It’s been another fruitful year of vaginal evolution.
In the last few years female genitals have arguably gone through more transformation than in the previous million years.
Pubic hair has become, more or less, extinct.
Labiaplasties — mainly those to decrease the size of the labia — have gone mainstream.
But as vaginas "improved," it became obvious they are just not perfect enough.
Enter vaginal brightening.
Welcome to 2012, the year pink vaginas became the thing to have.
I haven’t quite noticed the tipping point in the acceptable coloring of female genitals, but as far as I can tell, it all happened quite gradually.
I am not going to be boring and blame pornography, although I have no doubt porn has affected the way we view — and compare — genitals.
Let’s not forget it was porn — and Sasha Baron Cohen's Bruno, of course — that made anal bleaching a household term a few years ago.
Nowadays, some salons pitch the procedure as a “part of personal hygiene.” Kind of like Brazilian waxing.
Which brings me back to vaginal brightening.
Earlier this year, scientists shook the planet by revealing men prefer pink vaginas over red ones.
All this time, we were being told that red is the sexiest of colors, being fed images of women clad in red lingerie, red lipstick and a red dresses. What we didn’t know is that while red might be the sexiest of colors, its charm doesn’t necessarily apply to female genitals.
When it comes to vaginas — or, to be technically precise, vulvas — men apparently prefer pink shades, not red ones.
That, in a nutshell, is the finding of a study lead by researcher Sarah Johns, anthropologist at the University of Kent, and published in the April 6 in the journal PLoS ONE.
The researchers asked 40 heterosexual men to look at 16 images of female genitals in random order and rank them on a 0-to-100 scale of attractiveness.
The results showed that instead of preferring red, perhaps as a sign of fertility (think baboon bottoms), men actually liked pink vulvas the best.
Johns is quoted in LiveScience:
"It basically showed that there was no difference between the three pinkish shades, but the reddish shade was ranked significantly less attractive."
Well, now we know.
The pink vagina finding might explain the sudden rise in vaginal brightening creams, also known as “bleaching creams” because, well, as this website says under the heading “Vaginal Bleach — Not as dangerous as it sounds,“ the creams “help make things lighter and whiter.”
Simply put, not red.
They also mention that most of the creams use hydroquinone, mercury, and steroids as ingredients. But at least your vulva will feature a perfect, pinkish shade.
And just when I began to think the whole thing was driven by Western women, who just never seem to have enough body parts to perfect, I saw on The Daily Mail this highly controversial Indian commercial for Clean & Dry Intimate Wash, which promises to "brighten" skin around the vagina and, hence, better satisfy the man.
The commercial is all the more disturbing in a place like India, where caste-related discrimination against darker skin tones has resulted in a surge of skin-bleaching products.
For those who didn’t know female genitals also came in several different shades, a whole new world of bleaching opportunities just opened up.
And, have you heard of Pink Nipple, the cream that makes your nipples pinker? No, well, I guess it’s not the year of the pink nipple just yet. Maybe next year.
It’s hard to pick the most disturbing element of the genital-perfecting trend.
For me, it would have to be the hint of pedophilia in it. What do you get with the following combo: hairless genital area, minimal labia and baby-pink vagina? A sexy ten-year-old.
Thirty going on 10.
Is that the look grown women are seriously willing to buy into?