Daily I'm receiving many beautiful and touching messages and stories from people all around the world.
With permission from the people who shared their stories with me, I'm sharing the most empowering and touching stories here with you.
If you also want to anonymously share your story, feel free to send me a message through the contact form.
OUR MANY DIFFERENCES
When I was younger, I was so scared to have sex with somebody because of what my [vulva] looks like. But I realised it is so stupid to be ashamed of what you are, and also what you can't choose. This is my actual state of mind, now that I have a boyfriend who really helps me feel comfortable with myself, and even feel beautiful! As you can see, I'm proud of my vulva, my hairs and pimples or spots. Our society's idea of beauty is erasing what beauty really is: our many differences.
W. - 18 years old
IN LOVE AND THANKFUL
Vulvas are the gateways to the universe. We are all connected through this exquisite passage. All men, women and children on this earth have special, undeniable bonds to vulvas and we must honor them, in all their raw, fragile, tantalising, powerful beauty.
It took me a long time to realize this power. I never really spent time with my vulva until I reached womanhood. As a youth, I saw it as something quite functional. A place of pleasure, a exit for my monthly period, something to fiddle with, or a place to warm my hands when it was cold. But when I started to think more about motherhood, when I started to respect my sex and took more responsibility over who I gave it to, when I grew into the woman form of my child self, I really start to think and feel differently about my vulva. My vulva is my heritage. My vulva is my offer of true intimacy and love with my husband. My vulva is where I will welcome my children to this world. How can I not be totally in love and thankful for my vulva.
A STORY OF SOMEONE WHO DID THE SURGERY
It started when I was about 16 years old. I shaved my pubic hair, because I saw porn as an example. Shortly after, I realized that my vulva didn’t look like the ones I saw in porn. At that age I didn’t care much. I was more worried about the fact that shaving gave my skin a lot of irritation and ingrown hairs. I tried shaving, waxing, sugaring, epilation, IPL, creams… everything resulted in red bumps and scarring.
I started to get sexually active, but didn’t let anyone touch my vulva. I read on Internet that some girls could get orgasms from penetration on the inside of their vagina from a so-called g-spot. Since I could only get an orgasm from clitoral stimulation, it felt like something else was “wrong” with my vagina. The way women are sexualized in media really made me feel like I could never be good enough in bed.
In the years that followed, the hate towards my vulva grew. I still had not seen real vulvas, so Internet was my only source. There were days that I looked for hours to pictures and stories of long labia. I knew that I wasn’t the only one with insecurities about it, but it didn’t make me feel more confident about the way mine looked. At some point, it started taking over my life. With every woman I would see in real life, I would imagine how her vulva would look like. Since I never heard any women talk about vulva insecurities, I thought I was the only one with an ugly vulva. If friends were talking about showering with others or going to the sauna, I would automatically assume they had a nice looking vulva.
The only one that knew about my insecurity was my boyfriend, whom I started dating since I was 18. He never said anything bad about the way it looked. I couldn’t have wished for a better guy. I feel bad for him that he had to deal with all the negative talks about my vulva. I hope for every vulva-owning person they find a partner that doesn’t judge your parts about the way it looks. I blamed porn for a long time that they didn’t show enough diversity, but I think it should already start at sex education in schools. Everyone should learn about the diversity of genitals and have it discussed.
At the age of 19 I started to get a depression. This had multiple reasons, but my negative thoughts would always end with the fact that I had an ugly and useless [vulva]. I could spend days crying in bed about how ugly it was. I was suicidal and the look of my vulva was definitely one of the reasons I wanted to die. I needed to do something about it, so I considered labiaplasty. I knew that all blogs and empowering sites about long labia were against surgery. I respect and understand that they empowered women to be confident and not to let them cut into healthy body parts. But I literally couldn’t live with it anymore. So I did it. I underwent a surgery and had my longer inner labia removed. I was confident in the first months after it. My libido grew and I felt like one of the main problems about my [vulva] was gone. I discovered more and more pleasure during sex and really wished I had done the surgery before. I wouldn’t encourage others to do it, but I really think that everyone should decide for themselves. My psychological condition was unhealthy, so I had no other choice.
However, years after the surgery, the negative thoughts about my vulva are still there. The scarring of my labia never healed very nice, so they look very wrinkly. Since my clitoral hood has always been big and wrinkly too, the focus on my vulva is now on my clitoral hood. It is way too big and it looks like a mini-penis to me. I still don’t feel feminine and skin irritation from hair-removal is still there. I am a bisexual person, but I could never share a bed with other people, since I think I will gross them out with my naked appearance. I would never dare to be nude around other people anyway.
After the surgery I remember I had a check-up with my labiaplasty doctor and he said: “now your vulva anatomy looks normal again”. I was surprised. Even a labiaplasty doctor that sees natural(!) vulvas coming in everyday, is saying what the standard for the appearance should be. That is just wrong. I really wish that the world changes it's mind over how vulva’s look, so no one has to be insecure about it. I hope that with my story I can inspire people. I only read empowering stories that were against labiaplasty. I don’t want to be the “weak” person that underwent a surgery. I want to show everyone that it’s your own choice if it affects your health. But the surgery didn’t make my vulva more beautiful. I think it is still very ugly and I will never get over it. Maybe once it is drawn and uploaded in between all the other vulvas, I can embrace it by seeing all of the diversity. If anyone wants to talk anonymous with me, I would love to. In my darkest times I wished I could have talked to people that shared the same insecurities.
