Gone are the days of cheeky euphemisms, tampons stealthily stashed up our sleeves and other such accommodations to delicate male sensibilities. After what one could call a longstanding vow of hushed whispers on period talk in the media, the floodgates, so to speak, appear to have opened.
Periods are trending! And it’s as crazy/beautiful as a Kirsten Dunst movie from 2001. A sampling:
–Thinx, the new period-proof underwear every one is talking about. (Have you tried?)
-The Harvard scientist who wants women to save their period blood for diagnostic tests. (Gross or cool or both?)
-Whoopi Goldberg’s period pot, which comes in the form of a balm, a tincture, sipping chocolate and a bath soak. (What’s a tincture?)
-The dos and don’ts of DivaCups, the sustainable solution to periods. (I heard airplanes are a don’t.)
-Underwear that encourages you to bleed on the face of your political enemies. (WTF.)
–Livia, a new product that purports to “switch off” your cramps. (Yes, please.)
-The debate around whether women are entitled to period leave. (I would take it.)
-And the Trump thing. (But we won’t talk about that.)
Granted, it’s a little insulting to apply the same diagnosis to the shedding of a woman’s uterine lining as I would to wedge sneakers, probably because periods have been trending for females every month since the dawn of primates.
Which begs the question: why does everyone suddenly care? A quick review of old advertisements proves society’s priorities used to lie firmly in the hide-that-shit-at-all-costs camp. Can you imagine: NOW WITH FISHHOOK CLASPS! Please review the slideshow above for a tragic laugh.
Even as recently as a few years ago, period commercials were chock-full of blue liquid and laughing butterflies — the farthest of cries from the actual menstruation experience.
Now? We get this:
And how good is it? I have a not-so-sneaking suspicion that the not-so-silent partner to this influx of empathetic advertising and period innovation starts with an F and rhymes with meninism. The third wave, to be exact.
Feminism springs to mind because, as a woman, this red wave of interest (sorry) has felt like a brilliant and refreshing relief. Which is an anti-climatic emotion to associate with the female fight for equality, but one I’m happy to introduce both emotionally and physically when it comes to this shitty part of my every month.
This not-at-all comprehensive sampling of stories serves as both an acknowledgment of the unfair stigma and the evolution of solutions to combat it. And isn’t that the ethos of feminism in general? The normalization of women and the resulting ownership of who we are?
Unsurprisingly — before I’ve so much as pulled on a pair of Thinx or looked up the cost of a DivaCup — the simple recognition of the struggle has acted as an effective counterbalance to the struggle itself. Duly noted.
So I’d say that no, we have not reached peak period. In fact, let’s not call it a trend, let’s call it — at the risk of sounding like a cat poster — trending toward equality. Because if respect and acknowledgement of the female body turns out to be as ephemeral as the wedge sneaker, we’re in serious trouble.
Which period piece has your attention?