Sometimes, you read something that makes you question your entire existence.
That was me this morning when I saw female cyclists have been resorting to ‘saddle surgery’ to make their cycling experience ‘more comfortable’.
Saddle surgery involves cutting off part of the inner labia to stop them rubbing on the saddle of their bike. This phenomenon can cause chaffing, bleeding and infections. So, obviously the most logical thing to do is cut if off completely, right?
It may sound extreme, but plastic surgeon, Angelica Kavouni, told Marie Claire she sees "at least two to nine women a week who want labiaplasty specifically for cycling."
"Some of my patients are professional cyclists, but the majority are women in their 30s or 40s who just want to cycle to work. For them, this might be a last resort, but it's life changing," she told Marie Claire.
Kavouni explains the hour-long surgery, which costs almost $8000, can be healed within two weeks.
Yet, it wasn't the fact women were getting labiaplasty to make cycling easier that made me question my entire existence, it was that, for once, a story about labiaplasty didn't make me boil with rage.
Watch Shelly Horton and Dr. Ginni Mansberg talk about labias below. Post continues after video.
I get it, labiaplasty is a personal choice, what you do with your genetalia is your business, you do you, that kind of thing, but it was refreshing to read a labiaplasty story that didn't involve a woman calling her vagina 'ugly'.
In Australia, labiaplasty requests rose nearly 150 per cent between 2001 and 2011, presumably due to the spike in the availability of mainstream porn. With the lack of vaginal diversity in porn, women began to desire 'barbie' vaginas, with everything 'neatly tucked away'. In the last decade it has become the fastest growing surgery women ask for.
But here's the thing we often forget: like faces. bodies, hair, personality and almost every other things that makes us an individual, no two vagina's are the same either. They are all different. All of them. So when I hear a women opting for labiaplasty because she thinks her vagina is 'ugly' or, God forbid, a lover has said something nasty, it makes me sad.
Sad that a woman feels having a 'designer vagina' will make her more desirable to a lover. Sad that any women is comparing her lady parts to others. Sad that a woman feels she is 'not normal' because of something she has no control over.
Because you know what? As long as your vagina is functioning and healthy, it's perfect just the way it is.
And yes, the rise of women receiving 'saddle surgeries' also makes me sad. Sad that women, who are probably non-plussed about the look of their nether regions, feel this is their last resort so they can continue to do something they love. Rather than it be in spite of how they look, it's a decision that will make their lives a little bit easier.
Would you ever get labiaplasty? Let us know in the comments.