July 15, 2015

My Lips Are Too Big! Pursuit Of The Designer Vagina

gyn problemsBy Elizabeth Shore

Well, hell.

Just when I’ve started thinking that if I keep everything all trimmed and tidy down below, even enduring hot wax being poured on my vajayjay and the hairs being ripped out at the strands, it’s just not enough. Not at all. In the relentless pursuit of perfect beauty, the fastest-growing cosmetic surgery in the U.K. – and one of the fastest growing in the U.S. – is labiaplasty. Yes, indeedy. Cropping off those too-long vaginal lips so we adult women can have vaginas that look like those of porn stars. Or little girls. (sigh).

In the documentary Sexy Baby, about the sexual landscape of girls in the cyber age, subjects in the film discuss their body image and why they’d want to undergo such a procedure. They talk about their perception of ideal beauty, including their own genitalia, and state that large vaginal lips are ugly, a view popularized by the adult film industry. Female porn stars, as we know, routinely undergo breasts augmentation so they can show off their big double D’s for their adoring viewing audience, i.e, guys who watch porn. They also, apparently, are getting their vaginal lips nipped and tucked through labiaplasty. The message is leaking out to women that a vaginal “rejuvenation,” as the procedure is sometimes referred to, is an overall good thing on the road toward vajayjay vavoom.

In The Perfect Vagina, a documentary about this phenomenon, reporter Lisa Rogers sets out to discover why so many women are so keen on chopping off their lady bits. It’s interesting – and depressing – to see the amount of women who genuinely feel their vaginal lips are so ugly that there’s no choice but to go under the knife and trim those lips like a vaginal haircut. Check out the video if you wish.


We do lots of things to make ourselves attractive to the opposite sex: wearing make-up, getting our hair done, watching our weight, donning nice clothes. Where does one draw the line? It’s all so complicated. You could just say it’s a personal choice. One woman’s decision to enhance her breasts, get a face lift, or have labiaplasty is hers alone and doesn’t mean others need to turn lemming-like and follow suit. But is there personal responsibility in these decisions? If a segment of the female population undergoes labiaplasty to obtain small vaginal lips, are they by extension putting the burden on the rest of us to do the same or be doomed to feel less attractive?

Some would – and do – argue that they take on the risk of cosmetic surgery for no other reason than to feel better about themselves. But is that always true? Hypothetically speaking, if a woman lived in complete isolation with absolutely no chance of encountering another human being, would she really feel bad about her supposedly too long genitalia? Would she long for the skills of a surgeon, if only for a day, to snip those lips to feel good about herself? Yeah. ‘Nuff said.

I don’t judge the women who’ve decided their lady bits need revitalizing. We are, after all, our own harshest critics. But as a romance writer I take solace in the fact that the heroines we write about, the ones with whom readers identify most, are the ones with faults and flaws. The simple truth is, perfect isn’t pretty.





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  • Post authorKemberlee

    I think we all need to banish mirrors, turn off the tv, and celebrate our differences, even if your lady bits look like a butterfly. Hey, maybe we should all get butterflies! 😉

    Reply to Kemberlee
  • Post authorKelly Janicello

    Kind of makes me wonder how those poor women in other parts of the world who have their bits mutilated for barbaric reasons feel about women who nonchalantly decide to rejuvenate themselves when they can’t even be repaired mentally or physically.

    Anyway…..As well all know there is no such thing as perfect. You said it Liz, we are own harshest critics. I wish I had less around the budda and sign me up for some upper arm lipo. The reality is the right person / people don’t care. Unless you have some major defect / deformity health hazard or are a mutant alien why would you need to rejuvenate something that for the most us won’t be seen by more than a handful of people anyway. It’s not a tattoo for God’s sake. You can’t rip your bottoms off in a restaurant and say “check this out.” If women are basing cosmetic surgeries based on porn stars we seriously need some better role models.

    Reply to Kelly Janicello
    • Post authorElizabeth Shore

      Completely agree.We all need to feel more comfortable in our own skin and not let men who watch porn decide that we women as a whole need to model the way we look after the porn stars.

