Betty not Barbie

When I was a young woman it never occurred to me or any of my friends that we might have unsightly va-jay-jays. For one thing the young men around us seemed interested enough in that magical body part that we assumed it was one square inch of pulchritudinous pink paradise. Moreover, we didn’t really know what the bandersnatch “should” look like. There wasn’t all that much comparison back in those days. Our cooters were just the somewhat mysterious fur burgers with a side order of thighs, and that was that.

Today’s young women have grown up in an atmosphere of such intense pornification that they don’t have the same lassiez-faire attitude about their vulvas as the one my generation was able to enjoy. Nope. The expect their hoo-has to be “camera ready” and look “right”. I have ranted before about how this porn-ready trend has lead to the mind-boggling practice of labiaplasty and anal bleaching, and frankly I assumed that would be as bad as it could get. Boy howdy, was I wrong.

Now there is a growing demand for extreme labioplasty, where the labia minora are sheered off completely leaving a bare “clamshell” appearance. This look is called “The Barbie”. Some plastic surgeons are happy to do this procedure, because they don’t want their patients burdened with a “fat” minora or majora. Yes, even our Lady Lips are on a diet now. Worse, because the “escalating pathology of the vagina is just one manifestation of a fairly ubiquitous desire to deny natural variations in female anatomy by casting them as aberrations” it is considered NORMAL for a woman to want her twat sliced and diced to meet the standard of beauty, just like her face and her boobs.

The part of this that freaks me out the hardest is that little girls, those that are young enough to be pre-pubescent, are the only ones with naturally occurring “Barbie” bits.  All three of my daughters have “seamless” vulvas because their labia minora have not begun to grow. Visible labia minora only belong to biologically sexually mature females. Women are altering/mutilating their bodies so they can look like six year old girls because that makes them more “sexy”. I don’t think most of the patients realize that this similarity with children is the end result of the surgery, but it still makes my skin crawl. 

There is something really messed up about a culture that finds an adult female body so terrifying that it can only be “pretty” when it evokes the helplessness of a child.

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About Betty Fokker

I'm a stay-at-home feminist mom.
This entry was posted in are you kidding me with this shit?, daughters, Feminism. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Betty not Barbie

  1. Selina says:

    I just threw up my lunch

  2. There is so much wrong with this that I simply don’t know where to start. So I’ll just start with ranting. Everywhere. All the time.

  3. Robin says:

    Sick. Just sick.

  4. mumsydarling says:

    Is there no ‘normal’ parents/friends out there to give these girls/women the proper advice on how not to mutilate your body in the name of so-called fashion. It just seems to me, that nowadays there too many ways to self mutilate with or without the help of these quack doctors, out to make money out of vulnerable women suffering from body mysmorphia? and preying on them by perpetuating the myth that there is something wrong with their bodies. Action is needed bring this out into the open and spreading the word.

  5. This is basically female genital mutilation (known as FGM in the human rights world) which Amnesty and other HR organisations are doing their best to combat because it is fundamentally patriarchal asshattery/tribal customs encouraging women to feel such fear and shame of their own bodies and sexual impulses that they will willingly connive at mutilating their own daughters. Whether it is porn or tribal custom, it is equally wrong for women to cut away chunks of their anatomy.

  6. Mandy says:

    You know what, you’re right! I just had a look at the pictures- and I’ve seen loads of vaginas in my line of work, coz I’m a RN- and as a 40 yo, it never occurred to me there was anything wrong with my vagina, not even after I had a vaginal birth. Sure, early on I worried I wasn’t tight enough anymore- kegels dealt with that- but while I’m reasonably tidy, my minora does stick out, and I’ve never had a man tell me it’s anything less than magnificent.
    Guys are usually more worried about touching, etc the vagina than its exact proportions ;-)
    I’m also really flat chested when I’m thinner- and I’ve never had a guy tell me to get dressed, despite my breasts being less than impressive at times. My husband now is thrilled because we’ve moved back to the heat, so I wear less clothes here.. All he can see is his wife, who he thinks is the hottest thing on two legs.. Small boobs and lumpy legs and not Barbie vagina and all.
    He tells me he’s allergic to me- hence the swelling ;-) if I ever complain to him, he justs tells me ‘you still seem to be affecting my allergy, just fine’ lol.
    We are just too damn hard on ourselves. I will not spend my life worrying about my imperfections. I wish there was a way to get it across to young girls that they are normal. When did guys get so picky?
    When I first caught my then young teen son watching porn, one of the things so explained to him was that I didn’t want him thinking porn was normal. That real women don’t look like that, normally, and that even porn sex was utterly artificial. He’s had at least 2 lovers now, that I’m aware of, and I get the idea he’s fine with normal girls, one was thin and one was but got chubby while they were together. He has had chubby girlfriends too.. He takes the whole person as a person, not as a body, if you know what I mean, so I think I got my message across. Phew. He’s also super respectful to women, especially me.
    My neices girls are in their teens, and full of spunk and attitude. I think they’d hit a guy who rejected their bits in such a suoerficial way- so take heart.. Girls aren’t all bowing to the ideal ;-)

  7. I blame Barbie! I’ve been ranting about this issue over at my blog and am HORRIFIED that women are now obsessing over a body part that very few people even get to see!
    Could we please all just take a deep breath and start loving ourselves? Yes there are a few douchey guys who will make horrible comments about your labia. These men do not deserve the pleasures and delights this area provides, they are too used to performing to porn and should be left to their own devices. Most men LOVE the way you look,FULL STOP.
    Here’s one of my rants on the subject http://cgrace4wellbeing.blogspot.co.nz/2012/12/vagina-vagina-vulva.html
    Thanks for joining the list of bloggers bringing the issue to people’s attention.

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