The world’s first vagina museum has opened this weekend in London’s Camden Market and it looks pretty amazing.
The museum came about after its founder Florence Schechter discovered a penis museum in Iceland but realised ‘there is no vagina equivalent anywhere in the world.’ And you know what? It’s about time there is.
Visit the Vagina Museum
The vagina museum’s first exhibition, Muff Busters: Vagina Myths and How To Fight Them, will run until February and aims to tackle misconceptions around female anatomy, including issues of cleanliness, appearance, periods, sex and contraception.
The exhibition’s curator Sarah Creed says the shows focuses on myths like pubic hair being unhygienic and the idea that your vagina should ‘smell like a bouquet of flowers,’ with Sarah’s own underwear appearing in the exhibition to make a point about vaginal discharge.
The Muff Busters exhibition features models of tampons and menstrual cups, as well as LOTS of illustrations of vaginas and vulvas. The exhibition is open now and is free to visit.
The vagina museum was funded via a crowdfunding page after a number of alarming statistics were revealed surrounding women’s reproductive organs.
A YouGov survey in March this year found that 52% of British people couldn’t describe the function or visibly identify the vagina, with 47% not being able to do so for the labia and 58% for the urethra. And it’s probably not that much better in South Africa.
Research also found that 65% of 16-25-year-olds ‘say they have a problem using the words vagina or vulva.’
The museum also focuses on issues of body image, after a 500% increase in the number of labiaplasties on the NHS was reported between 2002 and 2012.
The museum’s founder and director Florence Schechter says, ‘Our top priority is to fight the taboo that surrounds our bodies and provide a place where we can have an open and honest conversation.’
She adds that, ‘Museums act as the custodians of history for society and give the public access to their history. Vaginas and vulvas have often been relegated to the backs of cupboards by curators because they are commonly deemed too controversial or difficult for the public.’
The vagina museum also hopes to inspire more women to attend their cervical screenings by breaking taboos.
This post originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com
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