Le Parcel and Kotex Teach Us How to Feel About Our Periods
1:50 pm, January 7th | by Colette McIntyre
A lot of stupid things happen in movies: a ’50s prom dress gets turned into a hideous polka-dotted potato sack, Adam Sandler and Brooklyn Decker are marketed as a believable couple, and women fall to pieces when a cute guy or a tepidly attractive guy or their dad or their friend’s dad or their boss or the postman or a cashier or just about anyone discovers that they have their period. Fortunately for all of those easily embarrassed ladies, new company Le Parcel is offering to discreetly deliver tampons and pads to users each month, along with chocolate and a “mystery gift.”
I, like most women, do not care if a man sees me take a tampon out of my bag. By creating a company whose sole purpose is to facilitate up some kind of elaborate tampon hand off, Le Parcel is participating in the culture of shame that surrounds menstruation. Women are constantly told by advertisements and movies that their periods are disgusting; Le Parcel is only furthering the negative associations. For crying out loud, this isn’t The Wire and tampons aren’t contraband. Our periods and the various products that cater to them shouldn’t be offensive or embarrassing! And you know the secret gift Le Parcel packs away next to your chocolate (because that is our crazy lady kryptonite) probably alternates between unreleased Nicolas Sparks book and pictures of Channing Tatum holding puppies.
In direct contrast to Le Parcel’s mission to turn tampons into contraband, Kotex is running a conflicting campaign meant to help girls get “in the know.“ U by Kotex’s “Generation Know” campaign features hip girl bloggers and activists tackling the menstruation misconceptions and offensive marketing that Kotex itself once perpetuated.
As frank and unconventional as the advertisements are, I still find them a bit false. These sit-down chats with bespectacled teens about whether or not bears can smell if you’re menstruating feel so removed from what periods actually are. My ovaries aren’t making some big feminist statement by ovulating — they are preparing my body for making a baby. I also get headaches and sore throats from time to time; no one is trying to “get real” with me about the truth behind lozenges. I don’t want my tampon providers to be my friends or my confidantes; I just want them to stop patronizing me.
[Via HuffPost Women]