E. - 22 years old
THE POWERFUL CONNECTION BETWEEN MY BODY AND MIND
In the past four years, I have increasingly focused on understanding the powerful connection between my body and mind, because of my intense PMS. I have learned to both accept and embrace it as part of who I am. I describe my PMS to people as being covered in a thick veil - I cannot clearly see or hear what is going on in my surroundings, it's all muffled - making communication, both ways, very challenging. Being very open about my PMS makes it more manageable. I find it necessary to explain why it might come across as though I have two 'personalities'. Although some people do not necessarily accept or understand it and others find it amusing, the majority are compassionate and understanding.
Many attempts have been made to lessen the symptoms by trying various things: herbal medication, acupuncture, meditation, menstruation coach, birth control and anti-depressants. For the last two years, I have decided to learn and understand my natural cycle more. It's a never-ending, fascinating journey! My vulva is wonderful in so many ways, it not only gives me pleasure, but also, signals very clearly when something isn't right, it truly is magical and I feel I have so much more to discover! Self-acceptance and -love, especially of my vulva, has inadvertently led to attracting the most wonderful, open-minded, sensitive and sex-positive people, for which I am immensely grateful!
For the Vulva Gallery, it was important for me to submit a snapshot of my vulva as it was, without 'grooming' it in any way. It was a liberating and exhilarating experience! Thank you for letting me a part of this wonderful and very important project!
Sending you lots of love! You rock!
A. - 35 years old
Growing up I always knew my vulva was different. It was an innate feeling I had. I would look at my large labia and think they looked old and wrinkly. It took many years until I learned to appreciate my vulva and see it as beautiful. Now I see my large labia like butterfly wings and I am proud of having a voluptuous pussy. Thank you for memorializing my youthful vulva so I can look back on with pride when I really am old and wrinkly.
C. - 35 years old
ALL UNIQUE AND ALL BEAUTIFUL
Being a student midwife I see many vulvas all incredibly glorious, in all their varieties. Many become so self conscious about their vulva (among other things) when in labour but they fail to see not only are they the passage to bring new life into the world they are a fantastic tool to monitor progression of labour. Different signs and signals we look out for can be viewed by simply looking at the vulva which could lead to less intimate examinations. Each vulva tells a story, all unique and all beautiful, and despite what you may think midwives can't remember specifics so don't panic. Vulvas are the passage to life and I can't put into words how powerful I believe them to be.
G. - 20 years old
I STARTED ACCEPTING MYSELF
- Content warning: this story contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors. -
Embracing my sexuality has been very difficult for me. I got my period when I was 8 years old and lost my virginity at 11, when I was raped by a cousin (for about a year or so). Since then I've been really promiscuous because I thought the only way I had to be lovable was giving sex in exchange. I felt pretty only when I was considered "sexy" so I started sending nudes very often to several guys, this lead to them sharing them with their friends. I started being body shamed and bullied at school because of the color and shape of my labia and got a nickname: "McPussy" (they said my pussy looked like a McDonald's hamburger). I was very ashamed of my [vulva] for a really long time, and even developed a feeling of disgust for one of my favorite foods (McDonald's of course). I found your blog and other similar pages some months ago and I started accepting myself. I thought "If you love a big mac why wouldn't you love a meaty "mc pussy"?" :) Also, I understood that unrequested opinions coming from ignorant people shouldn't be taken into account.
Thank you for being so awesome, for sharing your art an helping so much women.
With love, from Costa Rica.
H. - 18 years old
HIS FLAW, NOT MINE
A few years back I had a boyfriend who kept a bit of a grudge after I broke up with him. One day he sent me an insulting picture, comparing different vulvas to ham sandwiches. The one that was supposed to match mine was the „uglier“ one according to him. Before that incident I hadn’t even considered something might be wrong with my vulva, but this stupid picture got stuck in my mind for many years and I became more and more ashamed of how I looked down there. Now that I’m a little older I realize that debasing another person like that was his flaw, not mine.
F. - 25 years old
NO LONGER ASHAMED
The first time I went to see a gynaecologist, I was sure something was wrong with me. I was already twenty years old but I had never had sex nor masturbated and my "private parts" were so private that I had even hidden them from myself, I barely ever looked at them and touching them somehow never crossed my mind. And I was sure something was wrong with me "down there" because no one ever talked to me about sexual or intimate things, and so I concluded that meant I was in some way "broken". That is why I also avoided seeing a gynaecologist, but at some point my rationality took over and I decided it was time to
confront myself with whatever the horrid news about my genitalia might be. I was afraid of what the doctor might say upon taking a look at my vagina, all kinds of awful scenarios crossed my mind, their common point being - I must have some kind of degeneration. When the doctor said everything was OK, that was a turning point, only then I began
understanding how horrific my thoughts were and since then I embarked on a path of breaking taboos erected around sexuality in our society.
