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10 Reasons Your “Ugly Vagina” Is Normal and Gorgeous

There’s no such thing as an “ugly vagina.” Here’s why…

Dear Em & Lo,

A male acquaintance recently started a conversation about “ugly” vaginas with my friends and me. He said that some vaginas resemble “kebabs” and that a lot of guys are really put off sex when they get a hot girl naked and find that her vagina isn’t as “neat” as they imagined it would be. It made me feel really self-conscious about my own, even though I never have been before.

Anyways, as I have never really seen many vaginas before, I decided to Google “ugly vaginas.” I was curious about what an ugly vagina actually is, and whether mine was one of them. Oh my god! I was shocked. What I thought was normal is actually “kebab-like”!!!! There were images of “beautiful” and “ugly” vaginas. The Vagina Institute in particular compares the two. The “beautiful” ones have plump outer labia and you can’t see the inner labia poking out from them…but the ugly ones are just like mine, when you can see the inner lips slightly.

It has made me feel so self-conscious. I hate to think of my ex and future partners being turned off by my vagina, especially as I try to keep it neat by trimming and waxing! Now I feel like growing a bush to try and hide my lips! The horrible things is, I think when I was younger my vagina was more beautiful (I’ve seen the pictures of me running around naked on the beach as a child)…at least it looked more like the beautiful vagina pictures. It looked more like a little bottom than an adult vagina.

Do you think that I have made it look worse by having lots of sex or something? Or is it just where I am older (I am 22 now). Can you have surgery on your vagina? I really want my inner lips to be made smaller. Is it possible?

— “Ugly” Betty

Dear U.B.,

Oh man. Where do we start? We could write an entire book on this topic. And it would involve a lot of ranting and swear words. Let’s try for the abridged version.

First of all, the bad news about your “ugly vagina”:

We hate to say it, but yes, there are plenty of guys out there who, like your pal, use terms like “roast beef” or “kebab” to describe what they consider to be “ugly vaginas.” (Ignoramuses! The correct terminology for external female genitalia is vulvas, not vaginas, so we’ll be using that from here on out.) We wish we didn’t live in the kind of world where sexist idiots come up with insulting names for female anatomy, but damn it, we do, and much as we’d like to lie to you and tell you that all guys are just happy to get access to any vulva, no matter what it looks like, we can’t.

These same guys will probably tell you (if you ply them with enough drinks) that a so-called “ugly vagina”, where the inner lips protrude beyond the outer lips, looks that way because the woman has had too much sex. And this is why they find “imperfect” genitalia a turn-off — it makes them think the vagina has too much “mileage.”

What the double-standard fuck? Know this: they’re flat-out wrong. Sex does not make your labia “grow.” Let’s say that one more time: The size and shape of a woman’s labia has nothing to do with the number of notches on her bedpost.

But now the good news:

Just because some guys think this way, doesn’t mean they all do. Nor does it mean you have to put up with it. Say no to vulva prejudice! Here are ten things you should know that may help you fight the good fight.

1. There’s no such thing as abnormal.

Even though seedy quack operations like the Vagina “Institute” (no link for them, they’re assholes) will tell you that vulvas like yours are “abnormal,” they’re not. There’s no such thing as abnormal when it comes to labes. (Okay, maybe if you could play hackysack with your inner labia, that would be a bit abnormal.) Labia come in all shapes and sizes. Most women’s aren’t symmetrical, and it’s incredibly common for a woman’s inner labia to protrude beyond the outer labia. (It’s for this reason that we always use the terms “inner labia” and “outer labia” rather than “labia majora” and “labia minora,” which falsely represent the scale).

2. Blame porn.

You know the only place where the vast majority of vulvas do look “perfect” (i.e. the same)? Porn. And it’s for the same reason that most of the ladies in porn have big boobs: It’s a job requirement, so if they weren’t born that way, they go under the knife to get that way. It stands to reason, therefore, that guys who watch a ton of porn are more likely to have strong (and wrong) opinions about your labia. Check out this Australian (NSFW!) report on how porn is responsible for the rise in labiaplasty operations.

3. Labiaplasty schmabiaplasty.

Yes, you can have surgery on labia. And NO, YOU SHOULD NOT EVEN CONSIDER DOING THIS. If you don’t believe us, Dr. Kate says the same thing. Your labia are full of nerve endings. Every day we are inundated with letters from women saying they can’t orgasm — and you want to lessen your chances?!! Labiaplasty (that’s the “technical” term) to trim your inner lips definitely won’t make sex feel better for you, and it definitely could make sex less pleasurable or even painful.

4. Love (and often mere lust) conquers all.

The more a guy is into you, the less likely he is to give a shit what your vulva looks like. Sure, there are some guys out there who have an unbending aesthetic preference, love be damned, just as there are some women out there who can’t imagine sticking it out with a guy who’s less than average-sized. But just as most women will overlook a man’s size if they’re in head over heels for the man attached to that penis, so too will most men be a-ok with your labia. Hey, it’s not the worst thing in the world to hold off on getting naked with a guy until you’re sure he likes you for more than just your genitals.

