Who knew Medicare covered cosmetic procedures like vulvoplasty and labiaplasty which are used to improve the ‘look and shape’ of the vulva?
The procedures are used by some with medical conditions that cause painful and sometimes embarrassing problems. Others just want to look ‘prettier’ down there.
The Australian Government has turned its attention to the latter as it looks to make some budget savings. As Fairfax reported:
“However the number of these procedures done outside hospital attracting payments under the Medicare safety net has nearly doubled in recent years to 191 in 2010, at a cost of $427,551.”
If the Government is now acutely aware of the increase in ‘designer vaginas’, it must be an issue large enough to make waves. Scarlett Harris writes:
‘The Perfect Vagina’ (which you can watch here) is a documentary that deals with the rising dissatisfaction women have with their vajayjays and the quest for genital perfection in the form of labiaplasty, a cosmetic surgical procedure that changes the size and shape of the labia minora. In it, UK television presenter and actress Lisa Rogers encounters Rosie, a young woman who hates her vulva and is scheduled for a labiaplasty. She wants the surgery because her sister and her male friends never cease to make fun of what they—and she—believe to be her overextended inner labia.
Call me old fashioned, but I think men should be falling over themselves to get with a naked woman who wants to get with them, not scrutinising her body. As Rogers wishes she’d said to a man she interviews who prefers a “tucked in” ladygarden, “why don’t you get your cock out, then?”
While the other men Rogers asks about their vaginal preferences claim to have none, I think she’s looking to the wrong men. In my experience, Gen X guys, whom the doco seemed to focus on, are accepting of women in all their glory, flaws and all. Gen Y guys? Not so much.
One of my friends, 25-year-old Tom* subscribed to the strangely common and hugely incorrect male perception that the larger a woman’s flaps, the sluttier she is! If ever there was an argument to stop airbrushing the life out of vulvas, so to speak, in men’s magazines this is it.
Journalist Kristen Drysdale debunks Tom’s theory in her moving exposé on labiaplasty for ABC’s Hungry Beast:
“[The size of a woman’s labia] has nothing to do with how much sex they’ve had, their state of arousal or whether they’ve borne children (although, so what if it was?). It’s simply the way they are built.”
Mia Freedman has been a vocal champion of the importance of seeing real ladybits, and she writes:
“… Since women don’t have a non-sexual place to compare bits with other women (unlike men who see other penises all the time at urinals), the only place any of us are likely to see vaginas that don’t belong to us is in men’s magazines.”