That is why being part of your gallery would be a very important step for me, to show I am no longer ashamed of myself, to show that now, when I think about my vagina, instead of fear, I feel joy.
J. - 33 years old
I LOVE MY HALO MOLE
I've followed your Instagram for a long time now and I love what you're doing. Seeing other artists do something that matters makes me so happy. I'd love to share my story and I'd be honored to be a part of your gallery. I've always had this mole. Since I was born it's been there. When I turned about 20, the skin around it started to lose pigment. These are called "halo moles". It's common in your early 20s for the pigment around a mole to try to attack the mole often making it increase in size. This is your body recognizing a possible threat and eliminating it all by itself 🙌. At first I was self conscious of the mole itself, let alone the pale halo that highlights it. But I've decided that it's interesting and different and I love it. 💕
E. - 22 years old
MY LOVE TO ALL VULVA'S OUT THERE
For such a long time I thought that I was completely different from other girls, and that what I had between my legs wasn't 'normal' or how a 'regular vulva' should look. I worried about it a lot, and more so whenever I was in a relationship. Am I too hairy or too bald? Is my labia too big or too small? What will he think of me? I closed my legs shut whenever any man tried to initiate oral sex. I didn't want them down there! But thankfully, my awakening came with my current partner. He taught me how to love my body, the differences in size and shape of every little bit of me - he even taught me to love my vagina! I am currently on holiday in Spain, writing this surrounded by many Spanish ladies. All of them naked and all of them beautiful in their own way. My love to all vulva's out there, of any shape and size and colour!
P. - 20 years old
I AM NOT ALONE
I have a strong love and hate relationship with my vulva. Through the years, I have managed to like it aesthetically and accept the fact that my labia are not as short as I would like to or that my skin reacts quite badly to waxing. Nevertheless, my vulva also represents a great psychological and physical pain. I have been with my boyfriend for six years now, he is the first boy with whom I had intimate relations. His love for my vulva made me love it too. The fact that he was the only person that touched my intimate parts creates an incredibly precious relation to me. My vulva, which used to make us even closer, is now the element that tears us apart. I suffer from vaginismus, which makes penetration almost impossible and, when we manage to get to this step, extremely painful. When I think about it, it makes me hate my vulva. I remember watching hardcore porn back then thinking "that is exactly what I want to do" before knowing that even a finger would be painful.
I sometimes hate my vulva for making me feel immature (in bed and in my everyday life of course), for creating a frustration and a distance between me and my boyfriend, for being terrorized by gynecologists and of course, for compromising the plan to have children with the love of my life. But my vulva also represents a fight that I am determined to win thanks to love, self acceptance, relaxation and trust.
Vaginismus being quite taboo in the country I live in, I feel alone. But reading stories from different women joining the Vulva Gallery reminds me that I am not alone. Thank you for empowering us!
G. - 25 years old
IT MAKES ME MORE UNIQUE
Ever since I could remember, I've been terrified and disgusted over the appearance of my body, the number one issue being that of my vulva. My inner labia have always been uneven, the left being small and the right being about 1.5 - 2 inches long. The inner area has always been a darker color and my clitoris rather large. My labia would show outside of my outer labia, causing it to be uncomfortable to sit down sometimes as it'd get caught in my underwear. The sexual education course that was taught to us in middle school didn't help much either. They only taught us the basics of the vulva and just barely touched the subject of the penis as it was the all female class. The simple drawing presented to us of the vulva looked nothing like mine, in size, shape, or color. I was afraid to be in the class, because I felt so disgusted by my abnormal appearance - I felt like a freak. For the rest of my childhood and early adolescence, I would continue to loathe my own body. I would be too afraid to take baths or showers, as I'd have to confront my looks. I was too afraid to ask anyone for advice or even help on the matter. One day while in the bathroom, I used a hand mirror to see every detail of myself as I was a curious child. But that simple curiosity of my own body sent me into a panic attack, crying on the bathroom floor. I even contemplated cutting off my longer labia. I felt even more hatred for myself after I begun menstruating, as it just made it more difficult to deal with my "abnormal" genitals. At age 13/14 I started having boys interested in me. One boy wanted to have intercourse with me at some point, but I was too afraid as to what he'd think. Would he laugh at me? Would he think I had some STD? Would he make fun of me and tell his friends?? I completely shut myself away from many people, as this was the only thing they were interested in. Shortly after my 14th birthday, I met this guy who was different from the rest. I didn't see us lasting but I gave him a chance. He turned out to be the sweetest, most caring guy I've met, even though I was only 14. (young love, heh) Almost a year later, we started exploring sexual activities. I had never showed him or told him about how I looked, because I didn't want to drive him away. It took me about 5 months before I felt confident enough to show him my vulva, and 2 more years before showing him my entire body. And he loved me none the less, because he understood that vulvas aren't "perfect" and that they don't all look the same. He's helped me to love and embrace myself, as it only makes me more unique. We're still together today. After I found this page, I only felt more comfortable and empowered about my body and my vulva. I only hope that young vulva owners everywhere get the proper education about their own bodies. The lack of up to date sexual education I received is mostly to blame for my insecurities. The fashion of the vulva and uterus is just as important as its function. Thank you so much for allowing me to share my story!
