Genital surgery is on the rise in the UK as an increasing number of women feel the need to conform to standards set by pornography. Now a group called UK Feminista is taking a stand, accusing the industry of profiting from women’s body hatred.
The group aims to “speak out against a ‘pornified’ culture driving increasing numbers of women to seek vaginal cosmetic surgery, and to protest against the cosmetic surgeons profiting from it.”
Dressed in body suits and fake muffs, more than 450 people have so far signed up to march on Saturday. Vagina-power slogans will include “Keep your mits off our bits!”, “there’s nothing finer than my vagina!”, and “Harley Street puts my chuff in a huff”.
Demand for labiaplasty is on the increase. Between 2007- 2008 there was a 70% rise in the number of cosmetic vaginal surgery operations carried out by the NHS, and last year the Harley Medical Group received more than 5,000 inquiries about cosmetic gynaecology.
Typical procedures on offer include labiaplasty in which the labia is trimmed or removed and vaginal rejuvenation, in which the vagina is tightened. Results are known as “designer vaginas”.
Kat Banyard, Director of UK Feminista, said:
“Muff March is about speaking back to a pornified culture which is pressuring women to go under the surgeon’s knife and get a ‘designer vagina’. We also want to shine a spotlight on the cosmetic surgeons who ruthlessly mine women’s bodies to extract maximum profit.
“Women’s beauty regimes increasingly encompass ‘ideals’ peddled by the pornography industry, like the porn norm of women removing all their pubic hair, the industry preferring its performers to look more like pre-pubescent girls. Now pornography is exposing women to the toxic myth that there is one ‘right’ way for their labia to look. It’s time to fight back.”