Centrefold is a 9 minute animated documentary about labiaplasty that was funded by the Wellcome Trust. It's a great teaching tool and starting point for a discussion of embodiment, shame, and difference. It's also presents a challenge for educators who believe that simply expanding definitions of what is normal isn't the only possibility in discussions of bodies and difference.
It's a challenge because there are no voices in the film that present the freedom and joy that can come from the long, hard task of countering mainstream narratives about beauty and pleasure. No one points out that there are options beyond self-help platitudes on the one hand and surgery on the other. That, believe it or not, it is possible to construct a sexual self and a sexual life without constant reference to the norm. The absence of this perspective likely has to do with the medical understanding of the issue which is foregrounded by the women chosen to share their stories.
None of this needs to detract from the film's usefulness. These are very complicated matters and if there's one thing for sure, we need to hear more from everyone. Centrefold is a welcome contribution to this conversation.
Watch It Now: The Centrefold Project
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