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.

Well! There I am! And I am for some reason rather surprised. What was I expecting? Fins?  It just looks so, well…small. And it's more symmetrical than I'd imagined. It's beyond strange, but also incredibly cool to see it in this three-dimensional way. It feels like I am finally meeting a beloved pen pal that I've known intimately for years. And now at last, here we are, face to face…

McCartney puts the cast over on a counter to dry, and then—no rest for the weary—he immediately sets to work making the second one, which will be mine to keep. This one is made even faster, and without feline interruption. He places it on the counter next to the first.

"Alright, then. I'll let you get dressed. Take your time…" and he heads back inside.

I haul myself off the table, and am very happy so slip back into the warmth of my jeans. I pull on my sneakers, and join David by the counter. He is peering down at my twin blue vaginas lying side by side. I can only imagine what is running through his head. No doubt, he is wishing he had long ago settled down in the Irish countryside, with a shy Siobhan or a blushing Nuala…

He looks up at me, eyebrows raised. "You can't give me a hard time about anything for at least a month." He smiles.

We meet McCartney back in the studio, where he thanks us, and tells us to be sure to Facebook him. I ask him to keep us posted on the piece, and he assures me he will. He says would like to officially unveil the completed work this summer. His hope is to hang it in a public space, where more people will be able to see it.

On the train back to London, David sprawls across from me, quietly killing aliens on his iPod Touch. I am still feeling a slight adrenaline buzz, and am on high alert for any unusual, rash-like sensations that might be going on below. However, all appears to be well.

McCartney's parting words hang with me…about displaying "Design a Vagina" in a public space. I can already see a troupe of blazer-clad school kids passing through a library, pointing at my vagina and making lewd remarks. Well, that will likely happen. No way around it. Kids will be kids. And some adults will be kids, for that matter. But it occurs to me, that those same people who laugh and point, well, they will also be seeing, perhaps for the first time, how unbelievably varied, and—let's face it—amazing the female body is. They will be faced with the glaring reality that we don't in fact all look like the stars of Assmasters 4. And that will be a very good thing. If the sculpture keeps even one girl from going under the knife, well then my six minutes under the goop was beyond worth it.

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