The latest reports from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeries indicate that the number of labiaplasty surgeries performed between 2011 and 2012 increased 64 per cent, and went up again 44 per cent between 2013 and 2014 (ASAPS, 2015).

While it might be tempting to dismiss labiaplasty as just another form of plastic surgery, it represents the reality that the objectification of women’s bodies is no longer limited to their most visible parts. There is no longer any aspect of a woman and her body that are safe from scrutiny and appearance standards; even the most private parts are now public. Although the argument has been used before with other forms of plastic surgery, “empowered choice” is not the only thing occurring when women elect to have aesthetic labiaplasty.

Labiaplasty refers to the surgical reduction of what a woman feels like are “enlarged” labia minora. Women undergo this surgery to eliminate skin protruding past the labia majora (the outer ones), reducing the labia minora (the inner ones) to relative invisibility. Interestingly, there is no proven relationship between the size of a woman’s labia and her ability to experience sexual pleasure. In short, this means that neither bigger, nor smaller, is better when it comes to sexual satisfaction.

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