From female genitalia with faces sipping a cocktail, to videography of red squirting blood oranges, Oakland based artist Stephanie Sarley, 27, is using her Instagram power to break the stigma around the female anatomy.
From female genitalia with faces sipping a cocktail, to videography of red squirting blood oranges, Oakland based artist Stephanie Sarley, 27, is using her Instagram power to break the stigma around the female anatomy. Reminiscent of those penis drawings from school, scribbled onto the back of textbooks and desks, the illustrations give a humorous approach to female censorship and also a jab at ‘dick pics’. Compared to the near ubiquity of the cartoon dick silhouette, a simple vagina drawing is somewhat hard to find. Male parts are seen on TV and in the media, within films such as Superbad, The Hangover and American Pie. So where is the vagina on the school toilet wall? In a world where female censorship is writhe, yet society is constantly teaching that male masturbation is normal and funny, Sarley aims to give the vagina the spotlight. With cigarettes in their mouths, drinking whisky and blowing kisses, the expressive, lively vulvas are given a personality of their own through her artwork. As Sarley explained in an interview with The Huffington Post -
“It’s important for me to portray that vaginas aren’t something to be ashamed of, protect, hide away or control.”
Within the last month the artist rose to Instagram fame, through her ‘fruit art’ videos featuring her pressing her finger into a blood orange, representing female menstruation. The videos instantly went viral causing a huge following for Sarley, aswell as receiving acclaim from art critic Jerry Saltz with his comment of “You. Are. Genius.” on one of them. Although the message intended got through to some, stills from the video were used rapidly as memes and her account was soon disabled by Instagram for ‘sexually suggestive’ content. Fortunately the account has now been made active again after Sarley reported direct to Instagram of abusive comments she had received on her page, also resulting in an apology from the app.
“The video is basically about personifying and empowering vaginas through humor and absurdity, and the acceptance of female sexuality at large. But all of these dickheads took it and went, ‘Ew, period sex,’ and then called me a ‘stupid hoe,’” The artist explained in an interview with The Guardian this month. Although Instagram’s strict guidelines on content makes it difficult for Sarley to get her apparently NSFW work across, there is no doubt she will continue in her fight for the vulva.