Temporary logo

Hilde Atalanta

Hilde Atalanta

Hilde Atalanta

Hilde Atalanta

Loving vulvas

Loving vulvas

Loving vulvas

Hilde_Atlanta_Vulvas

Interview by Inés Alcalá Freudenthal and Bisila Noha, September 2017

Interview by Inés Alcalá Freudenthal and Bisila Noha, September 2017

Interview by Inés Alcalá Freudenthal and Bisila Noha, September 2017

Based in Amsterdam, Hilde Atalanta is the illustrator behind The Vulva Gallery and You’re Welcome Club, two visual projects that aim to educate people about – and celebrate – physical diversity. We talked to her about labiaplasty (plastic surgery performed to alter the appearance of the labia, typically the labia minora), the online community she’s built through her platforms, and her wish for a more wide-ranging and practical sexual health education.

Based in Amsterdam, Hilde Atalanta is the illustrator behind The Vulva Gallery and You’re Welcome Club, two visual projects that aim to educate people about – and celebrate – physical diversity. We talked to her about labiaplasty (plastic surgery performed to alter the appearance of the labia, typically the labia minora), the online community she’s built through her platforms, and her wish for a more wide-ranging and practical sexual health education.

Based in Amsterdam, Hilde Atalanta is the illustrator behind The Vulva Gallery and You’re Welcome Club, two visual projects that aim to educate people about – and celebrate – physical diversity. We talked to her about labiaplasty (plastic surgery performed to alter the appearance of the labia, typically the labia minora), the online community she’s built through her platforms, and her wish for a more wide-ranging and practical sexual health education.

Based in Amsterdam, Hilde Atalanta is the illustrator behind The Vulva Gallery and You’re Welcome Club, two visual projects that aim to educate people about – and celebrate – physical diversity. We talked to her about labiaplasty (plastic surgery performed to alter the appearance of the labia, typically the labia minora), the online community she’s built through her platforms, and her wish for a more wide-ranging and practical sexual health education.

Based in Amsterdam, Hilde Atalanta is the illustrator behind The Vulva Gallery and You’re Welcome Club, two visual projects that aim to educate people about – and celebrate – physical diversity. We talked to her about labiaplasty (plastic surgery performed to alter the appearance of the labia, typically the labia minora), the online community she’s built through her platforms, and her wish for a more wide-ranging and practical sexual health education.

Every school in every country handles sexual health education in a different way. I remember thinking that at my school, it wasn’t so great, although from what I’ve heard, it was a lot better than programs in other countries. What helps in the Netherlands is that we are relatively comfortable with sexuality and nudity. For example, in saunas, everyone’s naked – it’s something that’s normalized, and part of being a human being. And while it’s not as bad as in the US where they advise kids not to have sex and teach them only about anatomy and how  things work, sexual education in the Netherlands is still pretty basic. We definitely don’t learn about physical diversity; about how different people, and their bodies, can be. No one discusses how penises or vulvas all look different.       
             In my opinion, what’s missing in sexual education everywhere is that there’s one course at a certain age, and then that’s it. But at different ages, you are more interested in, and aware of, varying elements of sexuality. It would be great to give kids different classes at different ages; to match their needs and interests.

At university, I studied clinical psychology, and then in my last year I opted to take a sexology module. I got to learn a lot about physiology; health conditions; how sexual response works; and the social aspects around sexuality in different cultures.

Every school in every country handles sexual health education in a different way. I remember thinking that at my school, it wasn’t so great, although from what I’ve heard, it was a lot better than programs in other countries. What helps in the Netherlands is that we are relatively comfortable with sexuality and nudity. For example, in saunas, everyone’s naked – it’s something that’s normalized, and part of being a human being. And while it’s not as bad as in the US where they advise kids not to have sex and teach them only about anatomy and how  things work, sexual education in the Netherlands is still pretty basic. We definitely don’t learn about physical diversity; about how different people, and their bodies, can be. No one discusses how penises or vulvas all look different.
        In my opinion, what’s missing in sexual education everywhere is that there’s one course at a certain age, and then that’s it. But at different ages, you are more interested in, and aware of, varying elements of sexuality. It would be great to give kids different classes at different ages; to match their needs and interests.

