The Power of Femininity
When we talk about the unspeakable in connection with the female genitals, it becomes clear that now is the time to pay hommage to the vulva, which is overdue for far too long. Obviously it is still not natural to talk about the vulva or to include it in the female self-image, despite feminist enlightenment work. With campaigns like Viva la Vulva by Kim Gehring or the book Viva la Vagina by Nina Brochmann and Ellen Støkken Dahl, eyes have been opened and the fabulous organ with all its beautiful facets is glorified. And I, too, send a message of love to all women who perhaps have not yet dared to look more closely, who have never really looked into the beauty that rests in their laps, in order to recognize that each individual lamella spreads tenderly between the thighs like a flower and only longs to be touched. And I don’t mean that in a figurative sense, my touch means listening to her, communicating with her, becoming aware of her immediate presence, sharing her beauty with the whole world. This is the beginning of an invincible power, the power of femininity.
Why are there 13 places of pilgrimage for the holy foreskin of Jesus, but none for the hymen of the Virgin Mary? Mithu M. Sanyal deals with her book »Vulva – the revelation of the invisible sex« about historical theses of the Occident based on the female genitals in a culture in which children believe that boys have an »outstanding symbol« (Freud), i.e. a penis, while the genitals of girls »provide only an absence« (Lacan). The female sex is described as a hole, as a void, as a lack of something – which in respects of this highly complex organ seems almost unbelievable! Here’s the elucidation again: The vulva is the externally visible part of the female sex organ that continues into the vagina, ovaries and uterus and is repeatedly ignored or mistakenly referred to as the vagina. Thus the following happens: What is concealed also does not exist. Due to this stigma, for centuries women have had no sex, but only a hole, a nothing.
And because of this history we are still not completely healed today. A tradition that has continued at least in most upbringings, not to forget by the missing and mostly insufficient sexual education, in which the vagina was only half labeled and the G-spot was partly not named at all. The encounter and the exploration of the vulva unfortunately often remained denied for many women. Therefore, it is all the more important to make a political statement now. A statement, which emancipates women to take care of their source of lust and to present their beauty completely uninhibited.
Censorship and false aesthetics
Censorship also contributes to the fact that femininity is mutilated in its full splendor. While we can depict male nipples on Instagram or Facebook, female nipples are directly banished. While dick pics are constantly chased through the net and presented with pride, vulvas receive very little attention. And when vulvas are then shown, this usually does not correspond to reality. Here lies the origin of the ignorance of one’s own anatomy. Childlike ideals of beauty encourage the retouching of photographs and surgical interventions in order to adapt to a false perfection. It is precisely the diversity of the unmistakable vulva that makes the difference, whether the labia are large or small, plays no role at all. Every single flower is beautiful in its own way and should not be circumcised, especially if you consider that genital mutilation is still practiced in certain countries. No woman should deprive herself of her uniqueness.
»The Power of Femininity« has inspired me. Together (with the artist of I Show Flag) we will manifest the diversity of the vulva in plaster casts and photo prints. This is an invitation for all women who want to dedicate a message of love to their vulva. The aim of this project is to convey a positive perception for more awareness, acceptance and enlightenment. Through the confrontation with a personal intimate photograph as well as a plaster cast, there is not only the opportunity to look at one’s own intimate area from various perspectives, but also the possibility of visualizing the diversity and individuality of each participant.
I Show Flag: »I think these plaster casts have a similar effect on the viewer as a mosaic – only the other way around. The further away you are from a mosaic, the more complete the picture becomes. With the plaster casts, it’s working the opposite. The further away one is from them, the more diffuse the picture becomes. The closer you get to them, the more concrete it becomes. For me, that is also a beautiful symbolism of how we socially deal with vulva.«
My vision: »I enter a room flooded with light and surrounded by numerous huge black and white prints. In these representations I recognize grace in abstract form. I can see all sorts of things in them, like the flowers I was talking about earlier, but above all I see that each flower has its own personal story to tell. A story of countless buds that have traveled for a long time and that have never been asked who they are and how they feel at all. At this moment we say goodbye to the silent traditions and look up to something majestic, in another dimension that we will be talking about in the future. For there rests the true power of Femininity.«