If you ask me, how my poor old vagina flinched when it first heard the news that labiaplasty – an operation to tidy up the labia in pursuit of a “designer vagina” – is now the third-most popular cosmetic procedure in the UK. Yes, it flinched, recoiled, balked and would have absconded, I think, had I not had the presence of mind I always show in such instances, and sat on it, firmly.
“Labiaplasty, why?” asked my vagina. “Why, why, why?” I sat on it even more firmly – last time my vagina ran away, it got terribly lost on the Tube, and I had to pick it up from Piccadilly Circus – while doing my best to calm it down.
“Shhh,” I said soothingly. “There, there.” “But who is to say,” it cried, “they won’t be coming for me next? Who is to say the next knock at the door and I won’t be carted away to a place where they’ll come at my labia with knives! What if they put in a zip and PVC lining and do away with me altogether? Quick, hide me in the attic, and just throw in a bit of cheese every now and then!”
My vagina, alas, would not be soothed, and I don’t know whether you’ve ever experienced an agitated and frightened vagina, but it is thoroughly exhausting. “I am what I am,” it repeatedly cried. “Do what I do and look like what I look like and now my looks aren’t good enough? Is there a vagina you’d prefer me to look like? Holly Willoughby’s vagina? Cheryl Cole’s vagina?”
“Oh, vagina,” I sighed. “Give it a rest.” It would not. “Didn’t I always say this would happen –that women would never be allowed to run out of body parts to hate?” it continued. “Didn’t I always say it’s going to end in women conspiring in their own genital mutilation, at a starting cost of around £3,000?” God, my vagina can’t half go on. Yak, yak, yak. You get it going on the pornification and Barbie-fication of the female body, and there’s no stopping it until it suddenly changes tack and comes over all sentimental and whiny.
“Hey,” it will whine. “We’ve had some good times over the years, haven’t we? We’ve given some great camel toe, haven’t we? Labia come in all shapes and sizes but it’s not as if mine have ever hung down between your legs, like hefty drapes that need tie-backs, is it? We are OK, right?”
In the end, if only for a bit of peace and quiet, I promised my vagina I would not allow it to be put under the knife. “Thanks,” it said. “And in return, I promise: no thrush until 2016.”