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Designer Vaginas

If it weren’t for my girlfriends, I would know nothing.

Over delicate lunches and sloppy happy hours, they keep me abreast of life’s juicy tidbits; which teachers are retiring and which couples divorcing, which restaurants are closing and which movies opening.

But my gal pals caught me off guard recently when they told me about a freaky new nether-trend. I was biting into an overpriced burger downtown when one of my diva dining companions let this rip:

“Ever heard of a labe trim?”

Surely I had heard her wrong; I demanded clarification.

“Getting snipped. Down there. You know… to make it… neater.”

She could have at least waited ’til I was finished chewing.

Indeed, the latest trend in cosmetic surgery has women spending thousands of dollars to have their most sensitive, most delicate regions re-sculpted, plumped up, liposuctioned, or nipped and tucked to look, um, prettier.

Statistics show “designer vaginas” are on the rise, with promising names to describe every peculiar procedure. Los Angeles doc David Matlock peddles vaginal “rejuvenation,” aiming to restore a youthful “architectural integrity” to the female hoo-hah. Other surgeons hawk “revirgination” — a hymen reconstruction that allows women to feel (for what, one night?) like they’re brand spankin’ new again. (If memory serves, I’ll pass.)

Lumped under a term that I must confess is my favorite new word — “vaginoplasty” — these procedures make up the fastest growing form of plastic surgery in the country. More than 1,000 women had cosmetic procedures on their coochies last year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Gossip rags report that adult film actress Jenna Jameson had “work” recently (although it was reportedly botched, and complications can include infection and [gulp] loss of sensation).

It’s understandable that a porn superstar might need an overhaul on her moneymaker from time to time. I can even see how a mother of four might require some doctoring to restore her parts to their once-perky configuration. (As a matter of fact, let’s all do a kegel exercise right now, together. Okay, good.)

But what of the housewives and yoga instructors — and, yes, teenagers — who go under the knife because they are convinced their vulvas are just funny looking?

Sawbones who specialize in lily-gilding insist they do it to “empower” women, but critics question whether our power really lies in the relative length and symmetry of our genital folds.

My girlfriends and I weren’t so much concerned with the politics of said surgery, but with the personal implications.

“How deliriously happy would you have to be with the rest of your body to put that on top of your plastic surgery fantasy list?” cracked one friend. “Let’s see, I have rock solid abs, cellulite-free glutes, my boobs are up around my neck, but if you could just take an inch off the sides, that would be great.”

Furthermore, none of us were curious — or limber — enough to have more than a passing idea of our own layout. And none had ever met a man whose sheer elation at a vaginal encounter could be dampened by even the gravest of aesthetic discord.

So why the fuss over shapely va-jay-jays? I blame Internet porn. With easy access to graphic images of Brazilian-waxed, barely legal, Photoshopped females — and who among us hasn’t perused such material once or twice, while waiting for our bagel to toast? — our collective idea of what’s “normal” is terribly skewed. Plastic surgeons say many of their patients come in for a consultation with a Playboy centerfold as a reference picture.

The antidote, of course, is to spend less time gazing at the modern media’s images of “perfection,” and more time yakking with our girlfriends. They may shock you sometimes — and even squelch your appetite — but if there’s one thing gal pals are good for, it’s assuring you that your labia are perfect just the way they are.

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