At university, I studied clinical psychology, and then in my last year I opted to take a sexology module. I got to learn a lot about physiology; health conditions; how sexual response works; and the social aspects around sexuality in different cultures.

Every school in every country handles sexual health education in a different way. I remember thinking that at my school, it wasn’t so great, although from what I’ve heard, it was a lot better than programs in other countries. What helps in the Netherlands is that we are relatively comfortable with sexuality and nudity. For example, in saunas, everyone’s naked – it’s something that’s normalized, and part of being a human being. And while it’s not as bad as in the US where they advise kids not to have sex and teach them only about anatomy and how  things work, sexual education in the Netherlands is still pretty basic. We definitely don’t learn about physical diversity; about how different people, and their bodies, can be. No one discusses how penises or vulvas all look different.
        In my opinion, what’s missing in sexual education everywhere is that there’s one course at a certain age, and then that’s it. But at different ages, you are more interested in, and aware of, varying elements of sexuality. It would be great to give kids different classes at different ages; to match their needs and interests.

At university, I studied clinical psychology, and then in my last year I opted to take a sexology module. I got to learn a lot about physiology; health conditions; how sexual response works; and the social aspects around sexuality in different cultures.

Every school in every country handles sexual health education in a different way. I remember thinking that at my school, it wasn’t so great, although from what I’ve heard, it was a lot better than programs in other countries. What helps in the Netherlands is that we are relatively comfortable with sexuality and nudity. For example, in saunas, everyone’s naked – it’s something that’s normalized, and part of being a human being. And while it’s not as bad as in the US where they advise kids not to have sex and teach them only about anatomy and how  things work, sexual education in the Netherlands is still pretty basic. We definitely don’t learn about physical diversity; about how different people, and their bodies, can be. No one discusses how penises or vulvas all look different.
        In my opinion, what’s missing in sexual education everywhere is that there’s one course at a certain age, and then that’s it. But at different ages, you are more interested in, and aware of, varying elements of sexuality. It would be great to give kids different classes at different ages; to match their needs and interests.

At university, I studied clinical psychology, and then in my last year I opted to take a sexology module. I got to learn a lot about physiology; health conditions; how sexual response works; and the social aspects around sexuality in different cultures.

"No one discusses how penises or vulvas all look different."

"No one discusses how penises or vulvas all look different."

"No one discusses how penises or vulvas all look different."

"No one discusses how penises or vulvas all look different."

"No one discusses how penises or vulvas all look different."

So many young women choose to undergo labiaplasty surgery because they are insecure and think they aren’t beautiful, because they learn through porn or popular media how vulvas should look. I first heard about the huge global increase in labiaplasty surgeries during a master's degree thesis presentation. I did know that it was something that some people chose to do, but not that it was becoming more commonplace on a global scale.
         The presentation talked about research that had been conducted on women waiting for their surgery. The researchers educated these women about anatomy, and showed them images of different vulvas. They recorded how the women felt about their vulva before and after seeing these other women’s bodies, and it turned out that their genital self-image had become more positive. And that feeling endured. Even weeks after the study, they continued to have an improved perception of how their vulvas looked.
         That made me think, wow, if it’s so seemingly simple – if you can show a variety of shapes and sizes, and spread the message that your vulva is normal, perfectly healthy and there’s nothing wrong with it – then as an illustrator, maybe I should reflect this diversity through my work.

When I started The Vulva Gallery, most of the images I illustrated were inspired by photos I found on the internet. It was quite difficult to find suitable imagery, though, because most that you find are taken from below, where the vulva looks like a beautiful flower – but it looks way different when you see it as if you were standing up and looking in a mirror.
         Recently, though, I started sharing more personal stories. I receive emails every day from women from all over the world who want to talk about their experiences – and get a portrait of their vulva. So it’s now turning into a participatory platform and has more of a community feeling. It’s such a supportive space, which it’s great – it’s much better that it’s not just me telling people they are beautiful – everyone is telling each other, and recognising themselves in the stories and portraits.

