No One's Youer Than You Series Post 2: When Everyone Has It, But No One Talks About It
I began writing this post late one night, after I had promised I was going to get myself to bed early and on time. I had turned off the lights, but the brain juices kept flowing. In true Slammin Lammon fashion, I began to panic that I was going to lose all my thoughts to next morning's struggles. I had to get at least some of them down and out of my constantly distracted brain.
This post is all about periods.
Yes, I said it. Periods.
If you're on your way to click away from this page and finish reading because you're embarrassed and in sheer terror that I could bring something like this up, don't.
Or do, because then you're proving my point and I always love being right!
To me, this post fits perfectly in the "No One's Youer Than You" series. What's more real than the natural female body and it's ability to produce children? Honestly, that's as real and original as it gets.
Personally, I believe that Aunt Flo should be celebrated. I'm not saying that it should be dinnertime talk, but it definitely shouldn't be a hush hush topic only brought up behind closed doors and at a whisper.
Let's get real for a second... how many times have you heard someone exclaiming proudly about what a wonderful dump they just took? How is that okay, but any mention of menstruation is a shock to the listeners.
I'm about to let you in on a really jaw-dropping, earth shattering, life-changing fact.
Ready for it?
YOU came from a woman who got her period, most likely, EVERY FLIPPIN MONTH.
That's right, yo momma is so cool that she had her own personal "Shark Week" every month. Not even the Discovery Channel can do that, and the Discovery channel is pretty cool.
If so many women in the world all undergo the same monthly fun, and it enables us to bear children and continue the human race, why is it so taboo?
Growing up, I rarely ever got my period, partially due to my weight and partially due to the extreme amounts of exercise I did. But I always wanted to get it. I would look forward to the day that I could join the rest of the female race and be a true woman and shove cotton up my hoohah.
Okay, well not that last part.
But I very seriously have a love for my period. Every time I get it, I know that I've been given the greatest gift of all, the ability to have children.
Hold up. Just because I said I'm glad I get to have children, does not mean that I want them thisverysecond. Are you telling me you never think of the future?
One day I want children, and to me it's a relief having that monthly reminder that it's still possible. Our bodies can be finnicky creatures, and it's nice to know when we haven't messed something up. Or at least that's how I feel.
But back on the sans baby track, why must a woman feel so ashamed to "surf the crimson wave"?
Countless times, I've caught myself and others shoving our tampons and pads up our sleeves as we dart off to the restroom, living in fear that someone will see them. We go into nervous sweats when we have a male cashier ringing up our boxes of feminine hygiene products. We dread going swimming or wearing white because of the chance that we'll leak.
Sometimes we get embarrassed when certain symptoms of our periods cause us to have an off day. Maybe we don't feel like getting dressed up, or our cramps prevent us from wanting to work out or be out in society. If you're like me, then your mood swings are something to be reckoned with.
Our uterus is clearing itself out in preparation to maybe creating the next world leader/rockstar/genius scientist/fitness guru. That's a pretty awesome thing, so what if we don't want to be the picture of perfection.
Of course, don't you even try to say that I'm saying that women are good for nothing more than child bearing! We do a lot of incredible things, but it sucks that sometimes we are penalized because of our ability to bring life into this world. Women are told that they cannot be sushi chefs because of an imbalance in taste due to menstruation, banned from using a swimming pool because they are on their periods and KILLED because of beliefs of being impure when experiencing their NATURAL cycle.
There are so many stories out there about the terrible injustices women have to face, I could fill this post with links, but I was just getting to upset the more I researched.
One upsetting fact that I have to touch on, is that girls all over the world are forced to miss school or drop out because of inadequate information and supplies pertaining to menstruation.
If you're female and reading this, think about the first time you got your period. Imagine where you were, and who you were with. Did you have someone to take you under their wing and help you understand it? There probably were a couple of days of unease, but then you menstruated like a boss!
Wow. Never in my life did I ever think I would say that...
Now imagine being filled with fear when getting your period for the first time and knowing that you just had your last day of school.
You know that you have so much more to offer the world and an immense amount that you still want to learn.
355 million Indian women and girls menstruate on a monthly basis. However:
Dropping out of school for a natural bodily function? How is that okay?
You haven't gone to the bathroom yet? Sorry you can't go to work yet, it must be done in the privacy of your own home.
I don't know about you, but I don't think that's okay to have to give up your education just because you're a woman and your body is doing the natural things that women's bodies ALL OVER the world are doing.
There is a tampon subscription company called Cora, that does amazing things to help with the dropout rate of menstruating women and girls around the world. The subscription aspect is pretty bomb, because you never have to worry about forgetting to purchase tampons, or being caught off guard when Cousin Red comes for an unexpected visit.
