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A love letter to my devoted, underappreciated labia

Charlotte Hilton Andersen is the author of the book The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything and runs the popular health and fitness website of the same name, where she tries out a new workout every month, specializing...

Dear Labia, I promise to always love you — even if you get too showy in white jeans

Dear Labia,

I never thought I'd have to write this letter, but it appears that I have overlooked you for too long. Sure, we've always been close but you've just been tucked away, supporting me and helping me, and never once did you ask for any glory. Yet you've always been there when I didn't even know I needed you, but I so did.

Take, for instance, that incident with the recalcitrant menstrual cup that you so heroically helped me rescue. If it weren't for you, chances are good I'd still have a medical-grade silicone cup lodged up my nethers, mocking me and my sorry pelvic floor muscles (not the first time those guys have let me down).

Or there's the time I had that really unfortunate run-in with the metal crossbar on my bike when I was 10. I'm not even sure I knew you existed before then. You ended up all swollen and black and blue, but I shudder to think what would have happened had you not been there to take the brunt of it. You stood — nay, jumped! — in harm's way, just to protect me.

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You've been a part of so many things, really. Tampons, sex, menstruation, hygiene, hand mirrors, yoga pants, thong underwear — no matter what the challenge, you have always done your best to make ordinary things just a little more special.

Then there's childbirth. Oh, the things you saw as you ushered my five babies into the world! I thought it was bad watching it from my end, but you were on the front lines, sister. You sacrificed a lot, and I could tell you were never quite the same afterward. But you never complained. And even then, you never asked for so much as a thank you.

I'm afraid, dear labia, I have taken you for granted lo all these years. That stops now.

Because, as you might have heard from your labial friends, one of the fastest growing plastic surgeries for women is the labiaplasty. I've even heard that the craze has spread down to those crazy teens. Just like our breasts, noses, buttocks and eyes, now the knife is coming for you, dear little meat curtains.

Why, you ask? Someone, somewhere — a porn director, a critical boyfriend, a heavy-handed photoshopper — has decreed that any inner labia that dare peek out of the external labia must be summarily chopped off. You are, like so many of our body parts, just not good enough for public scrutiny. It's all in the name of fashion and you must look as neat and tidy and unobtrusive as the most brazen mannequin.

Unfortunately, what these people miss is all the good you can do in your natural state. You, like a decorated officer on the front lines of the war on women, live to serve and protect. Not only do you keep us safe from foreign objects, infections and aggressive workout pants, but you also play a huge role in sexual satisfaction. It's true, you little labia minora provide lubrication, increased sensation and can even help the clitoris do its thing. Sure, the clit is the fireworks, but you're the fuse and that is a very important job. And when's the last time a mannequin had a really great orgasm, I ask you?

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Just like you've always stood up for me (or laid down, whatevs), now I will stand up for you! You are beautiful and wonderful just the way you are. You don't look like anyone else's, and I wouldn't have it any other way! Even if you aren't perfectly symmetrical (but whose are?) or if your color is too dark (what does that even mean?) or if sometimes you get a little too showy in white jeggings (but who can blame you?), I will still love you.

Hold me. Or maybe I'll just hold you — like I did for a week after that bike accident.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below:

Dear Labia, I promise to always love you — even if you get too showy in white jeans
Image: Pixabay
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