My Vagina Doesn’t Look Like The One In The Textbook

Sunday, February 14

By Alexis Perales


If ‘Vaginas,’ had its own course in college I would sign up and you best believe I would fail it. My knowledge about vaginas comes in forms of different articles I have managed to find online whenever I remembered that I had one and I had no idea how to groom it or see it. All I ever knew about it was what they taught in sex ed back in elementary school, and even then that was a little bit of a failure. I mean, one little picture of it along with like three taglines? I saw this picture and for my whole life I wondered why mine didn’t look like that. Why my hair didn’t grow in the shape and way that the one in that little picture did.

So let’s be honest with ourselves here, our vaginas will not look like that one picture in the textbook. In fact, vaginas are more like flowers than you would’ve thought. They’re different sizes, shapes, and colors. Who would've thought? They don’t teach you that one in school, or maybe they did in yours and I just went to a very small-town elementary.

If you were to look up the different types you would probably see headlines titled, “9 Different Labia Shapes,” or “5 Different Types of Vaginas,” and if so you’re probably standing where I am wondering why the whole world seems a little lost on vaginas like you are. Then you start blaming the whole educational system and that leads into a whole other argument that never seems to end. At the same time, it’s also comforting, because it means you’re not the only one who’s lost on the idea. And that’s okay. 

So let’s ask the questions. Do I groom it? How would I even go about grooming it? What is a low-hanging labia? How do I wash it? What causes yeast infections? Why is it that I have to look to the confusing world of the internet to answer these questions instead of looking towards the people in my life?

We don’t talk about this enough and I don’t know why, but I hope you know that it’s okay to talk about it. I wish that it wasn’t such a taboo topic and maybe if it wasn’t I wouldn’t be as insecure about it as I am now. I mean there really isn’t a reason to be. Yeah, our vaginas are different but they’re beautiful. Men should be so lucky. I think the fact that they are all different is what truly adds to their beauty. I just regret not knowing that as I grew up. I wish that I had friends in Elementary who I could sit with and talk about it with and I guess maybe it’s my fault also for never bringing it up. But how do you bring something up that society deems as something that should be hidden? 

So let’s say the word vagina more. Let’s stop coming up with funny words for it because we’re afraid of the word. I want my kids in the future to be able to freely talk about it, and for them to be able to do that I have to start freely talking about it as well. 


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