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.

He sighs, and rubs a hand over the shiny dome of his head. "I've done so many of these, it's really just a part of the body to me at this point. It could be a nose."   

Judging by the slightly weary look in his eyes, I believe him.

 

I then voice my last concern—anonymity. For I am cool with my vagina being one of 200, but I would be a bit uncomfortable with a flashing neon arrow singling out "Johanna's Bits." McCartney assures me there will be no such arrow, and points out that anonymity is important to the power of the piece. It isn't about whose is whose, after all.

And according to the waiver, mine might not even make the cut. There is no guarantee he will use my sculpture in the finished piece. Apparently, my vulva might not be riveting enough.

Well.

I take the pen and sign my vagina away.

Jamie sits down to chat, and after a few minutes I begin to relax. He isn't creepy at all. In fact, he is quite entertaining, and I begin to feel like I'm chatting with a fun new acquaintance at a house party. At a very oddly decorated house.

He tells us about the people he's sculpted so far. Young women…women post-pregnancy...a post-op male to female transsexual…a 65 year-old woman... He would like to break the 65-year-old barrier, but so far, he can't get anyone older to volunteer. He would also love to sculpt a woman who has undergone female circumcision, as he's really gunning to get as much variety as possible. He has already sculpted a woman pre-labiaplasty, and she's going to come in for another sculpture after the surgery.

"I asked her after the cast was made, I said, 'Are you sure you still want to go through with the surgery?' And she said, 'Oh yeah, definitely.'" McCartney shakes his head. He blames a lot of the cosmetic surgery craze on porn. "Women are more exposed to porn now. It's like in the '70s, when men would see porn and everyone had a twelve-inch penis, and they would think that's the norm. Now women see porn, and are critical of themselves." What I Learned From Watching 500 Adult Films

He hopes the piece will really emphasize how truly different women are, and that there should be no race for Fairest Vagina of Them All. And because of the medium he's using—each vagina is sculpted in a pure, Precious Moments-esque white plaster—he thinks it will be comfortable for people to really stare at the sculpture as you would any other art piece. "It never would have worked with photos. It would have felt totally pornographic," he says.

 
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