As well as being a sunny bank holiday weekend, the last month in May was also home to another annual reason to be cheerful – Menstrual Hygiene Day.
Not as fun as more traditional calendar dates such as bank holidays, nor as soppy as the likes of other women-led celebrations such as Mother's Day, sure, but it's still a day worth noting (28 May, for the record/your FunFax); as charity Bloody Good Period is well aware.
For this year's recent Menstrual Hygiene Day, agency Mother worked with directors Anna Ginsburg and Caitlin McCarthy in partnership with Strange Beast to create a film marking the event with the aim of ending "period shame." The film forms part of the #NoShameHere campaign.
The 1991 classic song Finally by CeCe Peniston is used in the short, featuring new lyrics that aim "to bring home period realities". Research from Bloody Good Period has revealed that "9 in 10 of those who menstruate experience period anxiety at work"; 63% want employers to normalise talking about periods in the workplace; 25% have experienced a time where they have had to take time off due to menstrual health issues, and it has impacted their career progression, and 97% agreed that hiding period products is considered the norm.
"Periods are a part of life for so many of us, and though we don't always want to sing and dance about them, a promo was a brilliant medium to get us talking about them," says Susan Hosking, executive creative director, international at Mother said. "Using positivity and entertainment is a way for us to get the conversation flowing and hopefully help us shake off the shame and stigma so wrongly attached to them."
According to the charity Bloody Good Period, the pandemic has worsened the problem of access to and affordability of period products, with more than 81,000 packs of products distributed since the start of the UK lockdown.
"On Menstrual Health Day, we're asking everyone to wake up to periods being a part of life and recognise that society needs to accept this natural biological process," says Gabby Edlin, CEO of Bloody Good Period. "By shifting attitudes and making period products accessible, we can help everyone, especially the most marginalised in our society—those living in poverty, refugees and asylum seekers or lacking period education—to live life to its full potential."
With demand for BGP's services still growing, the charity is also asking people to donate to enable them to continue distributing products.
Gabby Edlin added, "We believe access to period products is a matter of human rights because not having them has such a range of consequences - for our physical and mental health, and all of us as a society. Until they are freely available for everyone who needs them, we'll be here getting products out to people who need them."
Susan Hosking, Executive Creative Director, International at Mother, said: "Periods are a part of life for so many of us, and though we don't always want to sing and dance about them, a promo was a brilliant medium to get us talking about them. Using positivity and entertainment is a way for us to get the conversation flowing and hopefully help us shake off the shame and stigma so wrongly attached to them."
Bloody Good Period works to fight for "menstrual equity", providing period products to refugees, asylum-seekers and those who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford or access them. The charity is calling for period products to be #BloodyFree: sign the petition here.