Seeing the video below was the final push in getting around to writing a post that we have been talking about for ages. For all that we’re about putting a “happier” face on menstruation, there has been some concern expressed that perhaps we make the picture seem a little too rosy, to the exclusion of the reality for many of us (myself included) that sometimes periods aren’t such a party after all. “The Period Fairy” is a funny-in-a-painful-kind-of-way take on how unpredictable, inconvenient and painful menstruation can be.
To be clear, our slogan “Happier periods, naturally”, is intended as an affirmative counter response to a social climate where menstruation and menstrual products aren’t traditionally on the top of everyone’s “woo hoo – let’s talk!” list. The notion of negativity around menstruation reminds me of sexism in general – some people insist that it’s over, others that it’s dwindling in a glass-half-full sort of way, and still others are hopping mad at its current manifestations (see my previous post about menstrual activism!) In the sixteen years that I have been doing this I have seen everything from polite curiosity, to overwhelming joy, to abject rudeness as people’s reaction to learning about our work.
As I see it, we’re working to improve how women feel about their periods, both physically and emotionally. We’re not trying to wave a magic wand (or pad!) and pretend that’s it’s all suddenly going to be perfect. Rather, we hope that by offering natural product choices and presenting a “happier” perspective about periods, women may develop a more positive connection with their bodies. Perhaps what’s become confused in this conversation is the idea that if we think differently about menstruation, it will automatically change the physical experience: that by doing away with shame, we will somehow also be able to do away with cramps, bloating and PMS. While many customers claim that Lunapads and the DivaCup have eliminated their cramps, we make no such promises, and further are realistic about our products’ performance.
This brings me to another oft-debated slogan we use on our stickers: “I (heart) my period”. What we are trying to express here is a simple proclamation of gratitude for our monthly cycles. Do I always love having my period? Not so much. On a deeper level, though, I totally love the feeling of letting go and starting again, of a personal, mysterious connection to the Moon, tides and seasons, of being part of an eternal sisterhood, and of course the gift of my daughter – that love and gratitude never leave me.
So, will using Lunapads or the DivaCup make your period “happier“? We hope so. How that actually manifests will be unique to each woman. Some make the switch and subsequently discover a sacred new connection to their moontime. Some will enjoy the quiet satisfaction of bypassing the “feminine hygiene” aisle in drug and grocery stores, while others will gain personal satisfaction knowing the reduced environmental impact they are having on the planet. Here is a great example of what we are coming to call a menstrual “aha!” moment. Here’s another. And one more, for good measure!
Our primary goal at Lunapads is for women to feel accepted, respected and comfortable, which to me is a whole lot “happier” than the disposable experience of bandage-like products and endless waste and expense. What do you gals think? Does using Lunapads and/or the DivaCup make your periods “happier”? Do you (heart) your period?