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.
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!)
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.com, Pink 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.
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