P. - 18 years old
THANKS TO MY BOYFRIEND, I FEEL BEAUTIFUL
I'm proud to be part of your gallery and maybe help other girls. My boyfriend helped me most with loving myself. For four years now he tells me that I'm beautiful - no one told me this before. About my vulva he says: "It's the most beautiful place in the world". And after four years, I'm starting to believe him. He taught me that it's alright not to shave my pubic hair. That was unthinkable for me. From the first hairs I was used to always shaving everything smooth. But he taught me that I could be beautiful even with hair. He says I smell more now (in a positive way). I believe more in myself. And with pride I can say: my vulva is beautiful!
H. - 24 years old
I AM WORTH IT
- Content warning: this story contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors. -
The first time I ever thought about how my vulva looks from a aesthetic point of view, must have been around age 12. My mom had told me about anatomy and body functions since I was a child, so I did know a lot of things my friends didn't know. But one day I came across porn, and I started to think about surgery. I thought I looked weird, considering how all the porn girls/women looked. Then I experienced a rape. It made me think I was dirty. I was confused and scared, and I suddenly forgot how to say no. So I let anyone touch me, in any way they wanted. It didn't matter if it hurt, if it felt good, if I didn't feel it. Now that time has gone by, I've finally found a way to be okay. I've practiced saying no, because realized I am worth it. I don't let anyone touch me before I know that I want to. I look at myself with love, and I know that I look just as natural and okay as anyone else. It took time to get to this point, but I think anyone can do it if I could. I wish everyone would take time to go on a journey of self care. It couldn't be more worth it. And I truly believe that we can overcome terrible things if we understand our worth and importance. One thing that made me feel important and powerful was feminism, and all the things you can do with it. Standing up for yourself, for the people around you, for the society you wish to have.
L. - 18 years old
My portrait came.. I love it so much.
I have been on quite a journey this year with my vulva. I went to a yoni healing. I had a lot of deep issues and pain held deep within my yoni. I had disrespected myself and my precious vulva. I had no conscious understanding of how the vulva opens up and invites the man in for sex. I had painfully had sex for years by not allowing the wetness to be created but for the penetration to occur before she allowed it.
She should be worshipped as she is the entry point to the world. She holds so much power.
I thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for doing this beautiful portrait for me.. I love it.
R. - 34 years old
I would be honoured to be a part of your Vulva gallery and share my story. I love how you are putting it out there that every [vulva] is different and that although some are different it doesn't mean that they are weird or wrong. I stumbled upon your Instagram a few months back and it helped me to realise that I shouldn't be ashamed of my [vulva] just because it may look a little different than other ones. I used to be so self conscious about it, and even was self conscious with my boyfriend of 3 and a half years because it didn't look like other ones I've seen. I thought that having bigger labia was weird and unattractive. But you have made me love myself even more. And for that I am forever grateful! And I always look forward to seeing what new vulvas you draw and post! That is my story and thank you for telling others!! :) ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
A. - 20 years old
I'VE NEVER FELT MORE COMFORTABLE THAN I FEEL NOW
I've been following your Instagram account for a while and it's incredible how something so "simple" can be so empowering!
Growing up I struggled with my own vulva (my mons pubis specific as I learned how its called here, with you) and I never really knew how to address or talk about it with anyone. It's crazy, because nobody never said anything bad to me, bullied me for it or anything like that, but I'd still feel really bad about it. I leave in Rio, Brazil, and while everybody else was going to the beach I would struggle to wear a bikini and let it show. See, I was feeling down for not fitting into some standard and I didn't even realise it. In my head it was just wrong.
I remember when I first heard that you could do a reduction surgery on it. I was about 17 years old and I wanted to do it so badly.. and I've always been kinda against plastic surgery.
Talking to my mom very briefly about the surgery was as close as I ever got to expose how I felt to someone else.
I never got it done and today I'm very happy for it. I've never felt more comfortable and confident about it than I feel now, after I found this account! It's clear to me now that much of what I went trough could've been avoided if only work like yours had been presented to me at school age (and there should be a similar one for boys too). I've always believed diversity was beautiful, but it took me a little longer to see it in everything, in every aspect of our bodies and life. It feels good to finally speak so openly about this. I promise I'll try to do it it more often so maybe I can help others too.
Thank you so, so much. You can't imagine how important and meaningful your work is.
Much love and vulva power!
H. - 25 years old
I THINK TO MYSELF NOW: "WHAT A CUTE PUSSY"
Like many others have said before me, I haven’t always loved the look of my vulva. When I was younger, I remember noticing that my inner labia were growing longer (one more than the other) and I felt uncomfortable with that, so I would tuck them inside my outer labia (and still do sometimes to this day). Watching pornography, I would compare myself to the women on the screen and sadly, felt unrepresented as there weren’t many vulvas quite like mine. It came to a point where I even considered labiaplasty, but I look back and am so relieved I didn’t. I have a wonderful partner, who loves me, respects me, and has helped me feel more comfortable with my vulva. I am also so thankful for you, Hilde. I think it’s so important for women to see the variety of vulva in the world. Your art has certainly moved me and had it not been for you, I don’t think I would look at my vulva in the same way as I do now. Looking at the photo I sent to you and seeing your beautiful painting, I think to myself, “what a cute pussy”, words I would’ve never dreamed of saying many moons ago. Thank you!
