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Did You Know That There Are 10 Different Kinds Of Vaginas? Yep.

Not all vaginas are the same. Thank God for that.

Women's Health

Now, before I go any deeper, when I say "vagina", I'm not actually referring to the inner tube where penises go in and babies come out. I'm using this term because it's the common way most of us refer to our labia (our vagina's inner and outer lips) and, to a certain extent, our vulva, in general (the area that consists of what our pubic hair covers, our lips, our clitoris, our urethral opening [which is where we urinate] and our vaginal opening).

Keeping all of this in mind, did you know that labiaplasties (a surgical procedure in which the labia is reconstructed) have gone up over 200 percent over the past few years and one of the main reasons why is because some women feel like their vagina is "ugly"? Listen, when it comes to cosmetic procedures, it really is to each their own. However, every surgical procedure comes with its customized set of risks. Cosmetic surgery ain't cheap. Plus, if you're only considering a labiaplasty because you feel like your vagina is unattractive or "not right", let me just tell you right now that perspective couldn't be further from the truth. I don't have to see it to say it. The fact that there are a variety of different ones automatically proves my point.

And just what do I mean by "different ones"? That's what I'm gonna share with you today—the reality surrounding the fact that when it comes to our vulva area, there are different kinds of lips, not everyone's clit is the same size and actually, our labias aren't even all the same color. Knowing this is what I hope will help every woman who's reading this to fall totally in love with their vagina, no matter what it looks like.

Is There Such a Thing As an “Abnormal” Vagina?

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When it comes to the difference between a so-called normal or abnormal vagina, I'm gonna be honest with you—that isn't what the focus should be. Vaginas come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors, so what you need to be far more concerned with is if your vagina is healthy or not. If you've got a rash or warts; if your vagina is itchy or irritable; if you see some discharge that is a different scent or color than what you're used to; if your inner lips (more on that in a sec) are suddenly a different color, and/or if you're experiencing pain during intercourse, then this is when you should be concerned.

Otherwise, if you're simply wondering if something is wrong because you're not sure what "right" is, aesthetically speaking, let me break down the varieties that vaginas tend to come in.

Drum Roll: 10 Different Traits of Vaginas

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1. Small Lips

What does it mean if you've got small lips? First, let's talk about the technical terms for your lips down below. You've got the labia majora which is your outer lips (you know, the set of lips that you see just by standing in the mirror and looking directly at your vulva area) and you've got the labia minora; it's the part of your lips that your clitoris is connected to.

When you've got small lips, this means your lips the have a tendency to lay pretty fat against your pelvic bone. Sometimes the lips meet so that your clitoris and inner lips aren't exposed; sometimes they are open so that your inner lips can be easily seen.

An interesting fun fact about these lips is while they are prominent in adult entertainment, they're actually less common than some of the other types of vaginas that I'm about to share with you (another "fun fact"? The trend of going without pubic hair is also heavily influenced by adult entertainment because so many of the women in the industry don't have any).

2. Curvy Lips

When I think of how to describe a vagina that has curvy lips, what immediately comes to mind is the shape of a wishbone. Basically, the outer lips curve in such a way that the ends of them meet which can sometimes leave your clitoris exposed. It's no biggie except for the fact that you might want to take a Q-Tip and some oil (like coconut, avocado, grapeseed or sweet almond oil), gently pull back your clitoral hood and clean your vagina out; sometimes it being exposed can make it more susceptible to collecting lint 'n stuff.

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3. Asymmetrical Lips

My left breast is actually a little bit larger than my right. I didn't notice until my girls decided to show all the way out and become an H cup. At first it irked me a bit but the more that I accept that things like breasts, eyebrows, feet, etc. are "sisters" and not "twins", it really is whatever. So long as both of them are healthy, it's all good. That said, there are some women who have asymmetrical lips. All this means is that one lip may be larger or "thicker" than the other. It's not a sign that anything is wrong. It's just another "sistah thang" that you've got going on.

