#Nofilter is GLOSSYBOX’S Global Campaign movement to discus the topic that affect women today.
Recently, the launch of a blood emoji and the push to make menstruation products untaxed in the U.S. for 2020 onwards have made periods a widely talked about topic – but we still have a long way to go…
Why Are Periods Taboo?
From using euphemisms like ‘monthlies’, ‘auntie Flo’, ‘women’s troubles’, ‘the crimson wave’ and (the most damaging of all) ‘the Curse’, to the way our colleagues discreetly look away as we slip a tampon up our sleeve before heading to the toilet, we are trained to feel embarrassed by our periods. In fact, a poll from period panty brand THINX has found out that 58 percent of women have felt a sense of embarrassment simply because they were on their period.
Now let’s just stop and think about that number for a second, because that’s essentially one in every two young women across the US. I won’t pretend that I’m qualified to discuss the damaging effects this can potentially have on a girl’s perception of herself. However, what I can relate are countless stories about period shame – and I’ve no doubt that every woman reading this has similar tales to share.
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- At school, I remember at least 10 girls coming in with doctors notes to get out of swimming in PE because they were afraid of leaking into the pool (by the way ladies, there’s no reason why you can’t swim on your period).
- My friends used to constantly ask me if their periods had stained their trousers, and even if there was no stain, they’d still tie a cardigan around their waist.
- When I first met my period (about a month after my twelfth birthday), my friend had organised a pool party and rather than telling my girlfriends that I was menstruating, I claimed to have an ear infection to get out of going. I didn’t feel comfortable talking to them about it.
You see, before I even had time to come to terms with the amazing things that my body could now do (whether you want kids or not, you have to admit that the ability to give life is truly empowering) I already knew, somehow, that I should keep it quiet. But how do you stay quiet about something that affects your health and well-being for 40+ years of your life? And why should you?
It’s simple: you shouldn’t.
Positive Change: Slowly Breaking The Stigma
I won’t lie, it took me a while to realize that periods should be openly discussed and even longer to feel comfortable talking about menstruation. Part of that was due to self-growth and the other to the inspiring efforts of period positive campaigns and charities.
Be A Part Of The Change
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🩸Lets talk P E R I O D S.🩸 Still to this day there is no where near enough awareness around our period and the way that woman all over the world are experiencing them. “Researchers found that 64 percent of the women had been unable to afford period products during the previous year and 21 percent experienced this problem on a monthly basis. Almost half had times during the past year when they had to choose between food and period products.” It’s time to put an end to period poverty, wether you have a physical bleed or not. More awareness needs be had! $3 from every one of my treatments will be donated to @thecuporg. A foundation that empowers underprivileged woman worldwide by providing sustainable menstrual cups as well as education on sexuality and reproductive rights. For more information on this foundation head to their website- https://www.thecup.org/ . . . . . #periodtalk #periodpositivity #endperiodpoverty #realtalk #sustainability #menstrualcup #periodpower
While all of the above may contribute to changing attitudes towards periods, the fact that we continue to stay quiet about menstruation and still use derogatory euphemisms stunts the progress made. So what can you do to be part of the change? I’m glad you asked…
Call It What It Is
Drop the euphemisms that allow people to avoid the subject and call it what it is: menstruation. Oh, and refer to ‘sanitary products’ as ‘menstrual products’. There’s nothing unsanitary, unhygienic or dirty about periods.
Challenge Media Representations
Have you ever looked at the images that come up in Google when you search ‘woman on her period’. Expect pictures of women curled up in balls, clutching a hot water bottle to their stomachs with a pained expression on their faces. Yes, while some time on your period may be spent curled up with some chocolate, the fact is that periods don’t make us weak or vulnerable, despite what these images suggest. Remember that.
Speak with #nofilter
It always surprises me just how many women don’t know what happens to their bodies during their monthly cycle. So, if you aren’t too sure, start by educating yourself, then pass on that knowledge to the women and men around you. Education trumps ignorance and it’s the easiest way to fight taboos.
So, menstruation? A filtered conversation? Not anymore!
This year, we at GLOSSYBOX want to openly talk about issues that face every woman every day. Throughout January and February, we’ll be addressing all things menstruation to make periods a normal topic of conversation with #nofiltersonperiods. Stay tuned!