A shocking trend amongst teenage girls was reported this week. “Labiaplasty” procedures—plastic surgery on the vagina, effectively—are on the rise amongst girls as young as nine years old, according to Fox News.
Yes, you read that right—nine years old. It’s disturbing enough that a nine-year-old would be so much as aware of the appearance of her private parts, but that she’s additionally self-conscious about it speaks to a much more horrifying issue.
The BBC reported earlier this month that gynecologists have observed a rise in the number of procedures requested by teenage girls.
“Girls will sometimes come out with comments like, ‘I just hate it, I just want it removed,’” Naomi Crouch, M.D., chair of the British Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, said in an interview with the BBC. “For a girl to feel that way about any part of her body — especially a part that’s intimate — is very upsetting.”
And it’s not a situation unique to the UK—experts have said there’s a similar trend happening here at home.
Over 12,000 labiaplasties were performed in 2016 (a number that Fox News identifies as a 30 percent rise since the year prior) and five percent of those 12,000 were girls under the age of fifteen. That means that roughly 600 girls younger than 15 had reconstructive surgery on their vagina last year—and here, in the U.S. of A.
So what media might be pushing these standards, you ask? Where would a young girl be exposed to images of another woman’s private parts?
Pornography, of course.
According to the BBC, experts think this particular brand of scary insecurity may be coming from the increasing accessibility of porn. “Their perception is that the inner lips should be invisible, almost like a Barbie,” Paquita de Zulueta, M.D., told the BBC. “The reality is that there is a huge variation. It’s very normal for the lips to protrude.”
The over-sexualization of young girls in modern society continues to rear its ugly head. It’s heartbreaking to encounter young girls and women whose sense of self-worth is affected by the damaging sexual standards we see today—but this latest report shows those standards have begun to surpass an unprecedented level.
It’s time to begin treating pornography and the sexualization of young girls as the cultural toxins they are. It’s obvious the consequences are far worse than we imagined.
Sources: Fox News