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HG: Hackney Feminist leads ‘Muff March’ protest


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Hackney Feminist leads ‘Muff March’ protest

The ‘Muff March’ took place in Harley Street – famous for its plastic surgery clinics – and culminated in a synchronised ‘muff dance’ outside the exclusive medical offices.

The group, led by Kat Banyard, director of the women’s rights group UK Feminista, was responding to figures showing the demand for labiaplasty operations has soared, with the Harley Medical Group receiving a record 5,000 inquiries about cosmetic gynaecology last year.

The operation, which involves cutting away parts of the labia, is sometimes carried out for medical purposes, but is often performed as a cosmetic procedure.

Many of the protesters wore fake pubic hair and brandished banners as they chanted slogans, including “there’s nothing finer than my vagina”.

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  • 11 months later...

The 'Wide Open and Unregulated' Marketing of Vaginal Cosmetic Surgery

Women seeking a "designer vagina" are increasingly misled and misinformed.

Every girl has that time in her life when, either out of boredom, curiosity, or something more deeply rooted in bodily dissatisfaction, she Googles her options for "altering her vulval morphology."

A new study in BMJ Open looks at how providers are responding to women's curiosity -- or playing off their insecurities -- by advertising the medical procedure online. Mimicking what someone familiar with these procedures from pop culture might do, the researchers entered the search term "designer vagina" into Google and studied the first ten U.S. and U.K. providers to pop up.

The types of -- medically unnecessary -- procedures falling under the category of female genital cosmetic surgery (FGCS) included hymenoplasty, labiaplasty, "G-spot" amplication, and vaginal "rejuvenation" (the study's authors chose to put those certain words in quotations).

Unfortunately, like Pete Well's review of Guy Fieri's new Times Square restaurant, the researchers rated the information provided by clinicians offering such services as being overwhelmingly "poor."

The justifications offered to potential patients range from promises of "revirgination" to a multi-faceted "Mommy Makeover." They appeal to a larger culture of rejuvenation, with one site explaining: "A woman might have a face lift and look really young until she goes to bed and a partner can see the evidence of ageing there."

They're also clear about where the insecurity that might lead women to seek out vaginoplasty is coming from: Sure, women with enlarged labia might be uncomfortable wearing tight clothing or riding horses, to the point where the surgery is medically warranted. But the sites also are candid in admitting that sexual partners, along with increased exposure to nudity in the media, often bring women's attention to a problem that they weren't even aware existed. Surgery, various clinicians promise, can improve "disharmony and resentment " in relationships and allow the patient to "feel like a real woman again."

Meanwhile, the only two sites to offer success rates boasted of 95 to 100 percent patient satisfaction. But when a procedure is done for entirely cosmetic reasons, "success" is a necessarily subjective outcome.

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