Your Ugly “V” Is Normal & Gorgeous. (Adult)

Via on May 23, 2012

Update: Of Vulvas and Vaginas. ~ Debra DeAngelo {Adult}

~

You don’t like your bits and twinkles?

Have you seen the documentary film, The Perfect Vagina? It’s certainly not for the faint of heart. I sat through the entire thing feeling squeamish, legs crossed tight, one hand over my eyes and a little curious about the look of my own undercarriage. Why all the tension and peculiar interest? The film is about vaginal cosmetic surgery, and according to this film, it’s growing in popularity.

So what is it about the vagina that’s causing a ruckus? Ladies and gentlemen, meet the labia minora.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

According to Wikipedia: The labia minora (singular: labium minus), also known as the inner labia, inner lips, or nymphae, are two flaps of skin on either side of the human vaginal opening, situated between the labia majora (outer labia, or outer lips). Inner lips vary widely in size, colour, and shape from woman to woman.

Labiaplasty (930,000 Google search results), also known as vaginal rejuvenation, labia minora contouring, labial reshaping, female genital surgery or labial reduction, is the surgical procedure of reducing the length of the inner labia or inner flaps. (I have also learned of a  procedure called vaginoplasty that tightens the vagina and muscles surrounding it.)

There is one profound question one cannot help but to ask: Why? 

As if we need another item on our already massive list of things to stress over, or another body part to obsess about. Why is it now a big deal if our inner flappage is a bit longer than the outer bits?

According to the film, women who want this surgery are seeking a more ‘youthful’ appearance and/or want to balance out the appearance of their labia minora with the surrounding tissue. Some women have claimed to be embarrassed of the length of their labia minora. Some say they’ve been ridiculed or teased by family members or partners. Others claim the length has caused them to have problems doing certain activities or from wearing certain clothing articles. Others say that it has caused (psychological) difficulties in the bedroom.

The influence/pressure for wanting a more ‘balanced and youthful’ appearance is said to come from the aesthetic vah-jay-jays featured in pornographic magazines and films or the skilful yet deceitful technique known as beauty magazine airbrushing. Some also blame plastic surgeons for developing such a procedure and the women who have the money to pay for it (the average cost ranges between 5,000-10,000 USD).

Photo credit: Flickr Commons

I also can’t help but to ponder, when did waxing and shaving become a part of our beauty routine? According to sex researcher Dr. Debra Herbenick, young women’s pubic hair has been steadily disappearing over the past decade and that younger women tend to shave it off while older women choose to wax. What happened to good old-fashioned ‘maintenance’ where we left a bit of the forest intact? Trees do look naked without leaves. Is a bit of pubic hair just not sexy anymore?

Anyways, I tried to find some statistics about large labia minora cases (also known as labia hypertrophy) and unsurprisingly could not find any solid numbers. In all honesty, I’m sure this number is huge.

But, just because your labia minora peaks out from your labia majora, does it really mean you have a problem? According to the documentary the typical size of the labia minora ranges from two to ten centimetres (0.8 to 3.9 inches). Supporting this range, a study by the Department of Gynaeology in the UK in 2004 shared the length of the labia minor of women between ages 18-50 to be 0.78 to 3.9 inches.

The fact of the matter is, the labia minora comes in varying symmetry, sizes and colours and are influenced by things such as genetics, childbirth, hormones and age.

What are the risks of the surgery?

I’ve read that some of the risks can include temporary numbness, bleeding, pigmentation changes, pain, decreased feeling in that area, asymmetry between the inner and outer labia, excess scar tissue buildup (that can appear as lumps), hematoma (broken blood vessels or blood clot), puckering of the skin and sexual dysfunction. It is also important to note that there has not been any substantial findings or research as to the long-term consequences of such a surgery.

If you really love me, don’t you also love my dangles and bobs?   

What exactly is the idea of the perfect vagina anyway? Not too tight? Not too baggy? Or in the words of this film “hairless, neat, pink and tucked-in”? If you ask me, the perfect vagina is a myth.

Photo credit: Wikipedia (A variation of female pubic hair  on a mature female.)

I asked ten random guys ages 25-35, if they thought the size of the labia minora matters. Here are their responses:

1. “It does not matter. What’s important to me are a woman’s curves.”

2. “I don’t think this matters. I don’t think men are that fussy.”

