The sexual health and contraception (SHAC) team in Brighton will be using new visual aids to help overcome female patients’ embarrassment and stigma about their bodies after receiving a donation from Brighton artist Jamie McCartney.
Jamie has given the team a print and book of his ‘Great Wall of Vagina’ sculpture, which he developed to highlight the stigmatization of aspects of women’s bodies and ‘body shaming’.
Perceptions about body image can have directly harmful consequences for patients when it leads to delays in seeking help to get infections like chlamydia or gonorrhoea diagnosed and treated.
Brighton & Hove SHAC matron Anita Weston said:
“There is so much stigma around the female anatomy and many of our patients have real misconceptions and often negative self-perceptions about their bodies and how their vulva should look. One patient even told me ‘It looks like a car crash down there’.
“Jamie’s Great Wall of Vagina shows that everyone is different and we will use his artwork to help our female patients change their perceptions of their ‘abnormality’ by showing them the variety of what ‘normal’ looks like.
“We are very grateful to Jamie for his kind donation and fully support his mission to ‘change female body image through art’.”
Jamie McCartney said:
“I am delighted to help promote better sexual health in my own city. Education is the key – knowledge empowers people. This artwork helps women overcome unnecessary anxieties about their bodies and feel good about themselves. It makes it easier for someone to seek medical help when something isn’t right and discuss these things with their partners.”
Jamie McCartney’s original “Great Wall of Vagina” sculpture took five years to complete with the help of four hundred volunteer models and an army of workshop assistants.
Brighton and Hove Sexual Health and Contraception services provide a comprehensive sexual health service at three sites across the city. More information is online: www.brightonsexualhealth.com