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The Great Wall of Vagina

Lissa Rankin's picture

Great Wall of Vagina

You all know I’m a big fan of vaginas. Vaginas and I are like peas and carrots. As the Girlfriend Gyno, author of What’s Up Down There, founder of OwningPink.com, and a general lover of women, I think vaginas rock. Which is why I spoke at the BlogHer keynote about why we can’t say “vagina” on national television. It’s why I traveled around the country speaking to college women about how awesome vaginas are.

And check this out! The top ten most trafficked posts on Owning Pink are about - you guessed it - VAGINAS.

10 Vagina Posts You’re Sure To Love
  1. 15 Crazy Things About Vaginas
  2. The Pretty Pink Pussy Tour
  3. Sperm Trumps Vagina, WTF?
  4. 20 Things Every Woman Should Know About Vaginas
  5. How Long Are Normal Labia? Part 1 of Dr. Lissa Rankin’s Love Your Labia Series
  6. Want a Raise? Wash Your Vagina
  7. Things You Don’t Tell Your Doctor (But Should)
  8. What, We Can’t Say Vagina? 
  9. Questions You Should Ask Your Gynecologist
  10. Vaginal Rejuvenation Surgery

So there’s a reason my fans started calling me VaJesus (no irreverence intended. Jesus is my homeboy and I’d never diss Him in any way).

Anyway, this little vagina intro is just a roundabout way of introducing you to something that will KNOCK YOUR PANTIES OFF! Introducing artist Jamie McCartney’s Great Wall of Vagina (cue screaming, passionate, roaring applause!)

 Great Wall of Vagina

Jamie spent 5 years sculpting plaster casts of the wildly different vulvas of real women ages 18-76.

Watch this video about Jamie and his project:


If you can forgive him for his anatomically incorrect title (it should be Great Wall of Vulva, rather than Great Wall of Vagina), it’s absolutely stunning. I was so touched and inspired by his work that I reached out and introduced myself to Jamie. About his work, Jamie said:

Many women have anxiety about their genital appearance. It appalled me that our society has created yet one more way to make women feel bad about themselves. I decided that I was uniquely placed to do something about it.

The sculpture comments on the trend for surgery to create the 'perfect' vagina. This modern day equivalent of female genital mutilation is a bizarre practice, which suggests that one is better than another. 400 casts arranged in this manner is in no way pornographic, as it might have been if photographs had been used. One is able to stare without shame but in wonder and amazement at this exposé of human variety. For the first time for many women, they will be able to see their own genitals in relation to other women's. In doing so, they may dispel many misconceptions they may have been carrying about what women look like 'down there'.

Amen, Jamie! When I solicited questions for What’s Up Down There, 90% of the questions were variations on “Am I normal?” And 90% of the answers were “Yes, you’re normal, and you’re beautiful.” As I described in Why I Talk About Vaginas, I think we need to normalize girly parts. Why are we so afraid to talk about them? Why are most women disgusted by their genitals? Why do 90% of us think there’s something wrong with us when we’re perfectly normal?

I’m on a mission, not only to start the Vagina Dialogues, but to help women learn to love all of themselves, not just their vulvas and vaginas, but their big beautiful hearts, minds, and spirits.

As a gynecologist, I’ve been blessed to bear beautiful witness to more than 10,000 vulvas and vaginas, but most women are not so lucky. Unless you’re a doctor, bikini waxer, or lesbian, you may have never seen another vulva in your life. So pass this on to every woman you know. Show them the beauty of what a woman looks like so they might start a love affair with their own intimate anatomy, which not only heals, it helps you thrive.

What do to think? Are you ready to give Jamie a big round of Pink applause? Are you grossed out? Does this shock or surprise you? Share your thoughts here.

Worshipping at the Great Wall of Vagina,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.comPink Medicine Woman coach, motivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.



Kristina's picture

Fantastic! But...

I do find it annoying that a wall of photographs of vulvas would be considered pornographic, but that's a commentary on our ridiculously Puritan society, not the artist.

Lissa Rankin's picture

Dear Anonymous LOOVE

What a great idea- a Great Wall of Pecker! You hear that Jamie? Let's open our hearts to men and their unique anatomy as well!
Much love

Anonymous's picture

Hi Lissa! Loove this and

Hi Lissa!

Loove this and absolutely wish it was in my hometown to go see and support!

As a side note, I am completely in love with this site and have gained so much knowledge and encouragment and feelings of community especially regarding sexuality. I have been realizing though in my efforts to be fully honestly me as well as compassionate and loving to myself and others I have found that- after years of putting up with sexists jokes, mild-moderate sexual harrassment, feeling less worthy just for being a women- I really have developed a hard spot when it comes to men. To put it this way, i would love to look at a wall of penises (which would also be educational anatomywise) and feel the same compassion that I have for a wall of vaginas rather than being reminded of the threats of rape in this world, arrogant sexism, and even men intimidating each other with all of the "size" wars. There are absolutely men that I respect and love, but when it comes to sexuality the previously stated issues are ingrained. Maybe we could have an article involving male sexuality from an Owning Pink perspective?

seagirl's picture

Great Idea

Wow! What an awesome idea! Never would have thought of that. It's interesting how sex roles are so ingrained in the imagination and lives of all of us, isn't it? I have to admit there is an association with rape attached to penises, not just in this country, but probably worldwide. It's such a shame, really, that sex gets used as a weapon. Women do it too, just in different ways, since we don't have penises. Shame and prejudice show themselves in many various forms.

Tinamarie's picture


Subject line says it all. Thanks Lissa. Good stuff.

By the way, have you heard of the book by Wrenna Robertson, I'll Show You Mine?


seagirl's picture

Great Wall

I have to say I find it amazing. Other than the name being incorrect, which I think, actually, is a big deal. What is wrong with using the word, "Vulva"? I know, most people have trouble with vagina also, but how many of us say vulva either? Or refer to it as such? Why are so many other words, such as "pussy" so much easier to say?

I have to say I'm surprised by the stat that 90% of women have a hard time with their looks down there? I can't say that I've spent one minute worrying about this! Never had a reason to.

Thanks for sharing this artist & his work!

Kathleen Prophet's picture


I LOVE IT! How Awesome, Lissa! This is truly a great effort and work of art!

I have cast most parts of my and other women's bodies in the context of women's mystery rites for the reclaimation of the body temple as sacred. This has GOT to the next piece we do.

These work well with your pieces. That would be a GREAT SHOW!! The Great Wall of Vagina & The Woman Inside!

Thanks so much for keeping us informed of this way cool stuff! xo

Anonymous's picture


I feel embarrasment, but then again I'm a double Virgo. I fall into the category of women who feel disgusted by their genitals.

Sarah Cairncross's picture

Touched by the Vagina Wall

My friend Michelle lives in Brighton where Jamie's studio is and went to visit it and meet him when he exhibited the Vagina Wall during Brighton Festival recently.

He's a really lovely guy and is genuinely delighted by the interest his work has created and how it's got both men and women talking positively about sexuality - and not in hushed tones either. In fact, when I went along, the tiny space was so packed, people were queuing in the tiny Brighton lane to wait their turn to get in, up close and personal.

Here's a link to her blog post about her experience - http://www.inspiritess.com/2011/05/the-vagina-wall-13th-may/

When you comment on an Owning Pink blog post, we invite you to be authentic and loving, to say what you feel, to hold sacred space so others feel heard, and to refrain from using hurtful or offensive language. Differing opinions are welcomed, but if you cannot express yourself in a respectful, caring manner, your comments will be deleted by the Owning Pink staff.