3. “For me it doesn’t matter at all. I actually think it’s quite sexy if you can see them.”

4. “I think it’s a total misunderstanding that any female would get this surgery. I think it’s a total minority of guys that would wish this for a woman. This part of the body is like the ears, it’s a part you cannot judge by prettiness and it doesn’t make sense to me to alter it. This type of surgery, if done just for looks, is a waste of money. Genetically we are coded to be turned on by a woman’s vagina pretty much however it looks.”

5. “All labia minora are created equal.”

6. “I for one, don’t care at all.”

7. “I’d much prefer that she is comfortable with herself versus being neurotically insecure enough to get surgery.”

8. “I don’t think vaginas were meant to look ‘pretty’.”

9. “Couldn’t give a damn.”

10. “I’m sure a guy is just happy to be there.”

There we have it.

Perhaps we should stop reading/watching so much porn, stop perusing beauty magazines and comparing our vaginas. We could also save ourselves a lot of pain and/or money by bringing pubic hair back. :)

Making love, looking good, feeling great about who you are doesn’t involve being what someone else thinks you ‘should’ be. Of course it’s a person’s own choice to have this type of surgery or not, but no matter what, a little more self-love couldn’t hurt. It’s not always easy, but a little bit goes a hell of a long way.

~

To read more (one for the guys) click here.

Or, We heart your imperfect (perfect) penis.

For more of our best sexy content, join our page: elephant gets sexy.

 

Bonus:

The key to long-term love and great sex:

Relephant: Sarah Silverman on Lady Bits, Comfort, Vaginnaaaaaa:

About Tanya Lee Markul

Luring the magic of what is natural back into our daily lives, Tanya Markul is a freer of creativity, of inner beauty + power, and an enthusiastic igniter of the wild spirit! She re-writing the wild flower sutras, and offers a refreshing & badass view on spirituality, wellness & authentic living. Sensitivity is her tree trunk, flower stem, and nucleus. It is her belly, and her heart. Tanya is an artist of life, a faery of trees, a wanderer of the dark, a writer of heart, a misfit yogini, and an Urban Priestess apprentice. She believes in the power of your personal weird, quirky, magic, and that only path toward inner freedom & light, is through the dark — eyes closed, heart open. Tanya is the creator of The Urban Howl, Yoga Write Now & Waking Wild. Join her free forum for monthly yoga & writing practices here. Join her free forum for 30 days of exercise for 30 days here. Join her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & get her free weekly & quirky newsletter here.

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Comments

212 Responses to “Your Ugly “V” Is Normal & Gorgeous. (Adult)”

  1. Haha this article is tremendous. My favorite part: "We could also save ourselves a lot of pain and/or money by bringing pubic hair back."

  2. West says:

    Chalk this one up to a “man”ufactured issue of making women feel ashamed of their natural body. I say “man” because the people most likely promoting this procedure is male cosmetic surgeons and publishers of womens beauty magazines!

    Listen ladies, if you are at the point where you think a man who is “going down” on you and will all of a sudden be freaked out by your “ugly” vagina you are mistaken and need help. ABSOLUTELY NO GUY IN THE WORLD would stop at that point and say “NO!”

  3. This is great, Tanya – a smart & funny treatment of what is a pretty creepy subject – really thoughtfully done! It immediately reminded me of the story about how 19th century Pre-Raphaelite art critic John Ruskin recoiled in horror after seeing his wife Effie naked for the 1st time. Speculation was that he actually thought that women's bodies were as hairless in real life as they were represented in pretty much all of western painting. The marriage was never consummated. She had it annulled and went on to marry one of the painters Ruskin wrote about, John Everett Millais. Millais apparently had no problem with her pubic hair or with popular imagery of women, as she went on to give birth to 8 children.

  4. anthony says:

    Im shocked this is an issue for women! I feel bad for you all, this is insane! An ex-girlfriend of mine was on the larger side of the 'labia minora' and I found it sexy as hell and a huge turn-on! Cosmetic surgery advertisement/propaganda should go jump in a lake! To all women out there: you're beautiful as you are! :-)

  5. Mark-Francis Mullen says:

    as always, well said and pertinent, Tanya. Speaking as a guy, I find the variety to contribute to making each woman unique and special…along with their personalities, wrinkles, droops, and everything that makes them uniquely and magically them. Most of us guys LOVE IT when women are unique…in anatomy as well as personality. : )

  6. Pamalama says:

    I keep things maintained as a public service when going to the pool or to the beach. Otherwise, it's like 1973 down there. My husband once referred to my au natural look as proud. You know this!

