I remember when I first got my period. Sort of. I remember being kind of horrified. I knew what was happening, but it was still kind of perplexing. And Thor forbid I ask anyone about it. Us girls were taught that a girl’s period was something to be hidden and ashamed about, even though approximately half of the population goes through it. And oh boy, those feminine products have to stay out of sight — they’re obscene!
Tampon and pad product advertisements have helped ingrain this shame. I mean, what’s up with that infamous blue liquid used in so many ads over the years? The only girl for whom that might be relevant is Smurfette.
Well, finally we have an awesome new ad that doesn’t shy away from the topic, thanks to Hello Flo:
Whoa. As noted at Buzzfeed, this commercial does everything that classic tampon commercials don’t: the girl says menstruation, vagina, period and gyno! Amazing.
But it’s not just the words said; it’s the whole attitude. This girl is owning her period. It’s her red badge of courage! Her period fills her with power and confidence. It’s not something to be hidden. And she uses her new-found wisdom to help her fellow girls. (OK, so she goes a little power mad, but nobody’s perfect).
This is an awesome, exuberant portrayal of a completely natural and totally not-gross part of life. I love it so much.
As far as I can tell, this commercial has received universally positive reviews. But one blogger points out that there could be some hypocrisy here. On their website, Hello Flo uses phrases like:
“I didn’t want to trek through my office with a practically see-through plastic bag with tampons”
“We do it with care and appreciation for the sensitivity of this purchase.”
“All your tampons and feminine supplies delivered right to your door in a discreet box.”
The blogger equates this with the shaming women are subjected to all the time for daring to have a body that is functioning normally.
And I can see her point. However, I’m having a hard time getting too worked up about it. It’s not unreasonable to think that women might want to keep this kind of thing private. After all, we don’t yet live in a world where we can talk about our periods openly in mixed company. We still live in a world where people actually believe antiquated and disproven links between daily moods and menstrual cycle. I don’t really blame women for wanting to avoid all of that cultural baggage.
But I will admit that there is something a little icky about talking about “the sensitivity of this purchase.” I mean, they’re just tampons, right? It might not hurt for Hello Flo to take the message of awesome empowerment they so effectively portray in the commercial into other aspects of their advertising.
In the end, this doesn’t dampen how fantastic this commercial is. I’m definitely inspired to wear my red badge of courage more proudly in the future.
Photo Credit: YouTube/Hello Flo