In December 2016, Tracy Kiss — a London-based lingerie model and blogger — had her labia minora removed. As Kiss, 29, told Teen Vogue, she was experiencing pain related to the fact that her labia minora extended beyond her labia majora, making it uncomfortable to wear tight clothing, ride a bike, or sit on hard surfaces. She started developing painful, recurring cysts in the area and eventually decided to have a labiaplasty and remove her labia minora.
“It marked a point in my life where my longterm suffering finally came to an end,” Kiss wrote on her blog about her surgery. But she didn’t want to just be totally rid of her labia minora, post-surgery.
“Seeing as I was awake for my labiaplasty surgery, whilst chatting to my surgeon, I casually asked if I could keep my labia as a trophy of finally being pain-free,” Tracy told Teen Vogue.
For months, Kiss kept her removed labia in a jar in her kitchen “to celebrate my freedom from pain” after living with “tender, protruding labia” for 29 years and not realizing there was something she could do about it — mostly because female pain is rarely discussed openly, much less taken seriously. “As a result I’d missed out on so many hobbies and interests that I love and had to be mindful with tight clothing, exercise and intercourse because of the discomfort it caused simply because I didn’t know anything could be done about it – I thought all women were just as tender as I,” she wrote.
But over time, the labia began to discolor, and Kiss wanted to do something to preserve them longterm. Eventually, she decided to cover the tissue in glitter and set it in a crystal pendant, which she now wears on a necklace.
“Nobody recognized my necklace contains labia because it’s not something you would ever expect to see, but…I did see my glittery labia pendant as a reminder to never suffer in silence,” Kiss told Teen Vogue. Looking at the necklace, without knowing the story behind it, it’s impossible to guess what’s underneath the red glitter in the pendant. But Kiss’s necklace has been shared all over the internet, and with it, the message that while it’s normal to have labia of different sizes and shapes, you don’t have to live with constant pain.
You can read more about Kiss’s necklace and see step-by-step photos of the process behind making it on her blog.