Let me share with you a piece of information you probably have not come across. Between June 8 and July 6, a call was made over the internet; a call that was both weird and grossly unconventional. It was a call for participation in the Autoblow Vaginal Beauty Contest. Autoblow is a men’s sex toy manufacturer. As it were, the winner will claim $5000, the second and third runners-up will claim $2500 and $1250 respectively. The take-home for Autoblow was to find the world’s most aesthetically pleasing vulva with which to create a model for a future version of Autoblow 2. As the main criteria for entering, you were required to be 18+ of age and should take the picture of your vulva with your name written on a piece of paper by it (sort of tag). Truth be told, I found that competition amusing, but particularly very annoying.
Guess what? At the end of the day, 182 women entered for the competition and 134,707 site-visitors did the voting. Of course, the 182 participants submitted photos of their external genitalia for the online vulva beauty contest. And as planned, Autoblow arrived at The World Most Beautiful Vaginas on the planet! And these proud winners came forward to claim their prizes: 1. 27-year-old Nell from the UK; 2. 23-year-old Jenny from Bavaria, Germany; 20-year-old Anita from Hungary. Definitely, you should expect that this exercise got as many praises as it got lots of criticisms.
Although my Christian bent inspires me to strongly condemn that exercise, and others that are like it, the main focus of this piece is not to make moral arguments. This is, instead, an exercise in women empowerment. Frankly speaking, I believe that the first port of call in the whole women empowerment/emancipation concerns is proper orientation. Yes, with proper orientation, we really don’t have to ‘give anyone power’ (empowerment) – not even men, since every authentic human being is innately ‘power-full’. In essence, give a woman proper orientation and she can take it up from there herself. For instance, Michelle Obama’s family only had to give her ‘first-rate’ education, and she’s today doing women proud – not only by being first lady; watch her say and do her things and see for yourself.
The highest indignity being meted out to women is the fact that the world makes the average woman feel terrible about herself. And we do this in many different ways. When the ‘thighbrow’ madness came on board, we made women who didn’t have it feel terrible about their thighs. Same applied to the era of ‘bikini bridge’ and ‘collarbone club’. Most women had to undergo outrageous medical procedures and nutritional routines to attain those so called ‘ideal’ body types. You can bet that every beauty this or that leaves many a woman hating herself.
And then Autoblow pushes it to the limits with their vagina contest. Of course, they ended up shaming the vaginas of the billions of women that don’t look like the three winners. And then what would many of the rest of the pack do? Labiaplasty! You know what that means, right? Simple: a cosmetic surgical procedure to modify a woman’s genitalia. Needless to mention the many other ‘corrective/enhancement’ cosmetic surgeries done on the breast, hips, buttocks, face, lips, skin, etc. that cost a fortune on the one hand, and very risky on the other hand. In fact, let’s call them by their proper names: vaginoplasty, hoodectomy (clitoral unhooding), mammoplasty (breast enlargement/augmentation), maxtopexy (breast lift), abdominoplasty (tommy tuck), rhinoplasty (nose surgery), liposuction and liposculture, neck lift, brow lift, hip and bum enlargement, etc. You can imagine.
Now, the implications of this state of affairs is enormous, especially the fact that our women’s world is seriously gone chaotic. The rate of jealousy in that clime is far beyond the human normal, and, of course, the unintended consequence of this is the fierce competition that happen among them. Fierce, to say the least. Let me substantiate this with the comment left by the second runner-up of the vagina competition: I thought it was really funny and interesting and so I decided to give it a try, because I thought that maybe I could do better than these girls. Imagine that! And we’re pretty familiar with tales of how far some women have gone and can go to beat this competition.
Truth be told, we can’t, I mean WE CANNOT, meaningfully do women empowerment without starting off on the footing of addressing this madness. Come to think of it, how much empowerment can a woman who’s lost the last iota of her confidence to the size or shape of her breast get? There are two possible ways out of this particular situation:
it’s either we get her to accept that her breast is cool just the way it is through orientation or reorientation, or we begin her empowerment programme by sponsoring her breast lift or augmentation cosmetic surgery procedure. If we go by the latter option, procuring the cosmetic surgery, you can trust she’ll soon want a nose job.
I shall return to this matter sometime in the future, but I wish to categorically state that we’re all wasting our time on women empowerment if every woman don’t get the following points locked up in their heads:
Variety is the spice of life
Imagine that we all look alike in every conceivable respect: facial, breast, hip and bum, and even the vagina. I bet that earth would have been as boring as hell. God knew this enough to give earth a touch of variety. Why are you complaining? In this regard, the winner of the hitherto discussed competition has a killer lesson for us: I still do not believe I have a special vagina. I happen to have the best picture of my vagina. That’s it. It’s nothing less, it’s nothing more. Even the very introduction of the scientific analysis of the Autoblow vaginal beauty contest data reads: vulvas are diverse. Dimensions, colour, labia minora size, and rugosity present a broad range of variability. Does this not ring a bell?
No one is flawless
Because I’m a huge fan of Ms Adichie, I’d to download Queen Bey’s Flawless. Perhaps that’s the only thing that’s flawless – just because it goes by that name. However, we’ve all got our fair share of bodily and character flaws. Those that appear truly flawless did some behind the scene jobs. Trust me; ask them. So, what’s the point? Enjoy your flaws; be truly human!
Cultivate a strong self-will
This one got me really angry: My boyfriend made me do it. He told me about it and then I didn’t want to do it. And then we had a few drinks and then we did it…I was very uncomfortable. That came from the third runner-up of the vagina contest. Where did most women learn that they shouldn’t stand by their ‘nos’? I definitely know that relationships are run on the fuel of compromise, but there are definitely some no-go areas, and this is one for God’s sake!
Enjoy your uniqueness
We don’t just believe that we’re all and individually unique. If we did, we’d be enjoying it already. Why must one look like another for God’s sake? And if we truly understand this message of uniqueness, then the whole competition thing dies naturally.