When a girl starts to go through puberty, lots of changes happen in different parts of her body. The vulva might change colour, or become more prominent, or there might not be much outward change at all, except for new hair growth.
While there's a huge variety in how vulvas look, for some reason, only one stereotypical picture of a vulva has made it onto websites, social media, and even biology textbooks, even though it's not typical.
Many teens end up confused or upset at how their genitals look and some are even asking for cosmetic surgery to achieve this mythical idealised vulva. A new research project, involving a video for teens, aims to show that there are all kinds of normal.
Dr Gemma Sharp, Senior Research Fellow in Psychiatry at Monash University
Angelique Argiros, participant in a study on young women’s perceptions of genital body image.
Excerpt from Life Matters with Hilary Harper and Michael Mackenzie.