Published in the Fall 2005 issue • Features
Making the Cut
Forget boob jobs and Botox. These days, the pressure to be perfect is hitting many women below the belt
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“Due to childbirth and aging the vagina can become stretched,” states www.lipoman.com. “The loose feeling many women feel is noticed even more by their male partner during sexual intercourse ... [and] commonly the unsightly appearance of the excess skin [of large labia] causes psychological damage that results in the loss of sexual desire for both partners.”
Davis visited an L.A. labiaplasty surgeon under the guise of wanting information: “He tried to convince me that to do the operation would not be being a woman hating herself, but [that] I was going to be liberating myself. He took the feminist language of choice, and he was giving it back to me as though I had the right to choose what kind of vagina I wanted.”
Look through plastic surgery literature and you will easily be able to find a few problems with yourself that a little laser could fix. I discovered that I’m a perfect candidate for breast implants, labia shortening and clitoral unhooding, which is deemed necessary by some doctors for women who usually only reach orgasm from direct clitoral stimulation instead of intercourse alone. Research has shown that three-quarters of all women need fingers, tongues or vibrators to reach orgasm. So in the eyes of some surgeons, the vast majority of us could use a little fixing.
“Plastic surgeons from the very beginning have employed medical language to make people feel uncomfortable about the shapes of their bodies,” says Davis. “In the ’50s, when they started doing breast implants, they would use terminology like ‘micromastia,’ meaning ‘flat-chestedness.’ Suddenly it becomes like a disease to have small breasts.” A similar language of disease — with words like “deformity” and “excess tissue” — is now used to sell genital cosmetic surgery.
I, for one, am not stuffing silicone in my breasts. I don’t believe it’s a feminist act, as some have described it, to surgically alter my body. I don’t have to go Brazilian to be sexy. And I’m not changing a thing about my labia — if you don’t like them, go find another pair.