5. Can you say “nerve endings”?

Some of our best friends have classic “ugly” vaginas. And you know what? Anecdotally speaking, some of them may enjoy sex a little more because of it. Like we said, the inner labia are chock-full of nerve endings, and they encase the clitoral head, which means that during intercourse, there’s a whole lot more friction going on. Friction = stimulation = Big Os for her. So there, you vulva fascists.

6. Beauty standards are arbitrary.

You know what we think is ugly? That plucked-chicken look a vulva gets a few weeks after a full Brazilian (or sometimes even a few days after). Sure, maybe that makes us vulva fascists, too, but we’re just saying is all: Back before people started taking it all off down there, nobody stressed out about their “ugly vagina”, so far as we know. We don’t think you should necessarily opt for re-growth to “hide” your vagina — you’ve got nothing to be ashamed of — but you should know that nobody’s adult vulva looks like a little girl’s, with or without pubic hair. So stop trying!

7. Girly-looking vulvas are for little girls.

And you know what? We’re kind of glad that nobody’s adult vulva looks like a little girl’s. Who wants their vulva to look like a 7-year-old’s? Or a little mini tushy on a kid? That’s some fucked up shit!

8. The internet is NOT your friend.

Next time you’re feeling self-conscious about a body part, do NOT Google it. The Web is overrun with horny 13-year-olds who have unlimited access to porn and very limited knowledge of real women.

9. People and their body parts are diverse AF.

Libraries are supposed to be “neat.” Office cubicles are supposed to be “neat.” A lawyer’s side part is supposed to be “neat.” Your labia are not.

10. There are plenty of unfussy fish in the sea.

If, like us, you wish we didn’t live in this kind of world, then start changing it, one man at a time: Educate your guy friends. Don’t date with men who use the term “ugly vagina” and make you feel self-conscious about your vulva. Do date men who are respectful of women and seem genuinely happy to be given access to your genitals. Educate your female friends. Love your vulva.

Yes, we just lit a patchouli-scented candle.

Em & Lo

This post has been updated.

Now that you love your “ugly vagina,” here are 
10 Easy Ways to Keep Your Vagina Healthy

Say Something

219 Comments on "10 Reasons Your “Ugly Vagina” Is Normal and Gorgeous"

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I am fully prepared to offend people by saying this, but I can not STAND the look of those vaginas. I’m very blessed to not have the enlarged labia, and If I did I wouldn’t hesitate to get the surgury. I do not look like a 7 year old by the way, all it should be is a slit!


I think it is a personal choice to get surgery, but it is also important to realize that every vagina (shape, size, etc) is a normal vagina. A vagina “should be” healthy and happy and that is all! Try and refrain from entering the realm of judging your fellow females’ bodies.


No, stop trying to make it ‘pretty’. Truth is, large labia is made out of the same thing as scrotums. So it makes you more manly. Men don’t like it because it looks like ballbags.

Jane T

This is complete bullshit. If you think you vagina is ugly then it is to you. To follow this article and convince yourself its gorgeous is delusional and idiotic. These stupid sweeping statements that unqualified throw away internet sites make

None of your business.
None of your business.

Wow. Well judging by your illiterate statement, I doubt your opinion holds anymore weight than that of the writer of this article. So why don’t you hop off the computer and let people beleive what they want. Clearly you have some insecurities of your own. I mean that has to be about the most negative thing to do. Hop on an article that is just trying to spread some positivity. You sound like a bitter hag. Grow up and move on. If you don’t like the article, don’t read it.

Cristyn lane

I’ve noticed that the men who hate vulva tend to be less endowed. And they cheat too. I think all vulva are beautiful, like a flower.and I am not even a lesbian.


Hands down, dumbest thing I have read on the internet. This includes Reddit.

I’m 55 and until this weekend I had no idea what my “last bits” looked like. My ex husband and past lovers never seemed to have any complaints. So, anyway, out of curiositytook i took pictures of my coochie…and compared it to other pics online . Theres an Aussie website called labia library. Not pornographic. Had no idea how dul ifferent peoples vulvas can be. Im happy to say that my vajayjay looks pretty good for perimenopausal woman who gave birth twice. Was a bit surprised to see so much gray hair doen there, though. I look at it this… Read more »
Noah C

There are ugly labias. Literally the one your talking about is one of them. There are also ugly dicks you cant deny it. If a labia can resemble roast beef enough where multiple people see the resemblance theres a problem.


Yet again, more girls giving other girls bad advice.

There are ugly dicks, there are ugly labia.

What constitutes each is different and individual. Women tend to always guess wrong. Tons of guys like labia.

Please don’t give crappy cheerleading “everyone is gorgeous” advice. It’s just wrong and misleading.