D. - 29 years old
A MILLION OF NORMAL SHAPES AND COLOURS
I just want to say thank you. Really. I like my vulva. I mean, I used to think that my vulva was like all the vulvas in the world, because it's like how the vulvas in the media look. (And all the other vulvas I've seen look like that. I guess I don't really see so much of them in my life, so it might have been just a coincidence).
So, when I found the vulva gallery, I felt really ashamed. I didn't have idea that there are soooooo many types of vulvas. Actually, I feel a little stupid - ok, not "a little", I feel REALLY stupid- but now I know, and even tell my best friends: "Hey, did you know about this... it's amazing!". You work is beautiful and useful. I hope someday all people love their vulvas just the way they are. And, maybe, in the future, when somebody says "a normal vulva", we will ask "ok, which of a million of normal shapes and normal colours of vulvas?". That would be nice.
So, thank you again!!
Love to you!
M. - 28 years old
I ALMOST GOT A LABIOPLASTY, BUT I WON'T NOW
Thank you for what you do! I wish I'd seen pictures like this years ago - I've hated how I look for nearly 20 years and I almost got a labioplasty. I had been for a labioplasty consultation as well and was in the process of arranging the finance for the procedure so I really was so close to doing it. I won't now. You've saved me £3000!
I think that realistic pictures of the human body like this should be part of education - not just for girls, but for boys too, who are seeing mountains of distorted images in porn online. It's just as damaging for them as it is for us.
I will 100% show my daughters pictures like this (when I have some).
HAPPY AND EMPOWERED
I, like many, went through a whole body image phase, and believe it or not my vulva was the biggest issue I have had to grapple with! Nobody has ever decided they wanted to showcase body beauty in such a real way that I have responded to. I have never felt more comfortable with myself, than I had once I stumbled across your Instagram.
Words cannot express how happy and empowered this portrait you've done has made me feel! Thank you so very much, I wasn't expecting to feel so emotional over a painting of my vulva but I AM! I have always struggled with self image issues, specifically with the size and aesthetic of my inner labia. Before you and your work, and every informative and positive story or comment, I had no idea how diverse and beautiful our bodies can be. This has empowered me and helped beat that pesky self image issue.
Thank you so very much for allowing me to be a part of this amazing portfolio and message.
S. - 24 years old
I just want to thank you for creating this beautiful website and making women feel comfortable in their own skin.
Since I was a young girl I felt very insecure about my asymmetrical vulva, and I didn't learn that it was completely normal until I was in my late teens. A lack of decent sex education and early exposure to porn did not help me, and I actually thought about cutting my own labia. Now I'm in my late twenties I am very happy with how I look, in part at least because of brilliant projects like this one, which spread the word about the diversity of women's bodies.
Thanks so much and keep up the good work!
L. - 27 years old
I WAS A FLOWER BUD WAITING TO BLOSSOM
I'd like to share my vulva story from the point of view of a non-binary person :)
I never really hated my pussy, I was never insecure about it, I never compared my vulva to other vulvas... because I for a very long time felt no connection whatsoever. I never really noticed it. Never did I wonder what was down there, how it looks like, tastes like or smells like. However, upon discovering the bliss of masturbation, I noticed something else emerge: fear and shame. Fear of my vulva. I didn't dare to touch it! I discovered a quick and effective method to satisfy myself without the need of touching whatever was down there. And shame for being sexual in some way, for wanting to feel pleasure.
Those feelings continued to dwell in the back of my mind as I played and pleasured myself. Some time passed and I began questioning my sexuality and gender. I identified as asexual, and no longer was I a girl, rather non binary. This, while helping me feel more free and more like myself, created an even greater distance in connecting with my vulva.
It wasn't until, with the help of a friend, I took a step out of my comfort zone and a step closer to my vulva. I began to open up, I dared to touch my vulva and discover it's hills and valleys, delicate crevasses and sensitive peaks. I slowly started to form a bond with my forbidden garden. Through masturbation, I connected even more with myself and my sexuality flourished and evolved (my asexuality naturally changed into pansexuality, both of which are valid). Nonetheless, I began to struggle with the notion that vulva equals woman, and that menstruation equals woman. With small steps and long nights of talking with myself, I let go of that thought and my vulva no longer was a body part of a woman. It became a part of me, spiritually and physically. I also became fascinated by my menstrual cycle, learning to see it as something natural and beautiful, the complete opposite of what society teaches us.
After a long journey, I evolved to be sexually open and fearless, in love with my vulva, with my menstrual cycle, with myself. I have fully accepted my gender, my sexuality, my vulva, all of me. All along I was a flower bud waiting to blossom... And with time, patience and love, I did.
C. - 19 years old
I'M STARTING TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT IT
I'm 21 years old, and I still struggle with being comfortable with my vulva--more specifically my clitoris and long inner labia. I was born 4 months early and while I'm lucky I don't suffer from any major health problems, they put me on steroids to mature my lungs as they weren't ready for oxygen yet. The steroids created what is known as "preemie clitoris" which is the enlargement of it. I'm extremely self conscious but through the support of my boyfriend as well as others, I'm starting to feel better about it.
