Aunt Flow, the crimson wave, on the rag or even just “that time of the month”
Call it what you will, but there is still a negative stigma surrounding discussions about periods, let alone discussing topics like light bladder leakage – particularly in the media. The only reason this stigma holds power is because people are afraid to even mention the word in public, let alone talk about these issues in depth.
Modibodi products were featured on a popular television show earlier this year which is known for discussing hot topics, and while we had originally hoped this would be a great way to help break down the stigma and gain awareness about our brand, it appeared that the hosts were either too worried or were told by senior male executives not to mention what our underpants are actually designed to do.
Instead of being positioned as revolutionary patented underwear for women that can be worn during your periods or dealing with Light Bladder Leakage and pregnancy, they were instead depicted as “more comfortable undies for pregnant women.” We were surprised as this completely missed the point of why our brand had originally been created – which was to empower women during times when they needed extra protection in a stylish, comfortable and sustainable way.
So why then was this completely avoided? One answer seems to be quite pertinent and that is the fact that some people still aren’t comfortable with discussing periods and feminine issues in a public space – so we started thinking about the other ways the media can often miss the mark with feminine issues…
If we believed what the media depicted about periods then we’d imagine that for a week of every month girls suddenly loved to go roller blading, spin around in slow motion wearing white pants and and leak blue liquid. This blue liquid would indicate the absorption levels of brands sanitary products and was the medias first depiction of periods for several years.
2011 was the first time this was challenged by the company “ThisAlways” when they marked a red dot in the middle of their pad for a campaign. Even more amazing, the genius behind this concept was in fact a male, who couldn’t understand why advertisements for band aids could show blood on a scraped knee but our periods could magically change colour to blue, as if we were Avatars.
This campaign was lauded in the media as revolutionary and even a historic moment, demonstrating that breaking down the period taboo is actually a great thing.
From the ice bucket to the cinnamon challenge, it seems there is always a trending challenge turning viral online. In July earlier this year however the #PantyChallenge was causing quite the stir, with women posting pictures of their underwear after a days’ use to prove there was no vaginal discharge. It sparked a discussion about the normality of vaginal discharge as it is actually the vaginas way of cleaning itself and is a sign of health. It was attacked as being yet another way of shaming female bodies and proving they are “gross.”
Its even taken to politics – with Donald trump in a recent presidential campaign making a comment toward Megyn Kelly of Fox News claiming she “had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” Implying the heated nature of the debate was due to the reporter being on her period. And even at 69 years of age, Trump couldn’t say the word “vagina” or “period” to make his point and resulted to the word “wherever.” This took the internet by storm, with over 5,000 women creating and using the hashtag #PeriodsAreNotAnInsult. Funnily enough, Trump was attempting to make a reference to PMS symptoms of moodiness which actually occur before your period begin – again demonstrating the complete lack of education around the topic.
The point behind all this is despite every woman getting her periods and 1 in 3 mums experiencing light bladder leaks the mainstream media continues to see these issues as too ‘gross’ or too ‘embarrassing’ a topic to dedicate discussion around.
Well we believe it’s time for change! And by that we are calling on media to stop being so damn old school and start the conversations so we can normalise discussions around these issues and rid of the stigma once and for all. If we continue to choose to keep quiet, the following things will continue:
- Women are not seeking the advice or assistance they may need because they’re too embarrassed to talk about it
- Men are extremely uneducated about menstrual cycles, and even the basics like how a tampon works.
- Girls in Africa are suffering and sacrificing their education by being forced to stay at home during their cycle due to lack of knowledge.
- We are being taxed for feminine hygiene and incontinence products that are a female necessity, items such as lube and condoms are not taxed and deemed necessary for sexual health but tampons, pads and liners are taxable.
- Our revolutionary technology is moisture wicking, stain and odour resistant as well as being comfortable, stylish and secure.
- We aren't an underwear only brand - we also sell Maternity Singlets and Active Crop Tops
- We don’t promote the use of photo shop – all of our models are beautiful and healthy and there is no reason to edit them!
- We are in partnership with Not for Profits such as Share The Dignity and Days For Girls which provides feminine hygiene to women in need.
- We are environmentally friendly and want to reduce the amount of landfill created through disposable feminine hygiene products.
- We are about giving women a better option, breaking down stigmas, being honest and inspiring change through empowerment and knowledge. All we ask is that the media take a stance and join us in leading a revolution and empowering women worldwide.