Look Down There
Reducing Shame One Glance at a Time
How often do you see your vulva? Admittedly, it takes hard work and dedication to make it happen. Usually involves some kind of leg lift or straddle to see it in all its glory. But it is worth it, because it is GLORIOUS.
There is a world of shame surrounding the vulva. We worry if we’re ‘normal’, if it smells, if it’s ugly, etc. So we ignore it. We ignore an entire part of our body responsible for creation, giving life, and pleasure.
But while the vulva can be an immense source of pleasure, it can also house our pain and trauma. One of the ways to release that pain and trauma is to look directly at it!
This initiative was created in a fit of anger by Michelle L’amour, a world renowned burlesque performer. She found a spot on her labia that wasn’t normal for her. She immediately called the doctor and made an appointment. What she encountered was shocking, but unfortunately all too common.
The doctors didn’t know what this spot was and she was told ‘they had never seen anything like it’. Comforting news. She was then sent to a cancer center for a biopsy, where the doctor called her labia her ‘bottom’. If a doctor couldn’t use the correct terminology, what hope do we have? Michelle was treated with such flippancy and disregard and it moved her to ask these questions.
- How many of us look at ourselves often enough to recognize changes?
- And if we do look at ourselves, how long would it take to for you to call the doctor because there may be embarrassment?
- Is shame getting in the way of our health?
- Why have we been taught to shame the very source of our power and creative life force?
- Is there a way to help vulva owners move towards self love and reduce shame?
And in that angry car ride on the way home, the idea of Look Down There was born! Our mission is to reduce shame and increase self love. Looking at yourself is also a way to maintain sexual health and wellness.
If only we knew our vulvas as well as we know our eyebrows. If we spent as much time viewing ourselves as we did creating a perfect brow, there would be more love to go around.
So…grab a mirror and look down there!
PS. The results were negative and everything is fine now!
Art by Giuseppe Veneziano