Cora also has an AMAZING cause behind it. With the money raised from Cora's sales, Cora purchases the equivalent in sustainable pads from their partners in India that are produced in the local community by women who are paid a LIVING wage. The pads are distributed to the local women and girls, who otherwise might not be able to afford them, along with reproductive and menstrual information.
That's a pretty incredible thing. Every time you get your period, you know that somewhere in the world, a woman or girl who has hers too, is able to continue her education and life in a more meaningful way.
Interested in getting a Cora subscription? You can get it for as low as $9 a month and use my code alexandra1819 to get a free trial month! Just enter it in at the checkout in the Gift Card redemption section.
No, this isn't sponsored, I just am very passionate about this topic.
Did I mention that Cora tampons are 100% certified organic, 100% biodegradable, 100% hypoallergenic and have BPA-free applicators (they're working on developing a more environmentally friendly one).
So why does this matter?
The FDA doesn't require feminine hygiene product companies to disclose what's in their products. Non-organic tampons are usually made with rayon which is usually bleached and can contain dioxin, also an endocrine disruptor and can make endometriosis symptoms worse. Not to mention any perfumes or fragrances or pesticides (in the cotton) that are found in the non-organic tampons.
Maybe the store bought tampons you use are fine and won't negatively effect you. But we already do so much to prevent damages and toxicity from our lifestyles and especially our food, why not add tampons to the mix?
Of course, I'm not telling you how to live your life. I'm merely sharing all this information, because when I found out about it, I kinda flipped. For me, it was just too creepy to continue to use the non-organic tampons I had used previously. I've been teased for it and mocked, but it's my decision if I want to shell out a little extra money for something that makes me sleep better at night. I'm not claiming that I'm superior to you, I'm just sharing my story in case there is at least one other person out there who feels the same as me.
Granted, there is still mixed information out there about whether non-organic is fine or not, but we all know about how studies are always floating around. If something speaks to you, do it. If not, well, no one is telling you how to live your life!
If you're interested in reading more about this topic hit up
How did I come across this period shaming/organic tampon thing? Well, ironically, it was on my birthday.
I was surfing through the "Explore" section on my Insta, when I came across a post by Steph Gongora (@casa_colibri). Steph was doing this amazingly intricate yoga series and clad in all white. I was so impressed by her strength and control, but then noticed a red splotch on her crotch that kept getting flashed at the camera. I clicked away quickly, incredibly disgusted by what I had just seen. Why would you put something like that on Instagram?
But then it hit me, why was I so disgusted? This is something that every woman experiences. I'm sure every woman has had a situation where they've leaked in an unexpected situation.
A few weeks ago, I had a friend who leaked at a party. Instead of someone coming up to tell her that she had bled through her tampon, everyone laughed and teased her. She even received a few comments that were a step or two away from disgust.
Later, she told me how upset she was about the whole thing. Had no one else ever bled through their tampon before? Why did it have to be such a big thing? It wasn't like she was a dirty, unclean slob! Life just happens!
Why should women be shamed for something so natural?
I think it's great that we're finally stepping away from keeping our periods quiet and on a single road path. Thinx Underwear ads have been plastered all over NYC subways and are giving women more options during THEIR time of the month.
I'm all about options for everyone. There are So. Many. People. in this world, and no two are alike. Thinx provides just another option for women who may use either tampons, pads, cups, or a combination of all!
Women are even choosing none of the above as an option. I'm pretty impressed with Kiran Gandhi and her decision to put HER comfort above everyone else's. She decided that she didn't want to run a marathon with some cotton wedged in between her legs that could keep her from achieving a personal record! Now that's admirable!
Kiran finished the race with a blood stain through her pants and pictures of her skyrocketed her to gender equality fame!
Did anyone die? Have their eyes fall out of their head? Catch some horrible disease?
So why must we act like something that most women do is a shocking atrocity?
Now if you're a man and made it this far through the post, I am so proud of you. You've probably grown up your whole life being intimidated by a woman during her "time of the month". I hope that you can start to break the cycle, hardee har har, and not think of a woman on her period as a disgusting and unnatural thing.
PUHLEEESE don't be like this man who believes that women should "hold their period" until they get to the toilet. This poor man does not understand female anatomy, and refuses to get educated and understand more about women. Granted, you don't need to know the nitty gritty details, but if you're spouting ridiculous things like he is, you need to check yourself.
I do believe that society is moving in the right direction and really starting to go with the flow. There are 40 states left who still have a tampon tax, but many are making moves to get rid of it. A basic human hygiene should not be considered a "luxury product", and therefore taxed.
Be one of those people who is there to offer your friend a tampon in her time of need, not afraid to tell a sister when she's leaked, and most importantly, don't make a woman feel ashamed for experiencing what is natural for their body.
It starts with you!
And as promised, for making it through this post, I'll let you in on the subject of my next post. It involves Slammin Lammon as a wannabe esthetician, a flowering honeybush and a friendship that just reached new levels... Stay Tuned!