OPINION

Up until now, I'd foolishly thought I was the target audience for the designer vagina craze. As a mum of four, I'd been made to believe labiaplasty was a post-partum solution for the afterbirth sag.

I'd also presumed that "innie" and "outie" were terms used to describe the presentation of a belly button - how I wish it were true. But as a teacher, I've discovered you never stop learning.

Recently, I witnessed a 16-year-old female student being socially destroyed by the label "outie" by her male peers (meaning having a supposedly less than appealing vagina).

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I had no idea young women were facing this sort of pressure and, as a mum of two teenage daughters, it terrifies me.

At a time when life should be so full of opportunity, why are young women being made to feel so inadequate when it comes to their genitalia?

Women should be striving for the perfect orgasm instead of playing into a male-led opinion on what qualifies as a perfect vagina.

I want my girls to feel empowered by sexual education - to feel comfortable with their bodies, not be made to feel inferior or shamed.

A survey last year revealed that 35 per cent of GPs had spoken with women under 18 years old about vaginal surgery. Girls as young as 10 years old have inquired.

Most women have a limited experience when it comes to what a normal vulva looks like. Unlike our male counterparts we're not afforded the opportunity for a sneaky sideways glance at the urinal to see how we stack up - the quick peek during a communal leak.

Therefore we're often left with the highly edited images portrayed in text books, journals, and the unhelpful comments from partners - often sparked by the ever-increasing rise in the availability of porn.

And we all know porn is not real life.

Porn stars are preened, plucked and prettied beyond comprehension, and the unassuming mounds that make up their vulvas are far from average.

Vaginas come in a range of sizes, shapes, and colours, but sex education teaches our young women more about the variation in penises than about their own anatomy.

Avoiding conversations about labial differences only reinforces the mystery associated with what makes a "normal" fanny. This isn't healthy for anyone, and does nothing to empower young women.

"Women are already under pressure to conform to the unrealistic expectations portrayed in the media," says Sydney based GP Dr Brad McKay, "but surgically altering perfectly healthy labias to fulfil a genital fashion trend is taking this to the extreme."

This one-size-fits-all model takes body shaming to a whole new level and only adds to the potential psychological damage of vulnerable young women.

"Men can be influenced by pornographic images and have been known to encourage their female partner to have genital surgery," McKay confirms.

We need to tackle this issue head on, stop making the vagina such a taboo subject and educate all women (and men) on the beauty of every normal genital variation.

It's time to say enough. These are our kids and we will do everything we can to stop this deep festering urge for superficial acceptance.

It's what drove me to climb upon a new soap box to call for more to be done to support my own girls, and young women everywhere.

As parents, teachers and friends, we need to start championing young women everywhere that they don't need the help of a scalpel to be happy with their flappy.

Our young women can't afford yet another reason to feel they're anything less than enough.

Juliet Moody is one half of the band Sparrow Folk, who have released a new anthem championing women to love their vagina.