You don’t realize that your labia will be waxed when you get a Brazilian. Of course you understand that this is the inevitable. That your entire vagina will be naked, except for that little landing strip left of pubic hair. But as a Brazilian virgin, I couldn’t possibly imagine what the experience is like until the hairs got ripped out of my own labia.
It’s just as painful as you imagine. The waxer wipes away goo and what looks like blood from your vagina–yes, from inside your vulva walls. Once the swelling goes down and you’re done walking with your legs spread apart like a cowboy whose just rode the entire Oregon Trail, you look at your labia in the mirror and are… horrified.
Yes. This was my first impression of my bare labia as an adult. One side is slightly longer than the other, a little dark. The other labia is more upright, like its had a face lift. I don’t remember having lopsided labia–but maybe this is what childbirth does to your lady parts. Or maybe my labia was born this way and I never noticed. Now, there was no hiding it.
My girlfriend texted me after my Brazilian to check in and be supportive. “Your husband will be so happy,” she wrote.
“Either that or repulsed,” I texted back.
Apparently, embracing–and attacking–the labia is all the rage. All sorts of pro-labia websites are popping up on the internet as a backlash to the surgical popularity of vaginal rejuvenation and labiaplasty. (And a backlash to uncovered labias from Brazilians?) There are an awful lot of women out there ashamed of their labias.
Writes Tracy Clark-Flory of Salon on the topic:
One 40-year-old mother “was inspired to create the Pussy Pride Project “after reading about the increasing number of woman who were turning to surgery to change the look of their genitals.”
“A recent article in Guernica reported on a California urogynecologist who claimed that his “most requested surgical procedure is the Barbie: a procedure that excises the entire labia minora,” which “results in a ‘clamshell’ aesthetic.””
The Large Labia Project (NSFW) is another blog that was started by a 24-year-old, Emma, who told Salon that this generation’s access to the internet “are learning about their bodies and sexuality through this medium.” On the Large Labia Project, women submit photos of their labia, and in return your labia becomes a superstar. You get support from the community–no matter what shape it’s in. Others write anonymous letters. Like this:
I’m too nervous to show anyone my large, brown, textured labia. I’m fearful about the man’s potential negative reaction. I’ve had horrible past experiences–beef curtains, saggy vag, etc I have all heard before. Should I tell the next guy that I have large lab or ask him whether he likes them?
I had to inspect my labia once again. But this time with empathy. And a little bit of love. So I stared at it in the mirror. And then in bed–you know, old head between the knees style. Labia’s are like your feet, really. You have sex with them. You birth babies with them. You pee out of them. You wipe toilet paper against your labia multiple times a day! Of course they’re not going to be pink and perfect and Barbie-like. And when the hair grows back and everything is a little covered up again, I’m going to miss seeing it.