Questionable Motives

March 9, 2010

What’s wrong with a bit of censorship?

Filed under: censorship,Cosmetic surgery,Gender,Medicine — tildeb @ 2:38 pm

Over at Is It Luck? is an investigative journalism video under the heading of Video Break about what constitutes a normal vagina and labia.

Sort of.

What the video is really about is the unintended effect of state censorship, in this case on what is perceived to be ‘normal’ regarding the look of a vagina and labia. I would present the video here but YouTube in effect censors me from doing so.

In order for magazines to meet the criteria of what an ‘unoffensive’ vagina and labia must look like in order for a picture to be published set out by censoring board, graphic artists working for the various publications commonly cut and paste the pictures of the genital region of real women to meet the board’s standards. Because few people go around examining large numbers of vaginas to compare and contrast and arrive at some notion of what is ‘normal’, these publications substitute a very consistent image to the public, one that suits the aesthetic tastes of the censor board’s members and not what is true, and thus the censor board in effect determines the notion what a vagina and labia should look like to be considered normal! Talk about a cultural meme…

The rise in the numb er of female cosmetic surgeries of the vagina and labia requested by young women is attributed to matching their body parts to what these young women perceive to be ‘normal’, whereas the sanctioned and consistent image in all these publications is in fact what is actually abnormal. We can pretend that the blame for the spreading of this lie belongs to the publication industry that produces the images, thus empowering the calls for more strict censorship in the name of protecting ‘decency’ and reducing the number of unnecessary surgeries and medical complications that can result. But the truth cuts a little deeper: it is the censoring boards that promote their version of what is acceptable rather than what is true that undermines the confidence many young and beautiful women should have in their bodies and which, in turn, fuels the call for more unnecessary cosmetic surgeries to fix something that only the censor boards promotes as broken.

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1 Comment »

  1. I think the problem is worse than that, society is bringing up a whole generation of women who think that they have to be literally prefect to be attractive – it is wrong, it is damaging to the minds of young girls – some of who die because they literally starve themselves to death.

    Personally, I get bored of the media stereotype of beauty – I remind all women who I see reading women’s magazines that women in the pictures within them do not exist – it is a special effect CGI.

    Women of all sizes and shapes are attractive to men of all sizes and shapes, for all sorts of reasons, some physical and some not.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — March 14, 2010 @ 9:12 pm | Reply


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