Guest Blog By Kathryn Warr :: IvoryRose Physiotherapy For Her
It was hard to conceal the look of shock that swept across my face as a close girlfriend of mine stood up from the toilet, lifting her skirt, proceeding to loudly ask me, “Do I have an Inny or an Outty!?”
Working in the field of women’s health physiotherapy is one that is often hard to explain, particularly to family and friends. “You do WHAT all day!?”, often accompanied by a look of horror or confusion. Whilst I accept that there is an element of childhood humour that is associated with a female assessing other females “hoohoos” all day, the questions that my own girlfriends often ask me, leave me feeling a little disappointed with the education we received about our female bodies (particularly our vaginas), throughout our sex education at school and later in our adult life.
For those of you who are reading this and have no idea what I’m talking about, let me be explicit in my description of the colloquial terms that are being tossed around throughout our young teen to Gen Y age groups, unfortunately sometimes with a derogatory connotation.
INNY: An “Inny” refers to a vulval appearance that consists of labia minora (inner lips) which are neatly packaged and held within the tight confinement of the labia majora (outer lips).
OUTTY: An “Outty” refers to a vulval appearance that consists of labia minora (once again inner lips), which are not so neatly packaged, and may sit outwardly of the labia majora (outer lips).
So why am I giving you an anatomy lesson here? Well, working in the women’s health arena, I see many different shapes, sizes and packaging of women’s vulvas, and I am here to tell you that every ONE, every SHAPE, every SIZE is NORMAL – much like how we all have a different shaped nose, our vaginas (or more correctly termed – our vulvas) are also unique in their appearance.
As a young girl, I grew up often questioning my own anatomy, wondering if I was normal, and even thought at one point my clitoris was a tiny penis I must have grown overnight (fearing I was becoming a hermaphrodite!) Whilst I see this now sounds humorous (and might I add ridiculous), this plagued me for some years and I would like to speak out that this is NOT ok.
One of our core beliefs here at IvoryRose, is the promotion of feeling confident, as females, in our own anatomy. We should know that we are all normal, and there should be no need to ask a question such as if we have an “Inny” or an “Outty”, nor be disappointed with the answer either way.
Let’s not let labiaplasty (a cosmetic procedure involving “neatening up” the look of the vaginal labia), be the next boob job. Take time to educate yourself. To educate your daughters, sons, sisters and friends. To help you on this journey, I have found a very useful website, The Labia Library, which has some info about labial anatomy, as well as a photo library of various labial appearances. Please note, these photos are just examples of the realms of “normal”, and are in no way conclusive of the wide array of female anatomy out there.
Lastly, relish your own anatomy and don’t be afraid to have a look at it! It is the only hoohoo you will have and once in a while, it deserves your undivided attention. Grab a mirror and go for it!
Till next time,
Adelaide’s IvoryRose Physiotherapy is focused on assisting & supporting the female body through various stages of life. Working closely with GPs, Surgeons & Specialists to care for women.