To coincide with the launch of Women’s History Month 2017, reviews ’The Perfect Vagina’ - a passionate documentary by Lisa Rogers about modern femininity and the rise of vaginal cosmetic surgery, specifically labiaplasty.


The size, colour and shape of labia vary significantly between individuals. Much like our faces and other body parts – not everyone looks the same, and that is what makes us all beautiful. Vulvas also change with time, being affected by events such as puberty, childbirth and general ageing.

However, vulvas have been left out of the body positivity conversation. Due to the nature of intimacy of vulvas, they aren’t really at the forefront of discussions. Instead, they are often hidden from view and only actually seen while watching porn, which does not often show a variety of bodies. Even medical textbooks don’t display a variety of labia. The lack of discussion about vulvas leaves them as a target for insecurities. While every vulva shape and size is normal, there seems to be one prevalent ‘look’ for which people strive.

That is where labiaplasty comes into the picture. While there are people who may have a congenital disorder or other medical reasons for plastic surgery, there has been an increase in the number of women who are chasing a vulva that is ‘clean, tucked in and tight’. Labiaplasty often removes part of the clitoral hood and some of the labia minora to create a ‘designer vagina’.

Woman surgeon standing in front of surgical chair.


Where the FUCK is this mythical 'Perfect Vagina'?


In the UK documentary “The Perfect Vagina”, Lisa Rogers shares her investigation of the mythical perfect vagina (although, technically it should be named the perfect vulva). The majority of the hour-long documentary talks about labiaplasty and even follows one woman’s surgical process (visuals included). Rogers talks to two different plastic surgeons and a couple of women who have considered the procedure as well.

On top of the labiaplasty theme, Rogers interviews people about the concept of ‘the perfect vagina’. These people include a waxing esthetician, her cis-male partner, her cis-male friends and her cis-male house painters. She also meets with Jamie McCarthy who is the cis-male artist behind The Great Wall of Vaginas, and with a group of women who have made vulva casts for his project. 

She also interviews a woman who runs a workshop about learning to love your vagina, and eventually agrees to participate in it, but not before making fun of it quite a bit.

Some of these interviews are great – like the one with Jamie McCarthy, however many just feel like random filler (like her acquaintances) that are just there to help get her point across. They aren’t professionals, and they aren’t a diverse group of people; they are just people she has in her life. It isn’t a large enough sample size to feel like their message is important, and it just kind of falls flat.

Woman holding a small bunch of roses covering her vagina.


And then there was a cab ride and hymens

At one point in the documentary, Rogers discovers that some women have procedures to repair their hymens. She interviews a few young adults at a community centre and then follows one woman to her doctor appointment about reconstructing her hymen. This section ends with Rogers crying in a cab. 

Of course, this is a very heavy, very complicated topic and I am not sure it was necessary to detour from her labiaplasty theme to discuss this. It deserves a separate documentary, and I don’t think this little spotlight on it gave enough information to not jump to conclusions. It fed into stereotypes and while it is important for people to be aware of, it didn’t fit in with the rest of the documentary.

I applaud this documentary for discussing a topic that so needs to be addressed. There is way too much shame around the appearance of our genitals, and that needs to change. This documentary has made some waves in the discussion of what is ‘normal’ and what is ‘ideal’ and has probably influenced hundreds of people to accept their genitals or their partner’s genitals.


Nothing is perfect and we fucking like it that way


There are some faults with this documentary as listed above, but these shouldn’t put you off watching it. This is a topic that needs way more exposure and a special place in the body positivity discussion. We see it more often addressed by artists and advocates, and this documentary was a giant step forward.

Lisa Rogers was brave to bring up this topic, but there is a lot of room for further research and journaling in this field. While the documentary “The Perfect Vagina” is important, there is a lot more work that needs doing.


If you want to watch “The Perfect Vagina”, check it out here: LOVES vulvas and know they are beautiful just the way they are! Got a story you want to share? Leave a comment below or send us an email [email protected]


Rebecca Dane is one-half of A Couple of Kinks – a sex-positive site that focuses on sex toy reviews, ‘how to’ guides and stories of their sex adventures. They are hoping to help impact the sex toy industry by focusing on safe, ethical and LGBT+ inclusive companies as well as help normalize sex and kink.



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