How to talk periods? Just don't beat about the bush. A 21st century guide to normal eco periods.
Hello you lovely lot. I’m Celia, the co-founder of DAME, and I want to champion normalising periods, eco periods in particular…
I’m really intrigued as to what you call your period, as well as your period products. There are so many sanitary/period/feminine hygiene terms that exist out there.
SANITARY TOWEL, ST, SANITARY PAD, FEMININE NAPKIN, WHAT DO YOU CALL IT?
When I think back to what people used to call their period when I was a teenager, I can’t help but laugh… “The curse” was the main one: “I’ve got the curse”. The CURSE?? Imagine how that makes a young girl feel about her body. I thought of a curse as something a witch put on people who had been bad, a punishment that couldn’t be undone. Thanks! - whoever dreamt that one up.
At DAME we want young girls to feel that getting their period is completely and utterly normal. Normal and natural and definitely NOT a curse! (Admittedly, with period pain and cramps, it might not feel like a blessing either.) We also want young girls to consider turning their period into an eco period.
PERIOD PERIOD PERIOD = NORMAL NORMAL NORMAL
At DAME one of our core missions is ACCEPTABILITY. That means changing the conversation to bring periods into the 21st century for all people whatever their gender, creed or colour while enabling diversity along the way.
First up, the words ‘sanitary towel’ or ‘sanitary pad’ can respectfully stay in the 20th Century. They speak to the outdated notion that periods are unsanitary and shameful. They imply that periods are dirty and unhygienic. They suggest that using a sanitary towel or pad will help you be more clean or hygienic. For the record, an eco period, doesn't mean clean or hygienic either; it means ensuring your period doesn't harm the planet.
DAME products are hygienic, of course that’s important. But they’re hygienic as a supporting act to the main function of absorbing/containing the menstrual blood. An entire section of the supermarket, however, being called “feminine hygiene” implies women are dirty and they need to buy something to clean themselves with. It implies that hygiene is the primary function.
DAME IS ON A MISSION TO TAKE PERIOD TALK MAINSTREAM
There is no place for shameful language when talking about periods in the 21st Century. Period. (We love saying that!)
Periods are a normal, natural bodily function for women and people who menstruate. Talking about them needs to be normal and natural too.
Do you hide your period products up your sleeve when you walk to the bathroom at work?
Do you avoid talking about periods?
Do you use language such as ‘time of the month’?
Do you say ‘sanitary towel’ or ‘sanitary pad’?
If the answer is yes to any of these, it’s time for a reboot!
How to have a modern period
- Instead of ‘sanitary towel’ or ‘sanitary pad’, we say PERIOD PAD. It’s not a towel; it’s a pad.
- Swap out saying ‘it’s my time of the month’, ‘the curse’ or ‘I’m on’ with ‘I’ve got my period’.
- Instead of feminine products or sanitary hygiene, supermarkets should signpost PERIOD PRODUCTS.
- Don’t hide your period products. You don’t have to wave them about with pride either. Just carry them.
- Switch disposables for eco reusables.
Reusables are the future
Making period talk mainstream goes hand-in-hand with DAME’s mission to make reusable period products mainstream too.
If the sanitary towel represents the ghost of periods past, the disposable pad is the ghost of periods present. But what about the ghost of periods future? It’s the reusable period pad, reinvented by DAME using 21st century technology.
Of course there’s also the DAME reusable tampon applicator. But if DAME’s products aren’t your bag, then look to other brands for reusable period products, such as the cup or period pants.
There are so many brilliant reusable period products, there’s honestly no need for disposables that create mountains of plastic waste every day.
Curse, be gone!
I would love to open up the conversation for open and honest period talk. Please talk to your family and friends, especially young girls, about how normal periods are.
Let’s leave behind sanitary towels, sanitary pads and the curse to pave the way for a reusable period pads movement.
Here’s to 21st century eco periods.
Celia Pool Co-founder