Vagina on Playboy cover for the first time: ‘Epicenter of femininity’

The statue is a work of art in itself: tiny white and pink flowers cover the labia majora and minor and the clitoris. Occasionally some grass can be seen between the flowers. In the middle you can see a little bit into the vagina.

The owner of the flowered vulva is the Belgian Marisa Papen (30). She lives in Hawaii and is known for her nude photos in special places. She created the artwork with her husband Michael Chichi and named it flower of life (‘flower of life’).

“Playboy has not treated the female body with as much taste and elegance in the last twenty years,” Papen tells RTL Nieuws. “I wanted to go to the epicenter of femininity and put the vagina in the spotlight.”

Taboos

The model has been fighting against body taboos for some time. It was crystal clear to her that the vagina deserves a spotlight. “The vagina is still taboo. But if it weren’t for the vagina, none of us would be there.” While creating the work, Papen soon ran into these taboos.

“At first we wanted to be naked, but that was not allowed. In Germany there are laws that you are not allowed to show nude in the store. Playboy’s lawyers also suspected that we would have a problem with that.”

So it had to be different. We had to work around ‘censorship’. During a walk on the beach, the art couple came up with the idea: “What if we cover my flower with other flowers?”

3D animator

And so it happened. “We have a lot of flowers around our house in Hawaii. We collected them. But it was very difficult to find flowers that were small enough. Because with ten or twenty flowers my whole vagina would be covered, and we wanted a bouquet. “

In the end, Papen and her husband chose to have 3D animator Nejc Polovsak place the flowers on the vagina with the computer.

Move the white bar back and forth to see the vagina with and without flowers:

The plan worked. Playboy agreed and Papen’s decorated vagina can be seen in all German outlets. More than 30,000 digital flowers adorn her genitals.

The model is happy, but according to her there is still a world to win. Instagram removed the artwork just hours after Papen posted it to her account. And Playboy also posted a blurred version of the vulva on social media.

“I think it’s funny, but also a shame,” says the Belgian. “Very often women who post a nude photo on Instagram censor their nipples with flowers. Now we have censored a vagina with 30,000 flowers here and it is still not enough.”

Not all reactions are equally positive. Some people find it offensive. “I have such a natural relationship with my body that I find it hard to see that people would find this offensive. And that they don’t see the beauty or the poetry of it.”

“We see the vagina too often in the context of pornography, and I think that’s a shame.” That is precisely why Papen Playboy chose this work: “If you want to change something, you have to do it from the inside out, especially in a men’s magazine.”

The vulva cover is not the only special work among the 50 special covers. There is also a cover with a queer person, made by the Ukrainian photographer Denys Karlinksy.