Elevate Difference

Vulva Portrait Pendant / Gush! Menstrual Pads / Vegan Lip Balm

Would you send a photo of your vagina to a stranger online? Sounds like a MySpace porn scam, right? In one particular situation, you’d be totally wrong. As I write, I have a replica of my own vulva around my neck. It is amazingly accurate and arguably one of the more tasteful pieces of jewelry I own—assuming you aren’t offended by my own very special vagina. I’m not.

My necklace—and matching charm—are based on a photo and description I sent to Vulva Love Lovely, an Etsy shop that celebrates all things vaginal. In order to have such a personal item produced, one has to engage in an inherently feminist exercise: describe your own vulva in detail, or take a photo. After consulting with vulva artisan Jessica Marie in an attempt to help her be as accurate as possible in her representation, I did both. In doing so, I learned a tremendous amount about myself. I also realized that most men would probably have no trouble describing their goodies, and neither should women. In return for my thoughtful and enlightening self-exploration, I received two vulva personal pendants handmade from polymer clay. The detail is extraordinary, and you can tell much thought and love was put into these completely unique pieces of work.

Jessica Marie has all sorts of products celebrating women's bodies and all their natural occurrences, and after getting hooked on the idea of wearing my own disembodied vagina around my neck, I checked out the rest of her stock. I have loved cloth menstrual pads since I splurged on one at Bluestockings once upon a sojourn to the historic bookstore. Despite really loving and using it for the past four-plus years, I never bought a second, mostly due to my inability to find a size/shape that suited my needs.

Gush! cloth pads have completely changed this. In a gorgeous deep crimson color with black stitching and pearl snaps, my Red Dress pads are not only the perfect size for my body; they are easy to care for and won’t show stains. In a set of four that includes three types of protection, I no longer need to search for backup pantyliners on light flow days. As of my next cycle, I intend to fully phase out disposable pads. Washing instructions are included for your health and convenience.

As a bit of a balm snob and a vegan, I’m hard to please when it comes to lip emollients. Jessica Marie, being a vegan herself, spent roughly a week toying with ingredients until reaching her perfect concoction of avocado and coconut oils, candelilla wax, and flavor. The result—in a fabulously erotic tin that reads “for your lips”—is a delicious fruity treat that will last for months.

Need more reasons to support a body-positive feminist craftster? The recession hurts us all, but buying cloth pads and giant tins of salve are investments that will help you ride out the economic collapse in comfort and style. Monthly sales and charity donations are listed on the Vulva Love Lovely blog and VLL’s Twitter. I happened to find Vulva Love Lovely because she’d previously advertised here on Elevate Difference, and I figure the if she supports us, we can support her. If I can trust a stranger with a photo of my vagina, you can too.

Written by: Brittany Shoot, August 21st 2009

Yay! I am glad that you guys decided to review this shop! I am an etsy lurking addict and I see her stuff all the time when I do searches for "feminist","menstrual" and "vegan". May I suggest you do a review for another feminst etsyian by the name of doulahara(I think) she has alot of cool stuff including menstrual cycle planning beads, which sound wierd but its basically for natural family planning.

I'm going to assume this comment is complimentary, though the vagueness has me skeptical. Anon, can you clarify?

omg you're a freak. Also, how would i go about setting up a buisness like this, and can i please borrow you vaglace?