My Period
(Menstruation?). 





I suppose the idea for my project started when I was 8 years old (yes you read correctly, 8 years old) and I had my first period. I blossomed a lot earlier than other girls so by the time we had our “Maturation” classes in the fifth grade (learning about periods and our bodies) I was like “why is this such a big deal, don’t we already know about this?” Alas, we did not and it was (and still is) a very big deal.




Some women have very easy periods and perfectly healthy relationships with their bodies and menstruation. Their periods come and go like nothing happened. More often, however, women experience cramping, mood swings, anxiety, changes in skin and appetite, and more. Some women even experience so much pain that they are bedridden and feel too sick to go to school or work. 50% of the population experiences this phenomenon monthly, yet periods remain a taboo topic in most circles and cultures
   



Period Pamphlet



The period taboo is not unique to the western world, in fact, it is deeply rooted in nearly every culture of the world. Subsequently, addressing this topic can feel very heavy and hopeless, but I wanted to tackle a small portion of the problem and attempt to help people talk more openly about menstruation in their homes and with their friends.

I designed this small “Period Pamphlet” which contains fast facts and helpful tips on ways to be period positive and fight these taboos.


(hold down on images to read)



Bathroom Stall of Our Nightmares/Dreams


For the visual display of my project, I wanted to create an ethereal space showing what comes to my mind when I think about my period. It’s pink, happy and cute but also scary and ugly.
























I reached out to people on social media and asked them: "what thoughts and feelings do you associate with periods?"
Written on the walls are a small portion of the thoughts that were shared with me.





                                            



                                                














The walls demonstrate the “graffiti” like ways that ideas get stained into our minds. Positive thoughts, negative thoughts, shame, pride. All of these thoughts are floating around in our brains supporting and combating one another.



















We can decide what graffiti gets written in our minds, and by so doing, take control of the narrative around periods. It starts with teaching young girls and boys about respecting our bodies and that periods are normal and healthy.












Presently, a cultural shift is taking place in the global conversation about periods. People are taking a look at the harmful chemicals used in period products and opting for safer solutions like menstrual cups; period underwear marketing is much more transparent; and families are being more open about menstruation as a whole. We are moving in the right direction, and we still have a long way to go.









                                             






Globally, women are still belittled and demeaned, confined to "period huts," and made to pay the "tampon tax" for their menstruation--a healthy bodily function. Talking more openly in family and friend circles about periods is a necessary step in the right direction, because the shaming of women for their healthy bodily functions is something that we can and should stop. Period.