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Vagina Beauty Pageants Really Exist: Here’s Why We Think That’s a Good Thing, from

People are squeamish about vaginas. Go ahead–say the word really loud on a bus and see what happens. But 50% of the people on the planet have them. Why is it such a big deal? The answer: it just is.

Lady parts have been in the news the past few weeks, thanks to Summer’s Eve and its absolutely gut-busting, excruciating, “did-they-really-do-that” racially-focused ads (you can watch them with a Colbert Report spin below, which is really the only way to watch them.) Their tagline is “Hail to the V.” Enough said.

While Summer’s Eve is busy making women feel all empowered about their V’s (while also sneakily saying that, um, they could really be cleaner down there) a small group of people were on a mission to find the most gorgeous vagina on the planet.

In the second annual “Vag Pag,” which, OK, took place at a strip club in Portland, OR, a winner was crowned Miss Beautiful Vagina 2011. Chronicled on the blog Tits and Sass (Best. Name. Ever.), one gets the sense that it was actually a pretty empowering event, one attended by a lot of women, and not that skeevy. That probably depends on your tolerance for staring at women’s crotches and your willingness to sit in a strip club for a long time, but a few things about this got me thinking.

The writer, a stripper herself, bemoans the fact that there was “no full or even partial bush represented.” Think about all the vaginal beauty options there are: waxing, vajazzling, vagacials, stencils, and tons of laser and surgical options to “fix” your broken, hideous parts. One website for a Manhattan cosmetic surgeon specializing in labiaplasty states, “Some women just want to look ‘prettier’ like the women they see in magazines or in films.”

If a stripper is getting sick of seeing hairlessness, maybe the trend towards hairless, mannequin-like perfection will change soon. Perhaps as more controversies like the Thylane Blondeau girl-as-woman hoopla bring this issue to the forefront, concepts of what a woman should look like will get a bit more old-fashioned. Remember how many people got all nostalgic about those old Playboy girls in their bushy glory? It may be time for Mad Men style to infiltrate beneath the hourglass pencil skirt, too.

Now stop blushing and go do your kegels.