Is Vagina Shame a Thing?

Body image is a weird thing. Does there exist a single person who is 100 percent happy with their body, how it looks, and how it moves? Some want our bodies to jiggle less, other want a bit more jiggle. And then there are our vaginas and vulvas. Whether you were a teenager when you were curious about your own bits and pieces and what they look like and how they work, or you were older when you started to question your vagina’s good looks, it’s likely something every one of us has wondered about.

There are several factors that may have had an affect on how you view your vagina. If none of this sounds familiar to you, and you’re perfectly happy with everything about your vagina, labia, and clitoris, then congratulations (sincerely!) – you are far more advanced than most of society.

Our Upbringing

Ever sprinkle baby powder in your panties at your mother’s or grandmother’s insistence? It’s to keep you smelling fresh, they said. But why and for whom? Your vagina is not supposed to smell of baby powder, pineapples, or any other scent, other than its own fragrance.

What we recently learned, though, is that the talcum powder of yesteryear was actually doing way more harm than good (aside from the shame of our pussies). A jury recently awarded more than $70 million to the family that sued Johnson & Johnson when a woman died of ovarian cancer, caused by the baby powder she applied every day to her undies to keep her fresh and clean. She was 59 years old.

Society

A lot of porn can give women (and men) unrealistic expectations of how their bodies should look. It’s especially damaging if you’re exposed to this early on and you’re not aware that this is not the norm. Some women have symmetrical labia, sure, but most do not. Some labia are large and purple and bumpy, while others are smaller and more pinkish.

In the quest for the perfect vagina and vulva, women often subject themselves to painful operations, waxing, and apply products to make them more appealing to their partners. It can be quite dangerous.

The Pursuit of Money

vagina shameThe beauty industry doesn’t help level the playing field when it comes to insecurities about vaginas. Rather, it exploits those fears by offering a variety of washes, douches, and accessories to make you feel more confident about your vagina and vulva.

Products exist to change the look, feel, scent, and taste of your vagina, and all in an effort to make another buck. And they’re all banking on you feeling so bad about yourself and your vagina, that you’ll buy these products to make you more appealing to whom? The opposite sex, of course.

Men

Many men expect hairless vaginas. They claim they want a neatly trimmed or bald one, and that it should be clean and smell fresh. Here’s the thing, though: It’s your vagina. You decide whether you want to trim. And soap isn’t even good for it. As Dr. Traci Johnson puts it: The vagina is like a self-cleaning oven.

 

Share: