Series 2 continues to celebrate vulva diversity using made-from-scratch pies and looks at the human vulva from a frontal viewpoint. This series was a lot less time-consuming to create than Series 1 and felt more like drawing than sculpting, but I took the time to add some nice crust edges for design.
What I learned making this series of pie art:
I learned a lot about sculpting pie crust and baking sculpted crusts. When I baked the series, I lost a lot of the detail. Sadly, I wasn’t happy with the baked versions of these as much as the raw, so that is what I’ve mainly shown to the public from this series.
I also learned that even though most people probably think a vulva is a triangle with a line, approximately two-thirds of vulvas have protruding labia minora. Many women feel their perfectly made body is abnormal or ugly because they aren’t represented proportionately in the entertainment industry.
Seeing Vulva Diversity Matters
Because we only see one type of vulva represented in the entertainment and advertising industry, we don’t know what normal really is. In the dialog following each post I started to really feel how important it was for each of us to see ourselves represented somewhere other than the mirror.
When (according to research by Bodyform) 73% of women don’t know what their “vulva” is and 63% of 18-24 years olds surveyed have felt embarrassed about their vulva. We need to have an open dialog and place where we can safely learn about our bodies and to see more vulva diversity.
The Critics Appear
About half way through posting this series, the messages and crudeness started appearing. Before then, I think everyone who found the work was open to the idea and probably marked by the algorithm as willing participants.
However, after posting 20 pies, I noticed the tone changed. I started being accused of attention seeking and trying to get noticed using women’s bodies like everyone always did. You know, the old sex sells mentality.
I posted on Pie 21: “
This week has been challenging. Many tough questions and conversations have been had over these little pies.
They were shared through dm’s and re-posted on other accounts more than any other week. At first, I was high on thinking how fortunate it was to be well received. Then the comments and questions began.
A steady demand for what is my aim, why did I make, who’s team, how do I think pie can be relevant in this way.
I don’t have all the answers for vulvas. I am an artist/ baker, is where my mind retreats.
Yet, I know better. I answered the call to do this work. I was struck by the idea one morning while getting ready for my day. I didn’t even know there was a whole community of other vulva artists.
Now I’m here.
I don’t have the answers, but I know they are found in love and kindness.”
That is still my best answer because even after making 63 of these pies to date, I am still being humbled and still gaining new insights from the work. My heart bursts with joy and sadness at some messages I receive. However, I am repulsed and disgusted by the comments I have to delete and the gross dm’s I receive.
It all parallels exactly what women experience in our daily lives- catcalling, unsolicited judgement, self- inflicted criticism, embarrassing moments when our body is commented upon or is differs from how we wish it was.
See the Vulva Diversity Pies from Series Two
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