  7. Missy says:

    Im a woman and I am Very large "down there" Im very proud of it and not ashamed at all its unique and I feel like it is prettier than the average one you see all the time in pornos… and by the by I've never had a complant about it being to big if anything Ive had compliments and the guys always seem very turned on by this I have been with the same guy for 5 years and he is still very turned on by the size and has no complants … Im big there and I love it : )

  8. Hey all you ladies out there with big labia–be proud & consider this: if you had been born “you” as a man, your sex organs would’ve developed so that you would have been endowed with BIG BALLS!!! Isn’t that a plus?!?

  9. whythulc says:

    Thanks for this, Tanya. I think this is kind of a taboo topic for a lot of people. It's something I think a lot of women (including myself) are self-conscious about, so I appreciate you having the confidence and courage to talk about it.

    While we can't define ourselves by other people, it's always great to have a partner who is very affirming of you. When my husband tells me I'm hot, and he still is turned on by me even on my most blah days, it makes me feel more confident about my body.

    So, thank you! You are doing the world a lot of good by talking about this.

  10. Thank you for sharing this, Tanya. I am currently exploring theories about this and related subjects. Jackson Katz pointed out that as women have gained more power and a greater voice in our culture, mainstream media has systematically encouraged us to become smaller, weaker, thinner and more child-like than ever before. Including our vaginas. Once I asked a former lover if he would like my vagina better if it were more, compact, shall we say. He emphatically replied NO, because then I would look pre-pubescent! I love him for that.
    Conversely, male superheroes have steadily grown to become larger than life over the past 50+ years. Take a look at Batman, for example.
    If you haven't already, I highly recommend watching the documentaries Tough Guise and Miss Representation.

  11. michelleT says:

    i want to know who is getting in on with lights on so bright that you can even see clear enough to determine the size of these features? all you have to do is stick with candlelight or the shower or the tub, which is my preference anyway. seriously, people have too much time and money that they have to create things to pick on. geeze! i'm happy doing my kegels even though i'm not even prego to keep it tight. TIGHTNESS is really what matters! exercise your pelvic floor muscles, ladies AND guys!!!

  12. Danna says:

    Great article. I, for one, think every vagina I've ever seen is beautiful and would love it if women never even gave this a second thought. Love your comment about bringing pubic hair back and totally agree. Be comfortable with who you are and don't let media dictate what "beautiful" is.

  13. kylie says:

    Pubic hair should not be as big of a deal as people make it out to be. Any hair for that matter. whos to say women have to shave. men dont.

  14. @ilymarie says:

    If a guy doesn't like a vagina he's probably gay, or so I've been told by my male friends, some of them actually gay. The strait ones wouldn't stop for anything if they go down a woman. 😀

  15. Louis Krodel says:

    Actually men are shaving their pubic hair as well. Removing the hair has many advantages. The viewer gets to see the vagina (I haven't seen one I haven't liked); the shaved genital area asks to be licked and sucked (without that annoying hair between the teeth experience. When shaved all the nerve endings in the genital area gets wonderfully treated by the wind (when walking nude), the sun (remember sunscreen!) when sunbathing nude and water when swimming nude.

  16. Loving Large Labia says:

    There's a whole world out there of people having plastic surgery for one reason or another. And like anything else, that has its extremes. Has nothing to do with men telling women their vaginas are ugly. Has everything to do with people that allow THEMSELVES to get caught up in that narrow view of beauty and their own insecurities. That's true about plastic surgery on any body part. (unless we're talking about reconstructive surgery)

    If someone wants to get plastic surgery because it will improve their self-confidence, that's their decision. Perhaps that decision is heavily influenced by marketing and propaganda and the mass media, but again, that's the individual's problem. Not men and not "society."

    I'm a man. And I LOVE large labia minora. Super sexy in my opinion.

    Regarding pubic hair… Yes please leave some. Bald looks pre-pubescent and that's not sexy. But please, please, please don't let it "all hang out." Meaning keep it trimmed. If a woman wants a man to go down there, wading through a forest is not sexy and getting loose hair in your mouth is not sexy. I'll keep mine trimmed for you. You do the same please. And we'll both enjoy a lot of good oral.

