The ‘vampire breast lift’: just another grotesque beauty boob | Van Badham

A procedure that draws blood from a womans arm and extracts the platelets to pump into her breasts has doubled in popularity

Through conquest, Alexander the Great established one of the most vast land empires of the classical age. It stretched from the Mediterranean, through North Africa and on to Asia. He was undefeated in battle, awash with the trophies of victories, self-anointed as a god. Yet a popular quote describes the young conquerer-king viewing the magnificence of his achievements with despair: And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer. Most people know these words from when Alan Rickman says them in Die Hard.

Its a shame that Alexanders lifespan pre-dated the modern beauty industry. Because if you desire territorial conquest opportunities that are limitless, you dont need to bother with the satrapies of Asia Minor, the kings of Persia or a shoeless Bruce Willis anymore. Just grab the nearest female body and slash, slice, stab, burn and pillage away. No phalanxes of Macedonian foot-soldiers are necessary merely gather an Instagram account, a willing celebrity endorsement and the kind of prevailing external culture of misogyny that wont let any human female rest her own self-hatred for a single minute. Actually, you dont even need the celebrity or the Instagram account. Just the last one although it never hurts to shove a freebie into the Oscars showbag.

My assessment is based on how last years Oscar treat is todays latest abomination masquerading as self-improvement. Its a breast plumping procedure adapted from the equally grotesque vampire facial innovation of some years back. You may remember Kim Kardashians blood-smeared face promoting it in 2014 as if summoned to do so by human sacrifice and Satanic ritual.

This week News.com.au reports that the popularity of vampire breast lifts has doubled in the past year. Over the course of two 60-minute sessions, the plot of every body horror movie in existence is spun together for the procedure: blood is drawn from the patient/victims arm, then whorled through a centrifuge then platelet-rich plasma is sucked from the blood, which is pumped into human boobs, with needles.

You dont go up a cup size, regain lost years of youth or achieve dominion over the ancient subcontinent, but apparently it gives the cleavage a fuller look.

Full disclosure: I watch a lot of genre movies and whenever a woman shares a context with blood and centrifuges, nothing good happens next. Human females are actually being encouraged to pay about $2000 for an experience that rationally one would hire a therapist or many to forget.

Dr Herbert Hooi, the man owning the dubious honour of being the one of the worlds pioneer cleavage-enhancing breast-embloodeners, advocates the procedure for those seeking shapelier breasts, which is a thoroughly objective, scientific criteria for wilful bodily trauma if ever there was one. It seems an appropriate punishment for women who have dared to saggen their breasts with the self-indulgence of nursing children or growing older to oblige them into redness, swelling and possible bruising after getting their tits re-pumped with fresh blood.

Dr Hooi says his vampire boob-needles are not for everyone, so, please, be assured that makes everything OK. Tattooing a penis on your face is not for everyone but people do that, too. Ramming your face full of nails to more resemble the bubbly side of a pancake can also be niche activity, kind of like more of a hobby than anything else, pfft, whatever, live and let live, people can do what they want, there are no broader social implications, Yolo.

Yes, of course some women choose to do these things to themselves. But how rarified and elusive has the standard for the optics of female humanity become that mere shapelierness of boobs is now in competitive play? Ive listed the non-invasive procedures advertised to women before. How is it now possible the radical arc of breast enhancements, liposuction, chemical peels, eyelifts, browlifts, backlifts, grin lifts, butt implants, jawline advancements, bellybutton inversions, eyelash transplants, areola reductions, vaginal canal tightening and hacking off ones labia is still not enough?

An industry-wide business model understands that as long as female beauty has greater cultural value than female achievement, it doesnt matter how gruesome, barbaric, cruel or painful the new treatment to improve beauty may be. It doesnt matter to which part of the body its targeted or what it does. You just need to convince a viable market share of women that theyll be deficient without it, and as a sense of deficiency is admitted and shared among women, it will spread like aesthetic contagion. The size of your empire surely will double in a year.

The quote about Alexander the Great that they use in Die Hardis actually bastardised from dramatist William Congreve. The context of it is relevant: Having only that one hope, the accomplishment of it must put an end to all my hopes; and what a wretch is he who must survive his hopes!

It doesnt seem much blessing for women pursuing what society deems most to be beautiful that this particular wretchedness is one theyre unlikely, ever, to know.

