101 ways to draw a vulva

Between 2001 and 2010, the number of labiaplasty operations in England increased fivefold. The procedure involves altering the size of the labia minora of the female genitalia, and it’s usually carried out for aesthetic reasons. Because advertising, fashion, cinema, and pornography have convinced us all that our vulvas must be symmetrical, hairless, and perfect, women are increasingly willing to place their faith – and the most intimate part of their body – in the hands of a surgeon.

After visiting The Vulva Gallery however, we can see how wrong we were.

This Instagram account and webpage were launched in 2016 by Hilde Atalanta, an illustrator from Amsterdam who decided it was time to celebrate the genital diversity of women.

Her gallery is full of vulvas of all types, sizes, shapes, and colours.

Vulvas during their period: bleeding or with a tampon peeking out.

Bushy vulvas; bald vulvas; curly, blond, or black-haired vulvas.

✨ Pubic hair & periods seem to be two things that we, vulva-owning individuals, need to hide and be ashamed of. Well, I have to kindly disagree. I personally think pubic hair is cute and gives your vulva character 🙂 And if you want to let it grow, just do it! Whatever reason you have (for example a sensitive skin, personal taste or merely laziness) no one should tell you that you 'have to' shave yourself. Only do it when you feel like you want to! And regarding menstruation: it's natural and therefore nothing to be ashamed of. Be kind to yourself, be patient with your body. LOVE yourself. And love your vulva, because all vulvas are amazing just the way they are! 💛✨ #thevulvagallery #vulva #vulvas #period #periodpositive #pussypride #femaleempowerment #periodismo #menstruation #feminism #everydayfeminism #intersectionalfeminism #feminist #feminista #loveyourself #feministart #feministartist #bodypositivity #bodypositive #bodypositivemovement #watercolorart #watercolor #watercolorpainting #watercolorillustration #labia #vulvaart #pubichair #pubichairdontcare #thehappyfeminist #hildeatalanta

Una foto publicada por The Vulva Gallery (@the.vulva.gallery) el

Yellow, black, brown, and pink vulvas; even one that looks like a cat.

✨ Wow! The past two weeks have been amazing, so many new followers, positive messages, and support. Thank you, I'm amazed! I think it's time I'll introduce myself to you, and tell you a little bit about The Vulva Gallery. My name is Hilde Atalanta, and I'm an illustrator from Amsterdam. I started illustrating in February, mostly drawing portraits (you can view those at my other account: @hildeatalanta). The Vulva Gallery is a relatively new project that I started in August. ✨ So: Why a Vulva Gallery? When I attended a lecture last winter, I learned that in the past decade there has been an enormous increase in labiaplasty amongst young girls. Labiaplasty is cosmetic surgery to alter the size of the labia minora. No woman should have to undergo this just because they want their vulva to look like what they think other people expect them to look, or what they learn on the internet about what their vulva should look like. The only way to change the way (young) girls and women experience their bodies, is to educate them and show them that diversity is beautiful. This is why I started making The Vulva Gallery. The reason for using the word 'vulva' instead of 'vagina', is that the vulva consists of the external part of the female genital organs. The vagina is only the internal part of the female genitals. We shouldn't reduce the female genitals just to it's birth canal, when there's so much more to it than that! ✨Love your vulva, because all vulvas are beautiful just the way they are. ✨And now I'm curious about you: who are you, where are you from, what do you do? 🙂 #thevulvagallery #vulva #vulvas #pussypride #femaleempowerment #girlempowerment #freethevulva #feminism #everydayfeminism #feminist #feminista #feministpride #feministart #feministartist #bodypositivity #bodypositive #bodypositivemovement #pussycat #watercolorart #vaginaart #labiaart #pubichair #freethevulva #thehappyfeminist #hildeatalanta

Una foto publicada por The Vulva Gallery (@the.vulva.gallery) el

All drawn with a single objective: to vindicate the beauty of diversity.

“Labiaplasty because of cosmetic reasons isn’t a good development. I find it very difficult to see how far many individuals go to reach the ‘perfect’ looks. Of course, plastic surgery is something that we’ve seen growing in the past decades. But to have a surgeon cut away such a delicate part of your body – a part that is so sensitive, that gives you sexual pleasure, a natural part of yourself – just to look ‘pretty’; it’s hard for me to grasp that this is happening so often.”

On her page, Hilde says she understands why women feel the pressure to have the surgery, because, like so many teenagers growing up, I’ve also been insecure about my own body – but still, it makes me really sad to see that the pressure so many individuals feel from the outside world is so big that they feel they need to undergo surgery.”

For Hilde, the solution is obvious: “The only way to change the way individuals experience their bodies is to educate them, and others, about natural variety.” And her way to do this is through her beautiful illustrations


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