Photoshopping Labia to Comply with "Obscenity" Laws in Australia

Tue, 03/01/2011 - 14:33
Submitted by Carlin Ross

I've been waiting for this documentary to hit the states.  It's out of Australia and describes how labia have been declared "obscene" and are removed from pornographic content.  Yes, an image of a woman's labia - her real genitals - is obscene.  It's chilling:

LABIAPLASTY: Hungry Beast, ABC1 from Ali Russell on Vimeo.

Editor in Chief & Keeper of All Things Betty Dodson

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


Tue, 03/01/2011 - 15:15
WildOrchid (not verified)

Improving? Let me improve that doctor's face! I think purple would go nicely with his eyes!
It's disgusting. I can't look at after and before pictures on sites. It's just too frustrating, too sad too... I don't know what. 

This topic always makes me

Tue, 03/01/2011 - 19:56
TinaSE (not verified)

This topic always makes me sad. It always reawakens my insercurities with my vulva. Obviouly I know what I have is normal, but it makes me very sad to see and know that shit like this is going on. It doesn't help to read about how "men aren't attracted to this" and the slang those ones tend to use. It makes me scared to have partnered sex!
Shit like censorship only exacerbates the sitiation, and on top of that, the first few results for "labia" in google images are before and after pictures of labiaplasty and that awful medical diagram of a vagina that I never firgured out until a few years ago. Can they at least make a medical diagram featuring "outties"? Jeez!
And the one flattering picture led me to the "Vagina Institute". Which states:

The labia minora on a healthy woman who developed properly through puberty 
should not protrude extensively past the labia majora. In all instances, it should remain 
enclosed between the outer lips. Healthy labia minora are smooth and evenly 
symmetrical, where the size of the left lip equals the size of the right lip. The more 
symmetrical the inner lips are, as well as the outer lips, they will tend to make the 
female vulva look more appealing and attractive.

Well, I'm screwed! I must be very unhealthy! (Don't worry, I know I'm not) I'm glad you and Betty are out there! Is there a way the we can make your website the top result for everything? Haha

Juicy Lips

Wed, 03/02/2011 - 11:26
thepolly (not verified)

Being a lady with large labia minora,  I have looked on the net to see what actual images there are of larger female genitalia and there are fans of women with more cushioned labia just as there are fans of big or small boobs.
The soft porn industry would have us 'barbie-fied' in no time at all if it had its way.  There are body shapes that I find repellent personally but which other people would see as their perfect type.  It all comes down to taste and reality and not to a sanitised version of what normality is.  I have never had anyone show disgust or be turned off by my particular lady furniture which I may add is not symmetrical.  Instead I had lust and enjoyment both given and received to my vulva.  And apart from anything else,  why on earth would you want someone else's version of perfection carved out of your body.  I love to be individual and hope that all readers of this fantastic website do too. 
Otherwise we would be heading into the realm of stepford..... very scary!


Wed, 03/02/2011 - 14:37
carlisleorama (not verified)

Well that was disturbing, to say the least. I have seen all sorts of surgeries

performed, never had a problem before. I probably should have thought better of

eating my lunch while I watched this though, because I gagged.

I wonder if watching the surgery being performed would dissuade more women

from having labiaplasty?


Thu, 03/03/2011 - 10:13

I have to say, this is really disturbing. It's a very bizarre form of puritanical censorship which has a subtle but profound effect on the cultural aesthetic. Even in the documentary using the words "neat and tidy" describes the philosophical/religious idea that the ultimate goal of the soul is to strip off its sensuous, animal nature and move towards purity. Clearly labia minora represent the impure. 
The other thing that strikes me is that "just a crease" looks like a childs vagina - and that's ok. Full grown labia minora represent woman hood - and that's not ok.  That's really fucked up.

I saw this when it was on

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 05:57
Sophie (not verified)

I saw this when it was on television. The censorship laws in this country really are getting silly. I think you're supposed to declare pornography to customs when entering the country, now. It's all ridiculous. And contradictory. Here they are requiring labia to be photoshopped to appear smaller, when they had heaps of trouble a year ago about small-chested women apparently looking too young (and having their images removed). Just makes no sense.

On another note, labiaplasty, in my opinion, is one of the saddest things when done for purely cosmetic reasons.