  • Van Badham is a Guardian Australia columnist

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/10/the-vampire-breast-lift-just-another-grotesque-beauty-boob

‘A third of people get major surgery to be born’: why are C-sections routine in the US?

Caesareans have transformed from life-saving intervention into risky procedure performed for one in three births and often geography is the deciding factor

Carmen Walker didnt realize how bad things had gotten until she heard her doctors voice from across the operating room: Im going to try to save her uterus.

Walker had delivered her first child by caesarean section, so when she became pregnant a second time, doctors didnt think twice before scheduling another. And then another and another. Now, giving birth to her sixth child, she was experiencing the consequences: placenta accreta, a condition which is linked to multiple C-sections and can result in fatal bleeding.

Caesarean sections have saved the lives of millions of infants who might have otherwise been killed or permanently injured during difficult births. But in the US, the rate of caesareans has increased so much over the decades that the surgery has been transformed from a life-saving intervention into a procedure performed as a matter of course during one in three US births.

In 2015, the latest year for which the Centers for Disease Control has data, the share of births by C-section was 32%. The World Health Organization has suggested that the rate should not be higher than 10% – 15%, while other experts have suggested it should not be higher than 19%. The last time the USs rate was that low was during the 1970s.

Carmen
Carmen Walker and her sixth child, Olivia. Photograph: Carmen Walker

We are quite worried when the C-section rate goes above 30%, as it is in the United States, said Dr Flavia Bustreo, the assistant director general for family, womens and childrens health at the World Health Organization. It becomes routine but it is still a major surgery. That carries a long-term effect on maternal health.

A C-section rate of 10% to 15% is natural, she said. Above 15%, you dont have additional benefits, and you have the risks, and you have the unnecessary health costs.

A third of people get major surgery to be born, said Dr Neel Shah, a practicing OB-GYN and an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Medicine who works on ways to reduce avoidable C-sections. Many of the mothers in that equation were having a low-risk birth, he added that is, there were few or no medical indications that a C-section was necessary.

That is hundreds of thousands of women every year who get surgery they never need in the first place. Thats crazy. We can do much better than that.

The caesarean rate in the US has shot up by roughly 50% since the 1990s

The associated risks are serious. For the mother, they carry the potential for deadly bleeding, a lengthy recovery, organ damage and permanent injury. Compared with women having a vaginal birth, those having a C-section for the first time have 3.1 times greater risk of blood transfusions, a 5.7 times greater risk of an unplanned hysterectomy and a six times greater risk of being admitted into intensive care.

The rate of C-sections is now well beyond what is medically justifiable to save the lives of infants, experts say.

As C-section rates in the US have gone up, there has been no accompanying rise in infant survival rates. In the case of low-risk mothers, theres not a lot of evidence of improved outcomes, said Eugene Declercq, a professor at the Boston University School of Health who studies caesareans. Its just not there.

Women having a first-time caesarean in the US face a greater risk of dangerous pregnancy complications than women giving birth vaginally

In fact, some experts believe this rise in caesareans is one of the many intertwining factors contributing to crisis rates of maternal mortality, or death, and morbidity defined as significant injury related to a pregnancy.

Its certainly one of the downstream consequences of performing avoidable C-sections, said Jill Arnold, who runs a website that tracks individual hospitals C-section rates, and works as a consultant to Consumer Reports. Its connected to seeing more women bleed out, or have near misses.

Placenta accreta, for example, the condition that nearly killed Walker, is roughly 600 times more common today than it was in the 1950s, an increase scientists have linked to the rise in C-sections.

A 2007 analysis of more than two million birth outcomes in Canada found that women with low-risk pregnancies were three times more likely to die or be seriously injured if they had a C-section rather than a vaginal delivery. The findings helped move the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine to put out a joint call in 2014 for reducing avoidable C-sections.

For most pregnancies, which are low-risk, caesarean delivery appears to pose greater risk of maternal morbidity and mortality than vaginal delivery, the groups said.

In the US, the rate of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births is 26.4, and it has been rising since 2000. Just about every other western country has seen a decline in maternal death rates since 2000, and the next closest western country, the UK, has a mortality rate of 9.2 per 100,000 live births.

It is very, very clear to me the connection between the number of C-sections and mortality and morbidity, said Dr Shah.

Whats not so clear is whether c-sections are whats causing maternal mortality rates in the US to rise. Declercq, who notes he is no fan of unnecessary C-sections, says the bigger drivers of maternal mortality probably include factors like the opioid crisis and the fact that many new mothers are dropped fromMedicaid, the government-run health program, shortly after they give birth.

