By Megan Flemmit, photography supplied by Libresse
“Periods are normal. Showing them should be too.”
How do you refer to your period? Do you perhaps use ‘aunt flo’, ‘that time of the month’ or ‘the crimson tide’? From the moment we get our first period we’re told not to talk about it openly. So instead we come up with these euphemisms which allude to menstruation, without having to mention the word ‘period’.
Global feminine brand, Libresse conducted a survey of of 10 000 men and women and found that nine out of ten women hide their period. They do so by either hiding their sanitary products in a pocket, carry their handbag to the toilet or walk quickly to the bathroom to avoid being stopped.
We’ve been made to feel as though menstruating is shameful when in reality it’s completely normal and something all women experience. Contributing to this shame is the imagery found in period advertising. If we’re not being shown smiling women, dancing on their period, blue liquid is being used as a stand-in for menstrual blood.
A new campaign by Libresse has put all the unrealistic portrayals of menstruation to bed. The ground breaking campaign, called #bloodnormal, hopes to end period shaming by showing realistic portrayal of periods in a short film. In the film we see a guy buying sanitary products, a woman asking for a pad across the dinner table and school children passing a pad across the classroom. Towards the end of the film we see women who are in pain, while the infamous blue liquid has been replaced with a more fitting red liquid.
Art Director for the Campaign, Nadja Losgott, says they wanted to depict periods openly and honestly. “Periods are never shown or spoken about in culture and when they are, it’s to demean. And so we wanted to push back, we wanted to create a world where periods didn’t feel shocking or gross. We wanted to treat periods like the most normal thing in the world,” she says.
Many people have welcomed the campaign:
Love the #bloodnormal campaign.Removing stigma frm something that has historically been used to shame women,even tho it is absolutely normal
— Anna Shotter (@anna_shotter) November 6, 2017
— Amy (@biggerbearson) November 3, 2017
— Victoria Meconi (@EvilBlowfish) November 1, 2017
Losgott says the campaign has gone beyond the short film. The embroidered period lingerie shown in the film is now available to buy, while the inflatable pad lilos have also been made and distributed.
“The more we can discuss periods, the more we can involve men in the conversation and the more the media portrays periods positively and celebrates them, the quicker society will catch up and see periods as normal,” says Losgott.
It’s time we destigmatize periods. It would be a bloody shame not to.