Friday, August 23, 2013

Phallic Friday - vagina backlash

I'm just back from 2 weeks of holidays and the RWA conference and I was struggling to think of what to write for this post (actually, I'm struggling to string 2 words together!).

Then I went to the news website and there's a ready made kerfuffle happening - a Sydney University student newspaper went and put 18 vaginas on their front cover! Needless to say it was confiscated, but it has started a big social media discussion.

Here's the news article I read, which gives an account of one of the girls who participated. I think she deserves a medal for coming out in public in this discussion and I hope she doesn't regret it in the future, especially with her name and photo publicised, meaning she has no anonymity.

I know genitalia on a cover is confronting. And I think whether it was vaginas or cocks, the same reaction would have occurred.

But sometimes, to get people to take notice of things, we need to do something outlandish to be noticed. I read some horrifying statistics a while back about the number of women who elect to have cosmetic surgery on their vagina so it is 'perfect' and that is terrifying to me. Cosmetic surgery on any body part concerns me, but on a body part that the majority of people would never see, why on earth do you need it 'perfect'? What's wrong with living with what you have?

I don't live with a perfect body - far from it. I have rosaceae, severe cystic acne, and something called Hidradenitis suppurativa.  I do feel pressure to change - and even to spend large amounts of money to change - but I live with what I got, largely because (1) mostly what I have is unchangeable, (2) I don't have large amounts of money, (3) I spent years trying to change and ended up undervaluing myself because of this constant pressure to change something that is unchangeable, and (4) sometimes you just have to suck it up and do the best with what you have (that was the conclusion I came to after years of trying everything known to man). Plus I firmly believe you have to look past the outside to see good in people - and if I can't do that in myself, then what hope do I have of doing that with others?

Although putting vaginas on the front cover is confronting, I believe we need confronting to change the focus of society, from the 'perfect' outside, to loving what's inside... but maybe I'm a bit biased :)

How do you feel?

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