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Labiaplasty: What It Is and Why It's Stupid

Updated on September 11, 2009

Ok, I can’t take it anymore. This subject really ticks me off. If you don’t know what labiaplasty is, it’s pretty much the surgical reduction of the labia – usually the labia minora. Before I continue, let me be clear: If the size of a woman’s labia are causing her discomfort during sex, or creating other physical problems – fine, have a little nip and tuck if it will make your life better. God knows I don’t want anyone to be in pain. That said, this article is about having it done purely for cosmetic purposes.

The majority of women seeking this procedure are doing so because they’ve been brainwashed by magazines like Playboy and Penthouse.

These magazines typically only use models who have nonexistent labia minora. And you’d better believe that many, many adult film stars only look that way because they’ve had labiaplasty themselves. Or, they've been airbrushed. Since women don’t normally sit around inspecting each other, these magazines are often the only time most get to see what the rest of the gender looks like. And because all the chicks look identical (read: labia-less) it leaves them with the impression anything else is abnormal.

Why wasn’t this procedure popular in the past?

Because most women weren’t going Brazilian in the 70’s. Hard to feel bad about the size of your labia when they’re completely obscured by a jungle of hair.

It's not just adults!

I find it incredibly distressing that 15 year-old girls are having this kind of body image problem. Where is it coming from? What are the parents thinking, letting a kid have this surgery? Are they thinking? If she asked for breast implants, would those be next? More importantly, what kind of doctor would do something so drastic to a child?

Invisible labia minora are no more common than 36EE breasts.

Seriously. Ask an Ob/Gyn. They'll tell you labia minora come in all shapes and sizes. They can be long, short, etc, etc. And all of these are normal. All of them! I worked in medicine for a long time and I've seen it all. I promise you, whatever you have is normal.

But.. do men think it's unsexy?

There have been scientific studies done on this exact subject. Men were hooked up to machines and shown photos of female genitalia - the majority were more aroused by larger labia than small. And, if you want another statistic, most men don’t care either way!

Well, I think I’d look better snipped.

Honestly, I’ve seen hundreds of before and after photos of this procedure. In every single case, the woman looked better beforehand. Really. She may think she looks better, but that’s only because her self-image is already amazingly poor. And if her partner thinks she looks better.. well.. don't get me started on that one.

So who really benefits from this surgery?

Your friendly neighborhood plastic surgeon. The guy you’re paying. The one who can’t possibly have gone to med school if he thinks your labia are abnormal just because they're visible. If you loathe your labia so much you can’t go on, alright, do what you have to do. But just realize your perception is probably distorted by what you’ve seen in the media. I promise, you’re not nearly as unattractive as you think. Don’t let Playboy dictate whether or not you’re happy with your body. And, if you're looking into this because your boyfriend or partner have asked you to - you should really consider looking into getting a new partner, instead

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