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  do you like the way your vagina looks? •   
every chance I get, I photograph vaginas...
It started one day when a friend of mine asked me if I liked the way my vagina looked. Apropos nothing: did I like the way my vagina looked? As I answered, I realized that I had never really taken a good look at it, and that other than a bit of porn, I hadn’t really seen any other women’s vaginas.

I was pretty sure that they were all different, but had nothing to point to when talking with my friend, who clearly thought there was something wrong with how hers looked. What could I say? It struck me that there should be a book, a visual reference for women like us. I would shoot one.

That said, I started asking women how familiar they were with vaginas.

While I had figured that my friend and I were typical in our lack of general vagina knowledge, I was still surprised when women said how they didn’t know what vaginas looked like, remarked on how little thought they gave them, shrunk with embarrassment from the conversation—and by how normal it was to know so little about such an important part of ourselves.

When I thought about men and their penises, it was a completely different story. Men are best friends with their penises. I see the penis as a power symbol, while women have hardly introduced themselves to their vaginas. I wondered how it came to be that the vagina, the gateway to life, would hold this lowly place in our collective consciousness.

There are other cultures who see things differently; they hold the penis and the vagina each as emblems of creative power. In Tantric Hinduism, the word for vagina also means sacred place. It is emblematic of all creative action, and its receptivity is not regarded as passive, but as energizing, empowering. What about us—what do our vaginas symbolize? That’s when the vagina vérité® project began.

vagina vérité® celebrates individuality and the beauty of all women. The book will present the point of view reserved for gynecologists and lovers, the view that is generally hidden or avoided. The portraits are close-ups. There are no stylists, no details about the model to set the mood for fantasy—just the elusive faces of the vagina in plain view. Each strikingly unique.

vaginaverite.com was born out of the conversations surrounding the book. It includes questionnaires, articles, links and information on vagina-related subjects. It is not moderated by any experts, just by me. The site is a collaboration, it changes and grows as women (and men) share sexual experiences, health concerns, questions about anatomy, menstruation, contraception, opinions about sex education, vagina style, outrage over violence against women...there is an endless range of subjects to be explored —I mean, if you think about it, is there anything that doesn’t ultimately come from, or lead to the vagina?

There are no photographs on the site. The v-portraits will be published in a book. I've completed the text (just the other day!) that will introduce the images and a print-on-demand version of the book is available here. From there, it's about finding a publisher. I'll keep you posted!

Alexandra Jacoby
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  Please note: Everything you will find on this site is intended to be a starting point for conversation. vaginaverite.com is not moderated by experts of any kind. vaginaverite.com is a forum for telling our stories, posing questions, and linking to sources of information and services. Every woman's body and experiences are unique, and any questions or concerns of a medical nature should be run by a doctor.  
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