Sunday, February 14, 2021

Why an Ad About Periods Made Me Feel Happy

I saw this short ad for Always pads yesterday (in the midst of some impeachment coverage, I think). It's only 15 seconds long, and it features a couple of short clips of women suddenly realizing they've just felt a larger amount of blood from their period suddenly. The phrase the ad uses to describe that feeling is, "What the Gush?"

The solution, of course, is to use an Always pad, which is ready to absorb the gush. 

I'm not here to talk about the product. I'm here to talk about how glad I am that periods are normalized to the point where an ad like this can be on television. An ad that can refer to something half the population knows first-hand, and the other half should be able to deal with like adults.

This is in contrast to the ads that ran when I was a young person. I'm not sure there were television ads at all. The print ads were all in coded language, and always featured women wearing white. (White!) No one ever talked about the way any physical part of the experience felt.

I think it took some of the feminist comedians of the 1970s and ’80s to start breaking that barrier, and it finally started to change in other areas. There are probably a few dissertations on this topic. At least I hope so.

Our country's now-dying version of silence about periods is on a continuum with the shaming of women in other cultures, whether they have to stay in separate buildings while menstruating or are considered untouchable. Half the human race bleeds and the fact that any culture pretends it doesn't happen is an obvious indication of misogyny. 

So yeah, I'm gushing over the What the Gush ad. We've come some part of the way, baby.



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