Billions of women all over the world get their period every single month. But today, if aliens came down to Earth and analyzed our media and pop culture, they probably wouldn’t even realize such an important and biological necessity exists. Why? Because the taboo surrounding periods and menstruation is still very real and pervasive, even now, in 2015. That’s exactly why THINX, a company that specializes in leak-resistant, moisture-wicking underwear for women to wear during their period, is aiming to dispell the stigma surrounding menstruation by asking world-famous women to talk about their periods.
In a YouTube video posted earlier this week, THINX co-founder and CEO Miki Agrawal tackled the topic of periods — specifically, why we don’t talk about something that has been a major part of our lives since the dawn of womankind. And that’s exactly why actresses Sophia Bush, Joy Bryant, and Jackie Tohn joined in to talk about their embarrassing period stories on set, as well as how they feel about societal views of menstruation and how we talk about it.
“It’s all so technical and creepy the way they talk to us about it, that the lining of the uterine walls is sloughing,” Bush said. “That’s … gorgeous.”
But the major topic? The double-standard of the taboo surrounding periods. “What’s so sad about people being shamed for getting their periods and how the female body works is that none of us would be here if it weren’t for how the female body works,” Tohn said in the video. “So that that is sort of a shaming as opposed to a celebration is just mind-boggling and baffling.”
That’s exactly what THINX’s mission is: To dispel that taboo and stigma by keeping the conversation going. It’s something on which the company has been working hard — but not without backlash. Take the THINX ad campaign for the NYC subway system, which was highly criticized last month for using vivid images (a broken egg to symbolize period stains, for example) as well as using the word “period.”
But Agrawal isn’t backing down. The video features Agrawal traveling to Uganda to talk to women about their periods — a trip which inspired her to team up with AFRIpads to provide reusable menstrual pads to women who need them. And the THINX team will continue to fight the stigma not only in the developing world, but right here in the United States.
“We also need to break the taboo together and change the conversation around the most natural normal time of the month,” she says in the video. “It shouldn’t be stigmatized. It shouldn’t be embarrassing.”
Check out the full video below, because it’s so, so important.
(Image via YouTube.)