Do you know what Yoni stands for? In Sanskrit the word Yoni means the origin of life or literally vagina.
For us Yoni is one of the more respectful ways of referring to the female genitalia, which is important as the female genitalia haven’t and still aren’t always honored. Around the world female genitals are mutilated but also voluntarily “corrected”. Why don’t we have more respect for our Yoni’s?
Mandy Smith, paper artist at her own Papersmith Studio, was astonished when she found out that nearly 200 million women have been mutilated one way or another around the world. Every year 3 million women are victim to female genital mutilation, which translates to a shocking 8700 girls every day. Most girls or women are ‘operated’ on without anesthesia or proper hygiene.
While FGM might feel far away for many of us here in The Netherlands, it actually might not be as far away as we feel…. Mandy found out that the vulva plastic surgery industry is growing in a remarkable way. Other research has shown Labia Reduction Surgery has grown with 45% in 2016 compared to 2015 numbers (source: ISAPS). This type of plastic surgery is on, in principle, completely healthy vulva’s but is being done because women feel they are ‘abnormal’: that their vagina is weird, silly, ugly and even disgusting.
These facts inspired Mandy to start her project No More Cutting. With this project Mandy aims to raise awareness for the diversity of vulva’s and for FGM. Hundreds of women have shared pictures of their vulva’s with Mandy. She then uses paper to fold each and every unique vulva.
Submit your own vulva to create awareness for both problems and make Yoni’s break free.
Embrace your vulva and take a stand for Yoni’s around the world. Talk about the issue with your friends, boyfriends and family: discuss the female body. We would love to hear your stories! Send us an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.