To all the women out there, imagine this: you’re walking down the street in your favorite pair of yoga pants, and a passerby gives you a dirty look. They mutter to the person next to them that you should have left your camel toe at home. While you’re not insulted, (because you love your body – camel toe and all) you look back at them to take a look at those whom you have offended, and you notice that the very same couple just walked by a man wearing biking shorts without acknowledging his obvious bulge.

Bulge like whoa...

Now, as far as you’re concerned, you and this biker-man are both inconspicuously bearing your junk in completely appropriate ways. In fact, yours might even be more concealed than his. But to the couple passing by, and society in general, your camel toe is somehow considered gross, while biker-man’s moose knuckle is canonized as bulge. With all the gender-equality focused progress being made through feminist movements (reclaiming words like ‘bitch,’ the ‘free the nipple’ movement, acceptance of body hair, etc.), why not consider tackle the negativity toward the female camel toe too?

What is it that disgusts society about the outline of this perfectly beautiful and useful (you know, as in life-bearing) appendage? It’s inevitable that women of all shapes and sizes will at some point in their lives fall victim to camel toe. Whether it’s your favorite pair of vintage denim jeans or those yoga shorts you wear in your cycling class, it’s safe to say that most all women have had it. And unless you only ever wear flowing skirts in public, it’s time for a change in attitude about camel toe.

Appellations such as “camel toe” (others include “hungry clam,” “zipper muffin," etc.) not only contain negative connotations about the female anatomy, but they are downright body shaming. The stigma surrounding this blunder is that a camel toe happens because clothes are too tight, creating the misconception that those who have camel toe are wearing clothes that are too small for them (i.e. fat shaming).

Companies have created specialty products intended specifically to hide camel toe. What’s worse is that these companies (as well as their consumers) actually claim that these products are empowering to women. By arguing that hiding camel toe is empowering, they are operating on the same idea that the best way to feel like a sufficient woman is to rid yourself of all female-specific traits. The debilitating reality is that everyday sexism is getting into our pants and telling us to conceal the existence of the female anatomy in order to be considered a socially acceptable human being. To promise empowerment as a result of concealing your lady-junk beneath “Camel No” panties and “Cuchini” pads is sexist and very much body shaming.

I say enough with the camel toe shaming. Stop feeling that compulsion to double-check your pants every time you leave the house. Stop with the ridiculous camel-toe concealing devices. Embrace your camel toe. Nurture it. Get that pair of high-wasted jean shorts you’ve always wanted but are afraid to buy for fear of offending others with your lovely labia lumps. Take a note from Khloe Kardashian and name it, if you feel so inclined. Just don’t spend any more of your precious time and effort worrying about your camel toe. You are a woman, not a Barbie doll. The real empowerment comes from loving your body, not concealing it.