10 Women On What They Thought When They First Saw Their Vulvas
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle
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Since most of us need a hand mirror to get intimately acquainted with our vulvas, some go years without seeing one of their most significant body parts. Once we do, the reactions range from wonder to curiosity to disgust to shame. Our feelings when we first see our vulvas often bring the messages we've gotten throughout our lives around sex and body image to the forefront, which is why it's so fascinating to hear all the different ways different people respond.

Unfortunately, a lot of people feel uncomfortable with their genitals. One MedExpress survey found that over a third of people in the U.K. considered their privates abnormal. More women than men said this. We can probably blame porn for that: In recent years, the industry has been glorifying hairless vulvas with small labia as if they're the only kind that can be attractive. Of course, in reality, people are attracted to all sorts of looks.

I asked people what they thought when they first saw their vulvas, and some reflect these beauty standards. Others, though, are refreshingly body-positive. Here are the thoughts that went through 10 cis women's minds when they saw what was between their legs for the first time.

1Larell, 24

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2Ego, 33

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3Carly, 28

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4Stephanie, 26

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5Leigh, 36

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6Tina, 44

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7Eliza, 35

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8Charlie, 26

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9Diana, 23

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10Too Too, 19

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So, it looks like our feelings about our privates can range from positive to negative to neutral. And my personal hope is that once we spread more body-positive messages, there'll be fewer negative ones.