Do you believe that certain occurrences are really signs with bigger meaning? In this case, I hope the universe isn't trying to tell me something. This morning I was reading Beauty Junkies, a newish book about cosmetic surgery. After finishing a chapter about a woman who had a labiaplasty (plastic surgery on your ladyparts), I fired up my computer to read the morning news... only to find a story about a surgical process that tightens the interior muscles of your ladyparts. (The reason I keep saying ladyparts is that I know some of you are reading at work!)

The story calls that last procedure, along with labiaplasty, the "new wave of plastic surgery." Unheard of even ten years ago, these surgeries are providing yet another way to snip, nip and tuck. Not too many people are going to see this intimate area—not compared to how many people would notice a face lift, for instance—so what's driving women to do this? To find out,

Let's go back to the article, shall we?

“Sex sells, and the media has an integral part in selling it,” said [Dr. David Matlock]. “Women will come in and say, ‘I want to look like this,’ while they hold up a Playboy.” ... “Part of this is the mainstreaming of pornography,” said Dr. V. Leroy Young, a plastic surgeon in St. Louis. “People see images of naked women on magazines and movies and that becomes a reference point of normal.”

Big surprise there. I understand the desire to look good and the pressure to fit an ideal, but this seems a little extreme. Have we become so obsessed with appearance that even the our private areas have to fit an unrealistic ideal? I'm all for wanting to look your best, but I don't think women should feel pressured to look like centerfolds and porn stars—even if they're the ones putting the pressure on.

I think the decision to have cosmetic surgery is a personal one, but I do worry that some people may be taking the concept too far. Are women having these procedures done to feel better about themselves, or is it a detrimental side effect of the popularity of porn? Or am I just a fuddy-duddy? Let me know what you think—I know you've got an opinion on this.