Just addressing the C-section rate alone wont reduce the maternal mortality rate. Other developed countries have C-section rates that are as high as the United States. A 2012 international comparison found that the C-section rate was 21.8% in Norway and 24.4% in the UK but 31.7% in Germany and 26.2% in Canada.

But those countries also have medical teams that are better at recognizing and treating life-threatening pregnancy complications, investigations have found, and experts note they do not face factors like poor access to maternity care.

Why is the C-section rate rising?

The factors that drove up the rates of C-sections are numerous and difficult to untangle. Women who are older, heavier or have certain health conditions can be more likely to need a C-section to deliver a healthy baby.

But changes in the US population dont completely explain the increase seen since the 1970s. One factor is that doctors recommend C-sections when they believe the fetus is showing signs of distress, but many hospitals have a culture or use technologies that send a physicians better-safe-than-sorry instincts into overdrive.

Fetal heart monitoring strips, which produce a steady stream of information about a fetuss vital signs, are a prime example, said Declercq, because they furnish physicians with a torrent of information including, inevitably, false positives to scrutinize for signs of trouble. The rise in C-sections since the early 1970s closely tracks the introduction and widespread adoption of fetal heart monitors.

Then theres the fact that C-sections dont look like a public health disaster to those up close and personal with them.

I didnt realize this was a problem until you zoom way out, said Dr Shah. Theyre so common they look fine. And people are usually fine. They had their babies and they love their babies. Even people who had a stressful birth experience tend to look back fondly.

Many doctors and hospitals are in the dark about the rate at which they perform C-sections for low-risk births, because none of the government agencies or accreditors who oversee hospitals require the figures to be public. Arnold said she once heard of a hospital CEO crying the first time she learned her hospitals figures.

Pilot programs have found that, just as in Arkansas, the simple act of disclosing the numbers can cause hospitals to reduce their rates.

Many hospitals have a long way to go. Healthy People 2020, a federal initiative to improve US health outcomes and Leapfrog, a nonprofit that lobbies hospitals to release various health metrics as a way to improve overall care, deems a hospital to meet acceptable standards if C-sections account for no more than 23.9% of births.

In 2016, 55% of hospitals who voluntarily reported data to Leapfrog had a C-section rate that was higher than 23.9%, or 730 hospitals out of more than 1,300. At 223, or nearly 17%, more than one in three births takes place via C-section.

Honestly, it should be lower, Arnold said, referring to the 23.9% threshold. Even hospitals with high-risk patients, every hospital should be able to hit that number.

C-section rates by hospital

Geographical disparities

And yet, in the US, a womans odds of undergoing this risky operation are completely untethered from whether or not her circumstances require it.

A womans greatest risk factor for having a C-section is what hospital she chooses. Looking at a map, its normal for one hospital to have double the caesarean rate of a neighboring hospital located less than a mile away and serving the same community. Other times, geography equals destiny. The south in particular contains whole communities served only by hospitals where the caesarean rate is 33% or greater.

Walkers story illustrates the point. Her first caesarean was necessary, she says. She was in labor for 36 hours, but she never dilated enough to deliver vaginally.

But by the time she was pregnant with her second child, she lived in Mississippi, a state that had a C-section rate of 36.8% in 2014 and where scarcely any OB-GYNs are willing to attempt a vaginal delivery after a woman has already had a C-section. Her lack of options, she says, locked her into a succession of increasingly risky operations.

Walker wound up lucky. Although she spent three days on high-risk watch in the hospital and would still be undergoing a painful recovery months later, her doctor stopped the hemorrhage. The blood loss meant she remembers little about the initial aftermath, but she remembers being unable to stand up under her own power.

Her complications could have been far more severe. Placenta accreta patients account for 38% of caesarean-related hysterectomies, and up to 7% of women with placenta accreta die.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/oct/04/one-in-three-us-births-happen-by-c-section-caesarean-births

Revealed: Johnson & Johnson’s ‘irresponsible’ actions over vaginal mesh implant

Woman awarded record $57m damages over implant launched with no clinical trial and marketed despite higher failure rate

A vaginal mesh implant made by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) was launched without a clinical trial, and then marketed for five years after the company learned that it had a higher failure rate than their two earlier devices.

