First thing’s first – Happy Mother’s Day! Hope you spent quality time with your mom, called her, wrote a letter to her, or at least thought about her. To all those women who’ve struggled, sacrificed their wants, and exemplified unconditional love: I salute you!
Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
Periods. This isn’t the grammar police knocking down your punctuation doors. And it’s definitely not the Avon lady. Someone else is stopping by – your Monthly Friend (who apparently needs a condescending nickname).
Before I go into how women perceive their periods and the media’s strong influence, let’s see how menstruation has been referred to as colloquially.
Cher Horowitz from Clueless gets off the hook when she gives Mr. Halli the excuse that she was ‘surfing the crimson wave’. Crudely, having your period is also known as being ‘on the rag’. And then there are the nosebleed science textbooks that call the first period oh-so-fun names like menarche. (Zzz)
Even the word ‘period’ has negative connotations. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Stop. Right now. Stop. You’re in your period. Stop. (It’s like an annoying telegram!)
Women, when you’re in ‘That Time of the Month’, what do you think of? Cramps? Bloating? For some reason, girls are taught from a very young age to fear and loathe getting their periods. They’re told that it’s messy, painful, and uncomfortable. Special over-the-counter medications like Midol have been formulated to help women get through it.
For many years, females have been ashamed of this normal bodily function. Instead of celebrating this, we’re taught to essentially hate it.
Miracle on Elm Street
In television commercials, we see people in lab coats pouring blue liquid over pads to show us how well they absorb.
There are also women who testify that they’re able to play sports and resume normal activities when they’re in their periods because of pads or tampons.
Many years ago pads were bulky…like wearing a pillow between your legs. Now they’re ultra thin and even come in petite, regular, and long lengths. Tampons have transformed over the years, too, with a sleeker silhouette and with the invention of applicators.
Ever since I got my period and became a member of this ‘secret society’, I’ve noticed the packaging of pads and tampons. Years ago wrappers were usually pink. How stereotypically girly! Now, you might think that wrappers aren’t important. After all, you just throw them in the garbage anyway, right? Wrong. There’s been an evolution (and a revolution) that speaks volumes of a feminist movement.
After seeing pink and discrete wrappers all the time, I found it interesting when one day, Always started putting out pastel wrappers in non-traditionally feminine colours. Interesting! I sensed a change, and it was one I liked.
Fast forward several years, Marty McFly. A few months ago, when I walked down the aisle for feminine-hygiene products in the pharmacy, something caught my eye. It was a rainbow. It was vibrant. It was U by Kotex.
Bright yellow, blue, pink, and green wrappers in fun boxes? They stand apart from their competitors because instead of trying to remain discreet, they’re flashing us!
Traditionally, talking about periods or drawing attention to your period isn’t very ladylike. I love how U by Kotex throws this out the window. (Not talking about something just leads to misunderstandings and even unnecessary fears.)
Check out the awesomely sarcastic 46-second U by Kotex commercial:
And here’s another goodie. At just 31 seconds, it does a great job at poking fun of absurd tampon commercials:
What do you think about the U by Kotex commercials? Are you also intrigued with how this company took a blatant stand against commonly unchallenged gender stereotypes? Will you be supporting this by switching brands? Or do you think that it’s just another marketing strategy to make money and that it has no other agendas?