Education, Your Body

Your Menstrual Cycle Just Got Funky

Going With The Menstrual Flow

If you’re down about your period, think again…

Things have moved on since the days of over-sized, ‘jumbo’ sanitary pads that you could use to literally surf that crimson wave.

We have already said ta-ta to the bizarre, suspender-like contraptions and rags of the Yesteryear that older generations had to contend with, when the feminine ‘hygiene’ market began to produce readily available disposable products, such as sanitary pads and tampons.

Now, Aunty Flo’s with her monthly visitations, which may once have been greeted with embarrassment and shame, has had a makeover. The painters and decorators are most decidedly ‘in’: menses just got funky!

Menstruation Just Got Sexy

Menstruation products are now somewhat sexily (or as some would say, peculiarly) referred to as ‘disposable menstrual lingerie’. Historically, ‘shark week’ had been viewed with trepidation, yet there is a trend towards a new acceptance and celebration of ‘the blob’. No longer the ‘curse’, we can celebrate when we get our red wings.

Whilst once discretion and miniaturization were key factors for the producers, there is now a drive in the market for more natural, organic lines and an openness about bodily and reproductive function.

The Beaver Is Back

Women are menstruating earlier and for longer, with the average age of puberty coming down to 13 from around 16 in 1840. The market share in your poonani plug is huge, with the global tampon market set to reach $2.58 billion by 2015

With this increased market we are seeing new strategies to sell these products to you. With Bodyform’s snark attack in response to a FB post by Richard Neill, we have seen a more spunky, more playful and positive approach to menses.

Even the controversial Kotex U Beaver mascot  has been re-introduced (albeit only in digital advertising, because we’re not quite ready for the Beaver to be out in public yet, are we?).

The branding of menstrual products has moved from the aseptic to celebratory, organic and, even outright romantic; Scarlet Eve LunaPads, Mooncups, Gladrags, Party in your Pants…jeez, we even have the Tampax Radiant. There are even menstrual cups that sparkle a-la glitter.
Wow! Your muff will positively glow.

Image credit:© cocolima – Fotolia.com

 

 

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11 Comments

  • Reply Ashley November 20, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Could you possibly add an explanation of the picture? I really would like to know what menstrual cups are pictured above… I don’t know of that brand existing?

    Also– *I* happen to know what cups are but the majority of people who wind up here may not. You have a picture with close to nothing explaining *what* they are. I’d truly love if you could explain a bit on what the picture is (menstrual cups), and why they maybe why they are making menstruation sexier again, or making it such that woman are “Reclaiming menstruation” in regards to them? Cups are a great choice for some and I’d love for more positive information to be shared about them. I think this article is promising, but leaves out a lot at the same time.

    • Reply Kiera Pedley November 20, 2013 at 8:28 am

      Hi Ashley,
      thanks for your insights and yes, absolutely we can follow this up with more info on menstruation products!

      Please tell us if there is anything you want us to cover in depth.

      I was thinking an intro to cups, and how brilliant they are.

      Because we are all about vaginal health, I really wanted to cover how tampons affect our bodies, and how some brands of cups are great, and what to look for etc.

      • Reply Ashley November 20, 2013 at 5:23 pm

        I know there are a lot of articles out there on cups & what not, and I’m not sure what kind of foot traffic you get as to how much information you could or should have. I think important things about cups to include may be the advantages & disadvantages, comparison to tampons & why they may be a better option (like you mentioned about how they affect a person’s body), further mention of things like sponges, reusable tampons, & cloth pads, etc. I think it’s important to break the stigma of cups being gross & unhygienic and really find a way to hit those people who may be like “nah, tampons are easier” but don’t realize the risks they are taking for their body and actually not just theirs but of animals too! Tampon & pad waste is something I found shocking when I first learned about cups, and it’s even more disturbing to see pictures of tampons washing up on shores & things… those poor animals and the environments we are messing up!

        The reasons I switched or the things that really pulled me in were … no noisy, rustley disposables (I was actually a pad user, not a tampon user but I’m quite sure more are tampon users) to sit on all day, a product I’d have to buy once– I’d never have to run to the store again when I ran out of a product– and waste money I didn’t have at the time to do so– no smelly trash in the garbage, no chemicals on or in my ladyparts. I’m not sure if those are the same with other people or not but those all seemed to be the things that made me go hmmmm….

