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!