No it's not a new type of pubic hairstyle, it's actually a new cosmetic procedure where you clip off bits of your labia. Toronto Doc Robert H. Stubbs pioneered the technique. Apparently, for the past 12 years, women have come to him from all over North America to have their labia minora -- the flaps of skin that form the lips of a woman's genitalia and surround the clitoris and vaginal opening -- reduced.
It's not a cosmetic alteration that ranks up there in popularity with breast augmentation, but recently Dr. Stubbs has been performing the surgery more than ever -- as often as once a month.
A recent issue of Cosmopolitan magazine declared that "sexual-enhancement" surgery such as labiaplasty and vaginal tightening (which Dr. Stubbs also performs) is the hottest trend in plastic surgery.
Dr. Stubbs chalks up interest in labiaplasty to a prevailing hyperaesthetic: after all the benchmarks of beauty have been obtained -- Barbie Doll breasts, youthful face, sporty thighs -- it appears that for a certain segment of female society, tidy genitals are worth the $1,500 to $2,500 price tag. If the labia are oversized, asymetrical, too loose or triangular, they don't measure up to the ideal and are a candidate for cutting.
But aesthetic motives are only half the story, according to Jane (not her real name), who called from somewhere in the United States and wouldn't say where.
The 37-year-old athletic professional said she recently flew to Toronto and had the operation for reasons that were 50% aesthetic and 50% physical.
Oversized labia are uncomfortable, Jane said. "I experienced physical discomfort during sex. And I would feel pinching while riding a bike or a horse."
After this I read some crazy plastic surgeon justify his work by saying: "the major reason women consider this operation (labiaplasty) is discomfort in clothing. When labia minorae get really large, they hurt in underwear and can give the appearance of a "package" in gym clothing." What?? Has anyone ever seen a woman with a package in her lycra?
Okay, my take on this is that it is wrong, it is SO WRONG. I mean, fine, have your internal vagina tightened if it's been stretched out by childbirth, because there's actually a medical point to that, but having your labia retooled to some bizarre porn aesthetic is just plain wacko. What happens, you take a pic of a porn mag in and say: I want a labia just like this (I believe many porn stars have this stuff done). Also some people have a hoodectomy where the clitoral hood is removed for the purpose of increasing sexual stimulation and satisfaction. I'm afraid I had to cross my legs when I read about that. Again, crazy!
And what about all those liberals who scream about how wrong female circumcision in Africa is? I don't think there's much difference between a labiaplasty and female circumcision in Africa, especially since I've read that sensation is reduced with any kind of vaginal surgery.
This issue aside, I don't really know where I stand on plastic surgery generally. The reality is that women, especially, are judged by their looks and I do think if you are genuinely ugly you should have plastic surgery if you can afford it. I know that is a controversial view but if you watch things like Extreme Makeover really ugly people with acne who have never had a boyfriend in their lives really do look so much better after having the acne removed with laser surgery, nose job, eye lift etc. Unfortunately ugly women who have spent their whole lives being wall flowers will undoubtedly not be psychologically ready to deal with all the leches and creeps that will start following them around after they have been transformed (in shows like Extreme Makeoever you also get a pair of basketball tits thrown in too).
But as for cosmetic surgery just because you are pretty and want to look better, in many ways it is just weird and almost a psychological disorder.
I was thinking actually, about the labiaplasties. Maybe the guys who do the penis extensions could work next door to a labiaplasty place and then take the offcuts from the women and insert them into the men. Do you think I should patent this idea?
Who am I? Displaced Londoner now living in the States with my two little girlies and long suffering husband. Co-author of hilarious parenting book Cocktails at Naptime www.cocktailsatnaptime.com
My mom's an Austrian, my dad's a Brit, which makes me a Britaustrian, or possibly an Austrish?