About the project
The vagina vérité® project began when a friend of mine asked me if I liked the way my vagina looked. Out of the blue, she just said: Do you like the way your vagina looks?
As I answered, I realized that I had never really taken a good look at it, and that other than a bit of porn –retouched images which don’t count, I hadn’t actually seen any other women’s vaginas.
I was sure that they were all different, as we are different in every other way, but I had nothing to point to, nothing I could show my friend, who clearly thought there was something wrong with how hers looked. I got so mad and switched into problem-solving mode. There should be a book, a visual reference for women like us. If there wasn’t one, then I would shoot one. Close up documentary photographs: vagina portraits.
I started asking women about their experiences with, and ideas about, vaginas.
vaginaverite.com was born out of the conversations surrounding the initial question and my work on the book. The original site ran from 2000-2013. It included questionnaires, articles, links and information on vagina-related subjects.
There were no photographs on the site. The plan for the v-portraits was always to publish them in a book. So far, there’s a print-on-demand version of the book available for purchase. Also, you can download a pdf of its text. That’s free. It’s the story of the 10-year project, from the moment of inception through the v-shoots, exhibitions, salons, two Vagina Festivals, to the decision to print the book. Next up for the project: finding its publisher. Probably an agent first. Meanwhile, I’m rebooting vaginaverite.com here, and restarting the conversation.
Over the course of ten years, I made 111 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 (8″ x 8″). I went for a little larger than life because I felt that would 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.
The book is a collective mirror of our beauty and individuality.
I did it for my friend, but mostly —
Because we need to see ourselves for ourselves.
We need to know it for ourselves.
Normal is diverse.
How you are is how you’re supposed to be.
There is no other way.