Even after the closing of the art show, people still send me images of hair - everything from braids to bush. It's the bush part that stays interesting. Because we rarely see real vaginas in public, I find them quite curious. I've always wondered if mine was different than others, so I asked this of my gynecologist, but didn't get a straight answer. Since this was far too strange an inquiry to pose to the waxologist, I tried instead to get a sense of how different mine was from her vibe. I couldn't tell if the request for a manicured shape with twists, turns, and arrows threw her off, or if she had never seen a cooch quite like mine.
Like most folks, the secrets of the nether regions were not taught to me by my parents. I got mixed messages from mom. When asked the vagina question, her response was, "What does it matter? They're all the same - ugly as hell." During another mother daughter heart to heart, she told me that my girl girl was treasure and was not to be given away casually. It was too late for this second message, I had already handed over my ugly treasure, rather casually, to a dude living in his dad's basement.
Some twenty odd years later, when faced with too much blank wall space for the upcoming art show, a photograph of an un-plucked vagina seemed appropriate. When I told this idea to another artist, she suggested we make it a cooperative effort and invite other women. Now, I'm bold enough to display my own wares, but not quite as daring when it comes to asking this of others. But here I was, with a partner in crime saying, "Just do it! Just ask!" We told eight ladies our plans. "We're not making this a big production, don't rent lights and special camera equipment, just grab your cell phones and take a crotch selfie. Email us when you're done. Five responded affirmatively. One hesitated. And two pretended I hadn't asked.
When vaginas started showing up in my inbox, it wasn't weird and didn't feel voyeuristic. It was rather communal, a group art project initiated by the sisterhood. I also got my question answered. Yes, my lady parts are different, cause no two are exactly alike. And mom was wrong about the aesthetic of vaginas. They aren't ugly at all, they are indeed very cool works of art.