Do you hide your period from your friends and family? Have you ever wondered why?
When I started to research “all things feminine” in the huge and complicated feminine hygiene market I addressed this subject with Emeritus Professor of Criminology David Wilson.
Periods are blood so discovering where everyone’s general dislike of this red liquid seemed the right place to start.
David highlighted that from birth we are taught that blood means we are “hurt” and in the majority of cases, if we bleed we go to our parents to get ‘soothed‘ and cleaned up and the wound is then “hidden” with a plaster.
These simple actions which when applied to a cut or graze is normal accepted behaviour but when you apply to a woman’s Periods they become the building bricks to why Periods are perceived as “negative”, “painful” and “covered up”.
Plan International UK released a 2017 report where stating that more than half (56%) of 14-year-old girls feel embarrassed about their period, while just one in five young women aged 14-21 feel comfortable mentioning it to school teachers or staff.
I too was an embarrassed 12 year old girl, as a pony obsessed horse rider, trying to hide my bulky sanitary pad under tight fitting jodhpurs,
I remember the dash after the lunchtime bell to the school girls toilets, trying to find a semi clean cubicle which was not either overflowing or blocked to change my pad.
I recall starting my period feeling pride that I was “now a woman” to discover that this amazing female power, now being able to create a baby and give life, was never talked about, completely hidden and silenced except for school playground gossip and terrifying stories of what was to come.
On February 14th we launch a new feminine hygiene business, Bloody Marvellous to change our attitude to our feminine hygiene products and how we buy it.
We offer discreet, monthly deliveries of whichever UK brand you trust and more importantly give product advise and the ability to try other brands, designs, types and absorbency to make your flow (blood or urine) as comfortable as possible.
This stigma and shame of every females natural, monthly, hormonal body changes has to be shattered and all things feminine hygiene related needs to be in our daily conversation.
To help with this, Bloody Marvellous joined in the campaign by Plan International UK that received support from more than 55,000 people. Teaming up with NHS Blood and Transplant they submitted a blood drop emoji to be included on keyboards everywhere – and it’s been included in the February 2019 emoji release.
The use of a blood drop emoji will reduce some of the stigma that exists around periods.
So as one of the 800 million women around the world who “bleed” every month is a huge step towards talking periods and smashing the silence which surrounds them.
Emoji will be included in the February 2019 emoji release.