The dark side of Brazilian waxing.

More women than ever are tampering with their lady parts.

In the past ten years, pubic hair has become an endangered species. And while this means good business for Brazilian waxers (well, sometimes), it’s also made women more self conscious. We’ve even started apologising to our doctors when we don’t have baby-bald lady parts.

But it’s not just the hair we’re self conscious about. The number of women asking their doctors for labiaplasty has risen to such high levels, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is putting together a toolkit to help deal with the requests.

The ABC reports: “The number of women who have their labiaplasties subsidised by Medicare has more than tripled in Australia in the past decade.”

Labiaplasty involves changing the appearance of the vulva. Typically, women request the ‘Barbie doll’ look, where the labia majora come together to form a straight line, with the labia minora tucked inside.

barbies feature
Image via iStock.

Melbourne GP Dr Magda Simonis is the woman pushing for the toolkit. She told the ABC:

“The standard that is mostly promulgated is one of a neat, single slit and nothing hanging out. Now the reality is, that 50 per cent of women have labia minora that extend beyond the margin of the labia majora.”


Shockingly, a study by Flinders University’s school of psychology revealed that almost 1 in 5 women would be interested in getting labiaplasty.

So, why do so many women think their perfectly normal genitals aren’t normal at all? While Brazilian waxing is partly to blame, so is pornography. In mainstream porn, the ‘Barbie’ look is considered standard, even though it’s not standard at all.

That’s what prompted Women’s Health Victoria to launch The Labia Library, a website where you can see what a “normal” vulva really looks like (hint: they come in all shapes and sizes).

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