Posted: August 21, 2017 Contributor: administrator

A Hush-Hush History: Periods in the Media

When it comes to our periods, we’ve come a long way. While we unfortunately still have quite a ways to go until the shame and stigmas that plague this natural process is gone for good, it’s always nice to be reminded that progress is real, and it’s happening today. With that being said, here are some interesting milestones that we’ve overcome within the media and advertising.

1888 – Pads are introduced

Pads hit the shelves, but not for long. Due to the throttling taboo around periods, and the belief that they shouldn’t be discussed, marketing around these products were nearly impossible, and they were removed from the shelves shortly after.

1934 – Tampons are introduced

Tampons hit the shelves for good, and marketing began. Tampax released the first tampons to stores, and word got out. However, due to the belief women would lose their virginity by using the product, marketing for the product was mostly restricted to housewives. It was extremely common for these ads to
perpetuate the idea that periods should be hush-hush, making the purchasing process shameful for women.

1972 – TV advertising

The ban was lifted, and advertising on television took off. While this may seem like a huge breakthrough – and it sort of was – the ads that followed further perpetuated the belief that women’s periods were nothing to be discussed, calling them “that time of the month,” and other cookie-cutter terms we hear today.

1985 – “Period” said on TV

The word period was finally said on TV. Gasp, right?! Courtney Cox shocked the world by muttering the word that had yet to be said out loud on television. If you think that took long enough, it wasn’t until the late 90s that advertisements began showing blood – let that sink in.

See what we mean? Every day, we are getting closer and closer to the normalization of periods. Let the past serve as inspiration to continue the fight to lead open discussions within the media and public.


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