In praise of... · Opinion · Rant

Love your labia

vaginaemojiI was alarmed to read that rates of labiaplasty are skyrocketing. Labiaplasty is the almost wholly unnecessary surgical alteration of female genitalia also horrifyingly known as “vaginal rejuvenation”.

May I use the tiny platform I have here to say:

Ladies: STOP. Love your good selves.

We women are constantly told to hate ourselves. Too fat, too thin, too plain, too much make-up. Too bossy, too meek…endless criticism, entire media platforms dedicated to picking women apart. It is impossible to resist that pressure.

But your lady parts. Literally no one outside of your choosing should get to see them.

Do Not Show Your Lady Parts to the Sort of Asshole Who Would Critique Them

Claim this one thing for yourself. Say it

“I am good enough the way I was made.”

As a teenager I was paranoid about my smell, especially when I had my period. I’d been given this fear by a combination of advertising for products for ‘feminine odor’ and boys making fish jokes. Now I know that feminine hygiene products are bullshit and also realise that the boys in question had probably never seen female genitals in real life, much less got close enough to smell them. They had ‘learned’ that ‘vaginas smell’ from a culture that persistently demeans women.

It makes me angry now, in middle-age, to recall the extent to which I was shamed about my body. Puberty made my body my enemy. I spent all my time trying to hide my body, which meant I avoided sport and thus lost fitness and the pleasure of exercise. But it never occurred to me to hate my genitals, thank God.

Fight back, women of the world. Reclaim your space!

There is so much bullshit out there about women’s bodies. The medical ignorance about female genitalia verges on criminal. It wasn’t until 1998 MRI was used to discover the full internal structure of the clitoris. Myths like the idea that ‘too much’ sex changes the shape of the vagina abound.

In the evolutionary lottery, we humans did bloody well (have you seen how some species mate?). We can have sex pretty much whenever we want and we can get limitless pleasure from it. Done right, it’s fun for both partners. Women did even better (compensation for the whole ‘grow a human inside you’ thing, I like to think): the clitoris is the only organ specifically dedicated to pleasure. We are literally self-pleasure machines. Winning!

I recommend women – and girls – get to know their parts. Have fun doing it 😉 But even if you aren’t the type to go to a class on how to work your lady parts, or even look it up on the interwebs, at least decide to love your good self. Don’t let the bastards have the most intimate part of you.

 

 

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