- W., 21 years old
MY VULVA IS BEAUTIFUL WITH HAIR
First of all, I love my vulva. I love it because it's small and pink. I like it's shape and all. But the thing that is very difficult to me is that I have a lot of hair. Everywhere. So it's very difficult to shave it. I have hair in every part of my vulva, so I felt that my vulva was disgusting. In all my sexual experiences, though, nobody has ever told me anything about my hair. But I'm still ashamed. But I made the determination to not shaving my vulva hair only because society teaches us that we have to be hairless. I have to learn to love my hair, because my vulva is beautiful with hair.
F. - 23 years old
When I was younger I was ashamed of my vulva, mostly because of porn and a young (very rude / very hurt) ex boyfriend who said one very nasty comment... it stuck with me for a long time. After that, I always manipulated sexual situations to make sure the lights were turned off. I didn't let my own partners see me... not even after years. But as I grew a bit older and braver and began dating quality men, my self-love also began to grow. Seeing vulva art also made me realize how much variety there is, and how beautiful each one is.
One day, I grabbed a hand-held mirror and observed my own vulva. I was surprised at what I saw. It was as if I was afraid to look at it, but when I did, I saw so much beauty. The folds and shape resemble butterfly wings – Graceful, delicate, feminine folds. And the gradient of pink, mauve and golden skin is stunning! After gaining that appreciation and confidence, I took a very courageous leap of faith and allowed my partner to see me, fully... broad daylight, wide open! He told me how beautiful it is. And all of my partners since then have said exactly the same. They adore it!
It fills my heart to finally give myself the love and adoration my vulva deserved all along.
Thank you so much for your lovely art!
YOU CAN STILL BE CONFIDENT NO MATTER WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE
I just wanted to thank you for having a page like this! I was 14 when I had the labiaplasty surgery. I felt like something was wrong with me and that boys would never want to touch me. My mom even freaked out, so I definitely thought something was wrong with me. Luckily there's this page that spreads awareness that not all vulva's look the same and you can still be confident no matter what you look like down there. I hope that some girl struggling with her body stumbles across this page and sees that her body is normal and beautiful too. Although I can't go back in time and reverse the surgery I am happy that other girls have this outlet. Keep being awesome!
I'M FEELING A LOT MORE POSITIVE ABOUT MY BODY
I just want to say that being subscribed to you for the past couple of days has already supported a shift in my relationship with my own body! I'm feeling a lot more positive and comfortable about it. Thank you, you're doing such a beautiful thing! 🌸💗🌺
FLAUNT WHAT WE GOT AND WORK WITH IT
Your Instagram basically changed my life. I've always been so insecure about how my vagina looks and I've always been scared to have sex with the lights on because my lips are much larger and stick out much more than those "perfect pussies". Your Instagram made me feel so much better, because it's not only me that goes through this unnecessary thought process, it's all of us. And it shouldn't be, because we can't even do anything about what it looks like; all we can do is flaunt what we got and work with it, and accept it and not be ashamed. So thank you for helping me cope with something I've never even had the courage to talk about.
I am a college swimmer and have been competitively swimming my entire life. Because of the nature of the locker room, I have seen more than a normal amount of female parts. My experiences in locker rooms and exposure to online nudity/porn has allowed me to appreciate the fact that no two vulvas are the same. In fact, I find the concept to be extremely beautiful.
Though I have been able to value the the uniqueness of the vulvas of other girls, I have failed to appreciate my own. My labia minora hang far below my labia majora, and the hood on my clit is very visible, even from a few meters away. Through my swimming career I have always grown out my pubic hair in a (poor) effort to hide my privates.
This year I have been trying to face my insecurities head on by accepting my vulva and shaving away my pubic hair. Hairless is so much more comfortable in a swimsuit!
I still become a bit uncomfortable when I see my labia lips reflecting in the mirror, but pushing myself to accept them has brought me a long way from the discomfort I grew up with. When I see your posts on Instagram, I am reminded to love my vulva, and appreciate my vulva's beauty as much as I appreciate other ladies' unique vulvas.
Again, thank you for your encouragement!
"HOW IT SHOULD LOOK" & HOW BODY POSITIVITY CHANGED ME
From a young age, (twelve) I was worried that my vulva wasn't normal, and I stressed about it for years. Years of worrying about my body later, I resorted to looking up porn, out of curiosity of what it was "supposed to look like" and I was horrified. I was horrified that my body didn't look like theirs. I even began to think of my body as disgusting. I didn't even want to look at it in the shower because it made me want to cry.. I also started hearing comments at school, about the way labia should look, and about how a "loose" vagina always had larger outer labia. Although the actual comments made were much more crude. And it hurt me so deeply, and I began to truly believe that my body was this awful, revolting thing that I should never think about. I never thought I could love that part of myself.
