You know when you can’t sleep and randomly find yourself scrolling through your phone watching videos of cats talking and meerkats riding unicycles? Well this may totally seem like one of those 3am moments at first glance but I can assure you it’s not. You heard it right – I’ve immortalised my surgically removed labia in a crystal pendant to celebrate female circumcision and it’s something the world needs to be more open about.
Ok, I get that not everybody wants to get circumcised, but we should certainly never be ashamed of our bodies, never feel too embarrassed to speak to a doctor and be adequately educated and informed in order to learn how to watch out for the warning signs within health and recognise when a pain or discomfort should be put up with or dealt with. I spent 29yrs of my life living in discomfort because of my protruding labia and whilst I’d heard of the fashion of ‘designer vagina’ surgery I didn’t realise what it actually was. In fact I didn’t know the female circumcision even existed as I’d only ever heard of men getting circumcised and nobody seemed to bat an eyelid about it.
I’m a keen supporter of charities and mental and sexual health awareness, and as such addressed my my protruding labia as looking like a ‘beef sandwich’ on TV whilst being a picker on Naked Attraction last year for Channel 4. I then had my entire labiaplasty surgery filmed on Don’t Tell The Doctor for Channel 5 at Christmas to show women, and men alike, that they don’t have to live in pain because of too little or too much flesh down there. If I’d have had somebody tell me years ago that it didn’t have to hurt me to ride bicycles, wear tight jeans and tango then I’d have certainly have had the snip a couple of decades ago – but sadly I never knew and so the choice wasn’t there.
It’s a little known fact that circumcision can reduce the risk of some sexually transmitted infections in men including syphilis, gonorrhoea, herpes, HPV and HIV. It also reduces the risk of cervical cancer, penile cancer, inflammation and dermatoses to name but a few. Yet in this age it’s something women never discuss and men seem guarded about. During the summer holidays I’d been looking for fun activities and crafts to keep my two children busy so when I discovered jewellery making I decided it would be the crowning glory for my discarded labia to be set in crystal and celebrated as my freedom from pain and liberation. I’m thrilled with how my labia pendant has turned out and will wear it with pride as a reminder to us all to take our health seriously and never be too afraid or embarrassed to ask for help – life is far too short to live in unnecessary pain and suffering.