24 May 2007

Designer Vaginas are the new black; you heard it here first!

One of the world's most prestigious health journals has lashed a fast-growing trend in the United States and Britain for "designer vaginas," the tabloid term for cosmetic surgery to the female genitalia.

The fashion is being driven by commercial and media pressures that exploit women's insecurities and is fraught with unknowns, including a risk to sexual arousal, the British Medical Journal says.

Known as elective genitoplasty, the surgery usually entails shortening or changing the shape of the outer lips, or labia, but may also include reduction in the hood of skin covering the clitoris or shortening the vagina itself.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the practice is spreading fast in the United States as well as in Britain, but the picture is unclear.

Not only is there a disturbing lack of data about the phenomenon, there has been negligible assessment about surgical after-effects -- and almost zero reflexion as to whether a labial "problem" exists in the first place.

In 2004-2005, 800 "labial reductions" were conducted by Britain's state-run National Health Service (NHS), more than a doubling of the figure of six years earlier. Other operations were carried out by the private sector, although the full figures are unknown.

The authors of the article, London gynaecologist Sarah Creighton and clinical psychologist Lih Mei Liao, conducted their own small-scale probe into why women sought this surgery.

"Our patients sometimes cited restrictions on lifestyle as reasons for their decision," they say.

"These restrictions included inability to wear tight clothing, go to the beach, take communal showers or ride a bicycle comfortably, or avoidance of some sexual practices.

"Men, however, do not usually want the size of their genitals reduced for such reasons. Furthermore, they find alternative solutions for any discomfort arising from rubbing or chaffing of the genitals."

Patients who sought genitoplasty "uniformly" wanted their vulvas to be flat and with no protrusion, similar to the prepubescent look of girls in Western fashion adverts, they found.

hahahahaha can you imagine bringing a ripped out page from Vogue to the doctor like you bring to the hairdresser! "Doc, make my vag to look like THIS!"

Plastic surgery to the labia carries risks, for this zone carries nerve fibres that are highly sensitive and are a key pathway of sexual arousal, the article warns sternly.

"Incision to any part of the genitalia could compromise sensitivity," it says.

The BMJ piece suggests genitoplasty is a classic example of where commercial, media and social pressures artificially create a problem, fuel concern over it and then put forward a solution for it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow.