Prude To Nude: Learning To Love My Womanly Parts

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vagina body image
One brave woman poses for a sculpture that shows there is beauty in all bits.

"You're sure you're okay with it?" I grill him. "Because I want to be absolutely sure you're comfortable with it." I am half-hoping he is terribly uncomfortable with it, of course.

"Well it's your body. If you're comfortable with it, then I guess I am." He shrugs.

Oh dear. How dreadfully supportive and diplomatic. He must really really want to see the London Eye.

And so, we book our so-cheap-the-plane-must-be-powered-on-prayer-Ryan Air tickets, find a hotel, and we are all set.

As the time draws near, I run my grand plan by some girlfriends. The reactions range from laughter, to confusion, to mild disgust.

"Oh no no no, Jo! You don't want to do that! No, no, no." My friend Kristin shakes her head at me over video chat. "You don't want plaster down there! What's it even made of? Is it even safe?"

"Well the guy said it's made from the same stuff dentists use to make bite plates," I meekly reply.

"Ugh!" the pixilated Kristin appears to fight her gag reflex.

A couple of days before we head off, I book a full bikini wax, as McCartney said this would yield the best results. I hunt down Brazilia, a salon in Dublin that promises "luxury waxing." I make an appointment for "The Hollywood." My First Time Getting A Brazilian Wax

I arrive at Brazilia rather nervous. A few weeks ago I'd gotten an eyebrow wax at a different salon, and my eyes swelled shut like I'd caught a pint glass to the face. I'm concerned that I'm somehow allergic to Irish waxing methods, and I have a vision of arriving for my vagina sculpture with genitals like a blowfish. But Trish, my friendly Irish waxer, shoos away my concerns. "Nah, the wax was just too hot. You'll be grand."

I hoist my legs into the air, while Trish chats away. And because I am an American idiot, her accent somehow makes the procedure more homey. Like any minute she will pause to pull some soda bread from a nearby oven.

I casually steer the conversation towards labiaplasty, wondering if she is familiar?

"Ah sure. We have girls come in who've had it done. Young girls too. Like in their early twenties. It's too bad really…" she sighs.

I ask her if, in her many years of waxing, if she's ever seen a vagina that she thought needed to go under the knife.

"No, no, no! They're all different. But to be honest, in this job, after awhile you don't even see vagina anymore. All you see is hair."

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