People are praising Sex Education's groundbreaking 'vagina-shaming' episode

22 January 2019, 13:11 | Updated: 22 January 2019, 15:19

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

"It's my vagina." "No... It's MY vagina."

Sex Education on Netflix is not only one of the funniest, well-written and brilliantly acted TV shows that the streaming service has ever put out, it's also one of the most groundbreaking too.

It's got good representation (in casting, characters and on-screen relationships), it's sex positive, it discusses tons of ~taboo~ topics that a mainstream network show wouldn't even dare to think about and it's got Gillian Anderson as a sex therapist in it, what more could you possibly ask for in a show?!

What year is 'Sex Education' set in? There's a reason why the Netflix show has that '80s vibe

Every single episode is great from start to finish but it's the revenge porn storyline in episode 5 that has really impressed viewers and people are already claiming it as one of the best episodes of TV of the year.

Sex Education's 'Vagina' episode is the best episode of the season
Sex Education's 'Vagina' episode is the best episode of the season. Picture: Netflix

In case you haven't seen the episode yet, here's a quick synopsis (SPOILERS, OBVIOUSLY): In the episode, a picture of someone's vagina (well, vulva, actually... and yes, it's a ~very~ full frontal picture) circulates around the school in a bid to blackmail the owner of said vajayjay.

After initially making fun of the picture, Ruby (played by Mimi Keene) soon comes to Maeve (Emma Mackey) for help, admitting that it's a picture of her that she only sent to one boy. Despite not getting along, Maeve agrees to help Ruby find out who sent it, refuses her money and goes out of her way to make sure no one finds out that it's her.

At the end of the episode, we find out that it was Olivia (Simone Ashley) who sent the picture around the school, resulting in classmates shaming the owner. Ruby's face is never identified in the full pic and in an attempt to stop her from being shamed even further, several girls stand up in assembly to "claim" the vagina and protect Ruby's identity from ever being confirmed.

Viewers are praising the episode for the way in which the girls put aside their feuds, their cliques and their differences to band together and help Ruby, instead of leaving her to deal with it on her own. The episode, directed by Kate Herron, is also groundbreaking in the way that it completely challenges stigma about body hair and the idea of a "perfect vagina" (...vulva), and people are absolutely loving it.

Speaking to Refinery29 about the powerful scene, Emma Mackey said: “We all spoke about it between us. We found it really empowering.”

“There are lots of young women who feel like they have an ugly vagina or their vagina is wrong and it has to look a certain way … There’s this whole generation of young women who feel like they’re not adequate enough. I just find it so sad, and I really hope … this show will open conversations around topics like that.”

While some viewers no doubt found the full frontal snap a liiiittle bit shocking at first, Mackey revealed that she totally forgot that it was even in the show. “When we watched it back, it was like, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s a real vagina,’" she said. "But it’s not anything anyone’s not seen before.”

AMEN!