- Content warning: this story contains information about self harm which may be triggering to some readers. -
I have always suffered from low self esteem but a really low point for me (and my vulva) was a reaction to a negative comment on the before photos of labiaplasty patients. My self confidence plummeted and I attempted to cut off the parts of my inner labia that are visible when standing: the little extra bits that get caught when riding a bike; the skin that I am conscious of when I stand front on, naked, facing somebody; the sensitive parts that touch my inner thighs when I walk unclothed, reminding me always that they are there; the bits that I tuck inside my outer labia when wearing tight jeans or riding a bike or even just when I want to stand in front of the mirror and pretend that I am ‘neat’. Luckily I didn’t get very far before the realisation of what I was attempting to do took over. I healed with no visible damage but it was the beginning of a journey to self acceptance and confidence.
I found blogs dedicated to women with larger labia and art pieces celebrating female genital diversity. The Vulva Gallery has been the icing on the cake, because to see a vulva depicted from the front, showing the limitless variety in shape, size, texture, colour and every other possible variation alongside positive messages of acceptance is a daily reminder to be kind to myself and continue to try to embrace and be proud of my uniqueness.
C. - 33 years old