Quizzically Musing

Watching the madness

Posts Tagged ‘love

Your genitals are beautiful

with 9 comments

It saddens me, a woman of shall we say mature years who has given birth twice, to read that our younger women feel their bodies are so “wrong”.  While the survey range was 18 to 80, the mean age was 34.

We have the anorexia/bulimia issues and that is bad enough.  A lot of the blame for anorexia and bulimia is attributed to the unrealistic images of the “desirable” body type depicted in the media.  Impossibly size 0 bodies.  Perfect faces sculpted by surgeons in Hollywood or Argentina (the home of the beauty queen industry).  Botox parties – and I understand men are getting on that bandwagon too.

Now the problem is our genitials, it seems.  I recall a joke: “all you have to do to please a man is turn up naked with a beer”.  Pretty lame, I agree, but I do (or did) think it is closer to the truth than whether men peer at the structure of a vulval region and turn it down because it doesn’t look like the one in the latest adult movie.  I’ll admit, when it comes to the genders, I do think the males got the more visually attractive body parts.  However, like a lock and key, one doesn’t work without the other.

Let’s look at the findings:

Half of the group, which had a mean age of 34, worried that their partner would find the look or odour of their genitals ”repulsive”, while one in four feared the size or appearance of parts of their vulval region were unattractive or inadequate.

Here is the really worrying bit:

The findings come after The Sunday Age last month revealed the number of Medicare claims for labioplasty surgery had tripled in less than a decade.

Some women as young as 18 are seeking psychiatric treatment after the operation failed to make them feel better about their bodies. ”This research highlights the need for mental health practitioners to assess genital image and body image perceptions with girls and women who visit them with relationship and sexual problems,” Ms D’Arcy-Tehan said.

Let’s read further, however, and we find that perhaps men ARE making these comparisons:

”In my private practice I had a 16-year-old girl who came in and said her 18-year-old boyfriend told her her vagina didn’t look like the images he saw on the internet.

”That’s often where the beginnings of anxiety start.

”Young women are very confused.”

Some months ago there was much coverage in the press about the negative effects pornography had on the relationships between men and women in relationships, the thrust of the discussion being that the unrealistic images presented changed men’s perceptions and expectations.  I remember thinking at the time surely this could not be the case for the majority of men.  Surely they are more grounded in reality than that.  I also remember my husband’s complete and utter shock when he stumbled across some of what is available on the internet.  He had never in his life seen such things until coming to Australia and he was absolutely astounded.  He had never used a computer before coming here, if the Western reader is wondering how one escapes such things:  I assure you, it is still possible!

Given my husband’s reaction and the article under consideration today, I’m seriously rethinking my attitudes to pornography and the impact it has for the wider community.  I’ve always been pretty ambivilent: each to their own.  Yet I know I am firm supporter of the ratings recently introduced by Senator Kate Lundy for violent computer games.   I’m not about to start crusading as such, but I will certainly be watching the dialogue a little more closely.   

Just because we can have something, doesn’t necessarily mean we should, or perhaps we shouldn’t have it in the quantities we can or to the extremes it is available.  We don’t drink and drive because of the danger.  Not everything available to us is good for us.

I encourage all young women out there to accept their bodies as the beautiful creations of nature that they are.  Don’t be fooled by an inexperienced young boyfriend into thinking you are not normal.  Remind him in no uncertain terms that the movies are NOT normal, they are not reality.  If he has a problem with that, it is he who does not belong in your life, not your genitals.  Keep them just the way they are, for a man who truly loves YOU will not be comparing your body to internet images.

Have you ever experienced such a comment as the poor young qirl quoted above?  What did you do about it?

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Written by Robyn Dunphy

December 12, 2010 at 11:34 am