The New York Times’ fashion and style section (Nov. 28, 2004) reported the newest trend in plastic surgery, and it has left me wide-mouthed in disbelief. The latest cosmetic craze according to Dr. V. LeRoy Young, chairman of the emerging trends task force for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, is labiaplasty.

In less than two hours, in an outpatient surgical procedure that costs anywhere from $3500-$8000, plastic surgeons are reshaping the women’s labia. Why are women paying big bucks to sculpt their labia? Doctors say women tell them it’s because they are uncomfortable in tight pants, thongs, and riding bicycles. However, most surgeons say patient requests are the result of aggressive marketing and fashion influences (flimsier swimsuits, the Brazilian bikini wax, and over-exposure of genitalia courtesy of the pornography industry).

Apparently, the industry standards for an attractive vagina are prepubescent hairlessness and flat labia. As soon as a woman bears children, her labia may seem droopy by those standards. Who cares? Who sees them? Most men don’t even know where they are. In an informal survey at my health club, I asked a dozen men where the labia were. Although most had a sense of the general area, they weren’t exactly sure what they were. And one guy thought it was a country in North Africa.

Ladies, here are the simple facts: when it comes to vaginas, men are universalists — they like them all. They don’t care whether the labia are indented, hanging, beaded, pierced, shaved or tattooed, all they want is to get close to it. I’ve listened to thousands of men complain about women and never once had one come to me because he found a woman’s labia unsightly.

Plastic surgeons are calling this industry “Gynecologic Cosmetic Care” and “Vaginal Rejuvenation.” A cheaper, safer and more effective program to rejuvenate your vagina is to exercise it (you’ll find lots of happy trainers).