One day, out of the blue, a friend of mine asked me if I liked the way my vagina looked. We were meeting for drinks after work, and on hello, before my butt hit the bar stool, she asked me: Do you like the way your vagina looks? I think this was sometime in August of 2000.
Even before I answered, I already knew that she thought there was something wrong with hers. That it wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. And, that there was nothing I could say, as her friend, who would, of course, always be reassuring –that would convince here that she was normal.
Maddening. This just made me so mad.
So, I decided, or the moment, her question, decided for me: that if there wasn’t already one out there, that I would shoot a book. The reference we women, my friend, deserved. I drew the shot I wanted to see on a post-it, and told her that the title of the book would be vagina vérité, like cinéma vérité: French for documentary film. I knew exactly how the book should be, what the answer to her question was.
And, while I didn’t have a clue how I would do it, I was all in: the unabashed exploration of the plain, ordinary, mysterious matter of vaginas.
10 years, 110 v-portraits.