Thousands of people have Seen my Vagina & I’m Not Ashamed.

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Several months ago, Empowered Birth Project posted my raw, detailed birth photos on their Instagram feed.

Between that post, the petition that came from it, and the several articles that came from that, one thing is for sure—thousands and thousands of people have seen my vagina.

And every couple days, I get someone asking me how it makes me feel that my vagina is out there with people responding to it in a myriad of ways.

Birth photos are now allowed on Instagram and Facebook—uncensored, and yes, full of vaginas.

I hope this helps any mothers who have shared their uncensored photos and are getting similar questions. For those who have asked, this is my response…

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To those who want me to cover up, I am not ashamed. 
To those who tell me it is disgusting, look away. 
To those who do not understand, open up your mind. 
To those who have never seen, allow yourself to be in awe of my body. 
To those who have borne children, allow yourself to be in awe of your body. 
To those who want to sexualize me, you do not have that power. 
You do not have the power to take my story from me, to make it something else, something less raw and real and beautiful. 
You cannot diminish my pride, my joy, my strength. 
You will not. 
Giving birth was the single most real thing I have ever done. I lay, vulnerable and powerful, in between the world of the Is Now and the Is Going To Be, and I brought forth life. 
I felt the fear and the power and the uncertainty of every mother who has birthed before me. 
I moaned alongside other mothers on different soils, none of us knowing each other and yet pushing and roaring together as one. 
I felt fire and continued on. 
That is my story and you cannot have it.
I openly share it, but you will not take it. 

You have a similar story, somewhere in your life, because birth touches us all. 
Birth is meant to be embraced, like a new babe fresh from the womb. 
Yes, you have seen my vagina. But moreso, you have witnessed my power. 
It scared me too, once. 
It doesn’t scare me anymore.

 

Bonus:

 

author: Lauren Archer

Image: Author's own

Editor: Khara-Jade Warren

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Lauren Archer

Lauren Archer is a 30 something Postpartum Doula with a passion for empowering women. She is an advocate for educating people on the importance of postpartum care and for helping them to realize that parenting is not a singular journey but rather a group effort. She lives in Los Angeles and happily drinks coffee every morning with her husband, son, and 2 pups. She will never turn down a donut. Lauren believes newborns are yummy and mamas are stronger than they give themselves credit for! Connect with her on Instagram or her website.

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Chris Cassie Aug 9, 2018 11:12pm

I'm so happy my daughter sent me Laz's remedy. I am over 40 have 5 kids and feel like a teenager down there. I didnt tell my husband about the product ,I just told him I was doing kegals ,He ususally take so long to finish when we have sex but now he has to try not to finish fast lol. You only use it once in 5 years. Oh and when you use product wait at least 1day before s*x. Laz's phone and whatsapp is +14105535852 .Give it a try its cheaper then surgey :)

Chris Cassie Aug 9, 2018 11:10pm

I'm so happy my daughter sent me Laz's remedy. I am over 40 have 5 kids and feel like a teenager down there. I didnt tell my husband about the product ,I just told him I was doing kegals ,He ususally take so long to finish when we have sex but now he has to try not to finish fast lol. You only use it once in 5 years. Oh and when you use product wait at least 1day before s*x. Laz's phone and whatsapp is +14105535852 .Give it a try its cheaper then surgey :)

Roger Zelinski Jul 20, 2018 2:45pm

I havn't seen this photo, but it seems to me that sharing non sexualized nude photos insn't a serious issue. At the same time these things SHOULD be banned from places like facebook and instagram. A photo like that should be something you search to find, not something that is shoved in your face.

Nancy Vedder-Shults Jun 6, 2018 5:55pm

36 years ago my sister Amy took many photos of me giving birth. They remind me of the powerful experience of giving birth, which you describe wonderfully ("the fear and the power and the uncertainty of every mother who has birthed before me"). Like you, I was in touch with every woman who had gone before me and would come after me. I felt like the Goddess giving birth to the universe.

Melanie Goodlett Eriksen Jun 6, 2018 5:20pm

OMG <3 <3 <3 your responses! I feel empowerred as a woman just reading that! Hear us ROAR!

Angelina Lloyd Jun 6, 2018 3:14pm

Thank you! The notion that the body is shameful is beyond outdated. And the poor logic suggesting that all things related to the body are shameful or sinful is destructive. Keep up the good work amplifying a strong voice for what is authentic, real, natural and powerfully beautiful!

Larry Fallon Jun 6, 2018 2:52pm

Thanks for your confidence and courage. You are an example for all of us to live ourlives fearlessly.

Michael Mitchell Jun 6, 2018 2:22pm

Great words - I’m sorry we live in a distorted world where this even to be explained or defended. Birth is beautiful and life is sacred.

Paul Whiteman Jun 6, 2018 1:55pm

I remember the cover of the Chumbawamba album - Anarchy which was released in the mid nineties. It had a photo of the head of a new born baby boy including the vagina that he was coming out of. I think they even had it featured on billboards. This was in the UK. https://www.discogs.com/Chumbawamba-Anarchy/release/337500

David Ferguson Jun 6, 2018 9:05am

You are, in the literal sense of the word, awesome! Sending high fives and positive vibes in your general direction.

Sharon Humphreys Jun 6, 2018 3:19am

Awesome ! Beautiful! 💖🙏

James Buchanan Jun 5, 2018 3:27pm

My kids are 18 and 20 now, but I still remember vividly each one coming into the world. Their mother and I had hoped to have a homebirth for both, but unfortunately it wasn't in the cards. We still did our best to create as natural an experience as possible. Beforehand, my experience with birth was zero. Not even a photo of what the process looks like because back in the late 1990s and my youth that was considered inappropriate. Thank goodness I was able to see videos, speak to other mothers, etc. to gain a better appreciation for what birth is and means. It helped me keep a level head and make good choices as things didn't go the way we had planned. Birth, aod for that matter death, are still too hidden. Thanks for this.

Jennifer Evangelista Jun 5, 2018 12:33pm

Love this!