I don’t understand the current obsession with vaginas. As a friend once said: "they are just holes with flaps of skin around them".
In recent years, this perfectly acceptable part of a woman’s anatomy has become one of the most scrutinised, with a wave of treatments offered to help femkind beautify their below.
I think it began when boobs went out of fashion. Well, not so much out of fashion – but advertisers, retailers and plastic surgeons realised there wasn’t anything more they could do with these bodily entities other than boost them, reduce them or remove them.
So they turned their attention to "the land down under", devising marketing campaigns that suggested women had bacterial imbalances, odours to eradicate and hair to pluck out. Campaigns that encouraged girls everywhere to take to the shops, anxiously filling their baskets with Vagisil and other products they didn’t really need.
The latest ridiculous creation to hit the vag market is the ‘Elvie’. If you’ve ever wanted to check the muscles in your downstairs are working properly, look no further. This £149 device, which you insert into your vagina, can be connected to a digital app that tells you how good your pelvic floor muscles are. Yummy.
It’s exactly the sort of product that could have ample benefits for older generations of women (with actual pelvic flaws). But the Elvie’s requirement for its owner to be digitally savvy indicates that its true target market is young, increasingly neurotic, women.
I say increasingly neurotic because more and more of us are losing confidence over the state of our vaginas. Perhaps even to the point where we could probably meet the criteria for body dysmorphic disorder. Who can blame us – all we're hearing from products like these is “you’re not normal”.
These messages are not only coming from advertisers, but celebrities such as Gemma Collins – who documented her £2,000 quest to get a designer vagina on an episode of TOWIE - and Gwyneth Paltrow, who advocated steaming one’s vagina (a practice that was immediately condemned by experts for having absolutely no point at all).
Statistics from plastic surgeons show that demand for vaginoplasty has risen enormously, with one organisation reporting a 45 per cent increase in the numbers of ladies enquiring about it since 2010. The average age of women having the procedure had dropped from 35 to 28, meaning vaginoplasty has now become a more aesthetic than medical concern.
It didn’t use to be like this. There wasn’t the problem of "bad vaginas", nor some fallacy that there is an idealistic one – some sort of "Helen of Troy" of the vaginas. God put genitalia down there for a reason: it’s not the most attractive part of a human being, so what’s the point in fretting over it?
I’m sure generations before us would have been equally repulsed by the idea of removing pubic hair – even leg hair – but gently these practices filtered in, becoming normal in our society. I don’t know about you, but I would hate for my hypothetical daughter to grow up in a world where vaginoplasty and vaginal steaming are the norm.
The norm should be not having to question the state of one’s vagina. I wonder what on earth is next – what we will soon have to address to be "the perfect woman". Slowly but surely the female body has been turned into a battleground, with very little territory left to claim. And we will never be allowed to feel normal, let alone beautiful, in our natural state.
But surely we must say enough is enough - and have confidence in the way we were born? I can't imagine any apps coming out for men, allowing them to monitor their members, and there are already ways for women to get their pelvic floors checked if there are any issues. So please – whether you're an app maker or not – stay away from my vagina.
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