    Too much? :)

  17. Lisa says:

    Thank you. Enough said! :)

  18. Aella says:

    Totally agree! I could never be with a guy with no hair, my preference, I don’t like prepubescent either. Why would a girl have to do that either? I also agree with trimming if you want someone to go down on you, you wanna know your not at the wrong end, lol. People are born however they are, and for the most part everyone is born pretty perfect for who they are meant to be.

  19. elephantjournal dotcom Quibbler says:

    Just a quibble on terms. What you can see from the outside is the vulva (external genitalia). The canal that can be felt inside the vulva is the vagina (internal genitalia). It takes a flashlight and a trusting woman in a cooperative mood for someone to be able to view the vagina. Yet pictures of naked women are routinely described as “showing the vagina” when all that can be seen is the vulva.
    See http://www.houseochicks.com/ and their "Wondrous Vulva Puppet" for some anatomy teaching tools.
    Otherwise, great post.

  20. Haha this article is tremendous =))

  21. Roger says:

    Whoever said your vagina is ugly? Not me.

  22. Pure Scoundrel says:

    I've been involved with hundreds of vaginas and can comfortably say that no one needs cosmetic surgery (Except this freakshow party girl I met in '91. Rare in any case.).

    And ladies: Please bring back pubic hair. A grown woman should have a little hair on it. Namaste

  23. Bodhisattva1 says:

    I am perplexed enough that so many women wax all their pubic hair off on a regular basis. Not only that but they really think that having pubic hair is a bad thing. I am horrified at the idea that women are increasingly concerned about the appearance of their labia. Unless you are truly "deformed", where in the world do these women get the idea that there is some sort of 'ideal'?

    So sad…

  24. Andrea Balt Andréa Balt says:

    I love your guts.

    I remember watching a shorter documentary on the same topic a few years back, when I first heard about this. Like you, I was horrified. This—along with other disturbing practices such as "anal bleaching!"—are some of the most outrageous examples of creating insecurities for profit. Just like some diseases are created & magically "spread" to make money off a new drug, so was this (it's a serious mental illness to say the least)… the sad thing is that so many so-called healthy women are buying into it… Seriously, Hollywood, go get a real job, you have too much time & money on your hands.

  25. […] after I had the exchange with the bridesmaid I read an article in my favorite e-zine about labia minora reduction surgery. No kidding. Apparently it’s a new craze in Great Britain and there’s a documentary on it […]

  26. Cats Rock says:

    I’m only sixteen, but honestly, up until reading this article, I always thought that perhaps this ‘labia minora’ thing was actually a deformity. I thought there was something wrong with me and was afraid that it would effect my ability to have sex in the future (which I discovered it didn’t). Thanks for making it clear that I’m not the odd one out! Also, I think young girls should be taught these things so that instead of freaking out like I did, they can know what’s going on down there and be happy with their bodies.

    Great article! Thanks 😉

  27. […] of the Week: This Chick.She wrote an article called, Your Ugly Vagina is Normal and Gorgeous so…gotta love her right?!   Chela Davison is a Certified Integral Coach™ who gets all […]

  28. Carolina says:

    Cheers to vaginas everywhere!

  29. krista says:

    I don't shave because of my boyfriend or guys I have dated/slept with. I actually like the idea of not shaving and have done it before- but it was extremely uncomfortable. It really does not feel good to have hair 'down there,' at least for me. So in that way, it's a personal choice. My decision to shave legs/arms is more societal.
    Thanks for the article, it is so saddening how we are brought up to look at and relate to our bodies with disdain (especially the 'private parts' for females). It would be beautiful if we could stay as children with the mentality that we are wonderful and beautiful just as we are.

  30. What a wonderful topic. I'll jump in and provide one male's perspective that might, or might not, provide useful insight. I like lightly trimmed natural pubic hair the best. I want to be able to find you without getting lost in the woods. Ease of access and struggling through the overgrowth can affect my mindset by becoming a distraction. Visuals are important but it's really this practical issue that can determine how adventurous I become. Cleanliness and scent are critical once I've gotten this far.

    A lack of pubic hair is also sexy but shaved hair can leave short stubble that actually hurts a bit, probably not unlike a man's facial stubble. While the pain is nothing to grouse about still it is a ditraction that creates a focal point when that focal point should be you – your heart, your emotions, the energy one can feel when pressed chakras to chakras…the union between two lovers.

