Follow Friday #22: Kunnen we het eens over The Vulva Gallery hebben?

Beauty

Follow Friday #22: Kunnen we het eens over The Vulva Gallery hebben?

We scrollen allemaal graag door onze Instagram-feed. Om niet depri te worden van de zoveelste influencer die gratis in het Hilton mag logeren, focussen we ons het liefst op kwalitatieve content. Elke vrijdag schotelen we je een account voor waar je inspiratie uithaalt voor je eigen gram. Deze week: body positivity-project The Vulva Gallery. Ben je een vrouw, lees dan vooral verder. Ben je een man … lees dan ook maar verder. 

Ceci n’est pas une foef

De kans bestaat dat je je lichtjes ongemakkelijk voelde bij het woord ‘vulva’ in de titel en daar gaat geen verbetering in komen, want de feed van dit Instagram-account is nogal in your face. En toch ook weer niet, want wat je op The Vulva Gallery te zien krijgt zijn slechts tekeningen van vagina’s.

Met het project wil de Amsterdamse illustratrice en kunstenares Hilde Atalanta een punt maken tegen designervagina’s en cosmetische ingrepen down under. Want *insert een beetje zweverigheid* alle vulva’s zijn mooi. Nee echt: vagina’s zijn er in alle soorten en maten en je hoeft je echt niet voor de jouwe te schamen. Repeat after us: ‘Ik hou van mijn vagina’.

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This is a vulva portrait of a lovely person, together with the words she wanted to share with you: “I was 16, fooling around in the car with my boyfriend, when he slipped his hand down my jeans. No one had done that before and I was thrilled, but also, super embarrassed because I had a full thick bush. Somewhere along the line I had learned this wasn’t cool, sexy, or normal, so I started waxing – full Brazilians that I did myself, in my bedroom. This continued for years until I got a little older and realized how sexy I think my hair is. Now, though I’ve grown it out, it’s not as thick as it used to be – probably from so much waxing. Oh well. Now I love myself with full bush or no hair at all – it’s up to me – and so does my loving partner. It’s amazing and upsetting how social ideas of beauty and sex appeal manifest in our brains at such a young age, and how much time and effort it can take to unlearn this. From old boyfriends being negative about my full labia, to close girlfriends ridiculing a full bush, to not knowing what my longer inner labia even were when I was developing (because sex Ed often isn’t comprehensive, body positive, or generally empowering for girls) I had to learn/unlearn things with time, on my own. I know these experiences apply to so many people. They build up over time, sneakily creating a feeling that you aren’t good enough or normal, but you ARE!!!!! Viva la Vulva!” . . Thank you for being part of the gallery ♥️ Read more stories at: thevulvagallery.com/stories ✨ . . . #thevulvagallery #commissionedportrait #vulvaportrait #watercolorillustration #humananatomy #labia #respecteachother #embracediversity #shareyourstory #personalgrowth #empowerment #empathy #love #loveyourself #loveyourvulva #hildeatalanta

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The Vulva Gallery op Instagram

As for us voelde het in den beginne een beetje onwennig om zo schaamteloos naar andervrouws vagina te kijken. We kunnen ons ook inbeelden dat je niet wilt dat er tijdens het scrollen op de bus of tram plots een vaginatekening op je scherm verschijnt, natuurlijk net wanneer je buur zit mee te gapen.

Toch is The Vulva Gallery meer dan de moeite waard om in het oog te houden. Hier komen namelijk dingen aan bod die ze je tijdens de lessen seksuele opvoeding nooit verteld hebben. Het gaat daarbij over alle mogelijke vormen en kleuren, maar bijvoorbeeld ook over verschillen in menstruatie en over eventuele afwijkingen – topics waar wij vrouwen (en mannen tot op zekere hoogte) écht over moeten kunnen praten. Is het niet met je vriendinnen, dan toch tenminste met The Vulva Gallery.

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This is a vulva portrait of a lovely person, together with the words she wanted to share with you: "Since I was a little kid I had a positive attitude towards my vulva, but growing up I heard some comments from people – not about mine but just in general. You know; about the look (colour, shapes, etc), and for a short period of time I became bit worried mine was ugly. I asked about my vulva to the gynaecologist on my first visit. She explained to me there are plenty of shapes and colours just as all different kind of noses people has on their faces (what an analogy!). Well, I learned to accept it how it is. I’m not shy about how it looks, although I’ve noticed it is changing, specially after childbirth. For some reason I think my clitoris is larger… and the labia are getting darker. That’s life I guess. I’ve embraced how it is and all the changes that will come with age.” . . Thank you for being part of the gallery ♥️ Read more stories at: thevulvagallery.com/stories ✨ . . . #thevulvagallery #commissionedportrait #vulvaportrait #watercolorillustration #humananatomy #labia #respecteachother #embracediversity #shareyourstory #personalgrowth #empowerment #empathy #love #loveyourself #loveyourvulva #hildeatalanta

