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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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46 Responses

  1. Vera
    Vera February 24, 2010 at 6:58 pm |

    The normalization of pubic-hairlessness is bad enough, but now there’s THIS?!

  2. Alison
    Alison February 24, 2010 at 7:07 pm |

    Seriously. This is like…..fucking weird. Also, ummm…wouldn’t that make for some seriously uncomfortable friction during (missionary) sex, if you’re close enough together?

    Jeez…talk about being an object, or perhaps, an objet d’art. Retch.

  3. Gembird
    Gembird February 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm |

    The first thing that came to my mind was: LOLWUT

    I mean, first My New Pink Button (or whatever the hell scary thing that was) and now this? Really?

    Please tell me this is all an elaborate joke. Tell me it’s all satire.

    Also, it occurred to me while writing this post that those things could come off and go, um, inside. INSIDE. Gah.

  4. Renee
    Renee February 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm |

    I find this to be truly creepy. How do wake up and decide that you need a sparkly vagina? Are we ever going to end the obsession of perfecting women’s bodies?

  5. chava
    chava February 24, 2010 at 7:26 pm |

    Um, OW. Ow ow ow ow.

    And WHY? Wait, scratch that. Crazier things have been done in pursuit of various beauty ideals.

    I suppose in the event of a blackout you could reflect light off your crotch and lead the children and animals to safety?

  6. latinist
    latinist February 24, 2010 at 7:47 pm |

    “I also suspect there’s no such thing as balldazzling.”

    I’d bet against you there. My experience is, if it involves genitals, and I personally find it horrifying, there’s probably a thriving subculture devoted to it.

  7. julian
    julian February 24, 2010 at 8:05 pm |

    I’m going to confess that I think this is kind of cool… IF it were being approached like body mods (piercings, etc). In fact, microdermals can produce a similar look — click for a SFW example of a dude with some microdermal work on his chest. Here is a woman with a heart-shape in microdermals on her chest (also SFW; she’s clothed).

    So…cool that folks can get a similar look with less pain/permanence. Totally NOT COOL how non-jazzled (?) women will be shamed for their boring/ugly/whatever nether regions.

    I’m also curious WTH happens when the adhesive starts to wear off. Do you pull them off (ouch)? Do they fall off in awkward situations?

  8. Sarah
    Sarah February 24, 2010 at 8:07 pm |

    I’ve been waiting all day for a feminist blog that I read (and admire) to talk about this. That is my cousin, Bryce, and her blog, TheLuxurySpot, and I am very proud of her. I agree that there is too much in the media telling us what to look like and how we need to change our bodies. I don’t think it should be a norm that *everyone* should be expected to bejewel their jewels just like I don’t think everyone should have to shave. I believe women (and everyone) has a choice to decorate anyway they want to. Its similar to a choice to dress high femme or butch or not to care at all. If sparkly bits make you happy, go for it. If a huge bush makes you happy, go for it. If something in between strikes your fancy, go for it. No one should be dictating or judging what one woman decides to do with her crotch.
    Its weird, but meh. People do crazy things :)

  9. Ben
    Ben February 24, 2010 at 8:17 pm |

    “I suppose in the event of a blackout you could reflect light off your crotch and lead the children and animals to safety?”

    Excellent, chava.

    Thank you for this, Jill. I am glad to know of this rather than potentially coming upon it unawares.

  10. Bryce Gruber
    Bryce Gruber February 24, 2010 at 8:17 pm |

    Thanks, Sarah! I completely agree… do whatever makes you happy. In my case, a vajazzling situation seemed to fit the “investigative journalism” bill, and I’ve never previously adorned my vaj.

    And, it really had nothing to do with perfecting anything… it was more of a funny “oh, what the hell” kind of thing. I don’t even date, so it was entirely for myself.

  11. Adrian
    Adrian February 24, 2010 at 8:30 pm |

    Is it sad that I think this sounds awesome? I think it is.

  12. Morningstar
    Morningstar February 24, 2010 at 9:04 pm |

    Speaking of pubic-bedazzling bring people together, imagine if your partner also jeweled up their pubes? Try unhooking those two in the ER…

  13. Kate
    Kate February 24, 2010 at 9:04 pm |

    I don’t know about anyone else, but that photo made me lol for real. This has to be a joke.

  14. ElleBeMe
    ElleBeMe February 24, 2010 at 9:35 pm |

    I’ve never had any self-conscious issues with my nether regions, and neither has my husband….

    But I would hate to get that done and have one pop off to get lodged in his eye, or mouth…

    Just imagine what the dental work one would need if one got a jewel caught in their mouth(unaware) and bit down in a post-coital snack?

