26 October 2022

V is for Vagina by Sophie Mayanne

Vaginas and vulvas are dressed up in a culture of sex and defined as explicit by default. There’s porn readily available on the internet, yet everywhere else, we’re so afraid of being explicit that any accurate representation of reality is avoided; leaving us stuck between representations warped for entertainment, and over-simplified diagrams that have no way of representing diverse realities. Is it any wonder that labiaplasty is on the rise amongst teens, and glitter vagina pills are things that actually exist?

Canesten is on a mission to educate people about vaginal health
A continuation of the brand’s Vagina Academy initiative has launched in the UK, featuring a series of frank photographs by Sophie Mayanne

The Truth, Undressed is an education platform with free supporting lesson plans for secondary school teachers developed with the PSHE Association. Lessons cover everything from Anatomy, health conditions like BV, Thrush and Vaginismus, to pubic hair and the choices that comes with it.

Featuring Sophie Mayanne’s photographic images of real vulvas to support lessons which stop speculation, and work to desexualise vulvas and vaginas by presenting them as functioning body parts and not sexual objects, giving audiences unprecedented access to the naked truth.

A campaign of this nature needed specific and very considered production. Our all-female crew was joined on set by an intimacy coordinator, who provided a safe space on location for contributors to relax and share any worries of questions if they needed to. The mission to diversify content and its production led the way. In this case, 10 diverse vulvas to show the reality of female anatomy were cast.