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Summary: When it comes to euphemisms for plastic surgery procedure, there’s certainly no shortage of options. Indeed, “naming” procedures is something that plastic surgery has gotten quite skilled at. That’s why nicknames such as “Barbie Surgery” and “Cinderella Surgery” are interesting, because they’re cute nicknames for serious plastic surgery procedures. But what do they mean?

What Do These Cute Nicknames Mean

If you’ve looked closely, you’ve probably noticed that Barbie dolls are not anatomically correct. Even if you ignore, for the moment, the significantly unrealistic body proportions of the doll, she’s still not quite accurate. Of course, the fact that Barbie dolls don’t have genitals isn’t necessarily shocking. (Most parents, I would imagine, prefer it this way despite the obvious educational opportunities.)

But that piece of anatomical trivia explains where the term “Barbie surgery” comes from. Barbie surgery, a “nickname” for labiaplasty, is a procedure growing in popularity in the United States. But why do we give cute nicknames for serious plastic surgery procedures? Let’s take a look at a couple of procedures—Barbie Surgery and Cinderella Surgery—to see if we can’t answer that question.

What is Barbie Surgery Anyway?

You got an explanation of where the term “Babrie Surgery” comes from up above (having to do with anatomies of Barbie dolls), but it’s also not completely accurate. Labiaplasty, for example, does not somehow erase a woman’s genitals. Instead, the procedure is designed to alter the size of the labia.

Essentially, the procedure minimizes the size of the labia (in most cases so that the labia minora is smaller than the labia majora). There are many reasons why a woman would want to seek out a labiaplasty, comfort being chief among them. In other words, when the labia has excess tissue, patients can experience discomfort.

This discomfort can come in the form of feeling self-conscious wearing tight-fitting clothing. Or it can mean physical discomfort from chaffing or during an activity such as exercise. In any case, minimizing the labia tissue increases comfort, confidence, and self-esteem in many of the women who undergo labiaplasty.

So, it’s a popular procedure that does a lot of good. Why do we then give it a euphemistic nickname? Well, there are a few reasons:

  • Anything involving sex or involving one’s genitals can be difficult to discuss
  • Related to that, there are a lot of emotions involved in this type of procedure (though you could make that claim about any procedure?)
  • Many of the women who undergo this procedure value the privacy that a nickname affords (really, they just value privacy)
  • Sometimes, it’s just about making it easier to talk about this procedure, and the more we talk about it the better

What is Cinderella Surgery?

On the other side of the spectrum is something called Cinderella Surgery. This is a procedure in which a section of the food is removed in order to make the foot look smaller (and, thus, more aesthetically pleasing). Cinderella surgery gets its name from the titular fairy tale heroine. The shoe fits perfectly in Cinderella’s tale, and she lives happily ever after because of it.

Generally, plastic surgeons are not terribly enamored with Cinderella Surgery (to put it mildly). This procedure can cause real and permanent damage to the patient. Balance and mobility can both be permanently impaired. In the opinion of most qualified plastic surgeons, this trade off for an aesthetic improvement simply is not worth it.

That there are some real consequences and negative side effects to this procedure illustrates why it has this cute euphemism. After all, “Cinderella Surgery” does a pretty good job of obscuring the damage and harm this procedure can cause.

This is a case of a cute nickname that can actually do some harm and some damage.

A History of Cute Nicknames

It may not be as “cute” as “Barbie Surgery,” but plastic surgery got the whole nickname thing started with something like tummy tuck. Now, a tummy tuck is pretty descriptive, and it sounds better than “abdominoplasty.” But it’s still (in a way) a kind of nickname for what’s happening.

Plastic surgery definitely has a long history of these cute nicknames. Boob job and nose job are two of the prime example. Even terms such as “breast augmentation” aren’t medical terms. But they have a way of communicating what’s going to happen without letting medical jargon get in the way.

That’s when a nickname can be a good thing. “Barbie Surgery,” in a way, does that. It cuts through the medical jargon to get to the root of the procedure in a way that’s easy to communicate. “Cinderella Surgery” does the opposite, I’m afraid.

In any case, you should discuss these procedure with your plastic surgery. If you’re interested in labiaplasty or other vaginal rejuvenation procedures, your surgeon is an excellent resource for information and consultation so you can get started.

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