The downside to oversharing...
Kim Kardashian and co post pictures of themselves virtually (or completely) nude so often these days that celebrity naked selfies don’t seem to be much of a big deal any more.
However, according to gynaecologist and fertility consultant Dr Ahmed Ismail, the constant flow of naked selfies is seriously damaging some women’s self-esteem, particularly when it comes to their vaginas.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Dr Ismail revealed that there is a direct correlation between women coming to see him and naked selfies.
‘In my many years of experience as a gynaecologist, I have seen a direct correlation between this and the rising number of perfectly normal women worrying about the ‘normality of their vaginas,’ he said.
‘This is called genital phobia, a compulsive fear that one’s genitalia is abnormal – either aesthetically or functionally – or not sexually pleasing to one’s partner and society. It can occur at any age and in any ethnicity. However, I have noticed that it is particularly prominent in western cultures, such as the UK and America, where sexualised media is easily accessible.’
Dr Ismail also believes that as we share more with each other a culture of comparing ourselves to others has developed.
‘The main cause of genital phobia is society’s increasing social openness of sex through visual content or discussions and comparisons with friends about one’s sex life and sexual anatomy,’ he said.
‘In the past, all of this information remained private, leaving little room for women to compare their genitalia to that of other females, or to become insecure. The more this information became easily available, the more the women start to compare themselves.
‘For example, in magazines we see reality stars discussing vajazzles, designer vaginas or falling out of cabs exposing themselves wearing no lingerie. Women are subconsciously influenced by the regularity of seeing other women’s vaginas and hearing about their sexual affairs.
‘Whereas these women would usually be confident and unaffected by such worries, the media pushes them to the forefronts of their mind and a downward spiral of self-appraisal and worrying about their own genitalia begins.’
But while seeing these women may be subconsciously making us insecure about ourselves, Dr. Ismail points out that the women posting revealing pictures of themselves is also a symptom of insecurity.
‘In many ways, they too may be experiencing genital phobia and by trying to seek reassurance of their attractiveness by posting such photos.
‘Without realising it, they are inflicting their own insecurities on their fans and thus genital phobia. If it is not stopped soon, it will become a vicious circle with one fuelling the other and so on.’