      Reply to Elizabeth Shore
  • Post authorKel


    So I do judge. I judge because women are changing the way something they cannot actually see without external intervention looks. Not how it feels, not how it works, but how it looks. To get a good look at your vagina, you’re bending – moving it out of position and changing it’s shape. You already have a visually distorted image. Not to say that that’s not what it looks like sometimes, but judging yourself on a bad angle or a trick of the camera is unhealthy.

    That’s like having surgery because you don’t like how someone else tells you back looks, ladies. You’re changing yourself based purely on someone else’s perceptions.

    Now, if you don’t like the function or the feel, go nuts. Sculpt away. But look?

    You can’t bloody see it. Lie to yourself all you want, but stop lying to me.

    That I judge on.

    • Post authorKel

      *Tells you your back looks.

      Stupid typos. 🙂

    • Post authorKate

      Interesting point. Yes, you can’t see it so in effect you are changing it ONLY for the person viewing it. I hate this trend…and I see it in erotic romance novels. All the time references to the “neatly trimmed” pubic hairs. So just when I get used to that, now I’m reading heroes that want the woman hairy, want a big bush, want the woman to grow it back out again. Of course, all of us have preferences in what we like in the opposite sex, but do we have to, as authors, write in this stuff where the heroine has to fit the hero’s ideal. What if he prefers hairy…and heroine says, “To bad, so sad. This is me and I like it that way.” Or vice versa.

      Reply to Kate
    • Post authorElizabeth Shore

      We can’t see how it looks, but to me that doesn’t even matter. The bigger issue is that we’re deciding to let guys have the final say in what’s attractive or not and conforming to their views. We need to feel proud of the way we look as we are, not only after we’re put under the knife and altered.

      Reply to Elizabeth Shore
  • Post authorMadeline Iva

    I’ve never ever ever ever *ever* heard a guy comment on a woman’s vagina’s in terms of how it looks. Like guys don’t have penises that are all curved or different shapes? I’ve only ever heard incredibly frank guy talk about women’s pubic hair. “As long as I don’t need a machete, we’re good.” That kind of thing. The worst part about this stuff is when it’s mothers (and what mother has had a good look at her daughter’s vagina, I’d like to know?) who are insisting their daughter needs the procedure so ‘she’ll be happy’. I feel like the women who are going under the knife to do this are going to find some crazy thing to do to themselves anyway because of underlying issues, but when some girl just forming a sense of herself is made to feel like a horrible freak by her mother—Grrrrrrrrrrrh!

    Reply to Madeline Iva
    • Post authorKate

      That’s my other beef with all this—the affect it has on teen girls and increasingly even younger girls. There is tremendous pressure in them to put out, trim up, take in the mouth or the ass, and more at a younger age (oh, and then following that up with calling them sluts). All the beauty magazines set this impossible goal of beauty and now it’s moving south to parts of the body that really should be the person’s preference, or possibly a discussion between to committed partners. We’ve really let the dictates of fashion run amuck in modern society and I feel it’s hurting our girls.

      Then there’s the porn industry training our young men to believe this is all normal, something they should expect, be entitled to. I’m not saying some women don’t enjoy wild sex, but the message I think young males take away is that a woman isn’t normal if she doesn’t want 5 guys working her over at the same time. They are learning to expect “being serviced” as their due.

      Do I sound angry? Maybe I am, but really I’m worried, because I don’t see an end to this. As a futurist, I see a world coming where it’ll start in the womb with genetic modification (e.g. Gatika) and where it ends then…that does scare me.

      Reply to Kate
      • Post authorKate

        Oops…typo “between two committed partner”

        Reply to Kate
    • Post authorElizabeth Shore

      I never have, either. I mean, really? Are you kidding me?! I can’t even imagine such a conversation, “Hey babe, you’re awesome and all, but could you get your vaginal lips shortened?” Puh-leeze.

      Reply to Elizabeth Shore
      • Post authorKel

        I like this theoretical conversation…

        “Of course, darling. Just as soon as you have surgery to add 4 more inches. To your tongue. Kiss kiss.”

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