The Vagenda

Visible Labia Line

Just when you thought you had it covered.
You’ve bought into everything you thought you needed to be a woman. You’ve got the spanx, the eyebrow tweezers, the hair straighteners, the hairdryer, the frizz ease, the cellulite arse buffer, the creme de mer, the tiny pants, the backless bra, the razors, the wax strips, the moustache bleach, the botox, the chicken fillets. You’re a women now, right?
WRONG. You forgot about your camel toe.
Yesterday, a press release landed in our inbox. This sometimes happens. Not often, mind, as anyone who spends more than 5 minutes on our site will realise it isn’t exactly lady-product placement friendly. But this one somehow, inexplicably, thought we might be interested in the “SmoothGroove” fanny minimiser for reasons other than comedy.
And, boy, are we interested. As the press release explains, “Thankfully with SmoothGroove, all women can celebrate their figure with a streamlined silhouette from beach to bar. Fitting safely and securely into underwear, SmoothGroove is designed to work with the natural movement of the body to prevent clothing riding up at the front.”
The SmoothGroove looks like a plastic maxi pad. It’s sort of like a gumshield, except for your VAG. It’s black and has those neo-baroque swirls that were so popular in the flats of people with no imaginations three or four years ago. I sort of squinted at the pictures and can’t quite work out whether or not the white bit in the middle is solid or whether it’s there for you to pee through.
It’s also got “six months longevity” and is “easy to clean.” Now, here at the Vagenda, we think vaginas are beautiful, but even for such enlightened ladies as ourselves, this ‘wipe-clean’ element provoked a highly American “EEEEEEEEW!”
So, the SmoothGroove fanny minimiser is makes your twinkle invisible. It does this by giving you a ‘false vag’, sort of like a Barbie doll. All smooth and seamless. No holes, no yucky excretions, just smooth lady-plastic. What’s not to like? 
But, seriously. Are we really having to worry about vagina outline visibility as well now? I’ve paid my lady taxes. I’ve bought all the crap they wanted me to buy. Now THIS? 
I honestly confess, I have never worried about camel toe (Stuff I have worried about: the impending apocalypse, whether I can pay the rent, whether I’m pregnant every month until my period comes, my mum) I don’t wear shit so tight I have to worry about a VLL (visible labia line). I haven’t bought into the disco knickers trend- yes, ladies, actually a real thing.
I’m not doubting whether or not the product works (although my boyfriend did raise the concern that it may look as though you have a little lunchbox down there, much like a male ballet dancer- have you SEEN their packages? Holy Christ. They bring a whole new meaning to the Nutcracker.) I thought codpieces and chastity belts went out with the Renaissance, but appaz not. 
No, what I object to is the way this product is marketed. Which is, as is usual in the lady-product arena, by making you feel insecure. They have a whole Pinterest board set up called ‘Should have gone to SmoothGroove’, in which you can gawp in horror at Celebrities’ visible vaginas until you’re lying on the floor, weeping at the disgustingness of it all. I mean, how RUDE is that?
Then, at the bottom of the press release, in the “notes to editors” bit, the SmoothGroove corporation try to tout themselves as an alternative to Labiaplasty: 
“Camel Toe is a slang version that refers to the outline of the female Labia Majora, as seen through tightly fitting clothes. The worrying trend of designer vaginas, especially among younger girls, is on the rise with Labiaplasty operations up 133% in 2009. As well as the medical risks involved, the procedure has a hefty price tag of c. £3000. Research shows that up to 55% of the UK female population will get caught out by the embarrassing outline at some point.” 
Feeling insecure to the point where you’re considering surgery? Worry not! Spend your money on SmoothGroove instead. They describe the trend as ‘worrying’ but that’s not stopping them using it as a news peg for their crazy product. And apparently 55% of us will endure the unbearable horror that is “camel toe” at some point in our lives. I’m not sure whether or not they are linking that to the rise in Labiaplasty, but it sure as hell looks as though they are.
Of course, what they’re ignoring is the fact that the majority of women who elect to go through Labiaplasty have perfectly normal vaginas. It’s shit like this Pinterest board which make women obsess over this CRAP in the first place. In light of that, I am struggling to see how the SmoothGroove floof minimiser can ever be a force for good. 
I am so fed up of being told what to do with my vajayjay. Politicians, magazine editors, advertisers, PR people, nutjobs such as 40daysforlife. Just GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY KNICKERS. 
I’m already told I’m supposed to wax, vajazzle, bleach, or shave my pubic hair into an entertaining shape. I’m already told that my vagina needs to smell ‘mountain fresh’ and have the smooth, labialess contours of a plastic doll. I’m already told what to do with my vagina, and when, and who with, on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Enough is enough.
But just one more thing, I say, spinning around like a hormonal pyjama-clad Columbo to look the SmoothGroove villains in the face? Just one. more. thing:
Hasn’t nature already invented a very effective ‘cloaking device’ for your MASSIVE UGLY LABIA? So that they’re tucked away, invisible, should you so choose to encase them in polyester disco pants (FYI, wear clothes that tight in the summer heat and you are on the highway to thrushtown, population: YOU)? 
Oh yeah, you’re right. It’s called pubic hair. 

