The dangerous rise of vaginal lightening

Oct 27, 2017
609
#1
In her practice, Taub estimates that she gets four or five requests for the treatment per day; in terms of the popularity of the services she offers, she says it is a “50-50” split between vaginal lightening and laser hair removal. She’s seen the number of requests spike in the past few years due to her speaking openly about the subject on her YouTube channel. (Note: While women are not the only people with vaginas, the treatment is primarily marketed to women.)

Like many trends devoted to improving the aesthetics and overall performance of the vagina and the area surrounding it, from labiaplasty to Brazilian waxing to Gwyneth Paltrow-endorsed jade eggs, vaginal lightening is often attributed to the widespread prevalence of internet porn, as performers tend to have lighter, more compact vulvas.
“When you look at the porno industry, for the most part, you see Hungarian, Russian, Eastern European girls. They’re light-skinned girls with pink vaginas and anuses who’ve never had any babies,” Taub says. “Everyone wants that. Everyone wants a pink anus.”

But the truth about why so many people request vaginal bleaching — and why, as Taub recounts, it is a source of immense anguish for many — is more complicated and more distressing than that. There are also numerous safety risks. Generally speaking, the American Committee of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has taken a stance against the rise of genital cosmetic procedures, writing that people should “be informed of their potential complications, including infection, altered sensation, dyspareunia, adhesions, and scarring.”
Additionally, there are hundreds of search-optimized DIY vaginal lightening hacks on YouTube, as well as a thriving cottage industry for vaginal and anal lightening creams such as Divine Derriere, a millennial pink-packaged cream and a serum, and Pink Privates, which is sold by the company Body Action. Per a 2013 report, the global skin lightening product market is worth an estimated $19.8 billion, though it’s unclear exactly how many of these sales can be attributed to anal or vaginal bleaching products.

In addition to the safety concerns posed by ingredients like hydroquinone, vaginal lightening treatments have also been accused of perpetuating unrealistic body image ideals and exploiting people’s insecurities about their vulvas. “Some women have been body-shamed into thinking they don’t have the quote-unquote ‘right vulva,’ so they will aim to do this,” Dweck says.

Taub, however, paints a more complex picture of the type of woman who comes to her for vaginal lightening. In addition to the hundreds of emails she gets from people who come across her videos, she regularly does consultations with women in their 20s and 30s, who she says often come in after being shamed by their partners.
https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/12/6/18127154/vaginal-bleaching-lightening-creams
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,552
#4
It's scary what some people will do for 'beauty'... especially with parts of your body that were never meant to be.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,143
#8
Schools really need to devote entire sections to body image. Between this and dudes worried about the size of their dicks it seems like everyone is worried about shit they were born with and have no control over. :/
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,677
#9
Did anyone else ever read Mario Puzo’s The Godfather? It has a whole subplot about a woman with a loose vagina that a Corleone-affiliated abortion doctor gets tightened, and it turns her whole life around. Coppola was a fool not to include that in his tepid, anemic adaptation. Really makes you think.

Edit: misread “lightening” as “tightening.” My point still stands.
 
Dec 24, 2017
671
#11
I thought this was a typo and wondered what in Asgard "vaginal lightning" was. But yes, lightening your skin in the name of vanity is dumb. But, cis hetero western beauty standards are to blame.
 
Oct 28, 2017
744
#16
I'm sure they could find partners who aren't so anal about the small details. When you're so laser-focused on what you think are flaws, you fail to see the lighter or brighter side of things, like someone who will stick by you when things get hairy
 
Apr 6, 2018
651
#24
I'm sure they could find partners who aren't so anal about the small details. When you're so laser-focused on what you think are flaws, you fail to see the lighter or brighter side of things, like someone who will stick by you when things get hairy
How long did this take you?
 
Oct 27, 2017
122
#27
“...Anuses who’ve never had any babies.”

I like them dark. I like some contrast. Buttholes that are the same color as the surrounding skin are just plain weird to me. Not a fan.
 
Oct 27, 2017
8,805
#28
Another example of how porn impacts us and shapes our views expectations in negative ways.

This is a problem with all media and standards of beauty but porn already has a ton of other baggage on top.
 
Oct 26, 2017
689
#29
“...Anuses who’ve never had any babies.”

I like them dark. I like some contrast. Buttholes that are the same color as the surrounding skin are just plain weird to me. Not a fan.
Cool?

I don’t have an opinion whatsoever. Don’t really think about it.
 
Oct 27, 2017
788
#31
"(Note: While women are not the only people with vaginas, the treatment is primarily marketed to women.) "
Did no-one find this clarification a little out of place?
 
Dec 24, 2017
4,788
#35
Holy shit- so many jokes, I'm afraid I'll get banned. 🤣
It's don't think it's really a joking matter that women are subject to unrealistic beauty standards and feel coerced by society to do shit like this in order to fit some kind of mold. This is really shitty and sad.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,245
#36
"(Note: While women are not the only people with vaginas, the treatment is primarily marketed to women.) "
Did no-one find this clarification a little out of place?
Not really out of place. In a piece about body dysmorphia it makes sense to clarify that they're talking about women's perceptions of their vaginas, as men's dysphoria issues with their vaginas are different.

This whole women's genitalia obsession thing is particularly shitty because you've got the incel community out there teaching impressionable boys that only untouched, presumably white, "innie" pussies are of any value. Shit's lame.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,182
Houston
#39
"(Note: While women are not the only people with vaginas, the treatment is primarily marketed to women.) "
Did no-one find this clarification a little out of place?
.. No I'm definitely confused.

Not really out of place. In a piece about body dysmorphia it makes sense to clarify that they're talking about women's perceptions of their vaginas, as men's dysphoria issues with their vaginas are different.
that's not what's written at all. It reads that people other than women also have vaginas.
 
May 27, 2018
510
#40
I don’t really see it as an issue if somebody wants to have this done.

People get nose jobs, boob jobs, Botox, laser hair removal (I’m a fan), LASIK eye surgery, liposuction, circumcision, lip fillers, hair plugs, fake tans, real tans (cancer risk), and so on.

Every procedure has risks.

 
Oct 27, 2017
788
#42
.. No I'm definitely confused.

that's not what's written at all. It reads that people other than women also have vaginas.
I think it means transgender female to male who have not had an operation, but it just seems like an unnecessary clarification when the article isn't even asserting anything contrary to that anyway.
 
Nov 8, 2017
854
#43
Oh man, I missed the E and thought it said lightning. I was very intrigued!

But yea, didn't realise this was a thing. Doesn't surprise me though. It's sad and understandable :(
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,259
#47
Man, some women will do some dumb ass stuff in the name beauty trends.
It's not just women. Guys lightening their penises is also a thing apparently in Thailand. Probably due to porn.

Gay going for anal whitening is also a thing. Again because of the image you get from watching porn.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,709
#49
I was expecting a thread about girls shooting lightning out of their vaginas. Suffice it to say, I'm disappointed after reading the article.