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'Everyone wants a vagina that looks less like a vagina': Australian women's views on dissatisfaction with genital appearance.

Authors
  • Moran, Claire1
  • Lee, Christina1
  • 1 The University of Queensland, Australia. , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of health psychology
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2018
Volume
23
Issue
2
Pages
229–239
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1359105316637588
PMID: 27009137
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

We present a thematic discourse analysis of 94 Australian women's written comments about women's presumed dissatisfaction with their genital appearance. Two themes emerged: 'from natural to normal' and 'the difficulty of resistance'. In the first theme, participants discuss genital dissatisfaction with reference to hegemonic constructions of femininity and to postfeminist, neoliberal discourses that position the natural female body as inadequate, with beauty practices necessary to achieve acceptability. The second theme addresses the difficulty of challenging this positioning, referencing discourses that position the vagina as unpleasant and discussion of it as taboo. We consider implications of these constructions for women's well-being.

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