‘You don’t have to live in pain’: Woman turns labia skin into necklace to spread message
London-based blogger and trainer Tracy Kiss says female circumcision is different from female genital mutilation.health Updated: Oct 06, 2017 13:51 IST
You’ve seen squiggle lips and eyebrows, you’ve read about rainbow stretch marks, and you’ve been acquainted with breast milk jewellery. Here’s something that pushes the bar even higher: Vagina skin turned into a keepsake.
A blogger and trainer from London, Tracy Kiss, has been living in intense pain for 29 years: Her labia minora (inner labia) was longer than her labia majora (outer labia), causing it to protrude from her body, which led to severe pain, irritation and even a cyst. Kiss assumed it was normal for every woman and never spoke about it.
However, when she realised her abnormal condition, she immediately opted for labiaplasty, a plastic surgery that reduces the length of the minora. It is among the most common vaginal rejuvenation procedures many women go through to relieve themselves of pain from twisting and tugging of the labia.
For Kiss, it was a rejuvenation of a different kind and she wanted something from the surgery to remind her of the years of her life she wasted in pain: She turned the discarded skin of her labia into jewellery.
In a YouTube video, Kiss says, “I thought wearing jeans, riding a bicycle, sitting on a hot surface hurt every woman. I went in for surgery and got rid of the extra tissues.”
‘Designer vagina’ has prevented a lot of women from undergoing surgery for health benefits. The reason why she made a labia pendant, Kiss says, was to show women they don’t have to live in pain.
Kiss, in her blog, says she keeps virtually everything with sentimental value, including her children’s finger paintings, baby teeth, and locks of hair.
Kiss explains how she thought of preserving the pale grey and wrinkled tissue in a pendant in her blog post. “I am pleased with my pendant. Its contents may not be immediately obvious to the unsuspecting eye or to everybody’s taste but that’s the beauty of it. My labia have been successfully preserved, are colourful, bright and cheerful and mark the end of my suffering.”
The mother of two says she is one step closer to breaking down taboo through a unique talking point and jewellery that she will cherish forever.
Kiss’ gesture, symbolic of the pain she underwent, however, is a horrific reality for a large number of women in the world who are forced to undergo partial or complete female genital mutilation (FGM). World Health Organisation describes FGM as a procedure involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia for cultural or non-medical reasons, against the will of the woman.
More than 200 million girls and women alive today, in violation of their human rights, have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated, according to WHO.
“Those who have undergone FGM sadly had their choice taken away. I chose to undergo labiaplasty to end my suffering,” Kiss told Hindustan Times in an email interview.
Kiss says FGM is a sad reality that we must address and remove from society because nobody deserves to suffer. She created jewellery as a way to remind and empower herself never to suffer in silence. “I hope this message is received the way I intended it. We all deserve to live with love and respect and shouldn’t judge others for their personal preference,” she says.
Twitter, however, was not impressed.
one question...What is wrong with you?— Deb (@Debbo3) October 1, 2017
Labioplasty is not equivalent to circumcision. Do not try to "make cute" a painful procedure many women undergo unwillingly.— Bonnie MacEvoy (@Bonmom2bonmom) October 2, 2017
Are you for real? How tasteless is this? Yuck!!!— Brigitte Moller (@mmitterm) October 1, 2017
Quite ridiculous.— Ken Elliott (@gunnerkee19) October 3, 2017
This is not the first time Kiss has left social media unamused. In 2015, the beauty blogger, who suffers from rosacea, condition that causes redness and often small, red, pus-filled bumps on the face, said semen was an excellent ‘cooling, natural skin treatment to soothe sensitive skin’. In 2016, the 30-year-old said she drank sperm smoothies every morning for energy, according to metro.co.uk.
(All pictures used with permission of Tracy Kiss)