A woman’s body – yes, your body – is a pretty wonderful place. It’s angular. Soft. Curvaceous. It’s got folds and creases, divots and flecks of color. Yet despite rah-rah-rah-ing ourselves, there seems to be a constant underbelly of worry that something about our bodies just isn’t right.
Case in point: Refinery 29’s article Labiaplasty: What’s a ‘Normal’ Vagina? Despite their misnomer of “vagina” instead of “vulva” in the title, the point of the article isn’t lost. Many women are so concerned that the length of their labia is unattractive or abnormal that they want to undergo the knife for a trim.
Thankfully, Refinery 29 makes a good point:
“In terms of size of the labia minora, there’s a wide range in what’s normal,” Dr. Lauren Streicher says. “But, what’s average is four centimeters or less from base to tip. And, just as a lot of women have one breast that’s bigger than the other, there will often be one labia that’s a little longer.”
Let’s not forget the wonderful words of Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat Pray Love, voiced through the character Liz:
“Let me ask you something, in all the years that you have… undressed in front of a gentleman has he ever asked you to leave? Has he ever walked out and left? No? It’s because he doesn’t care! He’s in a room with a naked girl; he just won the lottery…”
Add that to the fact that only 2% of men considered wishing a partner’s labia were shorter (versus 30% of women who wished their own labia was shorter) and the case for not signing up for plastic surgery suddenly has even more weight.
Our bodies are all different – and yes, even asymmetrical in places. While the notion of imperfect vulvas stems from a culture overly willingly to critique and rate physical forms (we won’t even link to the “World’s Best Vagina” contest held last year) we want to say this: you don’t have to listen to society. Your labia is yours, and you are allowed to love it, just as it is.