Popular Cosmetic Procedure Called "the Barbie" Hacks Off Women's Labia So She's Smooth Like a Doll
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But doctors also help push that desired "look" — an unobtrusive vulva that's becoming "increasingly minimalist" — through the way they discuss women's bodies:
The escalating pathology of the vagina is just one manifestation of a fairly ubiquitous desire to deny natural variations in female anatomy by casting them as aberrations. Alinsod and Alter speak with enthusiastic distaste about female genitalia-"this big, fat pad", "like a golf ball", "she has a fatty majora"-and they don't necessarily consider it a doctor's obligation to advise patients if they are within normal range. Interestingly, a 2011 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine shows that male physicians are more likely to recommend cosmetic labiaplasty than their female counterparts.
Alinsod told O'Regan that he only considers his patients' mental health "if their requests are unusual." That statement implies that wanting your labia minora amputated is normal. Increasingly, that seems to be the case. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology condemns vaginal rejuvenation procedures — back in 2007, it declared that it was "deceptive to give the impression that… any such procedures are accepted and routine surgical practices" — but will that change with the times? Probably. Last year, the Federation of International Gynecologists and Obstetricians included an extended presentation on cosmetic gynecology.
How can we convince our younger sisters and cousins and daughters that it's perfectly okay if your vagina doesn't resemble the porno or plasticized ideal? O'Regan notes some pushback, such as a Tumblr called " Show Your Vagina", which showcases vaginas of all shapes and sizes and colors. Inspiring, yes, but not exactly persuasive enough to remind women bombarded with Photoshopped images of "minimalist" vag that there's no such thing as a perfect vagina. Wait, scratch that: there is such a thing as a perfect vagina. It looks exactly like yours.