Your monthly bill, a gift from Mother Nature, a visit from Aunt Flo, the crimson tide, that time of the month—there are many names for the one thing that unites us as women, our period. But in spite of the fact that half the population is female, menstruation has traditionally been a "hush-hush", "we-don't-talk-about-that-in-public" topic.
HelloFlo's new Internet campaign may be just the thing to change that. The spot, which was created to launch their delivery service, focuses on a young girl who gets her first period while at overnight camp, and proceeds to serve as the self-appointed "camp gyno," helping spread information, and tampons, to the other campers—until the power goes to her head and her 15 minutes of fame fizzles.
Needless to say, there has been some debate as to the appropriateness of the video. As both a woman who menstruates and a mother of a teen daughter, I applaud HelloFlo's efforts. Here's why:
1. Knowledge is power. Like the girl in the video, I once had my period at overnight camp. Instead of being armed with the knowledge of how to use tampons, I was armed with maxi pads and excuses as to why I always skipped swimming. This video would be a great kick-off to a lesson about how to use tampons, either in health class, at home, or upon arrival at overnight camp!
2. Laughter is the best medicine. Anytime humor is added to an awkward topic, it becomes less so. It also becomes more normal. I recall vividly how I felt, as the girl in the video so eloquently put it, "like a random loser." The fewer things young girls have to wonder are "normal" about them, the better. Don't you think?
3. It's a great conversation starter. When I started working on this blog post, I was on vacation with my extended family. There were five girls on the trip ranging in age from eight to 19 years old. Thinking it was a great opportunity to hear first-hand what the intended audience thought, I asked if I could have a viewing party. My sister-in-law declined to let her 8-year-old watch it, saying, "She doesn't even know what a period is." Precisely why I thought she should have let her.
See it for yourself! Watch the video below and share your thoughts about the campaign with us on Twitter @shape_magazine.