I recently watched a documentary from the UK called "The Trouble With My Vagina" which mainly concerned itself with some of the various practices that women engage in to "enhance" the beauty of their naughty bits. Admittedly, the program had its fair share of sensationalism, but it also had some good food for thought.
It covered four broad areas:
2) Removal of pubic hair
3) Genital piercing
Discussion of each area began with either a neutral or positive portrayal and then proceeded to give one or more examples of women having had a bad experience. E.g.
- the show starts by noting that women today are more aware of their bodies than previous generations and that women's sexuality is no longer hidden away as it once was. We are then shown several clips of women talking about how much they enjoy masturbation. Then in classic Fox style, things take a turn towards the "When Dildos Attack" side of things. One woman described how a vibrator shorted out during one session of self-pleasure while another related how a lime got wedged in her vagina. And so the show went; a brief look at a practice followed by horror stories.
The bit on genital piercing left me ambivalent. For me, some genital piercings look good while others just scare me. I either find them intriguing or find myself envisioning a nightmare scenario involving me accidentally ripping a ring out of a woman's clitoral hood. I tend to view piercing as the ritual adornment of the ”modern primitive” but my gut instinct tells me that depilation and labiaplasty are activities of the consumer who has succumbed to a marketing campaign.
The removal of pubic hair and labiaplasty were presented in the show as being connected. The relationship between them is given by Sarah Hedley, the editor of Scarlet
magazine, which looks to be like Maxim but for women and in the UK. She says:The whole aesthetics of the vagina have run their course. Now, in the 70s, the vagina wasn't under the magnifying glass because the afro was in fashion. Now, what has happened in recent years is that hair modification has become the latest craze. So you've got all these different, like weird and bizarre styles, but what they do is expose the labia, the vaginal lips underneath. Now that they're exposed, they are being looked at and torn apart and we are now all of the sudden very conscious about how they look.
Once the hair was gone, the labia were next on the chopping block, both figuratively and literally. Footage of a woman having her pubes ripped out just made my skin crawl because it looked extremely painful. And why the hell were women with perfectly fine vulvas going under the knife for a few grand? It made no sense.
So, if the rise of labiaplasty is due to the vulva being exposed because all of the pubic hair was gone, then why did the hair go away?(To Part 2.)