labiaplasty to eliminate or tighten their labias.

Probably not amongst the rally were the 68% of RealSelf women who have deemed the procedure Worth It. One such woman, R.P., describes feeling “EXTREMELY self-conscious about the way [she] looked down there” until having labiaplasty. While the protesters would counter that R.P. was originally made to feel self-conscious due to the same unrealistic beauty standards they demonstrated against, R.P.’s newfound confidence suggests that plastic surgery is often about self-esteem as much as appearance.

Whether women or men should undergo surgery to feel good about themselves, however, will surely be debated and protested for years to come.

Photo credits:  Alan Denney on flickr