Tomorrow, a group will gather on Harley Street in London for the first ever “Muff March.” Women will wear black fuzzy merkins over their clothes and chant things like, “keep your mitts off our muffs!”
Their hope is to raise awareness about the disturbing new trend of labiplasty operations. More and more women are going under the knife to have their vulvas snipped and shaped so they look more like blow-up dolls and less like a humans. Pubic hair has been disappearing for years–these days there are hardly any left. But waxing is one thing, expensive surgical removal of perfectly normal labia is another.
UK Feminista, the organizers of the march write on their Facebook page:
“WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
The number of women getting ‘designer vagina’ surgery is on the rise:
Between 2007- 2008 there was a 70% increase in the number of labiaplasty operations carried out by the NHS
In 2010 the Harley Medical Group received more than 5,000 inquiries about cosmetic gynaecology, 65% of them for labial reduction, the rest for tightening and reshaping
The increase in vaginal cosmetic surgery is being driven in large part by the ‘pornfication’ of culture and the beauty ideals peddled by the porn industry.
WHAT’S THE MUFF MARCH?
On Saturday 10th December we’ll be donning a muff and marching down Harley Street – famed for its cosmetic surgeries. Marchers will be speaking out against surgeons profiting from body hatred and raising awareness about the growing pressures on women to seek labiaplasty. We’ll also be drawing attention to the fact that demand for cosmetic surgery increases over the Christmas period.”
I am writing about this here because around the time of childbirth there can be lots of concern about the preservation of the pelvic floor. I find that while, yes, we do worry about painful tearing or an unnecessary episiotomy, there can be a pre-existing disdain for the female nether regions that is inspired, perhaps, by the pornification of culture. Men get pressured, too– “manscaping” is now pretty common and penis enlargement procedures are advertised all over the place. Madness! “The Perfect Vagina,”(below) is a fantastic, shocking and incredibly depressing documentary about the trend towards “designer vaginas.” To see all these young women– so young!, so lovely!– dread their own perfectly normal, fully functioning genitals is mind-boggling. Check it out. And if you’re in London, get your merkin on! It’s time to take our muffs back!