Internal company emails disclosed in a US court case, in which a 51-year-old woman was awarded a record $57m in damages this month, also show that senior executives even briefly considered suppressing unfavourable data that could compromise the future of the device.

J&Js Ethicon unit was found by a US court to be liable for the serious injuries Ella Ebaugh suffered after receiving a mesh implant to treat urinary incontinence. The mother of five said she was left with a mangled urethra, bladder spasms and continual pelvic pain after an unsuccessful procedure that led to three revision surgeries to remove mesh that had cut into her urethra and migrated to her bladder.

But documents submitted to the court show J&J staff had raised concerns about the spinning of data in emails and male executives are seen bantering about a suggestion that sex with an earlier patient with mesh complications must be like screwing a wire brush.

Ella
Ella Ebaugh, who was awarded $57m after a court ruled that Johnson & Johnsons Ethicon unit were liable for the serious injuries she suffered. Photograph: CBS

When it emerged from initial data that the success rates for a new device looked to be way below those seen for previous products, Ethicons director of sales, Xavier Buchon, suggested in an email stop[ping] for a while such publications that could compromise the future.

The J&J implant, used to treat urinary incontinence, was launched in 2006. Despite the early indications of a high failure rate, it was only withdrawn in 2012 after being used in thousands of operations in the US, the UK and Australia. The documents raise uncomfortable questions for the manufacturers of vaginal mesh products, which are the subject of growing controversy.

The implants, which reinforce tissue around the urethra, are widely used to treat incontinence, and for the majority of women the procedure is quick and successful. However, some women have suffered debilitating complications, including severe pelvic pain, the mesh eroding through the vaginal wall or perforating organs.

Class action law suits are underway in Australia and the US, where lawyers claim that patients have been exposed to unacceptable risks; in England, NHS data suggests as many as one in fifteen women later requires full or partial removal of the implant.

Vaginal mesh implant

Ebaugh, whose case was heard in Philadelphia, said that her complications have left her with constant pelvic pain, meaning for example, that although she attended her daughters recent wedding, she was unable to enjoy it. I feel like Im on fire down there, she said in an interview with CBS.

The tranche of documents, revealed during the trial, places a spotlight on tensions between Ethicons commercial and clinical divisions at the time it launched its miniature mesh product, called the TVT-Secur, in 2006.

The company hoped that the new device, which was smaller and required fewer incisions, would reduce complications seen with its earlier devices. But getting to market ahead competitors, who had similar offerings in the pipeline, was described as priceless in company documents. It was approved for use without a trial under US and European equivalence rules, which allow this when a new device is similar to existing ones.

Carl Heneghan, professor of evidence-based medicine at the University of Oxford who has called for a public inquiry into the use of mesh, condemned the decision to launch a device before a trial, saying this had led to direct patient harms. It has made it impossible to provide informed choice to women, and points to a regulatory system that is failing patients, he added.

Prof Bernard Jacquetin, an eminent French gynaecologist whose early study on TVT-Secur had led to misgivings among J&J management, told the Guardian the company had acted irresponsibly by launching the device without adaquate evidence.

Ahead of the devices original launch, Jacquetin was invited to the US to give advice on the new design, but was taken aback when he was presented with a boxed-up product ready for release. Jacquetin and colleagues later carried out a study in 40 patients, which found success rates of 77% two months after surgery, compared to the roughly 85-90% success rate commonly reported for Ethicons original TVT mesh device.

On learning that Jacquetins results did not look promising (though not referring to the eventual 77% figure), marketing manager, Fabrice Degeneve emailed his superiors to ask: How should we handle this without compromising the use of this new technique?

Ethicons director of sales, Xavier Buchon, replied: This is for sure a big concern, before suggesting withholding results while the company reviewed the patients to be included in the analysis. No way to hide the truth but to make sure it has been done correctly in terms of procedure and inclusion, he added.

In the event, the findings were presented at a major international conference and Jacquetin said he never felt pressure to bury unfavourable results. But he adds: I was really disappointed. I told many people at Ethicon it was not [a good device].

In 2012, TVT-Secur was withdrawn from the market, along with three other mesh products. J&J declined to provide exact figures on how many women had received the implants.

In other emails, J&J staff complain of colleagues constantly spinning data and of a dangerous blurring of the lines between commercial and research divisions. I am continually amazed and surprised at our need to push back, wrote Judi Gauld, Ethicons former clinical director in Scotland.

