Transforming the conversations about menstruation

Over the last few years, we have witnessed a transformation in how menstruation is talked about in public. The period heroes mentioned in the previous article illustrate how more and more people dare to end the silence around menstruation. They are inspiring examples that show that all of us can influence the conversations we have about menstruation. Decision-makers in both the public and private sectors have a particular responsibility to drive this change. Also companies working in this field have a role to play in challenging taboos around menstruation.

Woman washing hands (photo)

Another way to enable more open conversations and reaching vast numbers of individuals is using the external communications to challenge stigmas. One example is the “Blood normal” campaign that was launched in October 2017. The campaign pictured periods as a normal part of life, and it was the first time a campaign for menstrual products showed red liquid instead of blue as a symbol for blood.

– A lot of advertisers fuel the taboos of menstruation blood. Today, blood is a part of our everyday life – you see blood in the news, tv-series and movies, but you are never confronted with menstruation blood, even though that blood is normal and healthy. We believe that when you confront people with a subject and talk about it, you start to normalize it, and that is what we are trying to do, says Tanja Grubner, Global Marketing & Communications Director for Feminine Care at Essity.

Exchanging blue liquid for red might seem like a futile token, but many broadcast authorities have restrictions when it comes to showing period blood on screen. Yet, test screenings of the campaign have shown that women react overwhelmingly positive toward a more casual depiction of period blood. By today, the campaign has reached more than 800 million people.

21 Global study conducted by Essity in May 2017 among 10 017 respondents in ten countries.