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I'll Show You Mine: Blink

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Submitted by Heather Corinna on Thu, 2011-09-15 11:12

This is our final installment of stories and photographs from I'll Show You Mine, a book by Wrenna Robertson and photographer Katie Huisman, and by all of the women featured in the book, collectively. To find out more about the book, Wrenna, and why we think this is such an important project, check out our interview with her here. Or, you can visit the website for the book to find out and more and get a copy for yourself.

If you'd like to ask the person whose body and words are featured in each entry any questions or have a conversation with her, most of the subjects have agreed to make themselves available here in the comments for discussions with our readers. As mentioned in Wrenna's interview, so many people never get the opportunity to talk about genitals in an honest, open and safe way with others, so we encourage you to avail yourselves of the opportunity, and are so grateful to the women involved for making this kind of conversation available to Scarleteen readers.

We're also happy to talk with you as Scarleteen staff or volunteers if you like. Depending on your feelings about your own genitals or those of others, and your experience (or lack of it) in seeing vulvas so realistically before, reading narratives or seeing images like these may stir up feelings for you which are uncomfortable. We're glad to talk you through any discomfort if you like should that happen for you. We're also happy to answer any questions this series may bring up for you about sexual or reproductive anatomy, either here in comments, on our message boards, or through our text service.

Reminder: This post includes a set of unaltered, unretouched and detailed photographs of the vulva for the purposes of awareness and education, not for sexual or other entertainment. If you do not wish to view photos like this, or are in a location where you do not feel comfortable viewing them, you may not want to read or scroll to the bottom of this page. We have left substantial space in between the words and the images so you may read all of the author's narrative without also viewing the images if you prefer.

This post also includes a first-person narrative reflective of the author and their own thoughts, feelings and language, which may or may not reflect the opinions or values of Scarleteen as an organization.

My name is Blink.

Yes, the picture you are looking at is my vagina.

When I look at this picture, I feel alienated. I will tell you why. Here is my story.

When I heard about this project, I got so excited about it. Right away, I volunteered to participate. Words could not describe my reaction to learning about genital cosmetic surgery. I felt that I was doing something important by participating. And then shooting day came. I realized that my vagina was really going to be a model.

I am a woman who believes it is important to keep some hair on the vagina. The hair is there for a reason: it protects your genitals from several things, including bacteria. It's also a natural way to reduce unwanted friction during intercourse.

I've never removed my hair fully. I only trim for personal hygiene. When I trim I don't necessarily try to get a perfect shape.

But this time, before the photo shoot I considered trimming perfectly. "It's going to be in the book," I thought.

I started to trim. In a short time, I noticed that my hair was becoming less and less. It happened so fast. I couldn't believe that I had removed it all. "No hair." I wanted to scream.

I was looking at the mirror to see what I did. And my vagina was looking back at me. "What did you do?"

Should I cancel the photo shoot? This is not the way I look naturally. I can't undo it. I couldn't believe that "the look of my vagina" had become such a big concern.

What I believed had practically collapsed. being photographed "got" me. Wanting a well-trimmed look, the process had resulted in a disaster. I felt I didn't really respect myself, by contradicting my beliefs and altering my body.

I hope this story reminds women that we are all beautiful just as we are, and not to let anyone or anything change how you look naturally.

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Previous posts in this series:

Want some information on vulvas and other sexual anatomy, gender and body image? Check these links out to get started:

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