Other emails show a blas attitude to distressing complications. In one, dated from 2003, a surgeon sought advice on treating a patient with a 2cm stretch of mesh poking through her vaginal wall. Sex is like screwing a wire brush according to her spouse, the doctor wrote. Martin Weisberg, Ethicons medical director, replied: Ive never tried the wire brush thing so I wont comment.

Following the trial, Ebaughs lawyer, Kila Baldwin, said in a statement: I am pleased the jury recognised the recklessness of J&J and I hope the company takes notice of the verdict and adjusts its practices accordingly.

Johnson & Johnson said they plan to appeal the verdict. In a statement, the company said: We believe the evidence in the Ebaugh trial showed Ethicons TVT and TVT-Secur devices were properly designed, Ethicon acted appropriately and responsibly in the research, development and marketing of the products, and the products were not the cause of the plaintiffs continuing medical problems.

Over two and a half million documents have been provided to plaintiff attorneys by Ethicon as part of the pelvic mesh litigation in the United States, and selective disclosure of certain sentences or documents without proper context can be extremely misleading.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/29/revealed-johnson-johnsons-irresponsible-actions-over-vaginal-mesh-implant

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The Gambia bans female genital mutilation

President Yahya Jammeh outlaws practice that affects three-quarters of women in west African country

The Gambia has announced it will ban female genital mutilation (FGM) after the Guardian launched a global campaign to end the practice.

The president, Yahya Jammeh, said last night that the controversial surgical intervention would be outlawed. He said the ban would come into effect immediately, though it was not clear when the government would draft legislation to enforce it.

FGM involves cutting female genitalia often when girls are young to remove their labia and clitoris, which often leads to lifelong health complications, including bleeding, infections, vaginal pain and infertility. More than 130 million women worldwide are subjected to the procedure in Africa and the Middle East.

The practice is widespread in many African countries, including the Gambia, where 76% of females have been subjected to it. The age at which FGM takes place in the Gambia is not recorded, but it is reported that the trend of practicing FGM on infant girls is increasing. By the age of 14, 56% of female children in the country have had the procedure.

Highlights of the Guardians global media campaign to help end FGM

Jaha Dukureh, an anti-FGM activist whose campaign to end the practice in the country has been supported by the Guardian, spent the past week meeting cabinet ministers in the Gambia and sent them articles from the newspaper to inform them about the issue.

Im really amazed that the president did this. I didnt expect this in a million years. Im just really proud of my country and Im really, really happy, she told the Guardian. I think the president cared about the issue, it was just something that was never brought to his attention.

Jammehs announcement came late last night, as the president was visiting his home village on Kanilai as part of a nationwide tour. The announcement was unexpected for both campaigners and public.

The amazing thing is its election season. This could cost the president the election. He put women and girls first, this could negatively affect him, but this shows he cares more about women than losing peoples votes, said Dukureh.

Dukureh will return to the Gambia on Tuesday to thank Jammeh for the ban and to help with drafting the legislation that will enforce it.

A ban on FGM would be a significant development on an issue that has proved controversial and divisive in the Gambia, with some arguing that FGM is permitted in Islam, the major religion in the country.

Senior Muslim clerics in the Gambia have previously denied the existence of FGM in the Gambia saying instead that was is practiced is female circumcision. In 2014, state house imam, Alhaji Abdoulie Fatty told Kibaaro News, I have never heard of anyone who died as a result of female genital mutilation (FGM)… If you know what FGM means, you know that we do not practice that here. We do not mutilate our children.

Jaha Dukureh: Im really amazed that the president did this. I didnt expect this in a million years. Photograph: Mae Ryan for the Guardian

Mary Wandia, the FGM programme manager at womens rights campaign group Equality Now said: The ban is an essential first step towards ending FGM and we commend President Jammeh on finally announcing it.

A law must now be enacted and properly implemented to ensure that every girl at risk is properly protected. The government needs to show strong commitment and prioritise this issue in a country where three quarters of women have been affected and reductions in prevalence have been slow to materialise.

Though support for FGM is widespread in the Gambia, reports have shown that public support for the practice has dropped in recent decades among women across all age groups.

Support for the continuation of the practice is strongest among the countrys richest women and varies dramatically in different ethnic communities, with 84% of Mandinka women supporting the continuation of FGM compared with 12% of Wolof women.

This year FGM was banned in Nigeria, which joined 18 other African countries that have outlawed the practice, including Central African Republic, Egypt and South Africa.

