Tags: BodyPositive • Feminism • Health • Sex
Never in a million years would I have imagined myself to be using the word “Vajayjay” in a the title of a blog post that had my name on it – it’s a euphemism I find incredibly unsavory, especially because of its origins – but I will make an exception for this video. Produced in association with The New View Campaign, this video is a brilliant satire of the current state of cosmetic vaginal surgery. It came to my attention after a discussion with Vanessa Scott from vaginalsurgery.info in the comments section of a post I wrote asking people to sign a petition for greater oversight of labiaplasty. Apparently for some reason, this video and a link to my post were also featured on their website even though Ms Scott accused me of assuming women are “stupid easily misled.”
What I find telling is that on vaginalsurgery.info, and in the comments on you tube, Vanessa and/or one of her colleagues makes light of it, claiming to enjoy the humor, “Obviously, if you see a doctor like this, RUN.” and insisting that in reality, cosmetic surgeons are nothing like that at all. However, on this blog, Vanessa used many of the same tactics that the fictional (and according to her sensationalized and “clearly put together by a group that has not bothered to talk with any women that have actually had the procedures done.”) Dr.Vajayjay did.
Creating A Need
In the video, Dr. Vajayjay is asked, “But labia are airbrushed out of porn, so this is not normal at all!” He responds, mugging angelically
“Can Dr. Vajayjay help it if this is what women ask for?”
The vast majority of women I work with have been contemplating the procedures for years before they choose to go through with them. In interacting with doctors from all over the world, I routinely hear that their labiaplasty patients are the most satisfied post-op patients they have.
In the end all this publicity does is make more women aware that these procedures are available. And while some will be outraged, the truth is whether you approve, ACOG approves or I disapprove, these women want these surgeries and will have them.
The industry is growing because women benefit from and demand them. Who are you to choose for them?
The before and after photos in this video seem to be taken directly from vaginalsurgery.info ‘s before & after page which is heartbreakingly titled, “Good & Bad.”
Make It Science
The video has Dr. Vajayjay encouraging other surgeons to use words like “rejuvination” and “labiplasty” which sound scientific but are a lot nicer sounding than “cutting off your labia, doing liposuction on the mons and injecting collagen into the vagina.”
VaginalSurgery.info calls itself, “The Most Comprehensive Vaginal Rejuvenation and Labiaplasty site on the Web!”
So-called “vaginal rejuvenation,” “designer vaginoplasty,” “revirgination,” and “G-spot amplification” are vaginal surgical procedures being offered by some practitioners.
Note that the above scare quotes are from ACOG – not The New View Campaign.
What Women Want
Dr. Vajajay advises doctors to run away when asked about research and focus on “what women want” by providing customer testimonials.
In response to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists statement that
Women should be informed about the lack of data supporting the efficacy of these procedures and their potential complications, including infection, altered sensation, dyspareunia, adhesions, and scarring.
The reason ACOG dropped the ball is because they know full well that their members have been doing these procedures for decades (tightenings & labia reductions). They just hadn’t been marketing them for sexual benefits. Instead of stepping up and acknowledging the procedures and providing the oversight that is now being sought, they chose to denounce them in the hopes they would scare women from wanting them.
That’s exactly what New View is saying these surgeons do – ignore research and turn the conversation back to consumer demand.
Make It Pink
Dr. Vajayjay tells cosmetic surgeons to make these procedures seem like a spa treatment. Use flowers, silhouettes and beach landscapes.
The banner for VaginalSurgery.info is a happy couple on the beach.
I don’t see anything wrong with that, per se. But it’s uncanny how accurate the parody is and to see Scott deny that it is at all accurate is quite comical.
Make it Feminist
Finally, Dr. Vajayjay advises surgeons to “make it feminist.” Remind women that this surgery is what they want and to empower women with “knowledge, choices and alternatives.”
The tagline for vaginalsurgery.info is “Compassionate Advice & Empowering Information”
Dr.Vajayjay goes on to say the best person to present this information is a woman, because, “a woman can never be sexist.”
We women are not as weak and impressionable as some would like us to believe. It is infuriating to me that we women would suggest or propagate that sentiment.
Women are not stupid and easily misled.
But since this is such a private procedure you don’t often hear them screaming from the rooftops about it. And why would they when they are deemed as “victims of society” for desiring the surgery. Is it not our right as women to desire to live happy, healthy and comfortable lives? Or does that make us weak, naive women that all want to look like porno stars?
First she claimed that I as a woman am infuriating for suggesting that these surgeries might usually be unnecessary, and that I am saying that women are stupid and easily misled. And then she dressed it all up in faux-feminist empowerment language. Make it feminist indeed.
I wish that this video was just a humorous infomercial for a fictional doctor that is competing for the clients of McNamara/Troy on “Nip/Tuck.” But it’s eerily close to the way that these potentially harmful procedures actually are marketed to women. The only humor I find is in Vanessa Scott’s denial that she is anything like the caricature on the screen.