Remember back in 2007 when a body-positive Jane photo shoot featuring the bare breasts of 50 anonymous media types was scandalous enough to get (a) leaked to Gawker, and (b) subsequently canceled? How times have changed! These days, women take pictures of their own labia (large or otherwise) to share in solidarity with Tumblr friends, hip branding agencies taking crotch portraits in order to raise pube awareness, and American Apparel T-shirts show what it looks like down there with a little menstrual blood. We thought we had run out of body parts to privately worry looked weird.
Turns out we weren’t looking deep enough. While we debated the relative empowerment of labia selfies, a much more intensive form of body acceptance was under way at the Beautiful Cervix Project, “a grassroots movement celebrating the beauty and intricacies of women’s bodies and fertility.” What began as one doula’s midwifery blog has since become a platform for readers to share their own inside selfies, taken on the journey toward predicting their cycles based on the relative firmness of the cervix. (It’s a thing.) It’s too bad this self-love movement requires employing a speculum, a flashlight, and one real chill friend. But, on the plus side, the risk of being identified online is close to zero. We can’t look at the (very graphic) gallery nearly long enough for that.