Let’s begin with the obvious. While every woman gets their period, not everyone is willing to talk about it, leaving periods as taboo and shameful as they’ve been for years.
However, there are more women taking a big step towards taking away the stigma of what’s natural and normal for more than half of the world’s population. From inspiring people to talk openly about their periods, to making period panties so girls in third world countries don’t have to be shamed, these awesome women are completely changing the way the world is looking at periods.
This Youtuber, most well known for her videos on fashion and beauty, is breaking out into whole new territory. As she has said, her coming out has led to a new appreciation for her body and her videos have definitely shown it.
New content on her Youtube channel ranges from her favorite period products to one simply entitled, “Your Vagina Matters!”, and that’s only the start to her women’s health videos spanning from her regular account to her vlogging channel as well.
With 1.08 million followers on Twitter and 4.02 million subscribers to her main Youtube channel, her posts spanning across the Internet (and world) have only reflected her willingness to talk about what’s so often not talked about.
When given the chance in January of this year to interview President Barack Obama, Nilsen took the opportunity to ask him about something that not many people would have: the tampon tax. When she asked why that tax exists in 40 states, Obama was surprised, not even knowing that these taxes existed across the US.
Nilsen embracing her body has changed the period movement across the country by not only engaging millions of viewers and fans, but also political leaders, asking the questions so often not addressed.
Always big fans of products made to help women feel more confident while menstruating, we can’t help but love Miki Agrawal, CEO and co-founder of Thinx, the company creating the newly famous period panties showing up all over our social media.
Agrawal is working to make periods easier and less of a nuisance for the women who experience them hundreds of times throughout their lives, but she’s using that to change the way the taboo topic of menstruation is being looked at.
With help from celebrities like Sophia Bush and Joy Bryant, this CEO is realizing the influence of her company and using that to combat one of the longest lasting stigmas we know, asking people to take whatever steps they can to bring attention to our periods and go about dealing with them in ways that empower us, rather than bring us shame.
This writer and blogger probably wasn’t expecting a whole movement to come from her post in May of this year asking people to Tweet about their periods in hopes of lessening the embarrassment that accompanied menstruation.
“Let's start a conversation. Be brave, and join me when your time comes,” she wrote, asking women to talk about their periods as normal occurrences — rather than as a problem.
However, when she began #TweetYourPeriod and started sharing the intimate details of what was going on in her body, women across the country followed suit.
The new voice that Pappas has kickstarted, one of accepting your body, has inspired women to accept their own as well, creating a new place for women to talk about their periods without being judged for it.
Making headlines in 2015 for her choice to free bleed during the London Marathon, Gandhi has surfaced as a young woman devoted to making women feel more confident with themselves. Following her race, she received a bunch of backlash, having to hear about how ‘disgusting’ her choice had been, but Gandhi continues to believe in the need to destigmatize what’s natural, and not let it hold us back.
Inspired largely by the lack of menstrual products available in third world countries, this young feminist ran in honor of the women having to feel embarrassed of their bodies for such a large portion of their life.
She drew attention to periods. She talked about them. In a way, because of this, she changed them.
The CEO behind HelloFlo has worked with writers to produce ads that have been making a huge change in the way people are hearing about periods and women’s health as a whole. Taking topics that are controversial to many, like girls’ first periods, she has worked with writers like Sara Saedi, Jamie T. McCelland, and Peter Marquis to develop stories behind The Period Fairy, First Moon Party, and the well-known Camp Gyno.
Using humor and a willingness to talk about the downright uncomfortable topics of womanhood, Bloom and her group of writers have been able to produce ads that we can all relate to while still being entertained.
Talking about periods as funny or empowering, rather than something to be ashamed of, is changing the way people view them, too - even as young girls. At Viv, we’re BIG fans of that.
Our Favorite Woman Changing the Stigma on Periods
In case you haven’t noticed a pattern in these superstar women, they’re all talking about periods and embracing them for what they are - a normal part of life, not something to be ashamed of. Anyone can do that.
You’re the queen of your body. Rock it. Own it. Love it (even when you’re on your period - you can love that, too).