Until the body positivity movement began to become pronounced. I started seeing these beautiful, raw photos of women baring their belly rolls and their stretch marks with these amazing smiles. It moved me. It took a long time, years in fact, but slowly I started to love myself more. And the last thing to conquer, was my repulsion of my vulva, in particular my labia. The vulva gallery helped me tremendously on my journey, and now I can finally say that I've conquered that final obstacle. Yes there will be moments of insecurity, but I'll never again look at myself and be truly disgusted. How could I ever think that about myself? About this most intimate part of me?
The vulva gallery is truly a beautiful thing, and I wouldn't be the same person as I am now without it. I can't explain how much better I feel, there are no words. I guess true happiness comes the closest. Once you're at peace with yourself you can focus on bringing that peace into other people's lives and I plan on doing just that. Much love 💚
YOUR SCARS ARE NOT A FLAW
Ever since puberty, I have had pimples turn up on my bum and bikini line. I was so humiliated by them and terrified at the thought of anyone ever seeing my vulva and bum because of it. Shaving my pubic hair irritated the hair follicles really badly and would cause pimples again. After many years of this, my bikini line was left with dark purple Acne scars, and I still get the occasional pimple on the bikini line. I felt disgusting, gross, and frankly repulsive to any possible sexual partners. I remember wanting to only have sex with lights dim or off so they couldn't see. How could they not stare at the marks on me? How would they not be repulsed if they had oral sex with me? I felt intense insecurity and shame over the marks on my bikini line, especially since I couldn't find any images of people similar to me.
However, as I researched, I learnt many people with vulvas also had acne marks and scar marks on their bikini line and sides of mons pubis like I did. The online world gave me tips to help lessen the colouring of the scarring and tips on how to keep my vulva healthy, and knowing others were like me deeply comforted my fears.
After three separate sexual partners, I realised how irrational my fear of repulsion was. Most people who want to be intimate with you aren't going to stare and judge your body parts, they are there because they want to be intimate with you. I have had supportive and loving partners, who have complimented my vulva knowing how insecure I am which has helped me.
I still have difficulty accepting my scars and vulva sometimes. I still sometimes get shy and embarrassed by my scars. I know I'll always have some level of insecurity over my vulva and bikini line, but with research, respect and love from partners, I have learnt to take some measure of love in my scars. They are an extension of my body, and though some may seem them as flaws (including myself at times), I know these scars are just my bodies path into forming the human I am today, forming my body into a grown up from child.
For anyone finding trouble accepting their marks and scars in such intimate areas, I suggest baby steps. Start with simply learning your body, learning you. You will eventually find love in your individuality, in your quirks, slowly but surely.
I LOVE MY MONS PUBIS
I have always been a slightly bigger-than-average woman. I was aware of it when I was a kid and I secretly longed to be like the rest of the girls in my class: they were petit and gracious whereas I was quite concerned about what I looked like as a whole. My very specific problem was my tummy so I didn't analyse my body beyond that, I didn't even think about my mons pubis. 'Luckily' someone made me aware of how fat, big and ugly it was. It was essential to hide it.
Going to the beach was a great deal. I had my swimsuits either made or chosen with a fringe to conceal my 'big' mons. I was not allowed to lie down on the sand without bending one or both of my legs. It was not proper. My mons was large. I do remember well the first time I just lied down (not so long ago)... It gave me a sour-sweet taste: I was not decent but what was wrong with it? It turned out to be delightful. No body looked at it!!! It was absolutely normal!
I became a happy teenager who had to be on a diet once a year. One of those diets was the preparation for a mons liposuction. The only thing that prevented me from it was the cost. If I had the money, I would have gone through it.
Many years passed. Now I'm a grown-up and I have reconsidered all this. I can say that I did not have a problem with my mons pubis. Someone else did and made me think it was my problem when, in reality, it was hers. She was successful because I felt ashamed of it for years.
Oddly enough, none of my partners complained about it. My mons was loved and pampered and I was encouraged to love it as it is. It was so good to have compliments and warm words. They reminded me that every woman is beautiful as are their mons. I will never cover it again. I am determined to love me.
It is by complete chance that I came across this profile! And I'm actually feeling quite emotional right now. Thank you so so so much for having this profile here - I have always thought that the way I 'look down there' is abnormal and strange and weird and even 'off-putting' because it doesn't look like the diagrams in textbooks etc. I'm so happy I came across this page - it has now given me such an appreciation for my own unique body. Thank you so much! It's incredibly empowering and inspiring.
By the way, I've now started wearing a swimming costume without shorts! And I'm proud of it. Thank you for giving me the confidence to do so!
THANKS, CASUAL SEX !
I just want to say thank you. As a teenager I was kind of conditioned to believed that my vulva was ugly - by porn... I kept telling myself that I wanted to stay virgin till 18, because I'm "not a whore", and stuff like that. But come on, we all know that was bullshit. Soon I realized that the reason I wanted to stay a virgin is because I was VERY self conscious about my vulva. I honestly thought it was disgusting and never wanted to show it to anyone else. So when I first had sex, I was pretty much shocked. The guy didn't care. At all. The next one. Didn't care. The next one, the next one and so on. They ALL told me I was beautiful, while having sex. And that made me realize, I was normal. Thanks, casual sex!