I find this really quite

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 07:58

I find this really quite saddening and disturbing. The whole idea of chopping part of you off for aesthetic purposes is mad! I have one long inner labia and one short, so I'm about as quirky as they get. It used to bother me - during my teen years I always spoke to guys about their opinions on the vulval image, and I would never get an answer that didn't frown upon long inner labia. It was quite upsetting to me - almost made me not want to have partner sex. The media never made me want to change myself, but the way that these boys spoke about it made me insecure. I knew I'd never change myself, because I also knew that I'd find someone who doesn't have that narrow-minded opinion. (And I have).
Chilling is completely the right word.
I'm not saying that this 'trim' and 'neat' looking vulva is wrong. Some people genuinely are born with that! At the same time though, my wonky vulva is not ugly.
Whatever happened to this whole 'loving yourself for who you are'? I was raised to believe that if you don't like something about yourself, do something about it. If I felt fat, I exercised. If I didn't like my hairstyle, I'd colour it or get it cut. As times change though, I have to amend my beliefs to exclude surgery as a form of 'change'. In doing so, I keep the things that make me ME. 

It is because of fucked up

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 16:16
deera (not verified)

It is because of fucked up shit like this that masturbation has become my only form of sex.  The next thing will be some kind of stupid ass guide for men to use to gage the appearance and size of a woman's labia while cruising the bars.  It would probably read, "If her nose is off-center by a millimeter and her earlobes are detached, then chances are, you're in luck and her labia are small and even."  Then guys would bring rulers and tape measures with them to bars and start measuring noses and checking out earlobes.   
Where will it end?  If a man doesn't like the looks of a woman's pussy, then don't fuck it.  

All labia and vulvae are

Sat, 03/05/2011 - 04:42
Jonathan Denys. (not verified)

All labia and vulvae are beautiful

very large inner lips

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 19:18
veronica66 (not verified)

Hi I also have very large inner lips but cant find any pics or stuff on them if I may ask can you send a pic of your to me so as I can see how they are as to mine and if you like I will send a pic back of mine as for you to see .I had just my hubby till cancer got him and now im to shy to start over at 44 becouse of them and what others think (hubby loved them and would tell me to go let them free
Awaitting your reply
Ronny Australia

I am still dealing with a lot

Wed, 04/20/2011 - 15:58
AnonE (not verified)

I am still dealing with a lot of insecurity regarding how my labia look. My labia majora are really, really small and my labia minora are fairly long. Even if the minora were the way these people seem to think they should be, I wouldn't have that "single crease" the plastic sugeon is such a fan of because I doubt the majora would touch. And shouldn't he know that they aren't part of the vagina, but part of the vulva?

Sorry my bits are obscene, Australia. Way to police and shame bodies.

can you put a warning on this video please?

Mon, 09/12/2011 - 03:28
mononymous (not verified)

It's pretty horrific to see a woman's labia being removed in surgery.  I nearly fainted.


Sat, 08/25/2012 - 07:57
Anonymousy (not verified)

Fu*K labia plastia!!
Soft porn who cares!?
Ladies just leave your labia! plastic surgeons talking about what should or not should be? their oponion are the money way!

I'm one of the 'normal' ones

Mon, 08/27/2012 - 22:48
Sangie (not verified)

with a single crease, and 'healthy', small, even labia minora. I am insecure about mine, because it makes me look like a prepubescent girl, and not a full grown woman. I wish my labia minora were longer, and more full. This was a disturbing, disgusting,horrible video...
And watching that woman get hers cut off just about made me pass out. I can't get the squick out of my head, now.

male circumcision

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 12:41
Marc (not verified)

just to throw one in:
I do not agree with labia plasty. I think it's just wrong
But do many in society find that so clearly wrong, and at the same time accept male circumcision?
shows how relative and tied to culture everything is, righ
I am aware of all those more or less proven medical reasons

one is about porn the other about our bodies

Wed, 08/29/2012 - 12:42
Marc (not verified)

ok, be the law whatever it is: ok maybe we can't show inner labia, you can also not show a penis in a pussy in 15+ magazines... we can discuss that
BUT PLEASE girls, let's not humiliate your bodies by changing them!

If only...

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 23:23
Crankos (not verified)

...people had other ways of obtaining images of naked women besides paying too much money for tacky spank mags.
If everyone with access to this documentary was also able to access images of regular vaginas, the world would surely be a very different place!?

same here...

