“Where would you normally see another vulva?” photographer Laura Dodsworth asks me. “Mainly only in porn,” she answers. “Especially if you’re looking online. But there’s a world of difference between how you see vulvas in porn – and how you see them in real life. It’s so important for women to know what vulvas look like. It can help with body image anxiety. We really need to talk about them because many women haven’t looked at their own. They don’t know what’s down there.”
“Some of the women I met had looked at themselves lots, some women had never looked and didn’t want to see it, and some women saw it for the first time on the back of my camera, which was a big deal. They asked me, ‘Is that what it’s supposed to look like?’, and I found myself explaining what different parts of them are and telling them that everyone’s different.”
The idea that women are turning away from pleasure because they’re worried about what they look, smell and taste like has unearthed a fundamental message for Laura.
“Shame is a really big problem for human beings,” she sighs. “Where I’ve found that, generally, men are under pressure to be ‘enough’ – big enough, getting laid enough, rich enough, man enough – women feel like they’re ‘too much’ – too fat, too hairy, too saggy, too female. Frankly, we just need to be as we are. Yes, you can look at the photos and go ‘Wow, we all look really different’, but it’s also about connecting with the honesty of these stories. Because if you find yourself feeling admiration, pride and inspiration for another person, it becomes easier to apply that to yourself, too.”
Les hele intervjuet med fotograf Laura Dodsworth i bbc uk her.
Bildet i dette innlegget er et screenshot fra bildet i artikkelen, tatt av Laura Dodsworth.
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