        I could go on rambling for some time, but I will not. I think any way to make a good, informative article on cups & the like is always a plus, but at the same time I feel it would be great to see it written in a way that hasn’t already been done before.

        • Reply Kiera Pedley November 20, 2013 at 11:51 pm

          Thank you thank you thank you!

    • Reply emma stewart November 20, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      Dear Ashley,

      Thank you so much for your awesome comment – there are quite a few brands of menstrual cup now that sell their products in a fabulous array of colours,even with sparkles! (Lunette, Meluna amongst them) . I hope to do further articles on the use of different menstrual ‘lingerie’ :), especially on the use of some cups (e.g.Softcup) and how these are used and how you are able to still have comfortable penetrative intercourse, if you wish, whilst wearing them. Thanks again for your comment and I hope that you enjoy our further articles!

      • Reply Ashley November 20, 2013 at 4:48 pm

        Oh, I’m aware of many of the cups that exist, since I have tried many of them. The one in the picture you have, does not seem to be one that is on the market, which is why I wanted to know about that one specifically. It seems it may be an edited version of a similar cup on the market.

        While a further article would be nice, I really do think an explanation about the picture *within* this article could be beneficial, which is what my comment meant. You have the photograph at the top, but then nowhere near it do you mention what they are or how they are used (not even briefly). At the end you mention mooncups and say some cups even sparkle a-la glitter, but at no point does the point seem actually apparent that cups are a means for ‘reclaiming menstruation’ or making it spunkier or anything. Like, for example, under the part about how “Menstruation just got sexy” you say that “Whilst once discretion and miniaturization were key factors for the producers, there is now a drive in the market for more natural, organic lines and an openness about bodily and reproductive function.” but you don’t really explain at any length what products you are referring to, leaving any potential readers kind of at a loss. I feel like this could be the perfect opportunity where even a short mention of reusable products could fit. “The movement away from disposable products seems to be led by products such as menstrual cups (seen above, cups collect your blood instead of absorbing it like tampons), reusable sea sponges, reusable tampons, cloth pads, etc. We plan to do a further article on this in the future.”

        Do you see the point *I* am trying to make now, about how there seems to be missing information regarding your picture & how it relates to the further points you are trying to make? It’s like… here’s a picture! But I’m not going to explain what the heck it is throughout my entire article!

        I’m not trying to put down your article, at all, I think it’s great when there is positive articles on reusable products, but I do really think it could be strengthened by explaining, in writing in your article, what your headlining photo in your article is– and why it relates to menstruation getting spunkier, etc.

        • Reply Kiera Pedley November 20, 2013 at 11:50 pm

          You’re absolutely right!! And we’ll get onto getting some more information out there!
          You mention below you were a pad user – was that disposables only? Have you tried cloth?

        • Reply emma stewart November 21, 2013 at 1:40 am

          Thanks once again Ashley for your constructive and interesting comments. We shall endeavour to add all of them to a further article on menstruation products now that we have this introductory piece up :). Also with regards to reclaiming menstruation, the drive of the article was about the changing attitudes that are being demonstrated within the marketing of products through advertising/use of social media that is presenting a more fun or positive attitude towards menstruating fabulously, rather than an emphasis upon freshness and hygiene that had previously dominated media messages. Thanks once again for your great comments and your obvious enthusiasm for environmentally friendly menstrual products!

  • Reply Naomi Gee November 20, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Hi, thanks for the article 🙂 please could you tell me/cite where you got the menstrual cup photo from or say what cup brand it is? It looks like a Mooncup with the stem trimmed with colours photoshopped on it tbh, AFAIK no brand currently exists that looks like that. Google menstrual cup size charts livejournal for a list of all current brands. Thanks!

    • Reply Kiera Pedley November 20, 2013 at 11:48 pm

      Hi Naomi,
      The picture is a stock photo Its there simply for aesthetic! It probably is a mooncup with a makeover (Incidentally, wouldn’t it be lovely if mooncups did come in some funky colours!)
      We’ll be running an article on cups and reviews on cups shortly – and we’ll be sure to include pictures of purchasable products 🙂

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