Womanhood: The Bare Reality
100 women bare all in an empowering collection of photographs and interviews about Womanhood.
Vagina, vulva, lady garden, pussy, beaver, cunt, fanny… whatever you call it most women have no idea what’s ‘down there’. Culturally and personally, no body part inspires love and hate, fear and lust, worship and desecration in the same way.
From smooth Barbie dolls to internet porn, girls and women grow up with a very narrow view of what they should look like, even though in reality there is an enormous range. Womanhood departs from the ‘ideal vagina’ and presents the gentle un-airbrushed truth, allowing us to understand and celebrate our diversity.
For the first time, 100 brave and beautiful women reveal their bodies and stories on their own terms, talking about how they feel about pleasure, sex, pain, trauma, birth, motherhood, menstruation, menopause, gender, sexuality and simply being a woman.
10p per book sold is donated to Eve Appeal. Registered charity no.1091708 England and Wales. Registered charity no. SC042612 Scotland. Registered company no. 4370087
"The vulva stories Dodsworth has collected made me laugh and cry, moved by the openness with which each person talks about sexual liberation, grief, loss, abuse and everything in between. The very fact that vulvas feel so controversial to look at underlines the power of the project.” The Guardian
"Dodsworth’s project is a simple but groundbreaking idea that gives women back a sense of ownership over their own bodies.” The Evening Standard
"A revelation and celebration of everything being female means." Sarah Ditum
"I have watched toddlers, young children, teenagers and adults alike flick through all of the brilliant books of this series in my house. All have come away with a greater knowledge, respect and fascination with the human body. That said, this is not the main reason I love reading this book — over and over again! It’s not just brilliant because finally, people who read it might be able to breathe out in the knowledge that no, we don’t all look the same, and that no, they are not abnormal, asexual or all the other nonsense that comes from lack of access to this sort of photography and literature. I love this book because it’s a bloody good read, which just happens to make you feel a weight off your shoulders and a much greater appreciation of your own, and every other human’s skin, by the end of it." Hollie McNish
Reviews Hide Reviews
Womanhood .The Bare Reality
I would hope that this book, along with the two others in the series, could be seen in the future as essential reading for all adolescents as part of the educational curriculum to engender respect for all our humankind. Atruly brave enterprise and to be much applauded
Happy Birthday to me!
Womanhood is inspiring, empowering, intriguing and me feel all kinds of emotions. Reading it has given me a new perspective and feels like a life changer. The way in which Laura has captured these women’s stories is compassionate, sensitive, sincere and inspirational! I’m beginning to realise how I’ve been in a battle with my body since the age of 12 and have actually hated it for the pain it has brought me having gone through multiple surgeries for Endometriosis. Finally, after reading this book, these feelings are beginning to be replaced with compassion, understanding, amazement and actually, love. Being in remission for eating disorders, I thought I had faced all I needed to face when it came to body positivity, self esteem and confidence, how wrong I was! I now feel excitement to start a new relationship with this part of my body - how could I possibly forget about such an important part of me - it feels like I am finally seeing the whole of me! I bought a copy of Womanhood as a birthday present to myself and well, “Happy Birthday to me!” Thank you Laura. I feel so fortunate to have met you and to have heard you tell such important stories in such a beautiful way. I urge people to check out this book (which is one of a trilogy) Let’s help to continue this commentary, to stop the shame and celebrate Womanhood!
The sex education we deserve
If we disregard for a moment how tragic it is that such a work is revolutionary, one cannot help but be filled with joy reading these anecdotes of strength, wisdom and authenticity. Laura Dodsworth is a true visionary who has brought us a window into so many different experiences, not to mention so many different aesthetics. In an age of ‘porn perfection’ existing alongside sexual shame and stigma, this book is a balm, an antidote and a battle cry. Essential reading especially for young women entering puberty, mothers-to-be, baby-boomers with secret shame, conservatives and liberals alike... and ESPECIALLY FOR MEN! Teenage boys, fathers, bachelors... Get reading. We’re talking to you too. Brava Laura and all those involved!
Great access to contributors, and their stories. Very neutral and almost scientific pictures of vulvas. No shame.
Real bodies and real lives
By photographing the most intimate parts of their bodies Laura opens the door for a conversation with one hundred women about sex, pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, cancer and sexual assault. The result is a record of lived experiences which are by turns awful, educational, life-affirming and funny but all are very real. I wish this book had been available when I was a teenager; it's a must-read book and a wonderful resource, especially for teenagers and young people.
Such an important and beautifully-done piece of work. Women honouring themselves, honouring womanhood. A seminal piece in the restoring of balance in valuing the feminine and masculine in the world. Thank you Laura!