    But if it’s your thing, have at it!

  15. chipchop
    chipchop February 24, 2010 at 10:41 pm |

    My favourite thing is that Feministe now has a “vajazzle” tag.

  16. Bushfire
    Bushfire February 24, 2010 at 11:14 pm |

    From the pictures, it doesn’t look like the jewels are near the vagina or even the labia, it looks like they’re just over the pubic bone. I think the sort of ladies who vajazzle are also likely to be the sort who call their entire pubic area their “vagina”.

  17. Sonia
    Sonia February 24, 2010 at 11:57 pm |

    While bizarre and all, I wonder why is Toys in Babeland okay but this not? They are qualitatively the same thing, or why is say this weird but not earrings? In many tribal cultures, the pubes are just another part to be adorned and the whole pubes should be stayed away from is a puritan thing.

  18. chava
    chava February 25, 2010 at 12:42 am |

    On the balldazzle–I mean, have we heard of CBT?? Men get some even stranger stuff done to their bits. Usually not in the name of beauty or feeling “good about their balls,” but nonetheless.

  19. CartoonCoyote
    CartoonCoyote February 25, 2010 at 3:02 am |

    If I glued little pieces of reflective material to my treasure bag, … “MIRRORBALLS”!

  20. southern students for choice-athens
    southern students for choice-athens February 25, 2010 at 4:19 am |

    #1 This is not surgery. #2 This is not medication or therapy meant to treat a fictitious disease or disorder, or correct or compensate for some fixation on a normal anatomical variation. It’s worth mentioning #1 and #2 with “#1” and “#2” beside them to highlight their importance, because that’s where serious exploitation comes in, and is all too common today with everything from aphrodisiacs to surgical “reconstruction”. Comparing “vajazzling” to that (especially considering the $50 cost mentioned in the article – old-fashioned hairstyling can easily run more than that), is like comparing a henna tattoo to Ozzfest-class body modification.

    It is though sad to read a so-called sex symbol say that she vajazzils “regularly to feel good about her privates.” There doesn’t seem to be any article online easily found quoting her in detail to know what she really said but no other news outlet includes that quote, including a paragraph devoted to this topic (and all links in that paragraph) on JLH’s Wikipedia page, so maybe even if she said it she may not really mean what the phrase implies, that she has some significant difficulty normally feeling good about her precious ladyparts.

    JLH has a self-help book titled “The Day I Shot Cupid” coming out in a few weeks (hence the reason for the interviews and the verbal flashing) with supposedly an entire chapter on getting vajazzled. It’s likely though that she doesn’t make vajazziling as regular of a practice as the quote above implies nor does she recommend that others do so, it would sort of go against the advice one would expect from an authority who really does have “love” as her middle name.

    Hopefully the book will at least be anatomically correct on Bushfire’s (awesome name, btw) point, namely that it’s not actually one’s vagina that is made sparkly by vajazzling, the mons area (mons pubis, mons venus, take your pick) is. Maybe JLH could make the most of this point by titling her vajazzling chapter with the old Humane Society tagline which films with performing animals used to proudly carry: “No Animals Were Harmed In the Making of This Movie”

  21. kaninchenzero
    kaninchenzero February 25, 2010 at 4:33 am |

    I can’t speak to this specifically but in days when I had more active body piercings going I had some fairly elaborate genital work going. Which definitely hurt getting done. (That was about eighty percent of the point, for me.) Mine was all surgical steel and there weren’t sharp edges but still. Weird stuff happened occasionally. I lost a barbell end from one piece and didn’t think much of it beyond getting it replaced. My girlfriend found it a few weeks later in her boyfriend’s bed. Our best guess was that it had come loose and, uh, migrated.

  22. Jemima Aslana
    Jemima Aslana February 25, 2010 at 5:21 am |

    “Our best guess was that it had come loose and, uh, migrated.”

    ROFL That’s actually really funny.

    Ahem. While I can understand the concept of piercings and that kind of genital decoration, I don’t see the point of a lot of glitter that lasts only for 5 days. It seems unreasonable to me to pay a cartload for something that lasts only a short while.

    My take on it, though, is that what with the popularity of Twilight, it’s quite logical that the ladyfanz would look for a way to match the way Edward sparkles. *snigger*

  23. BadSarah
    BadSarah February 25, 2010 at 8:51 am |

    I tend to think of body-mod as cool and cosmetic plastic surgery, Brazilian waxes, etc. as overkill.

