Companies Are Now Marketing To Your Vulva

I'd like to talk to you about my vulva — specifically, about how it looks. As it turns out, I am not the only one with opinions on this topic. Today, we were introduced to "vontouring," a non-invasive treatment that can plump and tighten your labia. According to Her, it's the latest lady treatment getting press. It's related to, but very different from, labiaplasty and vaginoplasty — surgeries that reduce the size of the labia and vagina, respectively (get both together for a treatment known as "vaginal rejuvenation"). A traditional labiaplasty involves going under the knife (or laser, which is a recent technological advancement) to change the look of your vulva. It can be majorly appealing for women post-childbirth, after an accident, or for those who just want things to be a little tighter down south. One vontouring company claims to use heat and ultrasound to achieve the same results as labiaplasty — producing collagen and restructuring both the inner and outer labia. If a woman is unhappy with her vulva and feels as if this is something she has to do to be confident down there, more power to her. But the issue with a procedure like vontouring is that, since it's non-invasive, it can be marketed as a quick fix for women who don't necessarily need it. In fact, the marketing just contributes to the idea that women's sex organs aren't good enough and need some sprucing up. And I refuse to co-sign that idea. There is an industry of people who seem to be all up in my Vs (both vulva and vagina) — specifically, their appearance, and what I can do to change it. People have been talking about the way they look down there since even before Brazilian waxing became popular in the '90s. Blame Sex and the City for waxing's rise — after Carrie gained a little pep in her step post-accidental-Brazilian in season three, celebs everywhere were talking about their favorite waxers. More and more women started going bare, and with the rise of internet porn, more and more men started expecting women to be bare. And thus, the vicious cycle was born. Now, while plenty of women are still shaving, sugaring, and waxing, there are also numerous gals out there taking back their pubic hair. All of these options are fantastic — as long as they're your choice. Meanwhile, a whole host of things have popped up that are meant to "improve" your sex organs. Gwyneth Paltrow, for example, steams her vagina (even though the pro we chatted with said it was insanely unwise to do so). And, if you've got a hot date and are in need of some "oomph," you can now bedazzle your labia with little crystals and feathers. You can even dye your pubic hair unicorn colors or whip up an anti-aging vagacial with some egg whites from your fridge. Me? I prefer my egg whites in an omelet, preferably accompanied by a pitcher of Bloody Marys, with extra olives. I'm also fairly certain my genital region doesn't need a temporary tattoo. Sure, vontouring also claims to improve physical sensation — which I'm totally on board with — but I'll pass on a plumper labia and just do some Kegels. My biggest issue with all of these treatments is what they imply. They hint that our genitals need improvement. Which they don't. Our vulvas and vaginas are magical, life-giving, self-cleaning, pleasure-bestowing places. They are a-okay — fantastic, even — just the way they are. The only person's opinion of mine that matters is my own. After all, I spend more time with my sexual organs than anyone else does, and I don't need a spa or beauty company telling me I'm in some way not reaching my full vaginal/vulvar potential — aesthetic or otherwise. So, thank you for your opinion, but I think I'll keep my labia un-contoured and free from all feathers. If any of those methods are at all appealing to you, I wish you best of luck on your journey. All I ask is that we remember one thing: Just because methods of "improvement" exist doesn't mean we have to use them. Our lady parts already rock.

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