A common theme in the messages I receive is the insecurities that young individuals develop because of peers or insensitive lovers (talking about ‘ugly’ and ‘weird’ vulvas) and the body types they see in porn. Many individuals learn that there’s just one ‘perfect’ body type; they see the ‘cute, tight, tiny vulvas’ in porn and learn that this is the only beautiful kind of vulva there is. The only place where they find imagery of genitals, is in porn. Porn is easily accessible, however it gives a highly distorted image of reality: the mainstream photos and videos simply don't reflect the broad diversity in body shapes. All models are athletic and skinny, many are white, and they all have either a large penis or a tiny vulva (both completely shaved). Seeing this and seeing a big difference compared with one's own body can result in deep rooted insecurities and a negative genital self-image. In the messages I received this often led to not wanting to be naked in front of anyone else (deep feelings of shame) and the wish for surgery in order to just ‘be normal’. •
The combination of these things (a lack in education, a distorted view on what is normal, and peers who make jokes about particular body types) gives a young individual a very instable base to stand on. They have nothing to defend themselves with, simply because they don't know how to. They never learned to speak about sexuality and their body, they never learned about diversity in body shapes, and they never learned that they are in fact normal and don't need to be ashamed. Surgery suddenly seems appealing, offering a "quick fix" to their problem.
This is why good sexual health education is so much needed. Open communication about bodily diversity, accompanied with images illustrating the broad variety, is the first step towards an accepting and appreciative view on one's body. •
Love yourself, and love your vulva - because all vulvas are amazing just the way they are 💕✨