A worrying new study done by Claire Moran, from the University of Queensland has been undertaken to understand the startling rise in the number of elective vaginal surgeries being done in Australian, Canada, and the US. Claire stated to interviewers that,
'There seems to be massive misconceptions around perceptions of normal genital appearance and I wanted to explore this further. Generally, there are no health reasons to have the surgery - it is only for the sake of appearance. So the researchers wanted to know what drives women's perceptions of what looks good. Clair also added 'There are misconceptions around normal genital appearance. This is due to airbrushing, lack of exposure to normal women's genitals, greater genital visibility due to Brazilian and genital waxing and the general taboo around discussing genitals and genital appearance."The research group found that the "ideal" look for a women's vagina comes primarily from pornography as that is largely the only exposure women have to the look of another woman's genitals. Whereas the look of another woman's breast, waist, butt, legs, etc are all viewable under clothes which give a sense of the wide range of acceptability...this is not the case when it comes to the vagina. The elective genital surgeries have much in common with other plastic surgeries. There is the view of the ideal of what a body part should look like and the desire to reach that goal and to change something that a person sees as undesirable. While many plastic surgeons don't feel that a worrying trend has begun, it is unavoidable that women are now seeing their vagina's as a "trouble spot." While the reasons behind the increased number of elective surgeries may be contested...there has been a noticeable shift in ideals. An ideal which isn't consistent with reality. There are as many varied vaginas as there are women themselves, all of which are normal.