Dear Em & Lo,
I am always self-conscious when it comes to wearing jeans and tight dresses and it’s all because of my big vulva/vagina. This really affects my self-esteem really bad and I think that I am not normal. My vulva/vagina looks big and when I push in too if it, I can already feel the bone. I had a bicycle accident when I was young and I hurt my vulva/vagina, but I never went to a doctor. So could this be associated with my big and protruding vulva/vagina? Many people say it looks swollen but it’s always been like that.
You have nothing to be embarrassed about. Just as there are no two snowflakes alike — yes, we are actually comparing you to a beautiful, special snowflake! — there are no two bodies alike. There’s more variety in bodily shapes and sizes and features than a full Cheesecake Factory menu, the War and Peace of restaurant menus!
We once participated in a Spencer Tunick shoot. He’s famous for gathering about 100 strangers together to pose naked in public places like Grand Central Station and the banks of the Hudson River. The experience was a huge eye-opener to the profound variety in body types that’s bellied by most of the half- or fully-naked people you see on TV, in the movies and in porn. The majority of those people make up a super small percentage of the population; it’s why they’re in the biz — they fit the narrow definition of bodily beauty that the industry requires. The rest of us — the vast majority — are all over the map.
We doubt this has anything to do with a childhood bike accident (what little girl hasn’t hurt her “twinkle” on a bike?). If it was the kind of accident that could have done serious, permanent, bodily-reshaping damage, you most likely would not have been able to ignore it, especially as a child.
If you can feel bone right when you press on the area and it’s always been this way, that would suggest that it’s not swollen (from an infection, say) or fatty (due to weight gain), but just your pelvic bone — perhaps yours just happens to protrude a little more than average. So stop calling it your “big vulva” or “big vagina” — you don’t have a big vagina (not that there’d be anything wrong with that). You’ve probably just got a super sexy pelvic bone. (Hey, look at that image above: it’s like a beautiful butterfly!)
Seriously, a lot of guys love a protruding pelvic bone. And a lot of women have them. Read some of the awesomely supportive comments here to a woman in your same situation and you’ll see. (FYI: you have to click “Answers” to get to the comments.)
We’re not doctors, so if you have any concerns this might be related to a medical issue (which, again, we highly doubt), please don’t hesitate to see your gynecologist. In fact, even if you suspect it’s just your normal pelvic bone, you should still go see her and talk to her about your concerns — we imagine she’ll tell you this is perfectly normal, and that she sees it all the time.
Whatever you do, promise us you won’t get lipo (bad idea: it won’t work and could do real damage). And we think surgery to have the bone shaved down (if that’s indeed what it is) is too drastic and risky a move, too.
Much better is to stop all this body-hating. Try to quiet the negative script you’ve got on playing on repeat in your brain. Because this is the body you’ve got to live with for the rest of your life. What a bummer to have to hate it for all the years to come. Think of all the time you’ll waste stressing over something A) you have no control over, and B) is not a big deal at all (even though it feels like it to you right now). You’ll never be able to fully enjoy sex if this worry is always front and center.
Hating one’s body is the curse of American females. When we’re constantly bombarded by airbrushed images of the genetic anomaly of feminine bodily “perfection,” it’s almost impossible not to get down about some body part. If it wasn’t this area, you’d probably be focused on some other perceived “flaw.” But you’ve got to fight this impulse — be brave, be bold, be confident in your working body and don’t apologize for it. You deserve pleasure as much as anyone: don’t let some nagging little voice in your head deny you it.
Em & Lo
But how do you quiet the nagging voice?
10 Tips to Stop Hating Your Body Enough to Have Sex