The Labia Pride Movement Has A Few Problems


Your labia don’t need to look like this anymore than the rest of you does–but if you’re naturally smaller, it’s fine too! | Source: ShutterStock

There’s a new movement: to be proud of your labia instead of hacking them off in a plastic surgeon’s office, and we sort of love it. Sort of.

Here’s some backstory. The labia pride movement was sparked by girls being self conscious about the shapes, colors and sizes of their labia. It’s argued that porn sparked it, because many found that female porn stars have “Barbie bits“–tiny, pink and ostensibly perfect. Of course, there is no “perfect” set of labia. They’re all different, and provided they don’t cause you any discomfort, they’re all fine.

A new tumblr blog has emerged called the Large Labia Project (warning–there’s lots of nudity here, so don’t click on this in school or at work!), aimed at making girls who have larger than “normal” labia feel empowered. Girls submit photos of their scenarios down there in an effort to gain and spread acceptance of what their mamas gave ’em.

In theory, I love anything that encourages you to love yourself–all parts of you, from your head to your feet and whatever’s in between there–for who you are, as you are. That’s rad.

Here’s the problem, though. In an effort to make “real women” feel better about themselves, some labia proud ladies are taking shots at girls whose labia actually look like the imaginary “Barbie” ideal. Turns out, some girls are actually born like that. Labia, like boobs or entire bodies, come in all shapes, sizes, colors and textures. Shaming one to make another type feel better is bad news. Think of it in terms of thin women who are often shamed or shunned in support of body image advocacy for larger girls. Not cool, right?

Additionally, the Large Labia Project is a blog run by a girl who sells her used panties and nude photos to strangers online, which–I mean, whatever floats your boat, but doesn’t it make you wonder exactly who’d be looking at your and everyone else’s labia on that blog and for what purposes?

Another site that’s less creepy but has a name we can’t print here (and again, warning–lotsa nudity) actually reports part of why labia are so controversial: Apparently in Australia, they’re often airbrushed into the “Barbie” shape, even if the woman photographed has bigger labia. WTF?

Something else that bugs me a little is that people blame porn for spreading the image of little labia being ideal. I don’t think porn is the problem necessarily. People forget that porn has been around since we first figured out that we could carve dirty things into cave walls, and if you dig hard enough, you’ll find porn with little labia, big labia, and everywhere in between. It’s just that until relatively recently with the advent of Brazilian waxing as a damn near requirement for porn stars, people couldn’t see the labia much–they were often obscured by (God forbid) pubes.

In a nutshell: Your labia are fine. If they’re tiny, they’re fine. If they’re lengthy, wide, whatever–they’re fine. And if they’re invisible because you don’t shave or wax, that’s fine too. You know why? Because your labia are just that–your labia, and thereby your business.

Do you think the labia pride movement is a good one? Do you ever feel self-conscious about your labia? Do you think the Large Labia Project is a good idea? Tell us in the comments!

Seriously? Labioplasty, unless you’re in physical pain, is a bad idea.

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Posted in: Body Image
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  • Shadyrose

    Definitely karma.

  • nee

    I’m one of those girls whose labia naturally look Barbie. I never worried about till this shit came up. If we could just get over the idea that normal exists, things would be better.

  • Penny

    I have really long labia and im really insecure about it. Will guys be turned off by this?

    • Phil

      Definitely not!

  • crossdresser

    After silicone implanted breasts, face & backs surgeries and asshole bleaching it seems to be en vogue to colour and enlarge labia. I am curious what will come next !

  • Mya Faire

    There is a deformity known as labial hypertrophy in which the labia minora are so distended that it causes discomfort. I was afflicted — yes afflicted — by this condition for most of my life, unaware that it could be fixed. I underwent labial reduction surgery in my late 30s, and have never had a moment’s regret. No longer does this sensitive mucous membrane tissue rub against my underwear, causing discomfort and rashes. I do not advocate surgery designed only to meet someone’s conception of what’s ideal. But I don’t want women who truly suffer from labial hypertrophy to be put-off of corrective surgery if it will improve the quality of their lives, as it did mine. This is this only body-modification surgery I’ve ever had. My sagging boobs are entirely normal, and I don’t plan to do a thing about it!

  • Dottie

    I have never been worried about the size of my labia my boyfriend has no problem with it so neither do I

  • LaLaLa

    I’ve seen lots of girls on this website upset and worried about their tiny labia, big labia, saggy labia, wide labia … It doesn’t matter. Notice how after tiny, big, saggy and wide, it said labia? Whether it’s any of those things, it’s still a labia! So if you’re worried about what the person you take to bed will think, whilst you’re worrying about what it will look like, they are just super glad they got your labia into bed! So stop worrying, gURLS. 🙂

  • Lolly

    Respecting and appreciating body diversity keeps us all sane. I don’t think it’s such a good idea to divide labia into ‘large’ and ‘small’, though. Collect every size and shape, and then we’ll get a better idea of what normal really is. (Same goes for ‘plus size’ versus ‘regular’ fashion shows. Don’t concentrate so much on categories; mix it up).