Mon, 11/26/2012 - 18:14

I guess I have the perfect "porn-vulva" with almost no labia minora (I too wish they were a little bigger), but I'd have to get breast implants to not fall under some BS child pornography-law. this actually makes me sick! I know how incredibly insecure I felt as a teenager about all my "ladyparts", and I didn't even watch porn. today, where porn is everywhere people expect everyone to look the same! my boyfriend used to be insecure about his curved penis, because it didn't seem normal compared to porn (btw I LOVE it ;) ).
I often think our society - or societies as I don't live in America - should stop being so prudish about nudity, so that children get to see what adults look like in a non-sexual environment before starting to watch porn.

thank you to the positive

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 14:37

thank you to the positive male comments! my friend loves my protruding  unsymetrical labia, cant take his eyes off of them, just as i i love his uncircumsised outward rainbow arc curving penis! :) . we are people, not parts! not even going to watch the video right now, based on the comments, no need for the stress!

Same old same old

Tue, 05/21/2013 - 22:53
nna (not verified)

The phobia about visible labia minora does seem like just another aspect of the standard world fetish with pre-pubescent, because isn't that the only time female genitalia looks like that as a rule? An additional tip-offf: All of the genitalia in the movie were shaved hairless.

I think labia minora get even more pronounced as we age. I'm in perimenopause, and have noticed that my labia majora have shrunk--they're not as fat as they used to be even though my body weight hasn't changed. Because the majora have shrunk, the minora are now more pronounced, sticking out more.

Hooray for the labia!

Wed, 05/22/2013 - 22:09

 Carlin has stated and this is also my experience that stimulating the labia minora is quite pleasant. It's fun to explore them and see which side is more sensitive and what action is more pleasing. Pulling, stroking, vibing? I think my vulva is kind of ugly but I don't think she is deformed or not worth loving. Who cares what it looks like as long as it's healthy? I do a head to toe check on myself pretty much everyday after my shower just to check for skin changes and I've noticed that the appearance of my vulva and inner labia change during the month. Barbie porn vulvas make me sick because they look like they belong on children. It's easy to tell that my ugly vulva belongs to an adult at least and she is a fun loving naughty adult!

I loved this show when it was

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 10:26
Australian (not verified)

I loved this show when it was on tv (I'm from Australia) but I doubt it will ever reach the states. This was not a stand alone documentary, it is a section of an episode of a tv show called hungry beast. It was a fantastic show that ran for 3 or 4 seasons and you should check out the other episodes. It was all about various political and social local and global issues, some presented seriously, others through comedy skits or other creative methods. The reason I dont think you'll get it in the states is that a lot of it did deal with Australia specific policies, political figues and political issues. I wish it was still running. But it did also cover a lot of very interesting social and ethical issues relevent to anyone, in or out of Australia.

Right around the time I

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 02:20
Coming to Grips (not verified)

Right around the time I started to explore my body, I felt like a freak (still do sometimes). First I remember the 'sex education' pamplets I recieved at school - mostly to do with periods and breast growth. There were these drawings of girls intended to represent 'me'. They all showed familiar perfect v-shaped vulva (no folds or anything sticking out). That same image was repeated in the classical paintings and statues I encountered in my art history classes.
I also recall the time my mom talked about the 'birds-and-the-bees'. She had showed me her porn stash, just so I can see what a man looked like. There were images of women there too. Their labias were neat and tidy; all pinkish with nothing sticking out. Meanwhile, my labia is this murky-dark color with folds all over. It used to worry me - the labia lips were so prominent that it looked like my vulva vomitted out a mass of dark tissue whenever I got aroused. Scary. And because my vulva wasn't anywhere pink or smooth like the ones I saw in the magazines or films, I was convinced my vulva was dirty. I was so ashamed of myself that I'd scrub it with soap to the point where it got irritated and hurt.
I've since made peace with my vulva and all of its peculiar details. [= 12.8px]While I still struggle to come to grips with it, it helped to realize not all vulvas look the same. There are different shapes and different smells. Even the position of the clit is different. I'm continously building a relationship with mines and its been an interesting journey so far. I actually think its funny that we women have this mini-dick popping out of us, ha![/]

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.