The stories you read on The Vulva Gallery come from individuals all over the world. On Instagram, though, where I can see where my followers come from, the majority of traffic is from US and South America. I have a lot of emails from people in Brazil, for example, where labiaplasty is on the increase. From time to time, it’s people in countries such as Algeria or Israel. But I would say the majority of stories come from people based in Europe and the US.

The most common reason why people think their vulva is ugly because their inner labia is long. A common theme is people who started to watch porn when they were teenagers, at around 14 or 15, which resulted in a change in their perception. Before that, they were ok with the way their vulvas looked – they had the attitude of “yeah, it’s just a body part”. But then they started seeing all these other vulvas – tiny, pink, shaved and bleached or whatever – which, of course, don’t reflect the reality. And so they began to think theirs were weird – to the point of wanting to have labiaplasty. I’m sad to say some of the girls even tried to cut their labia themselves, they were so plagued by thoughts of looking somehow deformed. There are a lot stories from girls who were teased at school, too, being called names such as ‘beef curtains’ or ‘ham sandwiches’. Apparently, there is this myth going around high schools that if you have long inner labia, you are very sexually active, and therefore ‘loose’. Again, it’s a lack of proper sexual education.
         Many of the girls that shared these stories with me worked through their issues and became more positive with (or without) the help of a loving and caring partner, but a lot of stories also are from women who discovered my gallery and then realized that they actually are normal. That really motivates me to keep going, because my work is helping people in the way I always hoped it would.

So many young women choose to undergo labiaplasty surgery because they are insecure and think they aren’t beautiful, because they learn through porn or popular media how vulvas should look. I first heard about the huge global increase in labiaplasty surgeries during a master's degree thesis presentation. I did know that it was something that some people chose to do, but not that it was becoming more commonplace on a global scale.
         The presentation talked about research that had been conducted on women waiting for their surgery. The researchers educated these women about anatomy, and showed them images of different vulvas. They recorded how the women felt about their vulva before and after seeing these other women’s bodies, and it turned out that their genital self-image had become more positive. And that feeling endured. Even weeks after the study, they continued to have an improved perception of how their vulvas looked.
         That made me think, wow, if it’s so seemingly simple – if you can show a variety of shapes and sizes, and spread the message that your vulva is normal, perfectly healthy and there’s nothing wrong with it – then as an illustrator, maybe I should reflect this diversity through my work.

When I started The Vulva Gallery, most of the images I illustrated were inspired by photos I found on the internet. It was quite difficult to find suitable imagery, though, because most that you find are taken from below, where the vulva looks like a beautiful flower – but it looks way different when you see it as if you were standing up and looking in a mirror.
         Recently, though, I started sharing more personal stories. I receive emails every day from women from all over the world who want to talk about their experiences – and get a portrait of their vulva. So it’s now turning into a participatory platform and has more of a community feeling. It’s such a supportive space, which it’s great – it’s much better that it’s not just me telling people they are beautiful – everyone is telling each other, and recognising themselves in the stories and portraits.

The stories you read on The Vulva Gallery come from individuals all over the world. On Instagram, though, where I can see where my followers come from, the majority of traffic is from US and South America. I have a lot of emails from people in Brazil, for example, where labiaplasty is on the increase. From time to time, it’s people in countries such as Algeria or Israel. But I would say the majority of stories come from people based in Europe and the US.

The most common reason why people think their vulva is ugly because their inner labia is long. A common theme is people who started to watch porn when they were teenagers, at around 14 or 15, which resulted in a change in their perception. Before that, they were ok with the way their vulvas looked – they had the attitude of “yeah, it’s just a body part”. But then they started seeing all these other vulvas – tiny, pink, shaved and bleached or whatever – which, of course, don’t reflect the reality. And so they began to think theirs were weird – to the point of wanting to have labiaplasty. I’m sad to say some of the girls even tried to cut their labia themselves, they were so plagued by thoughts of looking somehow deformed. There are a lot stories from girls who were teased at school, too, being called names such as ‘beef curtains’ or ‘ham sandwiches’. Apparently, there is this myth going around high schools that if you have long inner labia, you are very sexually active, and therefore ‘loose’. Again, it’s a lack of proper sexual education.
         Many of the girls that shared these stories with me worked through their issues and became more positive with (or without) the help of a loving and caring partner, but a lot of stories also are from women who discovered my gallery and then realized that they actually are normal. That really motivates me to keep going, because my work is helping people in the way I always hoped it would.

