Why do my inner lips hang lower than my outer lips?
Why are my labia so long?
How come my labia don’t look like the ones in Playboy?
Why do my lips look like Dumbo’s ears?
Why are some women’s inner lips tucked up neatly inside and mine aren’t?
Let me just say once and for all that if you’re one of those women (or men) who are wondering why some women have short lips tucked up inside and some women have long lips that hang out, EITHER WAY, YOU’RE NORMAL AND YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL!
I wanted to write this post mostly to show you this photo of “petals,” the up close and personal labia of a plethora of women. This poster was given to me by Nick Karras & Sayaka Adach
i, who have been involved in the I Love My Petals project. As a photographer and sexologist, Nick Karras longed to shine a bright, nurturing light on the “petals” of women to celebrate their diversity. Look at the wide variation between women and their shapes! Aren’t we all gorgeous?
To give you a bit more detail, here’s one of the questions and answers from my book:
What’s the most common labia size, and please don’t say that all vaginas are different and special. Seriously, what’s the most common?
I can honestly say I have never pulled out a ruler when a woman is in the stirrups. And like it or not, all vaginas are different and special. In general, though, overweight women tend to have bigger labia majora (outer lips) because the fat pads that live in the labia get bigger if you have more fat. Because labia minora (inner lips) do not contain any fat, their size is unaffected by body weight.
But okay, fine. You want numbers, and you’re in luck – there’s actual data. Gynecologists Bergh and Dickinson must have had a lot of time on their hands, because they did pull out the ruler while women were in the stirrups. After examining 2,981 women, they compiled this data about the labia minora:[i]
Size of Labia Minor Based on Examinations of 2,981 Women
If you, like me, find yourself tempted to pull out a tape measure and a hand mirror to see how you size up, let me offer this one suggestion. Lock the door. And put the tape measure back in the tool chest when you’re done, before anyone asks you what you’ve been measuring. Trust me on this one.
I’ll be writing more about how to love your labia, so stay tuned for posts about why we don’t all look like Playboy models and why nobody should be getting “vaginal rejuvenation surgery.”
Until then, love those petals, ladies. And if there are any dudes reading this, please be respectful of our differences and remember how lucky you are to even go there. If your new girlfriend’s labia look different than your last girlfriend’s did, celebrate the diversity!
[i] R. L. Dickinson, "Hypertrophies of the Labia Minora and Their Significance," American Gynecology, September, 1902
Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.com, Change Catalyst 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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