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Art By: The Vulva Gallery; Buy their art here.

So lets get one thing straight before I tear the vaginoplasty apart (no pun intended). I honestly and truly believe that every vagina owner has the right to make decisions about their own body. If you want a vaginoplasty because you believe it will make your sex life better or decrease anxiety/shame around the way your vagina feels during intercourse, by all means, cut away. What really gets me is the hybrid of info from popular culture, pornography, and general shame towards female genitalia that seem to be the driving force. With that being said, in my opinion, it’s important to make sure that your decision to alter your vagina is not taken lightly.

What is a Vaginoplasty?

Unless you are a person who has a specific medical issue requiring reconstructive surgery, typically vaginoplasties are used as a cosmetic option for vagina owners who are unhappy with the way their vagina feels/appears. It is said to offer “tightening” when it has become “loose” or “stretched” due to age and/or childbirth. Some doctors even go as far as to state that a vaginoplasty will provide more sensitivity during sex, something that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has strongly refuted. But lets get something straight, although one’s vagina may change some after childbirth; it is NOT significant enough to require any surgical measures. The vagina is muscular and offers enough elasticity to make room for both an eight-pound baby and a six-inch penis/toy. I mean, think about it, if your vagina stretched that much, it’d be like a hotdog down a hallway by the time you’re 40 and I’m telling you right now, that is not the case.

The Vaginoplasty’s Sister and Confidant: The Labiaplasty

Oh lawd, here we go. If you are familiar with the vaginoplasty, then it is likely that you’ve heard about the labiaplasty. Essentially, vulva owners have two sets of labia (otherwise known as the inner and outer “lips”) that come in many beautiful lengths, shapes and colors. If you’ve ever watched a porn movie, it is likely that you’ve seen mostly petite, white, shaven vulvas with tiny lips that take up little to no real space. And as trends tend to go, especially in a culture where we ignore sexual education and fetishize certain types of bodies, we begin to believe that if we don’t look a particular way we are flawed and ugly. This is absolutely the case when it comes to our genitalia. The labiaplasty became popular when women began comparing themselves to porn actresses. So as it always does, the plastic surgery craze capitalized on these insecurities and women began having their lips trimmed and shaped. Owe!

The Beauty of the Vulva

Your vulva is magnificent, whether it has been cosmetically altered or not. Whether your labia are super short, long, or somewhere in between. But my wish for you is that you realize the beauty you carry and the power you have. You don’t need a potentially risky surgery (as all surgeries carry some level of risk) to have what seems like a more ‘youthful” or “petite” vagina. Your genitalia has been there through it all—years of menstruation, pleasure, and maybe even the ability to literally bring life into this world. It won’t fail you, I promise.

Kristin

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