It just happened like that. She asked me if I liked the way my vagina looked, a friend of mine, and I heard it as soon as the question mark hit the air between us.
Her belief that there was something wrong with hers, that it didn’t look the way it was supposed to look, and its source: the underlying premise of our female lives, that there is a right way for your body to look and for it to be—in parts, inspected and graded piece by piece (as in the case of my friend’s vagina), and as a whole, as the container for who you are, for the life you get to live.
It was one of those moments where every cell in my body felt it, received the smack of someone else deciding our worth as female and claiming sovereignty over our bodies. Every time it happened, I would think: this has to stop. I have to be part of making it stop.
Well, this I could do. I could shoot this book.
I’ve photographed over 100 vagina portraits. I shot from the point of view reserved for gynecologists and lovers (sometimes), the view that is generally hidden or avoided. The images are square and a little larger than life, to properly extend the invitation to look.
There are no stylists, no details about the model to set the mood for fantasy or to objectify us—just the everyday vagina in plain view. Each strikingly unique.
It’s a collective mirror of our individuality, expressed through an endlessly interesting aspect ourselves, the faces of our vaginas.
It raises a lot of questions.
What do you think?