I read the trashy free dailies pretty regularly, in part because my guilty transit pleasure is the crossword puzzle. I’ve been fuming and raging for months as I do this, though, because of the horrific and obnoxious ads placed by the Tor. onto cos. metic clin. ic (I’m not linking to them, because I in no way want to give them my business). Today’s offensive ad starts with the headline, “Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation.”
Lasers. In vaginas. Am I alone in getting a totally Austin Powers vibe here, crossing a fembot with sharks with freakin’ lasers on their heads? Humour aside, I am disgusted that women are being encouraged to hate more of their bodies than ever before. It’s like it wasn’t enough to attack our faces, our breasts, our bellies, our bottoms. Now we have to hate parts that MOST PEOPLE WILL NEVER SEE ANYWAY.
It’s an entirely different situation for trans women to choose vaginal construction/reconstruction surgery, as it is different for women who have congenital issues or have survived surgically treated genital-area cancers. But these ads are not targeting those who arguably require the surgery.
“Look better, feel more and, most importantly, enjoy it more.”
Who’s going to be enjoying “it” more? Is vaginal rejuvenation (and with LASERS, no less) the 2010 equivalent of that one extra stitch women often got (get) post/episiotomy, to restore her to the tightness of her youthful virginal self?
Laser Labial Reduction. Laser Vaginal Tightening. They’re called “vaginal enhancement.”
Who, before the last three to five years, gave two shits about the length/size of their labia? I could be lazy and blame porn, but there’s all kinds of shit available in adult entertainment, and women with all sorts of labia show up in film, video and stills. I wonder if this is analogous to the finding that the more active women have become in the public sphere, the less space the traditional feminine ideal occupies: the expectation that we are slimmer as we become more successful. Do our vaginas also have to occupy less space, become more vulnerable-looking, less diverse and, dare I say it, womanly?
I’m gonna go all-caps here for just a minute, because I think it’s important to emphasize this in textual yelling: I LOVE MY VAGINA THE WAY IT IS. I pushed two 8 pound babies out of this cooch. I have taken in fingers and tongues and toys and cocks and even a fist or two in my time. My vagina is amazing and stretchy and wonderful EXACTLY THE WAY IT IS. I have the absolutely perfect vagina of a 36-year-old woman. My labia are AWESOME. Both pairs. And you know what? Every other vagina I’ve ever seen has been just as fantastic and beautiful and powerful.
Keep your lasers away from my cunt, and stop choosing to profit from women’s self-hatred.
For those who are reading this and not feeling good about their vaginas, I highly recommend the Vagina Pagina Everyday Bodies Project. You’ll have to join the community to gain access, but many brave people have contributed photos of their vulvas, bellies, breasts, and all sorts of other parts, just so you (yes, you) can see the amazing and gorgeous diversity that exists in our bodies.
An excellent read in getting yourself ready for the internal revolution is Inga Muscio’s Cunt: A declaration of independence.
Please add more resources to the comments, if you’ve got ’em.