An Open Letter from your Vulva

by Danielle Lyons

Hey,

It’s me, your Vulva. Perhaps you and I got off on the wrong foot. I feel as if I get a bad rap or am known for being gross. Even Erin Mckelle from Everyday Feminism says, “We’ve created an entire culture around what vulvas are ‘supposed’ to look like, leaving a huge portion of the vagina-having population feeling less-than.” I feel like our relationship is a bit lacking. I was hoping to better that. Maybe get to know each other better. Because let’s face it, I’m a part of you. Literally. Let’s reacquaint ourselves shall we?

Diagram_showing_the_anatomy_of_the_vulva_CRUK_285.svg

By Cancer Research UK (Original email from CRUK) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

There are some things that you should know about me. Now, don’t be intimidated, I’m just going to tell you what I’m made of. You’ll notice my Mons Pubis, which is the fatty tissue covering the pubic symphysis. Then we have the Labia Majora and Labia Minor. Often referred to as the inner and outer lips. Then, of course, the stars of the show are the vaginal opening and the clitoris. Last but certainly not least is the urethra and the anus. Not too scary huh? If you’re still yearning for some more information about me, hop on Our Bodies Ourselves. They have a pretty nifty diagram and extensive information.

Let’s face it, there is a certain ideal that vulvas are held to. That ideal is usually compact, hairless and delicate looking. Which is a total crock. We vulva’s come in many different colors, shapes sizes and haircuts. Unfortunately, that diversity is hardly recognized or represented. This leaves so many women pondering the question, “Do I have an ugly vulva?” Hannah M. Brasswell of Bleeding Feminism agrees, “Lack of information leaves many young (and old!) people under the impression that there’s something “wrong” or “abnormal” about their vulvas.” So, if you’re worried about how I look, don’t! I’m unique in my own right. Ignore all the hype. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with how I look. I’m downright amazing, no need to be ashamed.

Sincerely,

Your Vulva