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Why I film my periods…

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Do you feel embarrassed when you hear someone mention their period?

Do you think people should keep these things to themselves and refrain from talking about them in public?

Does it make you uncomfortable?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then I’m sorry, but you’re part of the problem.

Why is menstruation such a taboo topic? 

In the past, I remember being absolutely mortified when a bunch of tampons spilled out of my bag on a packed train. Or when I leaked through my white joggies (I know, I was a fashionable kid!) during gym class in high school. The worst was when my high school bully found my mum’s letter to the teacher that read:

Dear Mrs Green, 

Erin can not participate in gym class today as she has a very heavy period.

He showed it to the rest of the boys who all found it HILARIOUS of course, while I held back tears and tried to pretend I didn’t care.

Mortified.

Society has taught us to keep Shark Week on the down low because it’s gross, embarrassing and something that we should refrain from talking about. In primary school, the boys and girls were separated for “special talks”, where the boys were taught about growing hair in scary places and the girls were taught about what to expect when they got their first period. Why didn’t we have both those talks as a group so we could all learn about what the opposite sex had to deal with? Instead, it turned the whole thing into this huge secret that we couldn’t possibly mention in front of boys because it was embarrassing. It wasn’t for them to know about, right? Nowadays, we try to hide our pads and tampons on the way to the toilet (my friend, Kirsty, described it as: “it’s as if we’re taking part in some sort of dodgy drug deal”), we refrain from bringing up how bloody sore (pun intended) our cramps are, for fear of making others feel uncomfortable and worst of all, we’re made to feel gross for being on our periods because GOD FORBID, BLOOD is coming out of our VAGINAS?! Ewwww!

Because of this, I decided to make a change.

Now, I make a point of mentioning my period occasionally in conversation, I don’t hide my pads, tampons or menstrual cup when heading to the toilet anymore – people can just get used to seeing it and I started a youtube series called Week in the Life of a Period.

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I’m currently filming my 5th vlog in the series, (it’s been 5 months already – where has the time gone?!) and I’m loving it. Each video is filmed throughout the entire week I’m menstruating and I vlog about PMS, flow, cramps, emotions, leakage, products, spots…all the gory details. NOTHING is held back.

It was slightly terrifying to post the first video. I mean, my family and my boss watch my videos – did I really want them to see me crying in bed while stuffing my face with chocolate?

YES. I did.

Despite the fear of people thinking I was off my head, it actually went down really well! Comments started seeping in (lol) from women sharing their own stories about their cycles and engaging in discussions about the different types of experiences we have while bleeding from our vadges. More and more women have started opening up in the comments of these videos and it’s become a safe space to discuss periods without any sort of attached stigma or unnecessary negativity. However, these videos aren’t only for women. Men have commented too, explaining that it’s given them insight into what having a period is like, which I think is GREAT. Everyone is welcome to watch these videos!

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Menstruation is a natural part of life and this proves that the more we talk about it, the more it normalises it. If people start getting used to hearing about our experiences, it won’t be an “embarrassing topic” anymore, it’ll be normal.

Comparing our own experiences can also bring abnormalities to light, that otherwise wouldn’t have been noticed.

Having your period isn’t something to be ashamed of. This isn’t Carrie. I often hear the argument, “I don’t talk about my bowel habits, so you shouldn’t talk about your periods”. NEWSFLASH: POO AND PERIODS AREN’T THE SAME THING, (if you bleed from your bum hole, you should probably consult a doctor). I agree, I think poo is pretty gross, but I don’t take my menstrual cup out, see blood on my hands and think, OH MY GOD, I’M SO DIRTY AND DISGUSTING. Menstrual blood is clean. Of course, hygiene is important and washing your hands before and after using your cup is a must, but come on, comparing the two isn’t even a legitimate argument.

If someone makes you feel gross for talking about it then:

  1. They probably aren’t used to hearing about it.
  2. They need educated on the subject.
  3. They’re a douche.
  4. You should throw tampons at them. (Don’t actually do this, they’re expensive).

I’d encourage everybody who menstruates to make small changes to get rid of the stigma once and for all, be it refusing to get embarrassed when buying menstrual products in the shop or speaking more about it to the men in your life. Even the tiniest steps could make a huge difference!

Remember: Periods are natural, healthy, normal and definitely aren’t something to be ashamed of.

Click the picture below to see my Week in the Life of a Period Playlist! Also, shout out to Tara/Cattitude & Co for also making amazing Shark Week videos!

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