I was very tired and pissed off whilst at work yesterday, as Twitterites were sadly aware due to my excessive rambling about how very full of rage and hatred I was. As a quick aside, I used to be a reluctant Twitterer, now I'm all over it like I was with Facebook those two weeks eight months ago. I didn't much see the point in Twitter at first, as brevity is no strong suit of mine and those bastards limit you to 140 characters. What sort of effect can be made given such narrow parameters to work with? I've come round now though. Twitter allowed me to type "motherfucker" repeatedly during my homicidal period yesterday, and I would not have had the opportunity to vent in this manner any other way. Twitter also graciously allowed me to twit about the hilarity last week when my sanitary product failed and blood seeped into the front of my trousers. At work. Without me noticing. For over an hour. This is what happens when you don't have a period for 4 months, you forget where the tampon actually goes. I'm kidding. Stop blanching.
Where was I? Oh yes, labia. Oh wait, I hadn't brought that up yet. Anyway, this is why I was tired and therefore a miserable cow yesterday - because of labia. Isn't this always the way? I started to watch this programme and just couldn't stop watching, despite the intensely graphic nature of some of the footage. I can handle seeing random ladies' vaginas, but I perhaps should have looked away during the close up of the motherfucking LABIOPLASTY. Those with sensitive dispositions should read no further. I'm serious. What I'm going to say will make you grab your crotch and wretch. I warned you. Ok - if one has large lips they want made smaller, they just slice those bastards off. Slice. As in, taking the scalpel, starting at the top, and quickly sever the extra skin. One quick flick of the wrist, and you are large labia-free. The doctor in this programme went so far as to wave the separated chunk of skin in the air in the direction of the patient, laughing and saying, "Look! It just shrivels away once you cut it off!" The surgeon was male, you won't be surprised to learn.
The gist of the programme was that vaginal alteration isn't the fun and games you thought it would be. No, you can't have your labioplasty during your lunch break and then engage in a fast-paced game of squash immediately after the procedure. The presenter wanted women to learn to love their labia, which, in some cases, meant going to a retreat, listening to nature sounds and showing your vagina to other women so they could talk you off the surgical ledge. The women sat in a small circle, coaxing each other to lift up skirts and bear the beast, and stories of loving and hating vaginas were exchanged. Oddly enough, though these women were being as personal as one could possibly be, words like "flower" and "nunie" (noo-nee) were used. Here you are, splaying your legs and putting it all out there, yet it's still a place for euphemistic exchange. Bizarre.
I support any woman's desire to improve her self-esteem, even if it means surgery. However, I feel like an outsider on this issue because I have never, even after childbirth, worried about the size of my labia. I accept that the vagina is a many varied creature, some are this way, some are that way. I've never heard of men gossiping about the vagina's appearance. They know that women have a vagina, but men aren't often renowned for their powers of observation. It seems like such an odd concept to me to be so fixated on your vagina's appearance that you are willing to undergo such a painful procedure.
Does anyone care to enlighten me? Is this something you have thought of, or are you labia ambivalent? The amount of vaginal plastic surgery has risen exponentially in the past years, so obviously there are a lot of women out there who are bothered by it. I'm genuinely interested in hearing your views - anonymously if you don't want to chat labia under your real name.
I would also like to mention that I was on babelfish translating "the vagina" for the title of this post, and I went with French because it is, as always, so lovely sounding. German, on the other hand, was quite the opposite - "die vagina". Once again, linguistically sticking to character. So - thoughts on die vagina please!