So many young women choose to undergo labiaplasty surgery because they are insecure and think they aren’t beautiful, because they learn through porn or popular media how vulvas should look. I first heard about the huge global increase in labiaplasty surgeries during a master's degree thesis presentation. I did know that it was something that some people chose to do, but not that it was becoming more commonplace on a global scale.
         The presentation talked about research that had been conducted on women waiting for their surgery. The researchers educated these women about anatomy, and showed them images of different vulvas. They recorded how the women felt about their vulva before and after seeing these other women’s bodies, and it turned out that their genital self-image had become more positive. And that feeling endured. Even weeks after the study, they continued to have an improved perception of how their vulvas looked.
         That made me think, wow, if it’s so seemingly simple – if you can show a variety of shapes and sizes, and spread the message that your vulva is normal, perfectly healthy and there’s nothing wrong with it – then as an illustrator, maybe I should reflect this diversity through my work.

When I started The Vulva Gallery, most of the images I illustrated were inspired by photos I found on the internet. It was quite difficult to find suitable imagery, though, because most that you find are taken from below, where the vulva looks like a beautiful flower – but it looks way different when you see it as if you were standing up and looking in a mirror.
         Recently, though, I started sharing more personal stories. I receive emails every day from women from all over the world who want to talk about their experiences – and get a portrait of their vulva. So it’s now turning into a participatory platform and has more of a community feeling. It’s such a supportive space, which it’s great – it’s much better that it’s not just me telling people they are beautiful – everyone is telling each other, and recognising themselves in the stories and portraits.

The stories you read on The Vulva Gallery come from individuals all over the world. On Instagram, though, where I can see where my followers come from, the majority of traffic is from US and South America. I have a lot of emails from people in Brazil, for example, where labiaplasty is on the increase. From time to time, it’s people in countries such as Algeria or Israel. But I would say the majority of stories come from people based in Europe and the US.

The most common reason why people think their vulva is ugly because their inner labia is long. A common theme is people who started to watch porn when they were teenagers, at around 14 or 15, which resulted in a change in their perception. Before that, they were ok with the way their vulvas looked – they had the attitude of “yeah, it’s just a body part”. But then they started seeing all these other vulvas – tiny, pink, shaved and bleached or whatever – which, of course, don’t reflect the reality. And so they began to think theirs were weird – to the point of wanting to have labiaplasty. I’m sad to say some of the girls even tried to cut their labia themselves, they were so plagued by thoughts of looking somehow deformed. There are a lot stories from girls who were teased at school, too, being called names such as ‘beef curtains’ or ‘ham sandwiches’. Apparently, there is this myth going around high schools that if you have long inner labia, you are very sexually active, and therefore ‘loose’. Again, it’s a lack of proper sexual education.
         Many of the girls that shared these stories with me worked through their issues and became more positive with (or without) the help of a loving and caring partner, but a lot of stories also are from women who discovered my gallery and then realized that they actually are normal. That really motivates me to keep going, because my work is helping people in the way I always hoped it would.

So many young women choose to undergo labiaplasty surgery because they are insecure and think they aren’t beautiful, because they learn through porn or popular media how vulvas should look. I first heard about the huge global increase in labiaplasty surgeries during a master's degree thesis presentation. I did know that it was something that some people chose to do, but not that it was becoming more commonplace on a global scale.
         The presentation talked about research that had been conducted on women waiting for their surgery. The researchers educated these women about anatomy, and showed them images of different vulvas. They recorded how the women felt about their vulva before and after seeing these other women’s bodies, and it turned out that their genital self-image had become more positive. And that feeling endured. Even weeks after the study, they continued to have an improved perception of how their vulvas looked.
         That made me think, wow, if it’s so seemingly simple – if you can show a variety of shapes and sizes, and spread the message that your vulva is normal, perfectly healthy and there’s nothing wrong with it – then as an illustrator, maybe I should reflect this diversity through my work.

