The Perfect Vagina.

So there I was, having a quiet Friday night in bed, a torrential downpour teaming by my window, and a hot cup of macha and SBS on TV for company—When Channel 4s documentary, The Perfect Vagina caught my attention.

This documentary took me through a whole gamut of emotions, until eventually, I was perched upright, my hand over my mouth, aghast at what I was witnessing.

The SBS schedule for last nights program reads as follows:

In an age where boob jobs, liposuction, tummy tucks and botox are now commonplace it would seem that women have found a new part of the body to worry about… their vaginas. In this honest, witty and compassionate film Lisa Rogers tries to find out why more and more women are considering vaginal surgery for either aesthetic or cultural reasons. Lisa tries to understand why girls as young as 16 are requesting this surgery, reveals how British men and women feel about vaginas, and confronts her feelings about her own vulva. (From the UK in English) (Documentary) (Rpt) MA (A,N,L) CC WS.

And looks a lot like this:

To be fair, I found this documentary almost unbareably confronting.  I spent most of last night sleepless, thinking about it, and then again, most of today, thinking about it all over again.

What disturbs me so much about this entire phenomenon, is not women’s abject disdain for their own bodies—that’s been happening for centuries—but rather, the surgeons who permit young women to have these procedures performed, and the women themselves, to be honest.

I found it curious how in the instance of the young girl, what is she? 17? Whom is having her labia reduced, she remarks that her sister makes fun of it.

She makes mention of the fact that she doesn’t feel normal, she feels like the other.

I wept watching the documentary, knowing full well she wasn’t going to feel any different after the fact. After the surgery and subsequent painful recovery, and ultimate denouement of the relationship she shared with her rather shit friend. She wasn’t going to feel any better about herself at all.

At all.

I spent most of today feeling depressed about all this, actually. And I’m sure I’ll write more at a later date. But Rogers documentary certainly got me thinking about my own relationship with my vagina. How it began. Why it began. And how it continues.

At 17 I’d had more specialists than lovers. I spent more time with my head in medical journals than porno magazines/films. I just wanted my body to work. I didn’t much mind how it looked, compared to him or her, or them.

And I can’t help but notice how all the sorts of ‘girls’ who give a shit also have hair extensions, fake tans, ‘perfect bodies’ and not a lot going on upstairs… Curious.

I had a wee cry again this afternoon, after watching this documentary on Vimeo.

How far have we come?

How hard are we trying?

Not societially, or socially or with regards to advertising and body image—but personally.

Ourselves.

Independent of any one else.

Ourselves.

Self.

How much time and effort and serious thought are we really putting in to the big business of chosing our own responses, and deciding to ultimately be really, really excited about the bodies we have, and the stuff they can do. And I mean really excited…

x.

Ink stencil by Leonard Cohen:

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