No-No Bits And Body Image

9 May

(I should just get it over with and title this The Post That Got No Comments.)

Ahem. Today, my post is about private parts. Yep, those ones. Yours, mine, everyone’s. Our flappy happies, jiggle jigs, our baby-makers and funbags. Is it going to be work safe? Actually, yes. Go figure, right? A post about weenis (not the elbow skin, but the actual lap snake) and bagoo, and I’m telling you that you probably won’t be fired for reading it at your place of employment (I think?). You have been forewarned on the topic, though, so if you’re a-scared might I recommend you come back at a later time? I promise I won’t use any images, as that would be weird and awkward, but the big V and P words might appear, so . . . there you have it. I’m trying to spare you a dressing down from a superior for reading about Penii and Vagii.

Anyway, what started me thinking about pants parts was writing a scene in which a virgin is going to her first “interlude” with a guy, and what fills her with dread is not the concept of hymen-breaking or even the discomfort it might bring, but that someone is going to see her exposed for the first time. She’s an attractive girl who’s full of confidence otherwise, but she starts to worry about things like one of her boobs is bigger than the other, and slightly perkier, and she’s seen PORNO PARTS and God, what if she doesn’t look like PORNO PEOPLE PARTS. She has a hang up not about the extra pounds around her thighs, but what lies between them.

Plenty of people have gone on and on about body image in our society . Might I recommend The Rotund if you want to get down and dirty with self-acceptance and fat hate (the woman is super intelligent and writes fantastic articles). Not many people talk about self-acceptance of our most private parts, though, because Americans DON’T TALK ABOUT THIS STUFF. Why? Well, there’s an association with dirty when talking about What Lurks Below, so we tend to shy away from it. The problem, as I see it, is that not talking about it creates hangups. How so? Treating it as an impolite subject means that anatomical education comes from Debbie Does Dallas 46 and 2 minute internet porn clips. Do you really want to point to THAT as a learning tool for folks? I know I don’t. Shall we talk about why?

Vaginal Rejuvenation Surgery, for one. Most porno girls have it (if not immediately, then later on as things change), and it’s a process in which very normal flaps of flesh are removed or trimmed as to make stuff appear tighter. It’s the anti-labia. LABIA-TRON, ATTACK. So let’s say some girl watches a bunch of naked-lady clips in her sexual awakening and sees that NONE OF THEM HAVE IT (thanks to surgery she doesn’t know about) AND OH GOD SHE DOES. It’s totally a natural thing to have – I mean, biology books mention it as a part and all, but holy crap it’s not talked about as a variable attribute. People don’t think of it as different looking from person to person, and really, bits are distinct. They’re like the noses of the lap region; some are long, squat, short, fat, skinny, or otherwise. So now young girl A) thinks she’s malformed and icky and why does she have to be a freak and B) that she can’t ask anyone about it because it’s mortifying and society has told us talking about our bodies beyond how to get thinner/fitter is bad. So what’s already a very scary thing – sex for the first time – is brought to an even more awful level because Young Girl assumes that some guy’s gonna get her drawers off and think she’s hideous.

No pressure or anything.

And don’t think for one second I believe it’s just a woman problem. I know dudes go through the same thing about size and shape and angle and the whole Hat versus No-Hat thing (you’ll get it in a second). For that matter guys might actually have it worse, because they don’t tend to open up about their worries/self-image concerns as that’s NOT MANLY. So you get all the anxiety of “Will my partner see me as broken” without any outlets beyond . . . again, the internet. And what a terrible outlet that is.

Reason two it’s a bad educator? Boob jobs. Mammary Makers charge between three and ten thousand dollars to give women larger, fuller, perkier, better-spaced breasts. Since it’s such an industry standard on our pin-ups these days, the rest of us with good old fashioned real boobs start to think we’re . . . less. Our nipples might not point up at the sun, and we actually have to wear a bra because otherwise we might feel droopy, especially if we’re top heavy. Lefty might outsize righty by a bit (and it might be so inconsequential no one else sees it, but trust me, the owner of the slightly bigger/smaller boob knows it), or our nipples might point slightly off (the term cock-eyed is coming to mind here) . . . and we think we’re awful. Then there’s the whole smaller boob thing wherein some girls assume “their mosquito bites are too small, they look like a boy, and why can’t they have a pair of big, glorious C cups.”

So now not only is the below-belt hangup there, we’ve got it above-belt too. Faaaantastic.

I could talk about things like pubic hair and bum bleaching to really get my point across (thank you porn for making the rest of us humans feel weird for not looking /abnormal like you/) but it’s redundant. People parts vary in size, shape, and color. They’re as distinct as eyes, only . . . well, hopefully they don’t come in green because that might be unhealthy, but if they do, all the power to you (see a doctor, though, seriously). If you’re in a position where you have to talk about The Birds And Bees and the subsequent Stinger and Honey Pots involved (go go bee euphemisms), please go the extra step and point out that it’s OKAY to look different than what’s on the computer and TV, and that a good partner is going to like your fun bits on the premise that they get to play with them in the first place. I remember talking about this whole naughty-part hangup thing with an ex-boyfriend once, and his response was “we’re so happy we get to touch them, we don’t even really think about it. We just think you’re awesome for letting us do you.”

Not only did I laugh, but I realized that was exactly what I needed to hear.

One last note before I sign off on this and make you all distinctly uncomfortable as you contemplate not only your own reproductive organs but those of everyone around you – if you’ve opted to have surgery (or you’re going to), that’s okay! This isn’t an anti-surgery post, it’s an anti-hangup post. If you feel good about you now that you’ve undergone a procedure, AWESOME. It’s all about the happy. What I hope for you, surgery person, is that you got it FOR you, though, and not because you felt lesser because you compared yourself to a piece of media that sets unrealistic expectations. My problem isn’t with how you handled it, it’s with the fact that you had to in the first place.

TL:DR version: education and open communication works wonders in combating self-hate and stigma. This pertains to all subjects, even the icky-sticky weener ones. If you can spare a kid a hangup or two, do it.

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3 Responses to “No-No Bits And Body Image”

  1. Racheal May 9, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    Bravo!! Thank you for saying what so many do NOT dare to!!

  2. twww May 10, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    Bravo indeed! This is something everyone should read, especially parents and teens.

  3. Baritone Castrato (@deepcastrato) April 20, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    We seem to share the same attitude to our and others’ parts and how people think about them. There is no “normal”. If everything’s there you have no worries. Even if you’re unlucky and things aren’t all there, you probably shouldn’t worry too much. I lost both nuts to testicle cancer and, after much thought, haven’t bothered to get prosthetics. I’ve been told that my “empty sack” isn’t an eye-sore, so why worry, right? Just my two cents.

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