Don’t worry, all genitalia are ugly

Sophie Dickinson 6 November 2017

Genitalia is ugly. No one falls in love with someone for what’s between their legs. it’s just a fact that there is no such thing as a pretty penis, or voluptuous vagina. Dispel the myth. Shout it from the roof tops. Think about it, having extended eye-contact with a penis is kind of disconcerting. Vaginas, they’re like some sort of grotesque sea creature. They’re also so complex they’re terrifying, what do you MEAN I’m carrying an ecosystem around in my pants? Sexual organs are not fundamental to sexual attraction, so why are we so demanding of them? 

Warped standards promoted by the media insist on what it is to be a woman or a man (they are the only two options apparently) according to the physical. Women have vaginas. Women are meant to be curvy, but somehow still have a flat stomach. We should be hairless and apparently pores are undesirable. Sorry for my bodily functions. Men are constantly being told to “grow a pair”, “man up”, and develop a chest I could grate cheese on. The rigid definitions of gendered ideals we have ingrained in social consciousness are alienating and simply misleading. The media has set some extremely odd rules for genitalia. Think about the Free the Nipple campaign, does censorship socially classify the female nipple as a genital? What about the rest of the breast that’s allowed to go bouncing around on television? Censoring something manufactures a taboo, the consideration of nips and tips as private property has cursed private areas. We must conceal areas of our body as they are grotesque and inappropriate…and yet Donald Trump is allowed to keep his face on display. 

Pop culture is increasingly placing sex on a pedestal, encouraging sexual expression and exploration, and yet leaving genitalia behind. I presume when Ed Sheeran keeps going on about how he’s in love with her body he’s not talking about her vagina. Otherwise the line “every day discovering something brand new” is horrific. It sounds as if her vagina is some sort of horrendous advent calendar (do not try at home). Almost the entire female body is sexualised, but the vagina is frequently abhorred and heavily censored. There is a growing movement working to destigmatize the vagina, fighting its depiction as dirty or even (weirdly) ethereal. Artists such as Megumi Igarashi make a statement fighting against the unfair treatment the vagina receives, aiming to treat it as any other body part is. Although the anatomical image of the vagina is gradually becoming a symbol of power, when considered in a sexual context they remain pussies, minges, and teens still aim to be knee-deep in clunge. The regressive sexual attitude towards those with vaginas persists in obscuring them with infantalising euphemisms which, frankly, is just not hot. Penises have long been a power symbol: they penetrate and can be viewed as violating. This can corner men in a predatory cliché. The intrusiveness of an erection can be kind of terrifying, after all Alien was designed with a phallic head. Age-old attitudes towards sex and gender have ring-fenced men and women in a predator/prey dichotomy, tainting the good name of the penis in the process. 

Penises are paradoxically funny and scary at the same time. This is most likely why there is there is no such momentum behind any penis art, whilst the vagina is being reclaimed. 15 year olds scrawl dick doodles on every surface available, “dick pic” is now integrated into common vernacular, and I can’t even say helicopter without laughing now. We all know they’re comedy gold, dick jokes can be traced back to even Chaucer, but the vagina is still in the wings waiting for her time to shine. The taboo around vaginas has resulted in a widespread anxiety about getting naked. People with vaginas fear that they have something to hide as they have been lured into believing the impossible concept of an ‘attractive’ vagina. The pressure to have pretty genitalia is exacerbated by the porn industry, as cosmetically modified people are lauded. So much social value is attributed to penis size, even though no one really knows how big “big” is meant to be. We shouldn’t simplify the penis, reducing people as either growers or showers is simply blind to the kaleidoscopic variety and benefits of each idiosyncratic body-type. Standardised expectations only allow poor relationships with your body to develop. Being body conscious inhibits so many people from getting on and getting it on. Getting naked in front someone for the first time is terrifying, it’s like confessing all of your secrets in one foul sweep. 

Personally, I really struggle getting naked: in terms of being self-conscious, as well as the fact my head sometimes gets stuck in my top. This is an unhealthy mindset the media has ingrained in me, but at least I’m aware of that. So, I have adopted a method to get myself through. I ask myself “Is there anything I can do to change my body right now, at this very moment, standing in front of this person?” No. So why worry? Never stress if it’s out of your control. This might not work for anyone else, but what I would encourage is fighting against the oppressive paranoia modern society has developed around genitalia. Yeah, the Mona Lisa isn’t between my thighs, but she’s not between anyone else’s. So, what I’m really saying is just get naked and I’ll be there to applaud you for it…metaphorically.