As a teenager, I used to sit with my legs propped open with a mirror slightly tilted to see the surroundings of my vagina. My vulva, with its fading colors and distinct black mark right beside my vaginal opening, looks like God wisped the colors of earth together and signed Her name with a dash of black ink. Lips parted, I’d look at the skin overlaying my opening, slightly scrunched up and poking out at places. And I’d wonder if my vulva were normal with its ranging color palette and unique skin canvas. My vulva wasn’t porn star material or really the sexiest piece of anatomy to look at. But she was mine, sculpted in my mother’s womb just for me. And I made a decision to grow to love her, regardless of whether she was “normal” or similar to other women’s vulvas.

I recognize that many women are scared or uninterested in examining their most intimate lady parts. It’s easier to simply wash and wipe our vaginal areas or spread our legs for our lovers, without personally taking an in depth look. To take our fingers, peel back our layers, and touch ourselves, even just for examination purposes, can feel awkward or sinful. But to carry a body part with you that has the potential to push out life, deliver back-arching pleasure, and serve as a reminder of your womanhood, calls for you to get to know your perfection.

Our vulvas are perfect: lips longer or shorter, openings looser or tighter, and colors darker or lighter. It’s the one piece of anatomy, apart from our breasts, that ties us together as female. And yet, it’s a body part in which no two women look the same. Our vulvas are physical metaphors for the diversity in womanhood, and embracing our individual uniqueness is the challenge that calls for us to stand.

As more women sign up to have plastic surgery done on their vulvas, there are also more women putting aside vulnerability and fighting for us to celebrate our vulvas’ individualities. It’s empowerment that’s not necessarily sexual but rather rooted in body wisdom and self-confidence.

The core of “vulva empowerment” proposes:

  • While our vulvas don’t define us, they are part of us, and something to be examined, honored, and appreciated.
  • There is no universal perfect vulva. Perfection has many forms, and it’s up to you to claim your vaginal “art” as perfectly yours.
  • Sex should never entail the degradation of your vulva or vagina. Your partner should reinforce your perfection and remind you of your beauty as a whole.

While it may sound like a bit much, I’d like to encourage more women to visually and sensually get back in touch with what’s between their legs. It’s a key part of our health, both physically and spiritually, and it’s an opportunity to empower our bodies with more than just sex. If you already love your vulva, that’s wonderful and let this be a reminder to continue on that journey. But if you’re struggling to find its beauty, scared to see its reflection, and get personal, let this be encouragement.

How do you feel about your vulva? And when is the last time you took a real look at your anatomical greatness? Speak on it!

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