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Magazine Faces Backlash Over Article Promoting Cosmetic Procedures For Vulvas

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Magazine Faces Backlash Over Article Promoting Cosmetic Procedures For Vulvas

A UK-based publication has come under fire for a feature which explored the 'vulva beauty movement.'

The piece, titled The Wonder Down Under, looked at a number of procedures available to "moisten, tighten and lighten" our most intimate areas.

While the piece tried to assert the feature by looking at the surgeries through a body-positive lens, writing that the vulva beauty movement is "something for real women to celebrate," and including expert commentary, others were left feeling the piece only furthered negative perceptions about the vagina's natural appearance.

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Social psychologist Dr Petra Boynton took to Twitter to express her anger at the piece.

"I don't want a chemical peel to 'lighten and brighten' my flaps thanks. Nor a labial puff, or an o shot injection in my vag," she wrote in response to the piece.

"Your promotion of the 'vulva beauty movement' is just so wrong. Making women anxious about the shape, colour, size and function of their genitals in order to sell them unnecessary and unproven cosmetic procedures when you also don't give women adequate information on pleasure, confidence and how their bodies work is unethical journalism."

Some considered the piece to be 'unethical' (Credit: Twitter)
Some considered the piece to be 'unethical' (Credit: Twitter)
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Petra added that that if someone was concerned about their vagina and had specific symptoms, they should see a GP, and not a surgeon.

"I can save you £2000 and a chemical peel of your labia right now," she said. "Your flaps *are* darker than the rest of you. It's just how they look. They belong to you so are gorgeous. You don't need to lighten them. If someone is telling you otherwise they're a tool and you deserve better."

People were quick to comment their disappointment on the piece.

Several people felt the article only amplified insecurities (Credit: Twitter)
Several people felt the article only amplified insecurities (Credit: Twitter)
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"Every time this appears on my timeline I get more irate about it. What is wrong with people just accepting how their own actual body looks?" one person asked.

A second added: "No wonder so many women hate their looks," while a third chipped in: "Just what women need right now, yet more things to make them feel insecure and for some people to make money out of."

A fourth said: "Another example of them trying to make women feel insecure so they spend money on stupid crap that's dangerous and unnecessary."

Jody Elphick, Vulva Diversity Campaigner for organic sanitary product range Callaly, helped the brand launch their "We Need to Talk About Vulvas" campaign.

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Speaking about the article to Tyla, Jody explained: "I was lost for words as I read the article by the Sunday Mirror's Notebook offering tips to follow 'if you want some va-va-voom in your va-jay-jay'. Language like this reinforces the myth of the perfect vulva and we need to put a stop to it.

Jody urges those with vulvas to accept the way it looks is normal (Credit: Unsplash)
Jody urges those with vulvas to accept the way it looks is normal (Credit: Unsplash)

"Our campaign indicates that pornography, inadequate sex education and narrow representations of vulvas have damaged how we feel about vulvas.

"Our research shows almost a third of people aged 16 to 35 have worried about whether their vulva was abnormal, while 22 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds have considered changing their vulva themselves, either by cutting or bleaching it.""

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She added: "We need a reality check here, which is why we launched the 'We Need to Talk About Vulvas' campaign, and our #VulvaTalk online hub. The campaign showcases a wide range of vulvas, redressing the lack of visibility and diversity, with the aim of reducing unnecessary feelings of shame and anxiety.

"We hope to empower future generations to feel more confident in their own bodies - whatever shape, size or colour their vulva happens to be."

Tyla has contacted Reach PLC for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Pexels

Topics: Life News, Life, Health

Kimberley Bond
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