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Happy Almost Valentine’s Day: Your Hair Is Old And Your Labia Are Superfluous

by Golda Poretsky, H.H.C. on February 4, 2013

Guys, I didn’t know it but I have 4.27 signs of aging hair.

I didn’t know that aging hair was even a problem until now! I mean, I’ve been going gray since my late twenties, and my hair isn’t as thick as it once was, but apparently having old hair is really a thing! And I really appreciate that Courtney Cox moved her mostly immobile face just to tell me about Pantene’s latest solution for my deplorably geezerish hair.

But, if I can get serious with you for a minute, I think we need to talk about something EVEN MORE IMPORTANT than having old hair. We need to talk about your labia.

Apparently, retaining your labia is really so 2011 of you. It’s 2013 and it’s time to get with the program! The latest plastic surgery trend is to get your vulva updated, and if you want to be really hip, to just get your labia removed. One plastic surgeon calls this procedure “the Barbie” and it’s designed to give you a “comfortable, athletic, petite look”. (Plus, you’ll probably lose like .5 pounds! So worth it!)

Happy Almost Valentine's Day Your Hair Is Old And Your Labia Are SuperfluousTo give you a sense of the numbers, the American College of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons recorded 2,140 vaginal rejuvenation surgeries in 2010, and the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons estimates that 5,200 labiaplasty procedures are performed each year. In 2012, the BBC reported that the number of labiaplasties performed in Britain had increased by five times in the last five years. Of course, these numbers represent a very small percentage of women, but there was also a point when only a few people had rhinoplasty, and later, when only a few people had had breast augmentation. Now both are considered much more normal and almost unremarkable.

On a personal level, when it comes to elective surgery, I will always vote “nay.” I like to keep scalpels and anesthesia away from my body as much as possible. I know not everyone is like me, and I do believe that people should do what they want with their bodies.

But, if I can be honest here, I think labiaplasty is a freaking tragedy. I really do. Labia are not like an appendix. They serve a purpose and that purpose is pleasure. And pleasure is really, really important.

It feels like a symbol of our time that women are lopping off their labia by choice, that somehow it’s desirable to have a vulva that is standard, photoshopped, and streamlined. In just the way that our society has pathologized normal body diversity into a “dangerous obesity epidemic” are we now stepping into a new (or not so new) era of pathologizing our pussies?

Can we all get on the same page here about vulvas? Can we get clear that there is tons of variation and that variation is part of what makes vulvas so damn awesome?!

Thinking about this stuff makes me want to tear my (old) hair out. Please comment below and let me know what you think of this “trend”!

Personally, I think your labia (or whatever you’ve got) are perfectly wonderful and that being sexy/attractive/beautiful etc. is way more of an inner game than most people realize. That’s why I’m hosting the Body Positive Dating Master Class this weekend, to give you real, labia-positive advice from real body positive experts. I hope you’ll join me, and feel free to bring your labia.

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Golda is a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, a program designed for plus-sized women who are fed up with dieting and want support to stop obsessing about food and weight. To learn more about Golda and her work, click here.


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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

@GreenLesbians February 5, 2013 at 7:09 pm

“Your vulva doesn’t need to be standard and streamlined.” -@bodylovewellnes http://t.co/313u5kXh

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Golda Poretsky, HHC (@bodylovewellnes) February 5, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Thanks for the RT’s! RT @ednasprinkle @jessiem_hhc: “Your vulva doesn’t need to be standard and streamlined.” http://t.co/sx7hv9uo

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@mlroam February 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Happy Almost Valentine’s Day: Your Hair Is Old And Your Labia Are Superfluous http://t.co/rHwD5UxB

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Libby Block Treat February 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I have never felt hindered by my labia or by my hair. I have, however, felt immensely hindered by all these ridiculous ideas about how women are supposed to look. I would gladly go under the knife if it would get rid of those foolish notions!

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Jessie Matthews, HHC (@JessieM_HHC) February 4, 2013 at 10:13 am

“Your vulva doesn’t need to be standard and streamlined.” -@bodylovewellnes http://t.co/REsNwdcK

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PirateJenny February 4, 2013 at 9:47 am

The streamlined/Barbie crotch image is disturbing, I agree.

However, I have heard women complaining that their long or large labia could be pinched or injured during normal activities (riding a bike, wearing jeans, even sitting), especially when the inner labia extend past and aren’t protected by the outer labia; and that sex was awkward or less pleasurable because they could barely find their own clitoris–forget about someone else finding it! This wasn’t overheard on the bus or in a gym or anything; these were co-workers in a gynecological teaching program, with extensive knowledge about lady bits and all their variations…even if they didn’t feel that their labia were “gross”, they felt somewhat hindered by them, and might have felt they could be more active and spontaneous with smaller ones.

Before this program, I wasn’t aware of the difference between ladies’ vulvas. I mean, I knew penises and breasts and nipples come in all different shapes and sizes, but I had never thought or heard about other women’s labia!

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Toni February 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

My labia is perfect.

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Golda Poretsky, HHC (@bodylovewellnes) February 4, 2013 at 9:15 am

Happy Almost Valentine’s Day: Your Hair Is Old And Your Labia Are Superfluous http://t.co/sx7hv9uo

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Libby Block Treat February 4, 2013 at 10:44 am

I have never felt hindered by my labia or by my hair. I have, however, felt immensely hindered by all these ridiculous ideas about how women are supposed to look. I would gladly go under the knife if it would get rid of those foolish notions!

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Sophie Russell February 4, 2013 at 9:43 am

I totally agree with you.
Check out this awesome YouTube clip about it. An interesting social commentary!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=T9kCw0Lmaa0

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