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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

About bloody time…

We need to start talking about periods

Periods may have once only been thought of as a woman’s issue, but nowadays their impact is felt in numerous ways. For one, our Earth is struggling against the overwhelming weight of plastic pollution – and yet just one sanitary pad is the equivalent to four plastic bags. Couple this with the fact a female uses on average 11,000 throwaway tampons and pads in a lifetime, there’s no doubt that periods have become an environmental problem, too. And sadly, it’s not only the planet that suffers. Periods, despite being an inevitable part of a woman’s life, are a source of poverty for many. In fact, one in 10 girls can’t afford to buy menstrual products, according to Plan International UK, and over 137,700 girls in the UK have missed school because of this. It’s hardly surprising when you consider that menstrual products cost more than £18,000 in a women’s life time – totalling to £13 every month. It is incomprehensible that females become slaves to their body when it’s doing something perfectly natural. How periods are experienced shouldn’t be down to how much is in our back pockets. And still, discussing periods as a whole remains a taboo topic. How many of us admit to hiding a pad or tampon in our pockets when we’re due to freshen up? Or feel embarrassment creeping in when we place these items on the checkout conveyer belt? It’s time to change the way we think about periods, and the best place to start is by opening up the conversation, instead of hiding in shame. 

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About Be Kind

Hello, Most women can remember their first period. Maybe you were lucky enough to have someone comfort and reassure you during yours, or maybe you worked things out for yourself. Either way, for a lot of women, from that first period onwards, it’s a monthly event that is shrouded in shame. A hush-hush secret between friends, a missed PE lesson, a surreptitious tampon passed underhand from a colleague, a sanitary pad shoved up a sleeve, a handbag conspicuously carried to the bathroom – for something perfectly natural, experienced by 50 per cent of the population, why the stigma? We spoke to the brilliant illustrator Hazel Mead (p20) about period shame and how, with her clever drawings, she is breaking taboos and opening up the conversation. Her pieces challenge misconceptions around real topics – like feminism, sex and periods – and she is a passionate campaigner against period poverty. Like Hazel, it’s about bloody time we put an end to the humiliation and mystique around our periods, and liberated ourselves by talking about them honestly and openly. Aside from the emotional impact of periods, they create some shocking environmental damage, too. While we’re all trying our best to use our keep cups and Tupperware, we need to consider the footprint of our sanitary products. Each pad used is the equivalent of four plastic carrier bags – a female uses on average 11,000 throwaway period products in a lifetime, so, if these are all pads, that’s equal to 44,000 carrier bags. Fortunately, there are some great alternatives which are better for the planet and your pocket, too – find out more on p80. Enjoy the issue, Phillipa Editor