I recently saw this documentary, which was written by (and features) Lisa Rogers. The whole documentary follows her as she tries to discover why so many young girls in the UK are going under the knife for a labiaplasty (a word spell-check doesn’t recognize). For those who aren’t sure what that is, a labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to remove ( or “fix”) the labia minora.
The documentary explores what would drive women to such lengths to find the “perfect vagina” as well as checking out some of the alternatives to surgery. I couldn’t believe women would actually go through such a procedure–and after watching one done in the film, I don’t think there is anything in this world that would make me go through that. At first I was shocked by the things I was seeing and hearing. Here were these young girls who sincerely thought their bodies were ugly and disfigured, who were teased for the way their labia looked by boyfriends, siblings and doctors. They thought the only way they could be happy would be to literally cut the problem out of their life. Then I started to get angry.
Who are these people that are dictating what a vagina should look like? What gives them the right to say anything at all? And why aren’t girls being educated on how different bodies can be? And most important to me, why are women so eager to listen to these shouts for change? If a boyfriend doesn’t like what he sees, isn’t it his loss if he won’t fiddle with it?
The documentary brought up a lot of these questions, and answered just a few. In the end, it was obvious that society, women and the vagina was a tangled web of sore feelings, hesitation and uncertainty. There wasn’t an easy fix to this problem or a simple answer to the “why?” that continued to crop up. Most of the time women used cute nicknames for their “lady bits” and talk of it made the men in their lives uncomfortable. When male strangers were consulted regarding whether or not women should do something about their labia, the answers made me want to claw my eyes out.
I liked this documentary because after I watched it, I felt the need to talk about it, to write about it and to do research regarding the growing trend. The questions I had stayed in my mind for a long time after watching this film, and it made me think about my own feelings towards my body. If women’s rights and the relationship between women and their body is something that interests you, then I highly recommend you watch this film.