Meredith is founder of PUSSYPOTS, which are, quite simply: pots with pussies on them. We’ll leave it down to Meredith to explain the business and why she started it, but if you want to grab yourself a pot (they’d make an excellent Valentine’s Day present…or you know, it’s a Tuesday afternoon present) head over to her Instagram.
Who are you?
My name is Meredith, and I’m a North London-based feminist ceramics enthusiast! I have always loved making – when I’m not putting vulvas on bowls I am probably doing carpentry, making candles, life drawing (and modelling), or knitting.
When did you set up the business?
I set up PUSSYPOTS just after Pride last year. I was invited to a Pride party, and when I asked what I could bring, the host just said, ‘something gay’. After much contemplation, I carved a vulva into a cantaloupe for presentation at the party. The vulva melon was a big hit, so I thought about how I could move the idea into the slightly less perishable medium of ceramics.
Why did you set up the business?
The pots started out as a bit of fun and a way to stretch my ceramics skills (those labia minora can be tricky). But then the response I got from people was incredible – lots of enthusiasm, but more importantly, people saying visibility of the vulva and representation of diversity was dearly needed.
I realised this was important and potentially powerful work when people started telling me that the pots had changed the way they felt about their bodies. I had messages from strangers and friends, saying that actually seeing the variety that exists among vulvas, and seeing them represented as objects of beauty, had led to greater self-acceptance. I am completely humbled by this, and thrilled my art can have this effect on people.
Beyond representing diversity, we need to familiarise ourselves with the vulva. A recent YouGov study found that around half of us could not accurately label an anatomical drawing of a vulva – and to bring this home, on my first pots, I put the clitoris and clitoral hood in the wrong place (inside the labia minora rather than sitting above). It’s no wonder really – a fifth of parents never refer to female body parts with their children (Eve Appeal, 2019). People prefer to use generlised euphemisms like “front bottom” or “flower”, which don’t exactly help people learn about their bodies! We have to combat this ignorance, not least because we need to be able to understand and talk about our bodies so that when something goes wrong, we notice and can seek help (this is the goal of the charity The Eve Appeal; breaking down taboos to raise awareness of gynaecological cancers).
Probably the most salient example is the fact that most of us are still using the word ‘vagina’ to refer to the ‘vulva’ (the vulva is the visible portion of the reproductive system, while the vagina is literally just the internal canal). I mean, it’s no wonder that attention has been focused on the bit where the penis goes in and the baby comes out, not the bit which is the source of female pleasure.
Partly because the vulva is just more hidden on the body than the penis, and partly because of entrenched shame around female sexuality, the vulva is not an image we are familiar or comfortable with. The world is full of phallic forms – I say it’s time things got a little more yonic.
How have you seen the success grow?
The growth of PUSSYPOTS has all been through word of mouth, which is exactly the purpose of them. I wanted to make something that made people want to talk about their bodies, sexuality, and diversity. So, the route to success is also success itself!
Why do you think it’s important for brands such as yourself to show vulva diversity?
We have to represent true diversity so that women can feel comfortable with their bodies, confident that they are ‘normal’. The horrifying rise in the number of labiaplasties attests to this need (including on children under the age of 15).
But everyone can benefit from a little pussy positivity – people who are more confident about their genitals have better orgasms (Rankin, 2010), a goal we can all support!
Thanks Meredith for chatting to us about your beautiful pussy positivity project! Make sure to give her a follow on Instagram, and treat yourself to a PUSSYPOT or two whilst you’re there.
Written by the Killing Kittens team.