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Labia come in all kinds of colours. Some labia are pink, others are brown, reddish or purplish – and often it's a combination of colours (for example pink/reddish in between the outer labia, but dark (brown or purplish or black) on the external part of the inner labia (the part that "peeks" out)), like on the vulva depicted here. Sometimes the colour of the labia is the same as the rest of someone's skin, but often they are a different or darker tone. Those are all natural variations, part of the great diversity in colours – all normal and healthy. Love yourself, and love your vulva, because all vulvas are awesome just the way they are 💛✨ . . . #thevulvagallery #vulva #vulvas #respecteachother #genderinclusivity #positivity #humananatomy #bodypositive #watercolorillustration #labia #loveyourself #hildeatalanta

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Veel van de portretjes zijn overigens custom made en vaak worden die gedeeld met een tekst van de trotse (en anonieme!) eigenares van de vagina in kwestie. “This is a vulva portrait of a lovely person, together with the words she wanted to share with you,” klinkt het dan. Voor je je foto doorstuurt: er is ondertussen een wachtlijst van een paar maanden.

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This portrait is part of the series with decorated vulvas – accompanied with the words of the portrayed person: "As for my story, I hadn't really considered if I had one. Maybe.. My sexuality has been such a rollercoaster from day one. I still don't know what's up and down with it. My vulva, like so many others, has seen good and bad experiences and the bad experiences stick more. But I love my vulva today. I cherish it the same way I cherish my sexuality. The piercing was a dream of mine, and it has given me such a permanent confidence boost; more than my nicest dress would ever do. It makes me feel hella wicked.” . . . Thank you for being part of the gallery ♥️ Want to read more personal stories? Go to thevulvagallery.com/stories ✨ . . . #thevulvagallery #portrait #youarebeautiful #humananatomy #labia #respecteachother #piercing #embracediversity #shareyourstory #personalgrowth #supporteachother #empathy #love #loveyourself #loveyourvulva #hildeatalanta

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This is a portrait of a lovely person who wanted to become part of the gallery, together with the words she wanted to share with you: "I guess it started early high school, when a health teacher misinformed the class on how labia should look. He made it seem like there was only one type. I didn't realize I had never paid attention to mine, but later, I realized mine didn't match and it made me self conscious. Later on I became scared – not only because I thought my own parts were ugly and deformed, but I also feared that someone, somewhere, would use it to hurt me. Already being an anxious teenager, that stuck with me. I pretended my own vulva wasn't there; if it wasn't there I had nothing for my anxiety to latch on to. And if it wasn't there, it couldn't be used to hurt me. It wasn't okay to look at, nor touch, and it made me very naive to my own body. I think that caused more anxiety. Anxious of what I didn't know. Now, at 22, I'm slowly walking away from that fear and anxiety thanks to my girlfriend and good friends and places like this gallery show that me I'm fine the way I am and that I can't live in fearing a part of myself that will never not be a part of me.” • • Thank you for being part of the gallery ♥️ • • • #thevulvagallery #portrait #humananatomy #labia #respecteachother #embracediversity #shareyourstory #personalgrowth #empowerment #empathy #love #loveyourself #loveyourvulva #hildeatalanta

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Er is overigens ook een webshop vol totebags, koffietassen en kaartjes met vaginaprint. Daarnaast vind je er ook hele leuke pins en zelfs een heuse vulva-verjaardagskalender, why not?

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YAYYY!!! I can finally announce: I designed 3 new limited edition pins 😊💕 . The two vulva pins make a cute gift set (or can be purchased separately) ⚡️⚡️ . The vulvacat pin GLOWS IN THE DARK ⭐️ . . . Find the pins in my shop (thevulvagallery.com/shop or click on the link in my profile) – I ship world wide, to all countries 🌈 . . . And be quick if you want one as limited editions tend to sell out really fast 🙂 . . . #thevulvagallery #thevulvagallerypin #vulvacat #vulvacatpin #glowinthedark #enamelpin #lapelpin #vulvapin #vulvaheartpin #pubichairheart #cutevulva #vulvalove #etsyshop #supportsmallshops #madebycooper #cutegift #celebratediversity #hildeatalanta

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Wie durft kan The Vulva Gallery volgen op Instagram. Je bent niet alleen want ondertussen heeft het account al 236.000 volgers – make that 236.001

Meer inspiratie nodig voor je gram? Wij verzamelden nog eenentwintig andere volgenswaardige accounts voor jou!

Deze vijf dingen denkt hij écht over je vagina