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.,

Oy. 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 probably 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, very few people 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 vadge — 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 rueing the fact that it doesn’t!

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?

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 may be “neat,” but they aren’t necessarily supposed to be.

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


  1. Oh for f¨¨k sake women grow up!
    Why is it that society (and predominantly women) has a need to treat women like children? Constantly trying to hide any potential faults they can have? Constantly glorifying them, trying to say that they are perfect, beautiful and gorgeous no matter what? You would never extend that courtesy to men. In fact that is really like when you are telling your kid that their drawing of something that looks like a turd on spaghetti is a beautiful drawing of a cowboy on a horse.

    If a man is fat, he is just fat and should go to the gym and lose weight. However these days fat and even obese women are being portrayed (or tried to be) as something beautiful in commercials, with “she is so brave” being whispered in the background. Wheres is like George Costanza’s commercial to the same effect? And no, fat, overweight and obesity is not attractive (nor healthy) and sure as shit nothing brave about it or about flaunting it.

    Also its totally acceptable for a woman to openly think that male genitalia is ugly or to support male gender mutilation for some backwards view that that is more attractive, but if a man thinks a vagina is ugly he should be educated and he is wrong for feeling that way? How can you not smell the bullshit here?

    Sorry women, you can be ugly, fat and dumb too (like men can too), with ugly, gross vaginas. Do not try to hold yourself to some perfect model but more importantly stop pretending like your shit don’t smell!

    1. Before I begin I would like to let you know. That there is indeed a double standard. That woman are always beautiful, perfect and their bodies as well as personality’s are as well. While if a man shows any blemish or problem he is considered “disgusting” like having a small penis makes you “bad at sex” or how being below 6ft makes you “ undateable“ but my dear friend it all comes down with who you surround yourself with. Tell me. Do you think you are disgusting? Do you look at your genitals and say “that’s gross” do you hold yourself to an unreachable standard and never be satisfied with your body or how it looks? That’s unhealthy. But if you don’t then I’ll have to assume you have accepted your body for what it is. OR!! You think you have the perfect body. While no man or woman should be judged on their appearance. Nor should a man. Porn, over sexualization of men and woman, impossible beauty standards has lead us here. If you hold anyone. And I mean ANY ONE to those standards your view on beauty and the perfect form is inherently flawed and built on lust and misogyny or misandry. Yes no one has the perfect body. But all bodies are beautiful. Just because YOU are too closed minded or shallow to see past stretch marks, small boobs. Small dicks, a tummy a small ass. Or any plethora of Beaty standard. You are the problem not these hypothetical “ugly” men and woman. Beaty is subjective. And always will be. Don’t act like your shit don’t stink

  2. Yes. No female ever said anything negative about men or mens private parts no never ever. Its thees cruel evil white men only that does it to those innocent femalse. Cos men are not alloed to have an opinion they must like every one and everyrhing no matter what. And if they dare to say their opinion they are evil sob.s
    This site cant be for rela 😀
    People have right to an opininon it is different should you say it to some ones face and how you say it, but this goes pretty much 50/50. Women do this as well, they do to critisize mens appearence.

    1. I totally get it man. Woman on the internet ranting about how a guys has to be tall.muscular with a big d but also be their slave. Insane. But instead of blaming all women. Blame the Misandrists. Porn and double standards. And also the woman that prompt that way of thinking. Remember it’s the motion of the ocean not the size of the boat.

  3. I have hanging over lips and I’m sick of men And women sayying stuff like this

    When I was 18 I went to a clinic to get mine removed and the doctor told me the sidefects Of after the op so I chickened out

    But every relationship I get in I don’t turn men on and it depresses me because you don’t feel like a women (I’m 25 now)

    1. There are a lot of men that like large hanging lips (me included). So don’t worry about, enjoy your sexuality! Look for a man with a huge cock and I’m sure he’ll love to see those hanging lips gripped around his huge member!

  4. Ummm.. if women can consider men unattractive for being under 6ft then we men are allowed preferences in women. Ugly vagina is a deal breaker for nearly all men. ! Deal with it!
    I’m sure there are guys under 5’8 that would love you. Time to lower your standards if you have Lord of the Rings pussy… lol

    1. Ahhh, poor Incel. Do women reject you because you’re short, or is it because you’re an asshole?

      1. Damn this is toxic site. Lol. Having so much fun reading comments like this. You cant be serious, right ? You really think some on is not allowed to have an opinion? Or are you just too scared to say yours? i bet you have your preferences and what you like and what not, you are just too a fraid to say them. Every one has an opinion and stuff that they like. The fact that you even think so and attack some one and call names, for stating hes opinion tells how immature you are, and propably never seem other vagina than your mothers, well the day comes when mom takes out restricrions from your internet and you see that the world is filled with all kinds of different stuff and you realize that you just cant like them all, and same goes other way not all women like big dick or hairy or hairless or too small or avrage. People have opinions about everyrything and thats what makes us different from one another.

  5. I’m a mother of 3 with neatly tucked, symmetrical inner labia. So yes, labia IS supposed to look neat(sometimes) because mine does. I’d rather look like a “7 year old” than have folds of skin hanging from my vag!

    1. A labia is supposed to look however it looks. Please don’t body shame people with your idea of perfection. Personally I enjoy hanging lips and think it looks sexy.

    1. Nah,you must have female anatomy confused with male anatomy?
      Men are pungent.
      Pussy should smell sweet
      Do you like oily scrotum and ricotta cheese dick?
      And the jack ass who wrote this article doesn’t know the difference between a vagina and a vulva either.

      1. I think you just made my point better than I could have. It’s not men that are ignorant and/or conditioned, it’s people. For example, some women simply can’t get onboard with foreskin.

        I just wish articles of this sort would focus on the lack of double standard instead of implications of omission that suggest that there is one.

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