    But when you come down to it, I don’t know if there’s a relevant distinction. It’s all just making your body look the way you want. Which normally isn’t “natural” or literally the way you were born.

    As a matter of taste I prefer it when women want to make their body look unconventional rather than conventionally beautiful. I think we’re wishy-washy about vajazzling (as opposed to, say, vaginal rejuvenation) because it’s so damn weird that we can’t decide if it’s conformist or nonconformist.

  24. melancholia
    melancholia February 25, 2010 at 8:59 am |

    This has got to be IRL flame. Never even heard of this.

  25. kaninchenzero
    kaninchenzero February 25, 2010 at 9:33 am |

    I’m glad you liked that! I hoped it would be funny. :D

  26. KathyMarie
    KathyMarie February 25, 2010 at 10:25 am |

    I’m with Bushfire – the thing that makes me go stabby about this article is that the word “vagina” is used to refer to the pubic region. There’s nothing in that article that gives details about where exactly the sparklies go, other than the pubic region. Holy crap, use the proper words for body parts!

    It’s not really my bag, but I don’t really care what other folks do to their bits. But if people are really putting sparklies inside their vaginas, I’m completely squicked out and going to start judging.

  27. Clarisse Thorn
    Clarisse Thorn February 25, 2010 at 3:14 pm |

    I can’t even begin to imagine the ingrown hair situation there (or the totally disturbed look you’ll get when your dude or lady comes face-to-face, if you will, with your Swarovskified-vulva), but to each their own.

    Wow. Way to be completely judgmental, then attempt to have-cake-eat-too by pretending not to be. Writing multiple clauses to mock the people who do this, and then saying “to each their own”? Really?

  28. Alison
    Alison February 25, 2010 at 4:06 pm |

    Sonia @ #20 – I think the worry here (at least for me, and I imagine for some others) is that this is yet another thing women are supposed to do to look “hot” or “interesting” or whatever, another cosmetic/physical thing to make our bodies more acceptable, more fun, prettier, etc. Our bodies should be acceptable and pretty and exciting to our sexual partners without being decorated. If they’re not, you probably shouldn’t be fucking that partner, IMHO.

    And I do think there is a difference between earrings and this because, for one thing, earrings are seen by everyone – they are a part of your outfit, like a belt or a scarf. This is obviously meant to be seen by someone you’re intimate with, as…what? A way to make you more physically attractive or enticing? Just as Brazilian waxes became common to the point of expected (and I have no issue with them, considering, you know…I get them :P) there’s the potential for this to go the same way, and then you’ve got young girls and women thinking that unless they glue jewels to their vulva no one will want to fuck them. I know that sounds silly, but it’s become truth for a lot of other trends.

    I have no problem with someone wanting to do it. As Jill said, to each their own. I do have a problem with articles that might tout this as the “Sexy new trend for 2010!!!” or something, and also with women saying it makes them feel better about their genitals…because that? Makes me quite sad. Really.

  29. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan February 25, 2010 at 7:05 pm |

    I don’t think worries about ingrown hair are a judgment so much as a legitimate concern. Ouch. :p (Though now I’m imagining the hair slowly growing back under it all, crystals still glued on like tinsel on tiny, sprouting, pubic Christmas trees.)

  30. UnFit
    UnFit February 26, 2010 at 11:44 am |

    As someone with six genital piercings, I don’t know why this warrants a post.
    Yea, it’s not exactly my taste, but if I started a blog about everything that isn’t exactly my taste I’d have to quit my day job.

  31. RickK
    RickK February 26, 2010 at 1:53 pm |

    Wow, she’s a dead ringer for Parvati Shallow from Survivor: http://images.buddytv.com/usrimages/usr165/165_parvati.jpg.

  32. Alison
    Alison February 26, 2010 at 3:39 pm |

    UnFit – it warranted a post because Jill wanted to post about it. Pretty simple.

  33. Keezee3
    Keezee3 February 26, 2010 at 4:18 pm |

    At first when I read this, I was shocked. Then, I started to think about it, and it’s really not that out there. If there are places where you can wax your genitals, bleach them, get them anti-freckled, tattooed, or reshaped, then this is really quite tame.

    I agree with many of the above comments in that I personally don’t think this is a great choice, and I especially wouldn’t want my future children to think that their genitals will only look good if they resemble a disco ball. However, if you like it and enjoy it, no one should take that choice away from you.

    At least the name is amusing. I can just picture the machine that people use to ‘bedazzle’ jackets and hats being applied to the vaginal area.

