Kailey Tedesco
May 10, 2016 11:05 am

Female menstruation has been a topic of contention for centuries. In the media, it is often portrayed as a nuisance, something of which women should be ashamed. With these stigmas, though, come some extremely badass activists (or menstruation anarchists), ready to tear down these sexist barriers and positively revise cultural views of, well, Aunt Flo. From Germaine Greer’s famous proclamation that one should not be afraid to taste their own menstrual blood to Ingrid Berthon-Moine’s contemporary photographs of menstrual blood as lipstick, women across time have rightly refused to put up with society’s body-shaming. So much so that last summer, #LiveTweetYourPeriod trended all over Twitter!

In addition to all these amazing demonstrations, Lili Murphy-Johnson’s awe-inspiring jewelry collection is another way to say that there is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to having a period — it’s perfecting natural, and can, in fact, be beautiful.

Murphy-Johnson’s website displays her collections “On the Rag” and “The Final Collection.” Each of these prominently feature female hygiene products, as well as more abstract representations of what it’s like to be on your period. The site states:

As a self-proclaimed menstruation activist (or menarchist), I immediately connected with the beautiful photographs of ruby filled cocktail rings resting boldly in the crotches of white pants. I had to learn more about this collection, and after reaching out to the artist I was lucky enough to hear a little more about her and what inspired these pieces. You will see below that these pieces are so much more than glitz and glam. They’re true reflections of both the beauty and pain of menstruation, irritability and all!

HelloGiggles (HG): How did you get your start as a jewelry designer? Was this something that you’d always dreamt of doing?

Lili Murphy-Johnson (LMJ): I didn’t expect to get into jewelry design, I always loved art and did a lot of painting and drawing when I was at school, but while I was on my foundation year at CSM I tried out jewelry design and really loved it, so I carried on with it for my BA.

HG: Can you describe a little bit about the process of creating these particular collections (“On the Rag” and “The Final Collection”)?

LMJ: My final collection started from my own experience with PMS, I tried to replicate the emotions and symptoms that I experienced into jewelry. I made lots of pieces that were irritating to wear or frustrating to put on. These pieces developed into focusing more on the blood and the products we use during our periods.

HG: How do you style your pieces when you wear them?

LMJ: I like to wear them with simple clothes, and not too much other jewelry.

HG: I’m especially a fan of your “Bouncing Necklace” representative of PMS! Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired this amazing design?

LMJ: Thank you! I got this idea when I was looking at being easily irritated before my period. I wanted to link this idea closer to jewelry in general, so I researched online to see what people found annoying about jewelry. Lots of people were writing on forums saying “I hate it when my necklaces bounce on my chest,” so I tried to copy this image to make a really annoying necklace.

HG: What’s your favorite way to relax and wind-down during your period?

LMJ: Eating chocolate.

HG: Is there a person or artist that you looked to for inspiration during this creative process?

LMJ: Yes, I got a lot of inspiration from Sarah Lucas and Oriana Fox.

HG: At this point, we’re all super stoked to SHOP! Where can we purchase your pieces?

LMJ: I’m in the process of making an online shop at the moment.

I can’t wait to don these pieces for myself, and to watch as Lili Murphy-Johnson’s collection gets all of the praise it so rightly deserves!

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