4. Large Outer Lips

These are the kind of lips that have a nickname 'round some parts. If you've ever heard a vagina be referred to as being a "fatty", it's usually because a woman's outer lips are…"fluffy" is the word that comes to mind. It's because that area has skin that is either thicker or even somewhat looser than some other vulvas are. Sometimes, it might make you feel self-conscious when it comes to wearing a bathing suit but girl, it shouldn't. Cushy vaginas ain't nothin' to be ashamed of. I know some folks who are big time fans of 'em. #wink

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5. Large Inner Lips

OK, so remember how I said earlier that there is the labia majora and then there's the labia minora? In some instances, instead of the lips that are on the outside (the labia majora) being larger, it's actually the lips that are on the inside (the labia minora) that are. It usually just means that your inner lips feel "meatier" to the touch.

6. Long Outer Lips

When you've got large outer lips, they are fluffy, right? Well, when you have long outer lips, it typically means that they are made from a thinner layer of skin and that they extend down maybe an inch or two longer than other outer vaginal lips do. Again, perfectly fine.

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7. Long Inner Lips

What if your inner lips seem to dangle far past your outer lips, sometimes to the point where you've got extra folds of skin or where your lips seem to stick out of your panties? All this means is that your inner lips are really long. This isn't uncommon either. In fact, some women's inner lips can hang over an inch past their outer lips.

8. Small Clitoris

I've written about clitorises on this platform before (check out "10 Things I Bet You Didn't Know About Your Clitoris" and "7 Reasons You Should TOTALLY Be In Love With Your Clitoral Hood"). What I continue to find to be interesting about this particular part of our body is that the only real purpose it seems to serve is providing us women with sexual pleasure (and praise the Lord for that!). Well, that and the fact that like penises, a clitoris is able to become erect and it has foreskin (hence the clitoral hood).

As far as what the "normal" size of clitoris should be, there really is no such thing. Some women have small clitorises that are around the size of a pea, although it should go on record that clitorises do range anywhere from 0.2 to 3.5 cm long and up to 1 cm wide. Anyway, if you've got a tiny one, that's not a problem. It's just a part of what makes you…you.

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9. Big Clitoris

And what if your clitoris is on the far larger size? No worries there either because there are some that can easily compare to the size of the greater part of a thumb. The bonus when it comes to those is they can make climaxing easier. On the other hand, the challenge is that sometimes they are so sensitive that you may get aroused at times when you're not exactly aiming to. Either way, I know some women who wish their clitoris was smaller. When it comes to having orgasms, they should actually count themselves to be quite blessed.

10. Vaginas Aren't All Pink, Either

OK, when it comes to this particular point, I'm referring to your actual vagina and your labia minora (inner lips) because when it comes to your outer lips (labia majora), they're usually the color of the rest of your skin. Your vagina, specifically, though—it can be pink, red, pink or reddish brown or even a burgundy color. It's also not uncommon for it to have a little bit of discoloration to it.

This is why I'm all for performing vaginal self-exams, at least once a season, because they can help you to get used to how your vagina normally appears. That way, if something seems different, you'll know that you need to get your vagina checked out.

For instance, if your vagina is typically a deep pink color and it turns red, it could be a heads up that the area is irritated; perhaps that you've got a yeast infection. The moral to this point is, you might've heard that all vaginas are pink and that's simply not the case. Shades of pinks, reds, pink or reddish-browns or wines are perfectly fine too.

Now That You Know, Love on “Her”

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OK, so now that you see that vaginas run the gamut on the variety tip, I hope you also get that there is absolutely no reason to think that anything is wrong with how yours appears. Automatically, it's beautiful, because it looks how it was created to—and trust me, honey, men feel honored to be in the presence of one, just because. I am learning more and more that they are not nearly as picky about our bodies as we tend to be, so if that is the root of your hesitation, let that go too.

Not too long ago, I penned "When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?" for the site. Before another week goes by, make some time to check it out and then follow through on some of the tips. You are unique and your vagina is a part of you. Salute that fact. You both deserve for you to.

Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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