The rise of Soulcycle-esque, DJ led, protein shake fuelled spin classes in the UK has apparently had a slightly leftfield side effect: the popularity of such workouts has been linked to a surge in labiaplasty procedures (surgery that reduces the size of the labia). While labiaplasty is on the rise globally, plastic surgeon Dr David Cangello told The Independent that, while the statistics can’t be directly correlated with the booming trend for spin based workouts, the "demographics of the type of women who have the procedure are similar” and that those undergoing the surgery “tend to be women who are into their appearance and also active.”
Dr Cangello estimates that 50 per cent of women opting for labiaplasty do so for reasons related to comfort and to avoid unwanted chafing during exercise, and he emphasises that recovery time is fairly quick- you can be back on the bike within a month. The other ostensible motivation for undergoing the distinctly not-cheap surgery ( Whatclinic.com puts the average price of labiaplasty surgery in the UK at around £3000), creeps us out a lot more:
“Usually it’s not solely discomfort that causes women to come in for the procedure. It usually starts as an aesthetic issue then when they also have discomfort they are more compelled to seek something.
“Labiaplasty ties into grooming trends where women want everything to be clean and neat and streamlined.”
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m yet to hear of penises being under pressure to be “clean, neat and streamlined”, three descriptors that imply that the alternative is dirty, messy and inefficient. It also makes our vaginas sound like race cars, when the only thing we should be racing is the clock, or each other, during aforementioned workouts. If your labia are leading to legit discomfort, of course seek out an expert medical opinion and investigate your treatment options, but if you’re worrying that your vagina looks “wrong” or “ugly”, please rest assured that your V is capable of brilliant things and it looks just as it should. Grab yourself a copy of The Wonder Down Under , find some glorious gym kit that makes you feel comfortable and confident and let’s all stop feeling ashamed of one of our most ingenious organs. ‘Penis pride’ has been a thing from the dawn of time and we’d say that collective cultural labia love is LONG overdue.