When I started The Vulva Gallery, most of the images I illustrated were inspired by photos I found on the internet. It was quite difficult to find suitable imagery, though, because most that you find are taken from below, where the vulva looks like a beautiful flower – but it looks way different when you see it as if you were standing up and looking in a mirror.
         Recently, though, I started sharing more personal stories. I receive emails every day from women from all over the world who want to talk about their experiences – and get a portrait of their vulva. So it’s now turning into a participatory platform and has more of a community feeling. It’s such a supportive space, which it’s great – it’s much better that it’s not just me telling people they are beautiful – everyone is telling each other, and recognising themselves in the stories and portraits.

The stories you read on The Vulva Gallery come from individuals all over the world. On Instagram, though, where I can see where my followers come from, the majority of traffic is from US and South America. I have a lot of emails from people in Brazil, for example, where labiaplasty is on the increase. From time to time, it’s people in countries such as Algeria or Israel. But I would say the majority of stories come from people based in Europe and the US.

The most common reason why people think their vulva is ugly because their inner labia is long. A common theme is people who started to watch porn when they were teenagers, at around 14 or 15, which resulted in a change in their perception. Before that, they were ok with the way their vulvas looked – they had the attitude of “yeah, it’s just a body part”. But then they started seeing all these other vulvas – tiny, pink, shaved and bleached or whatever – which, of course, don’t reflect the reality. And so they began to think theirs were weird – to the point of wanting to have labiaplasty. I’m sad to say some of the girls even tried to cut their labia themselves, they were so plagued by thoughts of looking somehow deformed. There are a lot stories from girls who were teased at school, too, being called names such as ‘beef curtains’ or ‘ham sandwiches’. Apparently, there is this myth going around high schools that if you have long inner labia, you are very sexually active, and therefore ‘loose’. Again, it’s a lack of proper sexual education.
         Many of the girls that shared these stories with me worked through their issues and became more positive with (or without) the help of a loving and caring partner, but a lot of stories also are from women who discovered my gallery and then realized that they actually are normal. That really motivates me to keep going, because my work is helping people in the way I always hoped it would.

"If you have never experienced feelings of insecurity about your body, you might not understand how deeply it can affect people."

"If you have never experienced feelings of insecurity about your body, you might not understand how deeply it can affect people."

"If you have never experienced feelings of insecurity about your body, you might not understand how deeply it can affect people."

“If you have never experienced feelings of insecurity about your body, you might not understand how deeply it can affect people."

“If you have never experienced feelings of insecurity about your body, you might not understand how deeply it can affect people."

Most of the feedback I receive is positive, but of course, there is the inevitability of comments such as “why is this necessary?” Some people just don’t get it. But of course, if you have never experienced feelings of insecurity about your body, you might not understand how deeply it can affect people.
         I try to be very inclusive in the gallery; the aim is to show as wide a variety of shapes and sizes as possible. I include individuals with vulvas with all kinds of gender identities. I do my best to be as inclusive as possible, and create a space where stories can be shared, where people can support each other and learn from each other’s experiences. I want The Vulva Gallery to be a very safe place where women and individuals of all genders can share their stories and feel safe.

I’ve only had one illustration removed once on Instagram, in the very early days. I opened the account and a picture had been removed. I re-posted it explaining that nudity in art or illustration is allowed on Instagram, and therefore I was following the guidelines. This is not a sexual account: it’s educational. After that, no reports.

I’ve been approached by schools and sexual education programmes to talk about The Vulva Gallery, which is great. My illustrations have been used for sexual education courses in high schools in the US, Germany, Norway and also here in the Netherlands. Also, a lot of sex counsellors and sexologists are displaying my work in their practices, too, and often give clients cards to take home.