25 thoughts on “Visible Labia Line

  1. I’ve just written to SmoothGroovedesigns asking how they reconcile this statement on their website: ‘She was horrified to discover that, instead of something she could purchase, she could only find dozens of websites devoted to ridiculing women, including celebrities, with this common problem’ with the disgusting Pinterest page.

    It makes no sense.

  2. Response from SmoothGrooveDesigns:

    Dear JG

    Thanks for your email to Susan Laurie at SmoothGroove.

    You have a very valid point and we can definitely see the contradiction between the celebrity links on Pinterest and what is written on the SmoothGroove website. We are addressing this immediately.

    It was never Susan’s intention to ridicule women in any way, but just to give clothes a smoother outline, and we can only apologise for any offense caused.

    Kind Regards


  3. Another way to avoid camel toe is to not wear clothes so flipping tight! If they are cut right they won’t give you camel toe. I know some guys who LIKE seeing the camel toe! I hate this homogenising of humans – its revolting and HOW much effort? Its insane. I’m writing to smooth groove too.

  4. @JG, That’s cool that they actually seem to be apologising. If they change their campaign I’ll be impressed…but still opposed to the product anyway :)

  5. “I am so fed up of being told what to do with my vajayjay. Politicians, magazine editors, advertisers, PR people, nutjobs such as 40daysforlife. Just GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY KNICKERS.”
    My new motto.

  6. Really, truly, this site is fantastic! You guys are GREAT feminist writers and I absolutely agree with you on this and many other articles!!

  7. What what an abhorrent object although it is sad to think that some may not be of the same opinion. I picked up a birthday card for my sister today which turned out to be a TOWIE card with the celebratory sentiment ‘go on the razzle and shake your vajazzle’. I don’t know what’s worse, the message itself or their placating any woman would encourage another to subscribe to this idea. Thank goodness this blog is presenting the other side, I’m heartened that you’ve reached 2 million hits, well done,

  8. That should read ‘implication that’ not ‘placate’! Just realised that this thing looks like the spatula you get with depilating cream, so if you’re that way inclined why not let it multi task for you?

  9. Good Lord!! It’s a twisted vagina world out there. What next, bollock smoothers?? Cock flatteners?? WTF????

    For some proper labia loving art visit The Great Wall of Vagina now on show in central London. Intended to change female body image, this 9m long wall of 400 casts taken from volunteers’ vulvas shows loud and proud what women really look like down there. I didn’t want to be part of a society that shames women into cutting off parts of their genitals, so I did something about it. People have been flocking to the show and heaping praise on my 5 year project and I’m so excited that it really seems to be working. I get emails from women every day saying ‘thank you’.

    It’s on show until June 2nd – and before you think this is a plug, it’s not for sale!!!

    Viva la Vulva!!



  10. This article is important to me because up until college I honestly did not know that labia outlines were not smooth. I was so confused as to why I had them hanging down instead of flat against my body—because that’s how underwear and swimsuit models made it look. (I clearly didn’t spend much time in less clothing with my girl friends. That changed in college.) But it’s taken a lot of re-programming to understand what our anatomy looks like. Even though everyone’s vulva looks different, at least now I understand that I’m not the only one who looks different. Products like these make girls take a step back from self-acceptance, and may end up confusing boys as to what girls actually look like.


  11. .. and makes them waddle like a duck ?? Combined with high heels a small trolley might be required to get from A to B…