Whether it’s an occasional fleeting thought or an ongoing concern in your life, chances are that at some point in your life you’ve wondered whether or not your vagina is normal. Is it ugly? Is it pretty? Will my partner like what they see? Is this what it’s supposed to look like?
To start, let’s clarify what your vagina even is. Your vagina is the part of your reproductive system that connects what you see on the outside to your uterus on the inside. Most people use the word vagina to refer to everything between their legs, but technically, only the part inside of your body (where you would insert a tampon) is called a vagina. So, if you’re asking yourself if your vagina looks normal, you probably are actually wondering if your vulva (the entire external part) or labia (lips) look normal.
Are your labia weird looking?
If you disagree and think the answer is yes, stop and ask yourself who or what you’re comparing yourself to. Unlike most other body parts, our labia aren’t something that are typically on display. For example, if you thought you had a weird looking hand, you would have come to this conclusion because you’ve seen thousands of hands in your lifetime and none look very much like yours. But how did you come to the conclusion that other labia don’t look like yours?
If you’re judging yourself against porn, nude models, or anything similar: STOP. Just as Hollywood puts actresses in movies who are seen as more conventionally attractive, the porn industry also chooses actresses who will appeal the most to their audience (not to mention, they’re made to look perfect using airbrushing and Photoshop). You probably wouldn’t look at a few actresses and decide that because you don’t look exactly like them, you’re ugly. So, you shouldn’t do that with your labia either. There’s so much more diversity in the real world than in what is portrayed by the media. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.
So what does the average woman look like “down there” anyway?
Luckily, Women’s Health Victoria has put together a small gallery of everyday women’s labia. On their website, The Labia Library, they also have tons of facts about why your labia are awesome and what makes them healthy and normal, as well as helpful advice on what to do if you’re worried that something is wrong with your labia.
All of the photos in The Labia Gallery are of normal, healthy, and beautiful labia. All of the labia shown are perfectly regular and have nothing wrong with them. Even if your own labia look nothing like any of the photos though, they’re normal too. It would be impossible for the gallery to show every possible way for normal labia to look, because that would require taking a photo of every vulva in the world!
Some important things The Labia Library can teach us are:
- If you’re really, truly, seriously concerned that something is strange about your labia, make an appointment with your doctor or gynecologist. It’s their job to know what’s normal and what’s not about your body. If something is actually amiss, they’ll let you know – and they won’t lie and say you’re fine if you’re not.
- It’s equally common to have your inner lips (labia minora) be longer than your outer lips (labia majora), as it is to have your outer lips be longer.
- Labia come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors.
- Shaving is a personal choice, your labia will look just as lovely either way.
Even after you’ve seen how greatly labia can vary from person to person, it can still be hard to feel comfortable and confident with your own. Remember though that everyone is unique, and it’s our differences that make us who we are. Your labia are part of a complex reproductive system that has the ability to give you enormous amounts of pleasure. Find empowerment in the fact that your body can give you amazing orgasms. Appreciate all the wonderful things your body can do for you, and be thankful. The human body is a thing of beauty, no matter what it looks like.
To see what other women are saying about The Labia Library, check out their Tumblr page!
If you’re still concerned that your nether regions may not look the way they should, you can also browse through the Vulva Gallery (from Embarrassing Bodies), the Vagina Gallery (from Sexperience), or the Normal Nudes Vulva Gallery (from Reddit’s r/normalnudes). Click the pink links above to go to the galleries.