Most of the feedback I receive is positive, but of course, there is the inevitability of comments such as “why is this necessary?” Some people just don’t get it. But of course, if you have never experienced feelings of insecurity about your body, you might not understand how deeply it can affect people.
         I try to be very inclusive in the gallery; the aim is to show as wide a variety of shapes and sizes as possible. I include individuals with vulvas with all kinds of gender identities. I do my best to be as inclusive as possible, and create a space where stories can be shared, where people can support each other and learn from each other’s experiences. I want The Vulva Gallery to be a very safe place where women and individuals of all genders can share their stories and feel safe.

I’ve only had one illustration removed once on Instagram, in the very early days. I opened the account and a picture had been removed. I re-posted it explaining that nudity in art or illustration is allowed on Instagram, and therefore I was following the guidelines. This is not a sexual account: it’s educational. After that, no reports.

I’ve been approached by schools and sexual education programmes to talk about The Vulva Gallery, which is great. My illustrations have been used for sexual education courses in high schools in the US, Germany, Norway and also here in the Netherlands. Also, a lot of sex counsellors and sexologists are displaying my work in their practices, too, and often give clients cards to take home.

Most of the feedback I receive is positive, but of course, there is the inevitability of comments such as “why is this necessary?” Some people just don’t get it. But of course, if you have never experienced feelings of insecurity about your body, you might not understand how deeply it can affect people.
         I try to be very inclusive in the gallery; the aim is to show as wide a variety of shapes and sizes as possible. I include individuals with vulvas with all kinds of gender identities. I do my best to be as inclusive as possible, and create a space where stories can be shared, where people can support each other and learn from each other’s experiences. I want The Vulva Gallery to be a very safe place where women and individuals of all genders can share their stories and feel safe.

I’ve only had one illustration removed once on Instagram, in the very early days. I opened the account and a picture had been removed. I re-posted it explaining that nudity in art or illustration is allowed on Instagram, and therefore I was following the guidelines. This is not a sexual account: it’s educational. After that, no reports.

I’ve been approached by schools and sexual education programmes to talk about The Vulva Gallery, which is great. My illustrations have been used for sexual education courses in high schools in the US, Germany, Norway and also here in the Netherlands. Also, a lot of sex counsellors and sexologists are displaying my work in their practices, too, and often give clients cards to take home.

Most of the feedback I receive is positive, but of course, there is the inevitability of comments such as “why is this necessary?” Some people just don’t get it. But of course, if you have never experienced feelings of insecurity about your body, you might not understand how deeply it can affect people.
         I try to be very inclusive in the gallery; the aim is to show as wide a variety of shapes and sizes as possible. I include individuals with vulvas with all kinds of gender identities. I do my best to be as inclusive as possible, and create a space where stories can be shared, where people can support each other and learn from each other’s experiences. I want The Vulva Gallery to be a very safe place where women and individuals of all genders can share their stories and feel safe.

I’ve only had one illustration removed once on Instagram, in the very early days. I opened the account and a picture had been removed. I re-posted it explaining that nudity in art or illustration is allowed on Instagram, and therefore I was following the guidelines. This is not a sexual account: it’s educational. After that, no reports.

I’ve been approached by schools and sexual education programmes to talk about The Vulva Gallery, which is great. My illustrations have been used for sexual education courses in high schools in the US, Germany, Norway and also here in the Netherlands. Also, a lot of sex counsellors and sexologists are displaying my work in their practices, too, and often give clients cards to take home.

"My work is helping people in the way I always hoped it would."

"My work is helping people in the way I always hoped it would."

"My work is helping people in the way I always hoped it would."

“My work is helping people in the way I always hoped it would."

“My work is helping people in the way I always hoped it would."

I wish I had seen something like this [The Vulva Gallery] when I was younger. But not just a gallery of illustrations of vulvas, also penises, butts and boobs – from all different body types. It would have been so beneficial to see naked bodies in their many shapes and sizes. I guess I would have liked to have had a stronger awareness of diversity.
         And when it comes to sexual encounters, I would have liked more information about how to engage with others respectfully; talking, learning how to ask for things, knowing it’s ok to say “no”, or “yes”, even “I like this”, and “no, I don’t want this yet”. In a nutshell, how to have open conversations about sex, gender identity and how vastly different our experiences of these things can be.

