A few years ago, a famous rapper thought it was okay to air his misogynistic views about his teenage daughter's virginity in public. His opinions again gave oxygen to a myth we've all heard growing up - the hymen is proof of virginity.
But why am I talking about a rapper and his views on today's The Kable's longish read? Para que? Because it's becoming big business for our industry. The same companies that ought to be debunking these ridiculous myths are choosing instead to monetise them.
Acumen Research and Consulting's 2019 study suggests the global vaginal rejuvenation market will likely grow at a CAGR of nearly 12.43% from 2019 to 2026. It will likely reach a market value of over $10 billion by 2026.
Hymenoplasty, the controversial revirginisation procedure, takes top spot. Then there are vaginal rejuvenation products that promote the idea of being a "virgin again". These "treatments" for vaginal laxity, whether due to vaginal deliveries or ageing, tap into women's insecurities and body image. They blur the line between the aesthetic/cosmetic and functional/medically indicated procedures.
The most concerning part of these procedures is that they aren't medically recommended. Their safety and effectiveness aren't well documented either. More often than not, procedures are directly marketed to women instead of referrals by health professionals. Thanks to digital, many women and girls fall prey to marketing gimmicks that have "medical experts" offering services and graphic details of "vaginal rejuvenation" minus the side effects. Not far behind are the whitening and tightening creams.
When researching this longish read, I made the rookie mistake of not searching in private mode. Now, all my social media handles are filled with ads for places and products that can make me 18 again.
We live in a world where a white bedsheet is still the ultimate test of a woman's purity, though one community is fighting to end the practice. So it's not surprising that there is a market for such procedures and products. I wish, though, that the people of science making these products or offering these services would find other ways to grow their businesses. It is 2022, after all.