I’ll never forget when sex-positive startup company, Flirtmoji launched a set of visually adorable vagina emojis. They came in a variety of shapes, colors, even haircuts – you know like actual vaginas IRL. We’ve come a long way when it comes to the dialogue surrounding vaginas. Society has taught women pretty much from the beginning of times that our vaginas were something to be ashamed of. We’ve been told that they were created for man’s pleasure and oh they better look super pretty on top of all that. These days women are saying “eff that” to all the ridiculous stigmas surrounding our va-jay-jays, but we’re still having vagina beauty products, treatments, and even procedures shoved in our faces. Is it anti-feminist of us to give into them?
A few weeks ago I learned about a beauty line designed specifically to make your vagina prettier, groomed, and overall appealing. It’s called The Perfect V and the name alone is upsetting – I know. Their line contains everything from a gentle wash, exfoliator, a series of creams and serums, a highlighter and wait for it – beauty sheets like the ones we use on our faces. Because apparently our vaginas need a dedicated skin care regimen too.
Listen, I’ll be the first to admit I’m pretty high maintenance when it comes to hygiene and grooming. I get Brazilian waxes all year long – no matter what. I shave my legs and my underarms all year long and I don’t even remember how my toenails look without nail polish – that’s how serious I am about fresh mani-pedis. But where do we draw the line between hygiene, healthy grooming and giving in to unrealistic and dangerous beauty standards?
Let’s not forget, the obsession with making our vaginas look like plastic, Barbie-like vaginas doesn’t end with Summer’s Eve feminine washes or your abuelita’s douches. It extends to vaginal bleaching (because apparently our vaginas are too brown) and it goes as far as labiaplasty, a procedure designed to trim the vulva’s inner lips, otherwise known as the labia minora. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), labiaplasty procedures increased in 2016 by 39 percent with more than 12,000 procedures.
It’s interesting to see the messaging the world is constantly sending our vaginas, that they don’t smell good enough, that they aren’t hairless enough, aren’t pink enough, tight enough – and essentially just not good enough. Meanwhile, how often do you hear about men buying highlighters, floral-scented washes, or genital bleaches for their penis? How often do you hear about men getting procedures done to perk up their sagging balls? Um – never! That’s because most guys think their penis is GREAT. They could give two effs about how big, small, pink, brown, thick, thin, circumcised or not, their D is. They’ll still proudly and shamelessly show it to you and no physical insecurity in this world will stop them from using it. Why? Again, because they believe their penis is great.
This is how we need to start thinking about our vaginas. Trust me, I’m not telling you to forego your monthly Brazilians – I would never do that – I’m just telling you to do whatever your va-jay-jay desires. If you want to wax or shave go head and if you don’t that’s okay too. Just know you don’t have to load up on a ton of unnecessary vaginal beauty products – I repeat unnecessary – to look good and feel fresh down there. You also don’t have to undergo surgical procedures either. Your vagina already looks good and it’s already a lot more magical than you even realize – and don’t you ever forget it!