Somalia, which has the highest prevalence of FGM in the world, has indicated it would like to end the practice, with a spokeswoman for the ministry for womens affairs saying it was committed to make this happen despite significant resistance in the country. Currently, 98% of girls aged between four and 11 are subjected to FGM in Somalia.

The Guardian launched a major campaign to end FGM around the world in 2014, with the support of the campaign petition website, Change.org.

The Guardian Global Media campaign works closely with local activists in the Gambia, Kenya and Nigeria to help them provide education and awareness on the issue and hope to expand the campaign to Sierra Leone, Senegal and Uganda next year.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/nov/24/the-gambia-bans-female-genital-mutilation

The problem with sex and glitter

From phone cases to vaginal pills, we know glitter can be harmful so why do we love it so much?

Last month a doctor was compelled to tell women not to put glitter pills inside their vaginas and once again I was reminded of Stephen Hawkings prediction that humans are heading for extinction. 2017: the year Earth learned why were not allowed nice things. Passion Dust Intimacy Capsules are small, sparkleised capsules that dissolve when inserted into the vagina and release the sweet sparkle that is Passion Dust. Basically you piss heaven.

They sold out immediately, hence gynaecologist Dr Jen Gunter explaining exactly how and why glitter has no place in the vagina. If her name sounds familiar, its perhaps because she is the person who has, breathing a sigh the size of Center Parcs, decided to take on Gwyneth Paltrows Goop, clarifying the problems with (among other things) their suggestions to steam your vagina before inserting jade eggs inside you for better sex. Glitter, though. Is that what men want, after the candles are lit and the Baileys is drunk? A dick like a disco ball? Would their reaction not be, as Im pretty sure mine would, when he looks down at this scene like a shattered car windscreen, shock that they were transitioning into some sort of unicorn sex robot, then existential dismay as their genitals glinted shyly in their knickers for months afterwards? Its not for nothing that Ship Your Enemies Glitter (a company that sends an envelope of glitter through the post, to coat recipients in sparkling debris upon opening) is so popular. Anyway, post-vajazzle, it seems, glitter has migrated deeper into the curious woman, like a feminist metaphor gone rogue.

And this right at the moment we learn glitter itself is problematic. Though delightful and star-like, glitter flakes are essentially flattened microbeads, a particle plastic banned in the USA and soon to be banned here, too. The size of microplastics allows them to be ingested by the tiniest of organisms, which poses huge problems for aquatic life and, consequently, us. Glitter has been harming some people already though, with a range of iPhone cases containing glitter suspended in liquid being recalled after reports of skin irritation and chemical burns. One consumer reported permanent scarring from a chemical burn and another consumer reported chemical burns and swelling to her leg, face, neck, chest, upper body and hands, wrote the US Consumer Product Safety Commission in its press release. Being me, this news took my one-track mind quickly jogging down its well-trod path of toxic femininity a frilly argument about the inevitable injuries that result from princess culture, not including pay gaps. But it wasnt satisfying. It left me wanting. Though associated often with girliness, today glitter is bigger than that. It covers everything. To the point that its considered one of the most effective forms of forensic evidence its really, really difficult to wash away.

You get the sense, dont you, that the whole world has been glitter-bombed by a sly, jealous enemy, with these rainbow shards quietly embedding themselves in every aspect of life, and, like sand after a holiday, well find it for weeks after in the oddest places? The thing about glitter is that it is used to make dull things exciting. Which is why its been so easy to ignore its darker side. Have we always known glitter was a trick, a distraction? Have we known that and ignored it, and used it to our advantage? As well as covering up birthday card mistakes, we use it to decorate difficult things, like coming out in public, or being female.

Hence the success of Passion Dust, The pretty little pill that makes you magically delicious. Glitter turns an awkward encounter into a princess tea party, vaginal excretions into something safe and cartoonish that taste like Skittles. For all the horrors that vagina glitter implies, I sort of get it. I mean, I get why. I get it as a My Little Pony-flavoured attempt to make every inch of an unwieldy body perfect, to hold it at a distance in order to feel you have at least a little control. Which is not to say Passion Dust cant produce vaginal wall granulomas, act as an irritant and cause vaginal contact dermatitis, damage the good vaginal bacteria leading to infections as well as in increased risk of STIs. But Lord will it make his penis sparkle like diamonds.

Email Eva at e.wiseman@observer.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @EvaWiseman

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/aug/13/the-problem-with-sex-and-glitter

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