I am normal, I am beautiful, my vulva is beautiful. And your account is beautiful. THANK YOU for showing women, girls that they are normal and beautiful!
I THOUGHT I LOOKED WEIRD
I just wanted to say that you're amazing. I remember when I was younger I thought mine looked so weird because I thought it was different from some dirty magazine I'd once seen on accident. It was really upsetting and I felt so different. I've learned now that no vaginas are the same, but even still I didn't realise how much I needed to read the things you say in captions until I added you recently. Thank you so much!
EDUCATING MY LITTLE SISTER
Hi there, I'm sure you get so many messages telling you how wonderful your work is, but I wanted to tell you how it has truly made me feel better about myself. I've gotten my young sister to take a look at your page so she can understand and acknowledge there are loads of different vulvas and every one of them is normal so she doesn't grow up ever thinking hers isn't normal as many of my friends and I have.
I think your work is truly incredible so I just wanted to say thank you.
Oh my goodness! You are such a gem. Honestly, you've made my day. Thank you SO much for representing vulvas of so many different shapes, sizes, colours, just everything. I've seen a recent post of yours and ..... for the first time ever, I saw an illustration and thought ..... wow!!! That looks just like me!!!!! I've NEVER felt any kind of reassurance from ANY sort of media about that area and the fact that you're dedicating an entire page of Instagram to bringing this feeling of belonging and joy to so many women makes me so happy. You are to be immensely congratulated. It is a feeling like no other. I've always felt that I'm strange, odd even, not rightly shaped down there in certain ways, since my main exposure to vulvas and majority of people's I'm assuming is through porn, which whilst I know is extremely unrealistic grows this feeling inside of you that you're not good enough somehow if you don't look like this prim, proper, perfectly shaven and basically inner labia-less vulvas. But YOU'RE working to change that and it is just so so beautiful that you are, and I cannot thank you enough, not just from me but on behalf of all women who have the privilege of following your page. Hope you have a beautiful day.
I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for your illustrations and convincing me that my vulva is perfectly "normal" and not too long, too ruffly, too pinkish brown, or gross. I'm 41, and I can't believe it took me this long to accept myself. I love what you're doing!!
I FEEL BETTER NOW
Thank you for this account. I always feel like my vulva just sort of looks too "big" like the labia are too "out there." But it's because all images are inaccurate representations that make it look like women have cute little vulvas that don't really have any labia. But I feel better now.
BE PROUD OF YOUR BODY
You are amazing. Love your work. I think that whatever size or shape body you have, it’s important to embrace it and get down! The female body is something that’s so beautiful. I wish women would be proud of their bodies and not diss other women for being proud of theirs!
VULVA ART MADE ME REALISE I'M PERFECTLY NORMAL
I really appreciate your work! Like so many others I used to think that my vulva was weird and abnormal just because I once read online an article describing how to perform oral sex with something like 'separate the outer labia to get to the inner ones' and I was just thinking WHAT - 'cause my inner labia were so very much on the "outside", so I googled a bit only to stumble upon others in forums who were equally worried about their labia being too much. Sadly some of the comments from ignorant guys got to me, saying that if the inner labia were too visible, they should be hidden by a certain amount of pubic hair... I felt ashamed about it for years, until I eventually came across a wide variety of vulvae presented through art like yours, illustrating that no matter how it looks it's perfectly normal!
I still need to practice my self love in that area, but I'm just so thankful there's people like you making and effort to promote the natural beauty of the female genitalia and inspire us all to love and accept ourselves for who we are. It's so important and your work gives me hope that especially the younger generation will come to realise this truth a lot sooner than I did. So thank you!
- A little side note to my story: in the Norwegian language there is a lot of words describing parts of female genitale consisting of the word 'skam' which translates to 'shame', which obviously is a very negative association to be stuck with from the first time one learns the different names. But apparently our word for cunt (fitte) stems from a word that means wetland, which is pretty nice!
EMBRACE YOUR VULVA
When I was around 13 years old I went to this party with my friend in a smaller town, it was her cousin's social group. This boy walked up to me and asked me if I had "beef curtains" and then the group of them burst into laughter. I didn't originally know what he was talking about until someone explained to me her was referring to my inner vaginal lips. I've got "meat" down there so this absolutely traumatized me that my lips could be dubbed into a mockable category of vaginas. I wondered if he asked me this because I was chubby, or why they would choose me for such a question! I still have bouts of insecurity towards my vagina and have been worried about it being too saggy or long in that nature since then. Thankfully I have had some really healthy partners that have boosted my self esteem in this department. Nevertheless, this affected me very harshly as a growing woman. As self love has taken over, I prefer it! Even in other women I always find bigger minora lips to be more beautiful to me! Embrace your vulva, no matter the size of any of it!
I love your account so much for so many reasons! It’s a little heartbreaking that so many people, myself included, have spent so many years in feeling that our vulvas are “gross” and should look differently. It took me until this year, when I found your page and entered into a relationship with a great, loving person, that I have actually totally accepted how my vulva looks. Because it’s normal! I also really love that in your posts, you never say “women with vulvas”, you say “people with vulvas”. There needs to be more trans and nonbinary inclusion in body positivity, and you are doing that so thank you so much!