With porn stars as popular role models, more Nordic women are becoming dissatisfied with their private parts and seek plastic surgery to set things straight.
Despite being touted as completely harmless, aesthetic surgery may lead to serious complications if performed wrong and is additionally suspected to have a more shady side.
The number of women who have their genitals “fine-tuned” is increasing across Scandinavia.
In Norway alone, every eighth woman aged 18 to 30 has considered undergoing pubic beauty surgery, Norwegian national broadcaster NRK reported. The main reason for dissatisfaction is that the picture in the mirror does not correspond with what they see in media or pornographic movies, the survey found.
Ingela Lundin Kvalem, a professor of psychology from the University of Oslo who studied the causes and the psychological effects of intimate surgery, identified three reasons why cosmetic surgery on private parts is a growing trend.
“Firstly, it’s about the ideal picture. With the pubic hair removed, the labia become visible. Additionally, porn and media in general provide ample opportunities for comparison. Secondly, it has become affordable.
Thirdly, when one hears of others who have had this type of surgery, one starts to think of getting it too,” Lundin Kvalem told NRK.
In Sweden, the same trend has become manifest, with the shortening of the folds of the vulva or clitoris lifts being the most demanded operations. According to plastic surgeon Riikka Veltheim from the Academy Clinic in Stockholm, the increase largely depends on the accessibility of the information.
According to Lotti Helström, an associate professor at the Women’s Clinic at South Hospital, Stockholm, the rise in demand for plastic surgery rests exclusively with dissatisfaction over one’s appearance.
“Nowadays, being clean-shaven down there is the trend, which opens the labia minora.
I really doubt that the increase is about health,” Lotti Helström told Swedish national broadcaster SVT, venturing that health-related issues needn’t necessarily be treated with such radical means as surgery.
Additionally, complications of pubic surgery and irreversible mutilations as a result of botched operations may lead to a dramatic setback in one’s sex life.
According to Suzann Larsdotter, sexologist at the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU), girls and young women simply do not know what is normal and therefore believe something is wrong with their body.
“There is an incredible ignorance on how female genitals generally look,” Suzann Larsdotter told SVT, advocating enlightenment efforts to prevent unnecessary surgical interventions.
According to Charles Randquist, director of Victoria Clinic in Stockholm, a third of patients in the younger age bracket is being rejected after explanations.
For him, this is rather a psychological problem due to lack of self-esteem, SVT reported.
Furthermore, there is a risk of aesthetic surgery and beauty procedures getting misused as a loophole. Previously, Sweden prohibited certain types of intimate surgery in a bid to protect migrant women from genital mutilation, be it voluntary or not.
According to Sara Johnsdotter, medical anthropologist at Malmö University, there is currently a “grey zone” in Swedish law.