There are a lot of misconceptions about how female anatomy should look. Especially the vulva.
The vulva is the whole external package of your genital area. And the vagina is a muscular tube that runs from the cervix down to the vulva.
Every vulva is different and there’s really no ideal or ‘normal’ way a vulva should look. All vulvas are normal, and the skin can vary in length, color, thickness, and texture.
It’s important for women to see vulvas, including their own.
So let me ask you this. How comfortable are you exploring your own body?
We are taught to do self-breast exams to help us identify changes in our breast tissue.
But what about our vulvas?
Getting to know your own vulva is a good way to visually identify changes in your vulvar tissue, overcome body image anxiety, and also learn about how your body responds to pleasure.
I get it. Exploring your vulva can feel a bit uneasy if it’s new to you. As women, we may carry shame or have experienced trauma that makes us confront big stuff that we’d rather keep locked away.
You can ease into this practice by doing the following:
Grab a mirror. Next time you get out of the shower or have some alone time, grab a mirror and spend a few minutes simply observing your vulva. It may be easiest to put your foot on the edge of your tub or a chair. Use your fingers to move between the folds, and allow yourself time to examine both the exterior and interior of your vulva. Remember that all vulvas look different, so this isn’t the time to be self-critical. This is a good time to get to know yourself. This will also help you better relate to your body during self-pleasure or intimacy with a partner.
- Make it a priority to get to know your body better for YOU. It’s easy to deflect our self-exploration as a way to better satisfy a partner. But this practice should be all about you. The vulva is a beautiful part of who you are. And it’s also part of your body like any other body part. Imagine spending your whole life not knowing what your hands look like. Sounds outrageous, right? Your female anatomy deserves as much care and attention as the rest of your body.
This is a big step toward coming out of your shell. Move forward with grace and don’t be hard on yourself as you ease into these practices.