My Week 270: Words You Can Say On (British) Television

There are a lot of TV shows that we watch in North America that are actually based on British shows. The Office is one of the better known examples, but there’s also House of Cards, Veep, and even Three’s Company, which was a TERRIBLE show in both venues. Sometimes the British version is better, and sometimes the American version is, depending on your taste, but the biggest difference between the U.S. and the U.K. is that British shows tend to be more racy when it comes to sexuality. Or at least more graphic, if my experience this week is any indication, and fair warning, if you’re uncomfortable hearing the word ‘nipple’ or ‘vagina’, then back away slowly and miss all the fun.

For a couple of years while I was living in Toronto, I loved watching a show called Botched, where a couple of well-known California plastic surgeons fix cosmetic surgeries gone wrong. It was a fascinating show, but also very frustrating at times due to the strange prudishness American television has about the human body. They don’t mind showing you a person being blown up or eaten by zombies, but if the person’s nipple is showing while they’re being ripped apart, then it’s an R rating for sure. So on Botched, they were always fixing boob jobs gone wrong, but they would blur out the nipple so you could never actually see the new result. One time, a woman had completely lost her nipple due to a botched surgery, so the surgeons got a tattoo artist to give her a new, 3D tattoo of one. I was so excited about how realistic it would look, but they BLURRED IT OUT! It’s a f*cking tattoo, for goodness sake! And it was the same thing every time someone had to have surgery on any part of the body that had to do with boobies or butts or genitalia—everything was censored. But still, it was a great show—the only problem was that when I moved home, I couldn’t get the channel anymore, so no more Botched for me, even if it was needlessly rated G.

But then I was scrolling through Netflix and I discovered another show called Botched Up Bodies and it was the exact same premise, only it was British. I immediately started watching it and if its American counterpart was rated G, this one is outrageously XXX. Not only are there nipples galore, but there are butts and balls all over the place. And vaginas—SO MANY VAGINAS. I had NO F*CKING IDEA that people were doing surgery on their lady parts. WHY???!!! The episode I just watched focused on a woman, I think her name was Sherry, who had had a botched “designer vagina” surgery. But the narrator is this really posh English lady so she said it like “designa” so that it rhymed:

Narrator: Sherry wanted the perfect vagina, but instead of getting the designa vagina she’d hoped for, all she got was a botched-up vagina.
Sherry: My vagina was lopsided. I was always so afraid of being judged for it so I had surgery to make it look more socially acceptable, more like all the other vaginas, but now my vagina is a nightmare.
Narrator: Let’s watch as Dr. Bob tries to give Sherry a nicer vagina. Ooh, that’s not good. Sherry’s vagina is a bloody minefield!
Dr. Bob: This vagina is an extreme fixer-upper.

The narrator legit said “Sherry’s vagina is a bloody landmine” and the analogy left me even more confused. So here are a couple of the questions that I have:

1) Who is judging people for their vaginas? I mean, who the hell is looking at them? Are people flashing them in the supermarket and then the other shoppers are all like, “Damn girl, that vagina looks asymmetrical—you need to get surgery”?

2) Who in their right mind would let someone put industrial grade silicone filler in their privates in an attempt to ‘even them up’? How do you even know it’s “lopsided”? Like how the hell are you seeing it? The only way I could actually see mine would be through a series of contortions that would most likely cripple me and there would be several mirrors involved. ANYTHING looks lopsided when you’re trying to look at it upside down and backwards.

3) What does “all the other vaginas” even mean? Where do you see THEM? Is there a gallery somewhere that I’m unaware of? I tried Google images and they’re all just cartoon vaginas, so is she trying to get one that looks like an artist’s rendering?

It’s a Fendi scarf.

4) What exactly is a designer vagina? Something from the Lagerfeld collection? Chanel Couture perhaps? Or that weird Fendi scarf as seen above? Is it like taking a picture of a hairstyle you like to your hairdresser and saying, “Do it like that?” or does the surgeon come up with the concept? And what if he’s really avant-garde or wants to make it all whirly like Seneca Crane’s beard in The Hunger Games?

Make it look like this.

And not only did they keep saying the word ‘vagina’ over and over and OVER AGAIN, they kept showing it. Like really close up. Which is when I realized that this show is perpetuating an anatomical myth. Sherry didn’t have surgery on her vagina, she had it on her LABIA, and I was like, “When did the word ‘vagina’ become an acceptable synonym for any part of a lady’s private area? Is this like how we say Kleenex when we mean tissue? But you wouldn’t say Kleenex if you wanted a sandwich, so can we just get the terminology correct and STOP SAYING VAGINA WHEN WE MEAN LABIA?! No wonder Brits are so confused—while I was googling “Gallery of Vaginas” an article came up with the headline “Half of Brits don’t have a CLUE where the vagina is… and it’s not just men!” and it’s probably because they watched this show. At any rate, the surgeons were able to remove the filler and reconstruct poor Sherry’s labia so that she didn’t have to worry about being judged any more. Well, we’re not judging her for her THAT, but…

Two other random thoughts:

First, Designa Vagina would be a fantastic name for a drag queen.

Second, I haven’t seen this show do any penis surgeries but I’m just waiting for the narrator to say something like “Stan’s penis is a bloody Gatling gun!”