If you’re not into, interested in, or curious about Vulva’s you can probably skip reading this post, because it’s all about Vuvla’s.
Although even if you think there’s nothing for you in a vulva, you might at least get a laugh out of one vulva story. It’s about a student who got stuck in Pi-Chacan, a sculpture of a giant vulva. The fire department had to get him out, head first of course.
Ever since I made my Flying Vulva’s and began writing about them, people have been sending me articles about vulva’s. They seem to be popping up all over the place. In the past week I’ve gotten more than a few really interesting ones and took it as a message to share them with all of you all.
Dale sent me the article about Sheela na gig. I’ve written about her before, even had a version of her in one of my wallhangings.
She’s the ancient goddess, found on churches in England and Ireland, pulling back her labia for all to see.
From the first time I saw her, I assumed she was all about fertility. But as you might expect, with a woman exposing herself in this way, there’s lots of debate and little consensus on her real meaning. She doesn’t really fit in to the Christian belief system that I’m familiar with, so the question is, why is she on these churches?
I’ve heard that many of the pagan goddesses were incorporated into the Christian faith in the early years of the Church to help draw people in to it. That would explain why how Sheela na gig found herself on these early churches. There’s even a tradition where “In some places, brides were required to look at and perhaps touch the sheela before weddings, which seems to suggest their role in fertility rites.”
In keeping with the Christian theme, it makes sense to write about the Lutheran Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber and her Vuvla Sculpture made from purity rings, next.
I heard an interview with the Pastor a few years ago on On Being and was truly impressed. I had never heard of a pastor like her before. She founded House For All Sinners And Saints, a church that welcomes all people no matter what their sexual orientation.
Bolz-Weber asked women to send her their purity rings, which are rings some evangelical churches gave to girls as “symbols of an abstinence pledge” and their stories about them.
Then with the help of artist Nancy Anderson she melted them down and recast them into a sculpture of a Vulva. For many people the rings were harmful because they made them feel shame about their sexuality.
Bolz-Weber said “It’s actually part of the tradition, that we can take objects that have harmed us and turn them into objects that help heal and sustain us”
Dale also sent me the last article about photographer Laura Dodsworth who took portraits of 100 vulva’s.
Until I began thinking about vulva’s I didn’t know how different vulva’s could be. I just assumed they were all pretty similar.
Now that I think about it, like any other part of our body, of course vulva’s come in all different sizes, shapes and colors. And for many women there’s the added shame of being told that their vulva isn’t normal.
Dodsworth began taking portraits of vulva’s when she read about Female Genital Mutilation and about young girls wanting labiaplasty, a cosmetic surgery that reshapes the vulva. It is her way of helping women overcome the shame they feel around their vulva’s.
Well, that’s all I have for now. But I was working on some Shekinah Potholders today. Not vulva’s but a symbolic pubic triangle. Similar to the one in my Shekinah Fabric Painting. I’ll post some pictures of them tomorrow.
2 thoughts on “All About Vulva’s”
Gesu, Maria! Wondering what kind of feedback you were blasted with for the vulva photos! Our parts are tucked away and don’t get seen out in the open too often. Shocking.
I have lost 27 lbs and I’m tiny like you. I complained to a friend now I look like a 12 yr old girl and he sent me a photo like this of breasts. Many sizes and shapes.
It’s so much about accepting who we are Janet. I actually didn’t much feed back about them at all. And what I did was positive.