    So, for me at least, it's about balance, as with all things. Trim, with a hint of the wild beast that resides in each of us….clean, fresh, natural and inviting…

  31. […] matter what vaginal configuration a woman has, somewhere out there is a guy who just loves it, just that way. Chances are he’s also […]

  32. Brooke says:

    I love this article. Another body part to obsess over, exactly. Thanks for writing!

  33. […] can read the article yourself here, but the nutshell version is this: women across the country are paying between $10,000-15,000 for […]

  34. earthtone says:

    How it looks is not as important as what you do with it.
    Actually I prefer some hair down there. When it's shaved it is kind of "pedophile-ish". I prefer a vagina that looks like it is part of an ADULT woman. Not to mention the stubble, constant maintenance and the irritation that occaisonally arises. If the hair is an embarasement at the beach just wear a "boy short" bikini bottom.

    This "shaved bush" thing is a new phenomenon. Even though this may sound strange, having of a naturally bushy vagina in front of me makes me feel young again.

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  36. Chris says:

    It's truly heartbreaking. The cultural images forced on woman are baffling. Your labia are part of you and a beautiful one at that. All the more the pubic hair is the perfect from for it, sure a little maintenance here and there doesn't hurt but if I'm going to be with a woman I want her to look like a woman. No more swollen implants, no more orange skin cancer tans, and keep sharp objects away from all genitals!!!

  37. Mike Felber says:

    AMEN Chris! I do not like the natural sex negative presumptions that wven trimming is necessary "please please do it…" You gotta be kidding me! I am a man, am turned on by hair if I am attracted to the woman, as nature would intend. I can see the sexiness of exposing the genitalia too, but it is absurd & offensive for folks to give lip service (pun intended) to a "real" woman, but then make disparaging remarks about getting "lost in the weeds", or suggest that trimming is a hygiene need!

    No, it should be as fine to not do so as TO do so. And the implicit juvenile assumption is that all smells & sights down there that hair traps must be "bad", that normal washing cannot handle hygiene. This is mostly internalized misogyny. What about enjoying the presence & smell of a woman when she is menstruating, or a woman liking her natural scent or state, that must be "sick" if people preach folks must not cut it all off OR leave it all on.

  38. hairy down there says:

    This is a great article, with encouraging comments that make me feel like there are people out there who share my views and my frustrations. I tried waxing once and actually bled, developed a horrible red bumpy rash that looked far worse than HAIR, and never bothered with it again. I think grooming is important, but really…I don't think most guys are doing down there to do a visual inspection…if they are, let them have their porn star wannabes.

    Sometimes I want to live in the middle of nowhere and experience consciousness completely untouched by the way the world is now. But I suppose that's unrealistic. Thanks for writing this, and thanks for all the enlightened comments.

  39. […] had several enlightening posts about women’s anatomy […]

  40. […] the f*ck? We vaginas know we don’t all look alike and that’s okay. That would be like saying all white people look the same or should look the same. Other than having […]

  41. […] Your Ugly Vagina Is Normal & Gorgeous […]

  42. Charles says:

    Personally, I never met a vagina I didn’t like. They all have their own distinct beauty…like a face if you will.

  43. Wyndryder says:

    I prefer them fresh and clean. Hairless is a plus but not a necessity. Crusty ones aren't particularly appetizing. It depends where the crust came from.

  44. TerraRafael says:

    Women friends – want to compare your labia with others to get an idea how totally normal you are? Try the book FEMALIA by Joani Blank http://books.google.com/books/about/Femalia.html?…

  45. Eda Mame says:

    I found this site a few weeks ago. http://lovelargelabia.tumblr.com/

  46. m*rk says:

    I have always been fascinated with women's bits and wrinkles. I find them works of art and celebrate each and every one of them!

  47. […] no, no. “Vagina is Beautiful,” says Eve Ensler, so why would I rip at my injured self with such a term? Are not my body and mind […]

  48. […] The bus is coming for you, and when it happens, it’s going to be the best moment of your life, if you’re there. […]

  49. […] a slip under it. Thus, it’s entirely possible that the fella could actually see the outline of my wonder of down under, but when one is driving cross-country the fewer layers the better. Plus, I like the wind up my […]

  50. nunh says:

    I absolutely love the female form. Man here – full large lips are exciting and sexy. Insecurity is not. Sad state of affairs nowadays.

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