What's wrong with your genitals? Answer. Everything. At least that's the conclusion I'm slowly coming to. Over the past few years I feel as if female genitalia especially are being viewed rather more critically than they ever have before.
Brazilian bikini waxes, vajazzling, surgically "reconstructed" hymens, and special deodorising washes - all modern mechanisms for making cosmetic (or sometimes structural) changes to lady bits. And the straw that broke the camel's toe? "Clean and Dry Intimate Wash" which not only makes sure your crotch doesn't smell like it's supposed to but also makes it whiter. No, I have no idea how that's supposed to work either.
Apparently "Clean and Dry" gives your crotchal area "freshness and fairness" and by "fairness" they don't mean "an absence of bias" as much as "an absence of brownness". I am utterly bewildered by this. I mean, I don't know about you but the contents of my knickers are the least sun-exposed bits of me. I may be part Māori but I'm nowhere more Pakeha than in my gruds. This product makes no sense to me.
It just seems as if the overwhelming message I get from these products and the popular obsession with genital "tweaking" is that my lovely lady bits are not, in fact lovely. They should definitely not have as much hair as they're supposed to, smell like they're supposed to and now their natural pigment is under attack too? What next? A plastic device that hides the fact that I even have genitals?
Somewhere, probably on a cable channel with a parental code lock on it, I feel sure that someone is screening a TV show called "Pimp my Hooha" in which a woman's groin is "renovated" and ends up with a massive sub-woofer, multiple LCD screens and garish upholstery. If not, can it be very far away?
Look, we all worry about various bits of ourselves that we don't like. You're too short, or too lanky. You have freckles or wrinkles or love handles. You have grey hair or no hair or ear hair. Everybody has these insecurities to some extent. The luckiest people are the ones who can accept themselves for who they are and surround themselves with others who do the same. But for most of us this is an ongoing struggle. Some days you're feeling good about your body, others not so much.
But I do think we should agree that however else we might doubt ourselves, we just leave our genitals out of it. Unless we have medical advice to the contrary then we should all just assume that our genitals are perfect just as they are.
It seems ludicrous to me that I should need to make that statement. It should be self-evident. But I'd like to go even further. Repeat after me, "There is nothing wrong with my genitals."*
I honestly think that the world would be a better place if we could collectively manage to feel better about our sexy bits. If you want to be worried about your stubby fingers or slightly crooked teeth then go for it but can we have a halt to hostilities on the Forest Moon of Endor? Let my Ewok go. I'm declaring a demilitarised zone and it's bounded on both sides by knicker elastic.
What do you think about the level of, er, attention that genitals receive now and is this a bit of a step backward for humanity? Given that for the most part they're hidden from view, is it strange and unhelpful to want to modify them so much?
* I don't actually expect you to say this out loud in an open-plan office, say, but maybe you could just say it in your head or save it for later? Believing it is the most important bit.
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