Last summer I started a new account on Instagram called ‘You’re Welcome Club.’ The Vulva Gallery is obviously quite focussed on one topic, but that initial focus made me realise that everyone can feel insecure about their bodies. There’s so much more we should be talking about. With the You’re Welcome Club I want to broaden the subject matter: sexual diversity, body diversity, and gender. And also to discuss physical conditions – anything from acne or skin pigmentation loss, and representing all kinds of bodies. The aim is to break taboos by talking about them. Like The Vulva Gallery, I’m hoping that sharing stories will become a big part of it – I want to show that we can all support each other.

I wish I had seen something like this [The Vulva Gallery] when I was younger. But not just a gallery of illustrations of vulvas, also penises, butts and boobs – from all different body types. It would have been so beneficial to see naked bodies in their many shapes and sizes. I guess I would have liked to have had a stronger awareness of diversity.
         And when it comes to sexual encounters, I would have liked more information about how to engage with others respectfully; talking, learning how to ask for things, knowing it’s ok to say “no”, or “yes”, even “I like this”, and “no, I don’t want this yet”. In a nutshell, how to have open conversations about sex, gender identity and how vastly different our experiences of these things can be.

Last summer I started a new account on Instagram called ‘You’re Welcome Club.’ The Vulva Gallery is obviously quite focussed on one topic, but that initial focus made me realise that everyone can feel insecure about their bodies. There’s so much more we should be talking about. With the You’re Welcome Club I want to broaden the subject matter: sexual diversity, body diversity, and gender. And also to discuss physical conditions – anything from acne or skin pigmentation loss, and representing all kinds of bodies. The aim is to break taboos by talking about them. Like The Vulva Gallery, I’m hoping that sharing stories will become a big part of it – I want to show that we can all support each other.

I wish I had seen something like this [The Vulva Gallery] when I was younger. But not just a gallery of illustrations of vulvas, also penises, butts and boobs – from all different body types. It would have been so beneficial to see naked bodies in their many shapes and sizes. I guess I would have liked to have had a stronger awareness of diversity.
         And when it comes to sexual encounters, I would have liked more information about how to engage with others respectfully; talking, learning how to ask for things, knowing it’s ok to say “no”, or “yes”, even “I like this”, and “no, I don’t want this yet”. In a nutshell, how to have open conversations about sex, gender identity and how vastly different our experiences of these things can be.

Last summer I started a new account on Instagram called ‘You’re Welcome Club.’ The Vulva Gallery is obviously quite focussed on one topic, but that initial focus made me realise that everyone can feel insecure about their bodies. There’s so much more we should be talking about. With the You’re Welcome Club I want to broaden the subject matter: sexual diversity, body diversity, and gender. And also to discuss physical conditions – anything from acne or skin pigmentation loss, and representing all kinds of bodies. The aim is to break taboos by talking about them. Like The Vulva Gallery, I’m hoping that sharing stories will become a big part of it – I want to show that we can all support each other.

I wish I had seen something like this [The Vulva Gallery] when I was younger. But not just a gallery of illustrations of vulvas, also penises, butts and boobs – from all different body types. It would have been so beneficial to see naked bodies in their many shapes and sizes. I guess I would have liked to have had a stronger awareness of diversity.
         And when it comes to sexual encounters, I would have liked more information about how to engage with others respectfully; talking, learning how to ask for things, knowing it’s ok to say “no”, or “yes”, even “I like this”, and “no, I don’t want this yet”. In a nutshell, how to have open conversations about sex, gender identity and how vastly different our experiences of these things can be.

Last summer I started a new account on Instagram called ‘You’re Welcome Club.’ The Vulva Gallery is obviously quite focussed on one topic, but that initial focus made me realise that everyone can feel insecure about their bodies. There’s so much more we should be talking about. With the You’re Welcome Club I want to broaden the subject matter: sexual diversity, body diversity, and gender. And also to discuss physical conditions – anything from acne or skin pigmentation loss, and representing all kinds of bodies. The aim is to break taboos by talking about them. Like The Vulva Gallery, I’m hoping that sharing stories will become a big part of it – I want to show that we can all support each other.

Instagram     info@wearedownthere.com     © 2019 Down There     Privacy     Cookies