  34. Someone
    Someone February 26, 2010 at 5:54 pm |

    The “you’re being judgmental” criticism is particularly absurd because it is itself judgmental. Perhaps it’s meant to be ironic.

  35. HTD
    HTD February 26, 2010 at 7:26 pm |

    I hate to say it but, uh… there is a (sort of) male equivalent: Pearling. (Uh, not work safe at all.)

    Although it’s much more permanent than “vajazzling”.

  36. grendelkhan
    grendelkhan February 27, 2010 at 12:43 am |

    BadSarah: But when you come down to it, I don’t know if there’s a relevant distinction. It’s all just making your body look the way you want. Which normally isn’t “natural” or literally the way you were born.

    The difference between vajazzling and the sorts of things you see done with genitals on Modblog, I think, is analogous to the difference between women enjoying gay porn and men enjoying girl-on-girl. It’s all about the context.

  37. vezna
    vezna February 27, 2010 at 3:39 am |

    agree with Renee…I also find Brazilians disgusting…..

  38. UnFit
    UnFit February 27, 2010 at 8:34 am |

    HDT:

    Yea. There’s that, there’s tattooing, piercing, scarring, transdermal and subdermal implants and dermal anchors on all parts of the body, there’s genital remodelling from circumcision, subincision, clit hood splitting or removal, surgical “rejuvenation”, urethral rerouting, laser hair removal, to name but a few of the more permanent alterations people make to their body.
    And tonight I’m going to a party where some of the staff will be naked and painted all over.

    (And don’t even let me get into the sexual practices people get into, some of which also have lasting efects on their anatomy. An yes, I once lost a piece of piercing jewelry up my vagina. It was easily extracted.)

    All these things may have very different meanings to the individual undergoing them. I know (cis) women who treat their breast augmentations as just another body modification and own them in quite surprising ways. I know people who have tattoos and body piercings and consider themselves part of the body mod community and who still don’t have one bit of “raised awareness” where it comes to body image.
    If there are any gendered trends that stick out to me, it’s that men tend to go way more over board with genital modification, whatever that signifies.

    Anyway, at the bottom line, does it say anything about a young woman’s intellect, autonomy, reflectedness, her relationship to feminism or agency and body owndership just to temporarily glue whatever to whatever part of her body?

    And as for bad taste, does it really serve anyone to single out and snark at this one (relatively) private person when there’s people like, I don’t know, Jennifer Love-Hewitt who get paid to be ridiculed in public?

  39. Allegra
    Allegra February 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm |

    Bwa ha ha! I can just see some guy getting one of those little crystals rolled up in his foreskin and doing a ‘dazzling’ dance trying to dislodged the darned thing.

  40. mothling
    mothling February 27, 2010 at 8:12 pm |

    As someone who enjoys cell popping and all sorts of painful body modifications, the actual “vajazzling” doesn’t seem ridiculous at all to me. Heck, I can think of some ways in which it would actually look cool, maybe a “rock on” sign done in black crystals, or the two intertwined female symbols…

    The actual vajazzling, probably not deserving of the level of snark in this post. Some women enjoy genital piercings, some enjoy tattooing, some just like to stick temporary tattoos there. It almost seemed to me that this post itself was trying to shame women for body modifications (even if it is just glueing crystals on yourself). I’m sure that there probably is no ingrown hair situation (anymore than shaving yourself would be), and frankly, I’m weirded out that this post tried to play the “What will your partners think of how your genitals look!?!” card. I couldn’t care what the “look” on my partners’ faces would be. I try to pleasure my partners, but when it comes to how I shave/pierce/modify myself, it’s what makes me happy that matters.

    If anything is ridiculous, it’s the way that this will be marketed to women as a way to make their “shameful” parts beautiful and something to be done for a partner, rather than for their own pleasure and personal aesthetic.

  41. UnFit
    UnFit February 28, 2010 at 7:50 am |

    Yesterday I glue gemstones into the corners of my eyes (in order to feel good about my face, you know…), and *they* came loose during sex.
    Luckily they didn’t migrate to anyone’s sensitive parts or get swallowed or anything.

  42. Nathan
    Nathan March 2, 2010 at 10:12 am |

    For those of you saying this is “wrong” or “crazy…”

    Why do you think this? Is there anything wrong with decorating a wonderful part of the human body? Is there anything wrong with decorating any part of the human body? Tattoos and piercings are decoration, and those are perfectly acceptable. What’s the difference?

    These aren’t even permanent. Just because it hasn’t been done in the past doesn’t mean it is “bad” or “wrong.” That’s an argument from tradition, and a logical fallacy.

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