This piece first appeared on Women’s Views on News in February. I have now finally got around to uploading it to my blog.
Warning: contains sexually explicit content.
Vajazzling. Seriously, where do I start? Vajazzling is defined by the offficial Vajazzle website as ‘The act of applying glitter and jewels to a woman’s nether regions for aesthetic purposes’ and by Urban Dictionary as ‘To give the female genitals a sparkly makeover with crystals so as to enhance their appearance’.
That’s right, even though we’re already supposed to be pulled, plucked, waxed and tweezed in all areas, now women are supposed to be ‘making over’ their vagina with diamantes and crystals.
If you’re wondering who on earth thought of it, you can blame American actress/singer-songwriter Jennifer Love Hewitt. She wrote a chapter on glittering your vulva in her self-help romance book, ‘The Day I Shot Cupid’ and has never looked back. This latest celebrity fad is supposed to empower women and has been quoted in many sources such as Glamour magazine, as the ‘must have’ accessory this year.
In this YouTube clip, Jennifer Love Hewitt gives Vajazzling as the answer to the question, ‘Give me an example from the book of something that helped you through a tough time.’
So, when you are having a tough time, please don’t consider telling a friend and seeking advice, ‘vajazzle your vajajay! (Her quote, not mine.)
I first heard of Vajazzling in the (awful) UK TV show, The Only Way is Essex, but my understanding was furthered when the UK show The Joy of Teen Sex did a feature on the popularity of Vajazzling. Mistakenly, I thought vajazzling was simply for the pubic hair area before you reach the vagina. But no, it seems increasingly popular to diamante your labia.
I seem to be the only person concerned with how uncomfortable this must be, but apparently 5, 737 people on Facebook disagree with me who like ‘Vajazzle your Vajajay’. Of course, you can’t say the dreaded V-words – vagina/vulva. Think more Lady Garden, Vajajay, anything but.
Vajazzling is supposed to empower women, yet the first question on the FAQ section on the official Vajazzle website is, ‘Will vajazzling hurt the man?’. Vajazzling is not about making yourself feel good, it’s clearly about making yourself look aesthetically pleasing. The Toronto Sun even suggests that you get your man’s initial vajazzled in Swarovski crystals as a Valentine’s gift for him.
Society tells us that as women, we are not allowed to embrace our sexuality unless it is for aesthetic purposes and voyeurism for primarily male viewers. We’re not allowed to dress promiscuously, but if it is for an airline advert or for the front page of a lads mag, it’s okay. We’re not allowed to embrace our vulvas unless we call them ‘cute’ names and vajazzle them. What is next?
Vajazzling simply reinforces double standards between men and women. Men are not pressured to change the appearance of their genitals yet women are supposed to turn their vulvass into fashion accessories. As Laurie Penny says, ‘nobody, so far, has suggested that men’s sexual equipment is unacceptable if it doesn’t taste like cake and sparkle like a disco ball.’
Laurie Penny concludes her fantastic article for the New Statesman and argues, Vajazzling is‘ all about making us feel that women’s bodies – which are supposed to smell, leak and grow hair – are shameful and need fixing. As long as the beauty and surgery industries remain profitable, female sexual shame will remain big business.’
The idea of thousands of women around the world begging to be vajazzled is depressing. We should embrace our vulvas the way they are. They don’t need to be accessorised and they certainly don’t need to be vajazzled.
If the idea of vajazzling has depressed you as much as it has depressed me, watch this YouTube clip which should cheer you up!