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Growing up, my vulva was something to be hidden. Bleeding was a curse, sex was a sin, the word ‘vagina’ was never even heard, let alone ‘vulva’. Birthing two babes (powerfully, majestically, roaringly! – and yet oh so ordinarily, really…) gave birth also to a new-found respect for my vagina. Recognizing my vulva is not shameful, or dirty, or ugly, still feels like a work in progress some days; it takes a lot to undo the early programming, as well as what society would have us believe. Being open and real with my young children helps. They recognize their genitals by proper terminology, just as they do their arms and legs. They are pure acceptance; there is no place for shame. My relationship with my entire body has shifted since becoming a mother. Where before the emphasis was on looking good, it is now on feeling good, and that includes appreciation of my body for all she does and who she is. My new relationship with my vulva is still unfolding, and in each moment that I appreciate her in wonder, I feel closer to my true womyn within.

-Fishnet Mama Butterfly Metamorphosis