On Looking at the Vagina through Labella

Teresa Almeida, Rob Comber, Gavin Wood, Dean Saraf, Madeline Balaam

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Women's understandings of their own intimate anatomy has been identified as critical to women's reproductive health and sexual wellbeing. However, talking about it, seeking medical help when necessary as well as examining oneself in order to 'know' oneself is complicated by social-cultural constructions of the vagina, i.e. it is something private, shameful and not to be talked about. In response to this, we designed Labella, an augmented system that supports intimate bodily knowledge and pelvic fitness in women. It combines a pair of underwear and a mobile phone as a tool for embodied intimate self-discovery. In this paper, we describe Labella, and its evaluation with fourteen women, aged 25-63. We show how through situated embodied perception Labella empowers 'looking'. We highlight how the simple act of augmented looking enables the construction of knowledge which ranges from establishing the 'very basics' through to a nuanced understanding of pelvic muscle structure. Finally, we highlight the role of awkwardness and humour in the design of interactions to overcome taboo.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2016
EventACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2016 - San Jose, United States
Duration: 7 May 201612 May 2016


ConferenceACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2016
Abbreviated titleCHI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose


Dive into the research topics of 'On Looking at the Vagina through Labella'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this