Instagram models are about one photoshop session away from resembling AI. The pron industry has been performing a falsified idea of sex—and caricatures of women—for decade. An amalgamation of this and many other social constructs lead us here, now, studying our vaginas in a handheld mirror, asking ourselves: is my vagina ugly?
NO!!! It is absolutely NOT. Yet, this is very unfortunately a question every woman has at some point asked herself, because the poisoning of patriarchal ideals and a male-centric sex industry has made us forget that we are mammals with bodies built for functionality rather than to feed heterosexual men’s aesthetic desires.
Maybe a bit aggressive right out the gate, but it’s our job to dismantle any ideology that stands in the way of unconditionally loving our vessels—in every shape, size & color in which it expresses itself. We hope you find validation & some form of healing as you follow along.
The Anatomy of a Vagina
One major disadvantage women have in confronting disenfranchisement is not being taught enough about the anatomy of our vaginas. Beyond those jarringly graphic American Girl books that taught us how to insert tampons as tweens, have you ever taken the time to get to know your downstairs gal pal and all that she’s equipped to do?
Often compared to a self-cleaning oven, your vagina is host to a variety of bacteria and fungi that keep it healthy. These tiny organisms coexist in a delicate ecosystem, known as your microbiome, or vaginal flora.
While the average vagina is a little over 3.5 inches deep, its size can be altered by various factors, including your age, weight, and life stages like menopause. This canal-like organ is located inside of your body and opens outside of your body, a passage that leads from your uterus to your vulva.
Our pleasure center, the clitoris, is the superstar of the vulva. Located under a clitoral hood, everyone’s clit varies in size and length—it may be as small as a pea or as big as a thumb. Another pleasure component, the G-Spot is located just a few inches inside of your vagina, on the front wall.
Your urethral opening is the tiny hole you pee from, located beneath your clitoris. Your vaginal opening is where a baby exits during childbirth, and where period blood flows during menstruation.
If you’ve ever Googled, “why do I have vag lips,” the purpose of your labia is actually protection, keeping everything in your vulva safely tucked away. Your labia may be short or long, wrinkled or smooth, and one lip might even hang a bit longer than the other. The color of your labia can change as you get older, varying from dark brown to pink. Some people have larger outer lips than inner lips, and many have larger inner lips than outer lips. Regardless, both are sensitive and swell up a bit when you're turned on.
Is My Vagina Normal?
No matter the color, texture, size, or width, unless you’re dealing with some sort of infection, your vagina is totally and completely normal. Things might not be perfectly symmetrical down there because—surprise!—you are a human person and not a Michaelangelo painting. Nevertheless, you are a masterpiece.
There are a ton of outliers that can affect the way your vagina looks, including razor bump scars from regularly shaving. But not everyone wants to sit through the pain of a Brazilian wax, nor invest thousands into a year of laser hair removal. Most importantly, the question that should truly be asked is: why do I want my vagina to be bald in the first place? Is it a hygienic preference, aesthetic preference, or to appease an internalized male gaze?
Vaginal rejuvenation procedures have also skyrocketed in popularity, ranging from noninvasive to fully surgical. While this is important to question, there are also a myriad of reasons why someone would consider undergoing such a thing. Maybe you’ve undergone some sort of trauma, are suffering from a lack of vaginal tightness and urinary incontinence, or simply want to treat yourself to a more “youthful-looking” vulva. What matters most is clarifying the intention behind a decision as substantial as vaginal rejuvenation, and making sure it’s truly for you.
Why do I hate how my vagina looks?
Way too many of us believe that our vaginas are ugly or gross. Do you think men question the aesthetic disposition of their scrotum? Probably much more rarely, because deeply rooted patriarchal constructs don’t ask that of them. So why should we carry the burden of self-loathing?
Here are some ways to ease into falling in love with your vagina:
Spend time looking at her in the mirror
Grab that handheld mirror and let’s get intimate. The more you avoid getting to know what your vulva actually looks like, the more of a distant stranger she’ll be. Acquaint yourself with all of her curves, edges, and folds—that familiarity often leads to comradery.
Getting to know the way your body experiences pleasure is key to healing your relationship with your vagina. From clitoral to vaginal, pick out a sex toy that feels right for you or explore using your own fingers, and treat yourself to a well-deserved orgasm.
Talk to your friends
The truth is, we’re all victims of adopted misogyny and have at some point hated something about our vaginas. The more we discuss that misogyny within our social circles, the more we can actually disempower it by realizing we’ve all been brainwashed.
Exercise your boycott power
Ban unethical porn, negative self-talk, and sleeping with people that make your body feel like anything below unconditionally and ravenously sexy. It’s time to demand your power back, and only you can take the aligned action.
Adorn your vagina
Spoil your vagina the way you do your nails when getting a mani, or your scalp when getting your hair done. This means lathering her in pH-friendly oils, investing in probiotics and rose-petaled baths, and splurging on sexy (cotton!) panties.
Your Vagina is Perfect
Breaking news: if your vagina is carrying out her basic set of functions, she’s perfect. If she’s unable to do that, she’s still perfect, and you should speak with your OBGYN about how to help her function more efficiently.
While undergoing gender-affirming surgery will of course impact some of these circumstances, a vagina’s sole purpose is pleasure, menstruation, urination, and childbirth. Get your regular pap smears, address any abnormalities right away, and beyond all else, embody the radical revolution that is loving your vagina at any cost.