Hana Shafi The Great Tampon Myth*

If only getting your period was like the quaint blue liquid they use in the commercials. Doesn’t seem too menacing, doesn’t really put thoughts of potentially unbearable pain or irritability in your head. That stuff makes experiencing that “time of the month” look like a fucking fairytale. I can understand why advertisers don’t want to scar the general public with graphic images of a used pad, but all I’m asking is for commercials selling pads and tampons to be at least vaguely realistic, because that blue liquid demonstration just doesn’t cut it. 

Commercials selling “feminine hygiene products”- the term irks me- often opt to feature smiling girls wearing some form of white clothing as if pledging an oath to all their loyal customers that their product is so good, you can risk wearing a pair of white pants. Two words: Hell. NO. I truly do not care how leak-proof that pad or tampon is, nothing in this world could compel me to risk wearing white pants on my period so I have to keep wondering whether I look like a walking crime scene. Just the sheer paranoia is enough to drive a person insane.

Instead of trying to convince us that your tampons are good enough for us to do goddamn acrobats in a white leotard (or this one commercial where a girl was sitting on a guy’s shoulders *shudder*), try designing pads and tampons with wrappers that don’t alert everyone in a 100 mile radius that you’re on your period. Is it just me or does opening one of those wrappers create this massive echoing wave of sound? Many of us can relate to that pain of going to a public restroom and secretly feel like everyone in the hallway outside can hear you taking out a pad like you’re ripping open a bag of fucking nachos or something. And if quieter wrappers are just an impossible feat, it would at least be nice to see these pet peeves portrayed in commercials.

But no, rather than actually create relatable and truthful advertising (whoever heard of that?), the companies selling us “feminine hygiene products” gave us scented pads instead. Yeah, that’s right: scented pads, which has firstly, been known to cause some allergic reactions, and secondly, who are you kidding? A spritz of some floral aroma is not going to make your period smell like Chanel No. 5. 

Stop trying to make pad and tampon commercials more dainty, or quaint, or “feminine.” Show us your pad/tampon, we know that it probably works because this isn’t some very recent innovation, show someone in sweatpants drinking a cup of tea and that’ll just about do the trick. And last but not least, do not tell me to have a happy period. Now you’re just being cheeky. 

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